Small Business Guide to Video Marketing

Using video as part of marketing is gaining a lot of traction across businesses of all sizes. The key to their popularity lies in their relative ease to engage with both prospects and clients across multiple platforms. As demonstrations go video is simply the best way to make your customers or prospects be more comfortable towards making a purchase.

With access to broadband internet increasing, businesses are looking to video to engage with customers both new and old in their decision-making processes.  Businesses and probably your competition are joining the bandwagon looking to video to help capture value from their audience. Marketing with video can be both fun and rewarding.



Growth of Video

The current global forecast estimates the average person will watch 100 minutes of online video each day in 2021. In fact, a survey of marketers reveals 88% of them say video marketing provides them with a positive Return on Investments (ROI). Furthermore, 92% of marketers say video is an important part of a marketing strategy. With 75 million Americans watching online videos every day, video marketing offers enticing opportunities for marketers to capitalize on the rise in popularity of online videos.

The good news is you don’t need much to get started. With a good camera or a decent smartphone, you too can make great videos for your business. Your marketing video can be used for your website or social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram; the sky is literally the limit.  A caveat here is making a marketing video requires a bit of a learning curve. First, you will need to have the right amount of knowledge and tools to make a meaningful impact from your video marketing effort.

If people like or share your video content it can go viral when it reaches social media platforms. Endorsements such as these have the potential to even amplify your reach. When the information comes from someone they know, the receiver is much more likely to view it, like it, or share it. That’s why more businesses are including video in their marketing mix in addition to email marketing and social media outreach for best results. But to create video content for online consumption can be a bit tech-heavy. However, it’s not hard to do once you learn the basics. In this guide, we break down what you need to get started.

What is Video Marketing?

Marketing is an essential part of the overall success of a business. Marketing covers all the steps involved in tailoring your products, messages, sales, distribution, customer service, as well as other business actions to meet the desires of your most important business asset, which is your customer.

There are many ways you can market your business with today’s digital platform. Whether it is email, social media or even video marketing, you have options. Video marketing is a quick and effective way of marketing your products and services. Unlike video advertising designed to stimulate interest and increase sales, video marketing content tries to engage with your clients at a higher level. Video marketing can help improve your online presence, promote better brand awareness, let you boost engagement, and build trust. Video advertising is a subset of video marketing that helps businesses generate sales for their products or services.

By their nature video formats have proven to be appealing, engage the viewer and grab their attention. Let’s face it we are becoming more and more visually oriented and good presentation and content can take your brand a long way. In today’s age of social media and mobile devices, a video can easily go viral, which can help boost your brand recognition. Going viral would mean your content, in this case, video, will see reactions and get shared frequently.

With this level of engagement, you can build followings around a certain topic, social cause, product, service, or promotion important to your business. Subsequent comments, likes, and shares will help add credibility and endorsements from your online/social following. Using content that prompts discussion and feedback have a higher chance of being shared by a larger audience.

If your customers can’t find the content that makes your product easy to use and enjoy, they most likely will go elsewhere seeking out your competition. This would mean you’ve missed the opportunity to impress them or, in some cases, even get their attention. This is where a solid video marketing content strategy comes to play.

Different Uses for Video in Marketing

Video marketing is one aspect of content marketing along with email, social media and traditional marketing. Here video content is used as an effective visual storytelling tool. This has three great advantages. With a video, you can broadcast your message, boost your brand and have a larger impact on your audiences as a medium. Video is continuously dynamic and continues to delight, entertain, and inform. Irrespective of the target audience’s attention span, be it 6 seconds on a vine or a 15-minute tutorial, they are very impactful. Moreover, a video can be shared across platforms whether it is on your website, social media channel on mobile devices, YouTube on PC or laptops.

Help Make Connections Easily

Video content can even be funny, educational, inspiring, motivational or heartwarming. They can be personal, easily draw attention, and resonate more with audiences than other mediums. Video can help put a face to a name and allows an audience to see the genuine nature of your business and offerings.

People like buying from people. If they have confidence in you it hugely increases their likelihood to buy from you. Videos are now consumers’ favorite type of content to see from a brand on social media. By 2023 there will be some 345 million Internet users in North America and 329 million mobile users. As such, consumers are always expecting to see more video content. In this age of connectivity, 92% of mobile video consumers share a video with others. This is yet another compelling argument for starting your video content strategy for your company.

Makes Selling Easy

Videos are easily processed and they can get people’s attention just as quickly. This is great in helping to bring about brand recognition. They incorporate visual and auditory content to convey messages. Unlike plain text visual content, our brains retain the information in a video much more easily.

Research indicates there is much to gain from video marketing including the increase in sales and lead generation. Some 71% of B2B marketers and 66% of B2C marketers use video for their content marketing. A video incorporating text, music, and photographs makes it an ideal medium for conveying compelling content. They engage users for longer periods of time on your website. They are also a great way to increase subscriptions to your email and social media outreach.

Being a medium that captures attention, video leads viewers towards an action. If you incorporate a call to action or offer a discount it can lead to an increase in engagement with customers or even conversions.

Promote Your Business

With video, you can promote your products or services and increase your conversions rates from prospects to buying customers. You can create videos to provide an educational background for your business to potential clients to even let them try your services. You can make a product video to highlight the features of your products as well as attract and retain customers. The platforms for your videos are diverse. You can use your videos on your website social media handles that include YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as other platforms on the internet, including Google.

Increase Traffic

Videos from your social media outreach or email marketing can be used to drive traffic to your site. Product reviews, video ads, or video tutorials from other platforms can direct viewers to your website to increase the number of visitors to your site. In addition, your videos on social media sites can help make sure you reach out to potential customers that might not know about you on the internet.

With good videos come good messaging, which is a great way for increasing your outreach. Video lets you broadcast your message, boost your brand and have a larger impact on your audience. Another obvious reason why video content marketing remains one of the most effective marketing tools is simplicity.

Below are some of the different types of marketing videos you can use for your outreach.

Customer Testimonial Video

Customers can be great ambassadors for your brand, product or service. If you can find an existing customer willing to go on video, then, by all means, get them in your video. They can make a great impression on other customers who are on the fence to help explain the intricacies of your product or services through the lens of a user or customer.

For greater success let customers use their own words but ask them to be specific. Potential customers might not be as convinced from your pitch but when a fellow customer who they can relate to recommends your products their skepticism might go down.

How-To Video

Also known as instructional videos, tutorials or Do it Yourself (DIY), they let viewers find solutions to a particular problem they might be experiencing. They are a great way to help viewers take a step by step walkthrough a process.

Essentially these videos assist viewers to answer questions and instruct them on how to do something they didn’t know how to go about doing. According to Google, a how-to- video earns the most attention of any content category on YouTube; more than music clips or gaming. In fact, more than 7 in 10 viewers of the 2 billion monthly active YouTube users, they use YouTube to solve problems. It is also a great way to use your video content to help others.

Demo Video

A demonstration video is a great way to showcase the attributes of your product or services because they work well for marketing campaigns. To further enhance your message, you can also incorporate animation, images, and infographics to help the audience get a better feel of your offering. A demo video is literally a walk-through of your offering much like you would do when a customer drops by to your shop or office. Eight out of ten people have purchased a piece of software or application after watching a brand’s video.

Product Review Video

A product review video is meant to give a particular product or service an edge against the competition’s offering. By first showing the benefits of your product or service, you can assist customers to get a better understanding of what they are signing up for if they choose you.

Product reviews are great in providing information on the highlights of the product or service. This helps customers go one step closer to make a purchase.  A review video is also a great tool for building trust with viewers as well.

Webinar Video

A webinar is an online event where speakers deliver presentations, educational series or conferences to an audience. Often participants interact with the speakers by submitting questions, responding to polls and other exchanges. It is another type of video content for engaging with audiences as they offer opportunities to interact and gain feedback from viewers.

A webinar video can also incorporate infographics, slides, videos and other presentation tools to further add to the experience. Another benefit of a webinar is viewers around the world can attend and participate in the event. This means more opportunities to get eyes on your brand from a new customer base.

Explainer Video

An explainer video is similar to a demo video, but it focuses on how the product or service provides solutions to customers. It helps breakdown seemingly complicated concepts around a particular offering. The purpose is to communicate the unique attributes of a particular product in the shortest amount of time. Think of these as a video manual that helps customers navigate through the intricacies of a product and the features that come with it.

It is a great way to connect with customers as this type of video helps address issues the end-user might encounter while using that particular product.

Podcast Video

Podcasts allow people to share their craft, campaign or simply share their passions with large audiences. Spurned by the popularity of YouTube and other social media platforms podcasts are growing in popularity. Podcasts come both in audio as well as video formats. It is like blogging using videos.

The formats are either one particular speaker or in a form of Q&A and conversations with guests. The content can be streamed live or are made available for download at a later time. Whatever the format, podcast videos are a very popular way to share knowledge in content marketing.

These kinds of videos support to showcase your company’s human capital and best practices by sharing insights that your potential customers might need. As a content marketing tool, it can support subscriptions increase as well as offer good opportunities to sell advertisements.

Advertising Video

This is probably the oldest marketing use for videos. Advertising videos also called brand videos are part of an advertising campaign. They are designed to inform viewers about the features and benefits of your product or services. These videos can be displayed as ads or on YouTube. You can also promote a video you’ve done to serve as a type of professional ad.

The long-term purpose of advertising is to persuade the consumer to see your business in good light and to continue to purchase your products or services. Other uses of advertisement videos may include increasing sales; announcement of special promotions such as discounts; gain better name recognition for your business and others.

Interview Video

These type of videos put the spotlight on one or two people where they answer questions. The interviewee could be your CEO, staff, partner, suppliers, customer or even an influencer. Often used for blogs, or as part of a podcast series they can also be used for training purposes.

The person should have a message or some unique insights that might be of interest to the viewers. Often an interview video is accompanied by a transcript of the interview so that people can also read as well as watch. YouTube automatically generates a transcript, albeit sometimes rough. This type of video is good for sharing your company’s values and its solidarity with the community or causes.

Training Video

Also used interchangeably as tutorial videos, they help improve the user’s skills with a particular product. These videos can use footage of real people to connect the trainer with the user. The video can be a step by step instructions on how to use or optimize the item they purchased.

If you want to create your own training video you can record a short screencast showing you doing the activity and explaining the process. Tools like Techsmith, Loom and TinyTake by Mango Apps are great for this purpose. While often used for internal training purposes, you can also use it to display thought leadership as part of your content marketing for your audience.

Animated Video

Simply explained animated videos use images manipulated to appear moving to deliver a message to your audience. These videos can be a fun way to build your brand or promote your services. They do not require you to scout location or worry about your lighting or composition. You will however first need a good animation maker software to create your animation video. Your animation videos can be incorporated with a dubbed voice to further enhance your message. Animation videos can be as short as 30 seconds or go longer. The content depends on the message you want your audience to consume.

Top 10 List Video

List videos are very popular on YouTube as they help to rank those in the list based on their performances. This is great for marketing as they provide viewers with informative and humorous options from a list of likely contenders. BuzzFeed, Watchmojo and others like it have used the top ten list videos to create their own niches and garner viewers and a loyal subscriber base.

The format is straightforward. You just have to make a new list of the best in any category that comes to mind viewers might be interested in. Your success will depend on your ability to choose the right content or topic that will get the attention of your audience.  You will also need to do your research on reliable sources and be able to formulate your own opinions on what is trending.

Recipe Video

These kinds of videos are ideal for recipe blogs, food sites and health sites. Let’s face it, we’ve all tried to make that special dish but couldn’t get the recipe. Why not feed into this trendy video segment by helping people break down recipes from start to finish in a way that feels easy to do.  You can create these videos with less fanfare and even without sound. You can simply show a recipe being put together quickly, sometimes with captions, but not always. The Food Network is a treasure trove of easy to make recipes that anyone can follow. Google, Facebook and other online tools are also great resources for finding every imaginable recipe.

Videos from Photographs

These are straightforward videos that are more like slideshows. They are accompanied with pictures, text and sound as a narrative and don’t require one to be a good videographer.  They are great for productions on a shoestring. You can create these videos with a simple video editor and can use stock video footage or images. You can re-purpose photos and videos which will save money and time. Again Google and Facebook are great sources for images. However, make sure to first respect copyright content.

Live Video

If you want to engage your audience in real-time make a live video. This is an effective video marketing campaign option for a product launch targeting users. Everything from a trade show, launch event, social event, company office Christmas party, announcement of raffle winners or any event that might be of public interest can be part of a live video your audience can participate in. These videos can help take the viewer behind the scenes in your operations or anything else that users don’t usually experience.  You can stream these videos live or with highlights of key moments of the event.

Personal Message Video

These videos are great to showcase the human aspect of your business. They are great for highlighting the team spirit of your company, sense of fun and community. You can use them to convey thank you messages to customers, updates of developments, or wishing customers a happy holiday.

This kind of video should contain information and details that are relevant to your customer. Your personalized business message video needs to incorporate some or all of the following: create awareness; spark interests; and initiate desire and action.

A simple personalization can just include a video message addressing the customer interest or pain point. A well-made personal message video can help improve sales conversions, build trust and encourages leads.

1. Determine the Video Purpose

The most important thing that goes into making a successful video first hinges on your passion and creativity to tell a story. Before starting to shoot you should ask yourself what you want the audience to get out of your content. In fact best practices advise us to answer three core questions: What problems does the video content will solve?; How will your video content support your wider company’s goals: and what will be the outcomes and results that measure success?

Best practices also advise us to think about your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which helps identify how you as a business stand out from the competition. Simply put, describe the distinct benefit your users gain only by buying from your company, which is essentially your video marketing strategy. It is why your business is capable of drawing attention, distinguishing itself from the competition, winning prospects and garner customer loyalty. This is the canvas on which you draw all your messages. Incorporating the good things, you’ve heard customers say about your business can further help enhance your messaging.

2. Write a Script

A great script will help deliver the outcome you desire from your marketing video. Good video production is essential, but just as important a good script is a cornerstone of the content when you create your video. Writing a good script requires solid research and an understanding of your viewers’ interest. Make it a best-practice to write a well researched, simple and clear script before you shoot any video.

The script should help your video get attention; be memorable; be compelling and persuasive enough to get people to consider your proposition. Ask yourself what is it that I want to convey? In response don’t confuse your audience as to the purpose of the video is and what you want them to do after watching the video. Do you want them to come and visit your store or do you want them to try out and start using your product?

At the end of the day, is the goal to visit your website for more information, your Facebook page, or sign up for your newsletter?

The foundation of any video is the script and storyboard. You can take inspiration by first benchmarking videos that have impressed you and seek ways on how to emulate them to serve your purpose. Look to your competitors’ messaging and see if you can out tell a better story. Find new ways to create and deliver the information your users want. Start thinking about how you can turn the most unusual attributes of your business into unique benefits for users. With any video production, you might be tempted to go overboard. The key here is to know your objective and stay on point.

You can incorporate photos, music, animations to spruce up your production as well.

3. Identify Tools and Gear You Need

If you have a camera, a webcam, or a decent cell phone that can take video then you are on to a good start. Your phone can get you started to create a live video on Instagram or Facebook or even record entire videos and edit them.

If you want to go all-in, you will need a good DSLR camera, tripods, lenses, audio recorders and other accessories to create the professional-looking crisp production. You can first start by using your camera slowly and gradually, through reading up and research, you can use advanced features to get more of a professional look.

Beyond the hardware, you will need good video editing software that can help enhance your production. Professional-grade equipment and software can be expensive and might not be feasible for small businesses and individuals.

If you have space to spare you can also set up your own studio where you can shoot videos and record audio. Your studio doesn’t have to be expensive full of fancy equipment. All you need is a dedicated room that is soundproof with a good background so you can start. You can easily set up a filming space in your office without incurring a lot of costs.

4. Set Up the Camera, Webcam or Video Tool

Make sure the subject is placed centered on the preview screen. Also, try not to go too close or too far away from the subject to not disorient viewers. If you plan on recording sound make sure to test the audio and it is audible and there is no background noise that might cause disruptions. Another important thing to remember is to ensure your camera is firmly stationed on a tripod or another device so your video does not come out shaky.

5. Adjust the Lighting

Lighting is an important aspect of the shoot. Your lighting should not be too bright or dark. If possible, record in a location with as much natural light as possible.

Strong light behind the subject can distort your video and might turn the subject into a silhouette. Seek shade when filming outdoors in harsh sunlight for the best video lighting. Try to shoot with the light source positioned at the back of the camera. You can also use a desk light or another light source if the lighting is too weak.

While indoors make sure the window is generally in front of you when filming. This will give you balanced lighting.

6. Record the Video

If you don’t have the budget to invest in a camera you can use a smartphone. Today’s new smartphones come with amazing cameras and can work well for on-the-go shooting. Just find an elevated place to position the camera or a tripod (more on this coming up) and start filming. A webcam can also be good to create personal messages and video blogs.

For webcams make sure to look at the camera lens while you’re recording. Keep this in mind when you see yourself on-screen, as your eyes won’t be directed at viewers.

It is best you hold your camera in landscape orientation, not portrait for a good shoot. Make sure you have a nice background and it doesn’t distract. Many videos are plagued by stuff that shows up in the background and if it is not the right thing, again it will distract from the message and your overall content.

Nice backgrounds can set the scene and tone for your videos. If it is a personal message may be a bookshelf and awards can give it that professional ambiance. However, if all fails a simple backdrop can help eliminate clutter for more professional-looking videos.

If you don’t have a microphone, instead of purchasing a new one you can use subtitles to tell your story while playing music in the background.

7. Edit the Video

Editing is where you add some panache to your productions. It might be daunting at first, but you can use freeware editing software such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to get you started. If you want professional features, you can go with Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro.

You can also look for programs that allow you to do basic editing. Videos can take a lot of storage space so make sure you invest in external hard disk or have the option to save them in the cloud. You can look to Google drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive.

8. Upload Your Video

After shooting and editing, you will need to decide on how to reach out to your audience. How you share and which platforms you choose will largely depend on your target audience and your video marketing goals. For example, if you are doing a how-to-video your best bet would be to upload it on YouTube. If you are targeting younger audiences you might opt for Snapchat or Instagram. It is always best to first start with one channel in mind and then re-purpose the video to suit other channels in the future.

9. Optimize the Video Page

The key to your video strategy is to get views. For this, you will need your videos to be indexed and ranked for search engine results pages.  First off you will need to choose the right video hosting platform. If you are focused on general brand awareness you might opt to use platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. This will increase your chances of reaching a large viewership for your videos. However, this could affect traffic coming to your website as by posting on these platforms you lose out in directing traffic to your website. If you are looking to get traffic you can direct it to your website by including a call to action calling for viewers to visit your site.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes to play here as well. SEO involves making certain tweaks to your website design and content that will make content more attractive to search engines. Using SEO will help make sure your content ranks high in the search engines. Thus enabling users both new and old to easily get access to your content.

Optimization Tools

By first inserting a video transcript, this can help with SEO. This will allow search bots to scrape more of your content as you have an indexable text accompanying your video, raising the chances of you going up the search index. Similarly, your title and description of the video can further your SEO effort by increasing your chances of being viewed.

Make sure you have an attractive thumbnail. Video thumbnails are what searchers will see when your video is indexed. Using visually interesting thumbnails for your video content helps to attract more viewers and increase watch time for your videos. This will determine whether they click on your video or not. You should think about your thumbnail as the cover of your video. It should be enticing enough to warrant a click.

Creating great video content is important, equally important is to make sure your video resonates with the target audience. In this regard, SEO is an effective way of boosting your discoverability and get you on the first page of Google.

In addition to SEO tweaking, you should also do your bit in terms of directing people to find and see your videos. Call on your social media followers and e-mail subscribers to let them know and see your video. You can also work with influencers to get people to know more about your video.

10. Measure Results

If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. The key to your marketing videos is seeing some form of positive action(s) coming from your audience.

Your investments in the production can only be measured based on the positive responses you garner from viewers. If you spent a lot of money on a high-end production only to garner just a handful of views you might not be making the connections or have failed to really reach out to people. Your website’s analytics and metrics are important tools for assessing what impact your videos are having in terms of visitors and conversions to your website. Google Analytics can provide data on search inquiries and traf?c and behavior.

There are other online tools to measure and quantify the level of visitors for blogs, posts, social media conversations, and Tweets. Most social media platforms including Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube come with their own analytics to track the performance of your videos and video marketing campaign.

If you want to independently track the impact of your videos there are essentially five ways of measuring your video marketing endeavor. They are view count, play rate, watch rate, click-through rate and conversion rate.

  • View count is the number of times your video has been viewed
  • Play rate is the comparison of the number of people who watched your video compared to the number of people who had the opportunity to watch it
  • Watch rate measures how much of your video people actually watch. Are people hitting play, only to hit pause before they reach the meat of your content?
  • Click-through rate is the percentage of viewers who click on your video’s call to action and visit another page
  • Conversion rate measures what percentage of video viewers become your customers

Video Marketing FAQs

The following frequently asked questions may provide additional answers:

What is a video marketing strategy?

Simply put it is the blueprint that outlines what you want to achieve with marketing with videos; who you are targeting and how you will measure your success. This requires you to set goals for your video; identify target audiences; what you want to tell them; be both entertaining and engaging enough, and of course have a realistic budget.

How Much Does Video Marketing Cost?

Video marketing does not necessarily have to cost a lot. It depends on what you want to produce; the level of expertise and equipment you have in-house, and the quality of production you want. Costs can go as low as a few hundred dollars to upwards of thousands of dollars.  For example, to create a live stream Facebook video or a personal message may cost you nothing. All you need is a decent smartphone or webcam to make one.

If you are a business with a shoestring budget perhaps outsourcing some of the production work might be to your advantage. New high-end cameras, lighting equipment and other tools are often expensive to buy. You can opt to either rent or better yet hire a professional cameraperson to do the shooting and provide you with the raw footage. You can then edit your video using freeware found online or use the services of a friend or family that has editing skills.

However, you will first need to be prudent and set a budget before jumping into production. Doing so forces you to be realistic with your production and stick to your storyboard. By doing this, you also save an enormous amount of time because you don’t have to continue to grapple with second thoughts and expand the production into a huge production that is outside your budget range.

Ask if you can afford a professional videographer or editor? Do you have the money set aside for new equipment? Or are you planning to shoot the video with your smartphone? Is it the right time to do video production? Do I have to designate staff for the project?

Why is Video so Important in Marketing?

Video is a great medium for marketing because it has three great advantages. With videos, you can broadcast your message, boost your brand, increase sales and have a larger impact on your audience as a medium. The secret to videos is that it is easy to get the attention of your audience. Online marketing videos are the new word of mouth as they amplify your reach and the ability to share, like and re-post them.

Today businesses use viral marketing, marketing that is infectious to the extent that viewers will want to pass it along to their friends. Because customers pass the message or promotion along to others, viral marketing can be very inexpensive and highly impactful. The secret here is the endorsement power since the information comes from someone they know.

Conversions

According to surveys 70% of marketers, video produces more conversions than any other type of content. This pays off nicely for e-commerce sellers who have found using product videos can increase sales on an online store by 144%.

Even if you don’t have an online store, including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80% and after watching a video, 64% of users are likely to buy an item online.

In regards to your online presence, video content can help provide high rankings for your website by most search engines. By some estimate’s videos are 53% times more likely to appear on the front page of a Google search than a text document. They also increase engagement as many viewers stay two more minutes longer on websites with video than those without videos. The appeal is clear, videos enable businesses to communicate their story in a way that is engaging and personal. Videos give companies a platform to talk about their business, product, or service in a way that makes the customer feel at ease.

Application wise videos can help better promote the business; showcase testimonials, and add flair to your press releases and other messaging.

Can I Still do Video Marketing if I am not a Good Photographer?

Yes, one can do video marketing as a novice and get better at it through time. However, you must be willing to learn the craft. To start with lookup tutorials for f-stop (and depth of field), ISO, shutter speed, and white balance. You can start on a project that might not require perfect photography skills to create your video. With relative ease, you can start on your path to video marketing by trying out easier projects such as live stream videos, webinars, or make videos from photographs. You will, however, need the bare minimum of a camera recorder, a video editor, and internet service to upload your videos.

Image: Depositphotos.com




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