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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.