Video Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Everyone keeps saying video marketing is a big deal, and for good reason.  More shares, more engagement, more likes, more business! (According to Filmora) Over the past year or two, countless publications, businesses, and content creators have followed suit. The world of video is an alluring, but daunting, path for a lot of small businesses. Already busy with providing service or products, maintaining customer relationships, administrative duties, and taking care of the inevitable fire, most small businesses find it difficult to just publish a blog post on schedule. How will video fit into all of this?

Invest in Technology and Equipment

The first thing you need to do to adopt a video marketing strategy is to get the proper equipment. Learning how to produce high quality videos will make all the difference in how effective the videos will be in your marketing. A shoddy video will quickly turn people away. It is, after all, a part of your business’s image.

These things are twice as  essential if you plan on using video extensively for your marketing and service, by providing webinars for example.

The essential equipment you will need are the 4 following things, if you plan to shoot video:

  • A quality camera that can shoot in high definition
  • An external microphone
  • A tripod or other mount for the camera
  • Proper lighting
  1. The Camera
    A good camera able to shoot in high definition is essential for good image quality. Like with photos, it is much easier to take something big and make it smaller without losing quality, than it is to take something small and make it bigger. Shooting at high definition will ensure that your videos can be made appropriate for all kinds of connections and sizes.
  2. The Microphone
    Some people invest in an expensive camera and then rely on the camera’s microphone to pick up the sound. However, even on expensive cameras the microphone will have a hard time clearly picking up any sound. If the camera is located a decent way away from you while filming, the sound will often feel hollow. Instead, invest in an external microphone so the videos you produce will sound clear, no matter what you are filming.

Videos are both visual and aural, and not being able to hear what is being communicated has the same effect as not being able to see what is being shown.

  1. The External Mount
    The third is a stable mount for your camera which most likely will be a tripod of sorts, although I have seen some creative solutions for this. Before you invest in one, it is important to consider what type of videos you will produce and how they will be shot. For example, if you plan to create how-to videos where the camera films someone’s hands while doing something, you will need a specific type of mount for the camera.

The reason why this is important is that any movement of the camera or the surface it is resting on, will be incredibly noticeable in the shot footage. A tripod or other specialized mount is also much better than plopping the camera down on the kitchen counter, as most allow height and angle adjustments. This means that you can be flexible in what area you are videotaping. When the camera is resting on the counter, you are very limited in the area you will be able to shoot.

  1. Lighting
    The last, but equally important thing, is to get some good lighting. This does not necessarily mean you have to purchase a bunch of professional lighting tools, but rather make sure the planned space for your videos has enough light for the camera to pick out details. In videos with poor lighting, the quality will be grainy (whether it is shot in high definition or not), details will be hard to see, and the colours will look washed out.

Do a bit of research as well. Is there a content creator you really like? See if you can find out how they make their videos. There are a lot of great tips available for free from professionals.

Repurpose past content

If you need some ideas to flesh out your video content or are not sure where to start, work on repurposing your past content. Look at past blog posts, newsletters, press releases – anything that has worked to market your business before – and see how you can turn it into a video.

There are a lot of opportunities with past content, and with some creativity, you can throw a meaningful spin on them. Turning something into a video can potentially add more meaningful dimensions. It can also be a good opportunity to go back and look at what you have produced and see if anything needs to be updated.

Things to look for in past content that can be easily improved by video are the following:

  • Would this content be more meaningful if it was more personal?
  • Can I explain this thing better if it was shown in action, rather than described?
  • How can visual imagery and sound improve this piece?

Your testimonials can be recorded by actual customers to give some personalization and credibility to their words. Recorded demos can be a great way to introduce and show people how your product or service works. A personal introduction often is more meaningful than a few short paragraphs on your company’s about page. Videos are also great to show off your company culture, which for certain demographics is a huge selling point.

Whatever content you have created before, whether online or off, can be turned into effective content for a video marketing strategy in a pinch.

Make videos drive people to your site or product

When formulating your video marketing strategy, consider how your videos will bring people to your site. The classic way to accomplish this is to think about common questions that you get in your business. Videos that teach people how to solve problems are always useful.

It is important that you create them around topics that are adjacent to your product or service so that you can attract viable contacts and upsell them. Creating educational videos also builds up the credibility and expertise of your business.

For lean small businesses, educational videos are great because they do not have to be long or terribly complicated to produce (depending on your product or service) and can be a resource to direct existing clients to if they have an issue.

Know the social networks

Videos work great on social networks but knowing which one to focus on can be tricky. We do not want to spend more time than we need to in executing our video marketing strategy.

Each social network has different preferences in style and content when it comes to videos, and trying to make content in a one-size-fits-all way is less effective than focusing on one or two. Some people test which platform is better by investing a little bit into each one with an exploratory video. The platform(s) that perform best are then the ones focused on.

Another strategy is to talk to your past and existing customers and find out what social platforms they prefer. Chances are, if there is a preferred platform among your current clients,then your future clients will also prefer them.  

Third, if you have already been executing a social media strategy, you should have some data on which platforms have been working well for your business. One thing to keep in mind when publishing videos to some social media platforms is that by default the sound is turned off. Therefore, a lot of video content on Facebook, for example, has subtitles so that people can view it without turning on the sound. For other platforms, sounds is normal if the user chooses to engage with the video.

Make sure your videos are featured

After working on videos to market your business, make sure you showcase them on your site! Often, one can tell when a site’s video marketing is an afterthought.A telling sign of this is if  they are stuffed into the margins (and therefore almost unviewable) or buried on a random page on the site. You spent time, energy, and resources creating these videos, so plan out where you can put them on the site to best increase its value.

After all, your videos should showcase why your business is special, so let them be visible and get to work immediately .

Video marketing works by capturing leads

To get the most out of your videos, they need to push the viewers to take an action. Much like a landing page, structuring a CTA into or around your video creates results. If your video has captured the heart of its viewer, providing them an easy way to either book an appointment, demo, get in touch, or download something – whatever your planned marketing strategy funnel requires – will increase conversions.

Convert Player is a great tool to do this to videos that are embedded on your site. While Youtube and Vimeo have their own platforms and options, to fully customize your video and connect it to your direct mail tool, you will need a tool like Convert Player. However, this tool is only designed for videos that you currently embed on your site, so it will not work directly on YouTube.

This is not such a drastic limitation as it might seem. Youtube has plenty of tools for you to add buttons and markers to help drive viewers to your site or to your other videos. By combining these two methods, you can create an entire lead capture funnel through video alone.

Adopting a video marketing strategy is a fair bit of work, but any small business can get the ball rolling with a small investment and a lot of research.

 

Why a Video Call to Action Means Everything for Your Business

How the Call to Action Works

The key to using videos in your marketing campaign is making them active, rather than passive. Videos should be informative. Yet, this information falls flat if the user is not directed to take a next course of action. Remember, the ultimate goal of a video is to generate leads on your website. The video is part of your sales pitch; the call to action (CTA) closes the deal. Viewers can be elicited to do so through a CTA that prompts them to submit contact information, or directs them onto your site’s support page where they can speak to an expert, for example. The call to action is the platform through which leads are generated. So, if your lead score is quite low, you should probably adjust your approach to CTA implementation. 

Let’s consider the channel that most of you will use to generate video content: Youtube. Most would assume that Youtube was created for the purpose of entertainment. Millions of engaging videos on most any topic possible is sure to satisfy the desire of any viewer. Yet, Youtube is truly intended to be a marketing tool. While your video may act as a pitch, the CTA is the final sale. Convert Player helps you to reach that final sale.  

How to Implement a Call to Action

1. Apply  the CTA directly To Your Video

There are two ways your can do this:

  • Via a written CTA on a boxed screen that appears during or at the end of the video
  • Via a verbal request

 

The Verbal CTA

A verbal CTA does not warrant a great deal of explanation. This is usually seen in two scenarios:

  • A  voice-over that tells the user to take a specific action, or suggests that action
  • An engagement with an individual speaking directly into the camera

In the following example, produced by the budgeting app Grandma’s Jars, the presenter and CEO, Phil, speaks directly to the audience. The verbal CTA is used at 6:30. At that point, Phil asks the users to reach out to him directly with any questions or remarks. By doing so, he indirectly pushes clients into submitting a query or subscribing for an email via a verbal CTA.

 

The Written CTA

While a verbal CTA may give you the opportunity to build credibility by interacting with your clients personally, a written CTA is much more widely popular for one reason: it presents the user with a clear and direct action step. Therefore, using a written CTA is more common, and arguably, the more effective method. In the example below  you can see how, using Convert Player, the user was able to manipulate the video, adding effective CTA copy, as well as an email opt-in button, and pause/play functionality.

The viewer is prompted, at the end of the video, to subscribe via the email opt-in button. Using Convert Player, you can can change the placement of where you’d like the CTA to appear within the duration of the video. Utilizing the CTA in this way is effective; placing an additional CTA outside of the video takes it a step further. This engages the viewer from the moment they access the page. Their next action step is clear; they are no longer obligated to watch the complete video in order to act on the CTA. 

2. Place the CTA Outside of the Video

Optimizing your video is sometimes not enough to direct users to the intended CTA. Using a video on your landing page is only effective if there is an explicit CTA, stating the video’s intention. Whether this is to encourage viewers to subscribe to an email chain, or contact a team member to learn more, make sure that what you’re offering them is not perceived as a hard sales pitch. Aim to inform, rather than to sell. For example, an email subscription box featured near to your video’s placement on your site is an apt CTA utilization. In this case, if users lack the patience to finish watching the video featured on your site, a CTA placed strategically near the video will direct them.

 

 

In the example here, ClickFunnels boldy decided to place two CTA’s below the video. By doing so, they’re giving the viewer more than one option. This makes the CTA feel less spoon fed, giving control to the viewer to decide how they want to move forward.

Whether or not you decide to use a verbal CTA, multiple written CTA’s, or an in-video interactive CTA prompt, ensure that the copy you use seeks to entertain and inform, rather than sell. Remember, your ultimate goal is to get viewers to move forward by subscribing via email. Offering free trials are an excellent way of doing so. If you want a smoother segway into the subscription portal, offering a free consultation or for the user to “speak to an expert,” are also highly effective.

Convert Player was created so that you can optimize your videos in this way, bolstering each with an effective call to action. Once you do so, your video suddenly goes from being void of value, to being one of your best marketing tools. For a full step-by-step walk through of how to use Convert Player, refer to our previous posting on How to Use Convert Player for Video Optimization

 

Want More Views? Follow The Three E’s of Video Marketing

If you’ve read our previous article on How to Use Convert Player, you know how simple it is to optimize a video with tools such as a call to action, and other interactive features. The next part is a bit more challenging, yet exponentially more important. After all, knowing how to upload a video is void if the content of the video doesn’t grab the attention of your intended audience. When it comes to generating video content that generates lead conversions, and draws more viewers to your site, it’s will work in your favor to abide by the “3 E’s’ of content marketing.

For a video to be garner success it will be: engaging, educational, or entertaining. Videos that fall under one of the preceding categories are used most effectively at the top of the funnel. At the stage in the funnel, your potential viewers are seeking a solution to a problem they may have, or an area of interest they may not have discovered. A successful videos in this “awareness” stage of the funnel, will draw viewers in with an enticing video content.

Let’s consider a video that aims to engage its viewers.        

 

Videos that Engage

Videos that best engage do so inadvertently. Rather than selling a product, the video indirectly sells an idea, or, rather, a feeling. This sentiment defines your brand’s image. In turn, it allows viewers to better relate and visualize the product being sold. Chryster’s wildly successful commercial is a prime example of engagement at its best. It grabs  viewers’ attention, affirming that American-made vehicles could once again go toe-to-toe with German made or Japanese made products. The American nationalistic sentiment helps draw a specific target audience to the brand, and does so with rigor.

A Nostalgic Reminder of American Prowess

 

 

Videos that Entertain

Engaging videos are consequently very entertaining to watch. Let’s consider a new trend in video marketing: video documentaries. Documentaries work with the intent of engagement — to indirectly draw a target audience to form a genuine interest in the companies brand image. Intel’s video documentary, found below, encapsulates this concept. Shot from the perspective of an esteemed photographer and visual artist, the documentary offers viewers a glimpse of how is artistry is performed using technology. The connection to Intel itself is not obvious, and this is why the video has garnered such success. Intel was successful because they showcased an icon. This icon acted as a representation of what can be achieved through technology, without explicitly stating it. Very few people want information shoved down their throat. The power of entertaining videos should not be underestimated.  

A Documentary That Sells

 

 

Videos that Educate

Last, but certainly not least, your videos should educate. These videos stray from the aforementioned “E’s” in that they seek to solve a specific problem or inform the audience on a topic they are not familiar with. These videos don’t practice psychological mind games of indirectly enticing viewers as the former “E’s” do. Videos that educate face the viewers need head-on. One of the best examples of videos that educate can be found on Moz’s video portal. Moz offers a plethora of informative videos that help users solve a specific problem they may be dealing with. Take a look at one video that garnered particular success amongst its viewers:  “The Perfect Blog Post Length and Publishing Frequency is B?!!$#÷x”

A Problem Solver

 

 

Whether you aim to engage, educate or entertain, remember that the preceding categories don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, the BEST video marketers will capture all three E’s within a single video. You’ll find that content that is entertaining and engaging usually go hand in hand. The top of the funnel is, arguably, the most important stage in your marketing strategy. This is the stage where you establish your brand identity, and in turn, draw your target audience. Remember to cast a wide net by using keywords and an engaging CTA that can attract audiences from a broad platform. 

 

How To Use Convert Player for Video Optimization

Let’s walk you through our process by considering one business that has benefited from Convert Player. Grandma’s Jars is an online budgeting app that allows users to track expenses, save money, and live debt free. One of the company’s primary sources of success derives from it’s utilization of video optimization. While Convert Player’s online layout makes using it rather self-explanatory, we’d like to show you just how efficient the system is, using Grandma’s Jars as an example. Let’s consider one video from the company’s “Debt Free Living” campaign. 

Grandma’s Jars:  A Step-by-Step Guide

 

1. Simply copy the URL of your Youtube or Vimeo video and insert it into the URL link and press “add video.”  Once you’ve added your video you can find it in your queue. Select a video to begin editing

 

 

2. This brings you to the master editorial page, where all video optimization takes place. On the right side of the page, you can find features that allow you to decide how you want to optimize the video. Options include “auto-play,” “hide video controls,” “enable SEO” and/or “redirect to a URL” at the end of the video. From here, you’re able to add any copy to verify your SEO title and description.

 

3. The feature that draws the greatest amount of users is your Call to Action. Here you add the CTA copy, and determine where in the video’s sequence you would like it to appear. Apart from the CTA, the user is also given the option to add an email opt-in feature, and a Facebook share page.

 

4. Once optimization is complete, simply click on the “Embed Video” tool on the upper right hand corner of the page. Here, you’re given the options to use the “Responsive HTML Embed Code” on multiple platforms including your website, WordPress, or Facebook Page.

 

Why Video Optimization is Necessary

A video that lacks the above features lacks any outlet for user interaction, thus making it void in terms of marketing. Even if your videos content is superb, it is highly unlikely that the video will convert unless you bolster it with the aforementioned key features such as a CTA, and relevant keywords.

Of course, once the user is drawn to your page through the SEO tactics you’ve applied, there must be excellent content in place. Creating great content is the key component to optimizing your videos. It’s otherwise nearly impossible to secure views and drive traffic to your site. In the next article we’ll divulge exactly what it is that makes content engaging to viewers. The “three E’s” of content marketing should be the foundation from which your video content is based. Find out More About the “Three E’s” of Content Marketing

 

Why Is Video Optimization Important? Marketing at its Best.

Why Use Convert Player? 

Anyone running an online business will vouch that videos offer huge potential as a marketing tool. It is less known that if not correctly implemented, they lose all their power in converting leads. Users come to us frustrated at this very anomaly: if the video itself is well produced, why are results lacking? The answer is not as straightforward, although the solution is achievable. A video, no matter how enticing it may be, loses all its potential if missing user interaction tools. The most important is the Call to Action. This is where Convert Player comes in. Convert Player is an app that acts as an outlet through which you can instantly make your embedded Vimeo or Youtube videos viable with a CTA and other text components. What does this translate into?

  • More emails on your list
  • Increased sales
  • Bigger social media following

 

Simplicity of Use 

So, why take the first step? Convenience. Convert Player is designed to be remarkably easy to use for all experience levels. There is no coding required; simply plug in and play. There is also no cap on video quantity, meaning you can use and manipulate your videos anywhere on your site. Its convenient for your viewers as well; Convert Player’s streamlined editing services eliminates annoying advertisements that often precede Youtube and Vimeo videos. Viewers are also given more interaction tools such as the ability to skip ahead or adjust video speed.

 

Quality Service 

Convert Player is made up of a group of individuals who are smart marketing experts. They’ve found a way to leverage videos so that they can reach their full potential. The results speak for themselves: a higher amount of email subscriptions, leads, and overall customer satisfaction. Now, these like minded individuals want to offer an outlet for others in digital marketing to do the same. Convert Player is a supportive community comprised of innovative thinkers who share one underlying goal: making videos live up to their full marketing potential. Our team is constantly seeking ways to enhance Convert Player’s services. That’s why we’ve implemented a customer support system guaranteed to be receptive of your user experience.

 

Still unsure ?

In the proceeding article: “How to Set Up Convert Player” we’ll walk you through the experience of one of Convert Player’s most successful clients to date. See how easy making your videos marketable can be.