It’s no secret that video marketing causes concern among old school marketers and online entrepreneurs. Putting themselves on video, in front of the entire internet, is just something that is out of their comfort zone. These people are simply more comfortable writing articles and expressing themselves through old-school techniques. I’ve heard the opinion that “sitting in front of a webcam is something for the kids on YouTube.”
Before we go much further, I want you to take a minute and consider what video marketing really is before you jump to such a conclusion.
Video Marketing is the use of video to promote yourself, your business and your products online. You could say it is no different to advertising on TV; only you would be severely underestimating the broad range of possibilities that online video offers. We’re going to talk more about that below.
There are MANY Video Sharing Platforms, Not Just One…
YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet, so it is easy to forget that there are several video platforms available, and each has its pros and cons, depending on how video fits into your overall marketing plan.
YouTube is almost definitely the starting point for your video content distribution, but if you have never considered additional (or alternative) options before, now may be the time to check out:
- Yahoo Video
TIP: Never forget about your website or blog, where you can repurpose your videos for additional SEO benefits.
Surprised to see Facebook on the list? The explosion of live streaming as an option for video sharing has meant that a growing number of social media sites have started including live streaming options. Periscope, Instagram, and other visually orientated platforms have been quick to include video sharing options.
Pre-recorded vs. Live
The biggest benefit of video is that it offers a highly personal way to make connections with your audience. Whether you choose to use pre-recorded video, live streaming, or a hybrid approach will depend on how you wish to market yourself.
Live streaming is great for fun, off-the-cuff video, while pre-recorded offers the chance to go in-depth into a tutorial, or product explanation. You will need to test each format before deciding on a model for your own business.
Why Is Video So Valuable To A Business?
Unlike real life events, such as seminars and workshops, video can reach a high number of people and continue to do so long after the event has concluded. Longevity is the main reason so may seminars are recorded digitally and then posted online. This also highlights another benefit of the video: high quality recorded content is reusable and can easily be re-purposed for several other marketing channels.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you should only use video when it is time to sell something. Videos are often very powerful when used to nurture a relationship with your ideal customer or client at any stage of their buying cycle.
At the awareness level, good keyword research video tags will help those who have not been customers until now become aware of how you can help alleviate their problems.
An example might be someone who has a problem with a clogged tumble dryer vent. This person might look up “how to unclog a tumble dryer vent” on YouTube and come across your demonstration video of the same name. A well branded YouTube channel means that next time they have trouble with a household appliance, your company is one they already have in mind and trust to help solve their problem.
At the consideration level, a well thought out explainer video or product demo will help your potential customer decide whether your product is the one they need.
An example might be a video you create to demonstrate how your software works and comparing it to other types of software that perform similar tasks, addressing the key questions your customer will ask and informing them of how it differs from the competition. Again, careful research is valuable here so that you understand what information your potential customer is trying to find.
At the purchase level, your customer just wants to know where to buy your stuff. A short, informational video advertisement would be the perfect video marketing solution, with a direct call to action to visit your online store through a link, or their local store.
It cannot be overstressed enough that keyword research and SEO are vital for video marketing success.
The Size of Your Business
Let’s lay aside a myth here that video is only for those who have become known as vloggers (video bloggers). They are typically people who create talking head videos to discuss the latest trends in their industry and remain typical of the solopreneur approach to video.
Whether yours is a small business or a corporate giant, there is a video marketing method and channel to suit your needs.
Home Depot is a great example of a business that has taken advantage of YouTube to drive awareness. The company’s channel features a mix of tutorials on product use alongside spoof videos that are just fun to watch – and provide a viral marketing element to their mix.
Get in Front of Your Buyers
Where does your market hang out online? What are their main concerns? What age are they? Where do they live?
These questions and many others that shape your customer avatar will determine where you need to share your videos to drive discovery. There’s no point in sharing videos unless they are going to be seen by the desired audience.
By now you will maybe have grown tired of this, but optimization is key in every aspect of video marketing.
Video creation suits a wide variety of budgets. From freely included tools that come with your PC or MAC; to freely available software downloads; to budget accessories such as microphones and webcams; to high-end equipment such as green screens and expensive video cameras.
There is no barrier to entry into video marketing. If you have fully developed your customer avatar and have an understanding of the problems your marketplace has, you can create highly valuable and virally shared videos at zero cost (except for your time).
Need somewhere to start? Here are some options:
- Windows Movie Maker: bundled with Windows when you buy a PC.
- iMovie: MAC users
- Videopad App
- Adobe Premier Elements
TIP: Most modern smartphones have the capability to put you in front of your audience with no additional out of pocket cost. Many of these devices will allow you to record video and upload it straight to YouTube or other sites with just a few clicks of a button. Remember this before you use cost as an excuse.
When browsing the available equipment, it is worth bearing in mind that high-quality sound is far more desirable than high definition graphics. Once your video is visually presentable, without blurring or stalling, a majority of your viewers will be happy.
However, if the audio is painful to listen to – your narrator mumbles through the video, there are bursts of static, the audio is unbearably low, or the background hum or white noise makes it difficult to make out the audio – you will lose viewers at a very fast rate.
In a nutshell, it is best to invest in good quality audio equipment before worrying about picture quality. That rule is simple.
DIY or Outsource
Video is easily consumable content, but it is rarely fast or easy to create. Consider first, what the aim of your video is. Want to show a human face to your business? A live stream on Facebook will work. However, your marketing needs a mix of styles, and you cannot expect to master them all.
Within the creation and syndication of video, you can expect to become involved in
- Marketing Strategy
- Channel Development
Each has its challenges regarding time and expertise, so a valuable activity will be to analyze where your biggest weaknesses lie and research the best options available.
Finally, let’s take a look at popular formats. Choosing what format to use will depend on why you are creating the video. Consider who will be watching the video and where are they in the buying process. It is not necessary to choose one format and stick to it – you can create a range of videos. Always bear that in mind.
As mentioned, talking head videos are popular for vloggers, but they are not the only choice from the talking head video, options are:
Screen capture videos where you share your computer desktop. These videos are great for tutorials and step by step instructional guides to products such as software. They help your customer understand how your product works and what benefits it offers them.
Animated explainer videos have become very popular. These videos use animation, similar to TV cartoons, to break down concepts into easy-to-understand chunks of information.
TIP: Screencast videos are also excellent for skills training and instruction.
We have discussed the availability of channels other than YouTube to syndicate your content, but make this an ongoing part of your marketing research. Video shows no sign of slowing down as social media strives to keep up with the demand.
Video content works great on LinkedIn posts, Facebook shares, elements for stories on Medium and even Pinterest allows video shares despite being primarily a static visual platform. The internet changes almost daily and what might work today might be gone tomorrow, like Blab.im. Similarly, a hugely trafficked site without any video element may choose to make video a part of their consumer engagement plan and open up new opportunities for you to reach customers.
Keeping on top of video marketing trends is not difficult and can be somewhat automated.
- Set up a Google Alert for the term “video “
- Create a Twitter List of influential video marketers.
- Create a master list of video marketing blogs and subscribe to them or their RSS feeds.
Video marketing is an exciting and rewarding journey that will challenge and reward you equally.
Pre-Roll and Branding
If you video becomes popular, many people are going to be sharing it among their friends, followers, co-workers, and clients. You may even find yourself appearing as an authority in a market simply because of a well planned video. Branding your video is VERY important as no one will know who you are or who your company is once your video has been shared. The easiest way to do this is create a logo stinger or video intro using specialized software. Our go-to software for this is Viddyoze Live Action. If you’re lucky enough to have the skills, money, and time for Adobe After Effects, that is another option.