Why Video Should be Part of Your Online Marketing StrategyPlus, how to make an effective video for little or nothing, and where to post it.
Customers keep you in business, and if you’re like most small business owners, you obsess over how to attract more of them. You’re on social media, you have a website, maybe you’re even blogging. But are you making videos?
If content is king, video content is king of kings, especially when it comes to being found by consumers.
“Businesses should be inspired by the fact that YouTube is now the number two search engine in the world,” said Tanner Rankin, CEO at Source Approach, Inc. Rankin helps entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow their business.
Google often shows YouTube pages at the top of their search results. That’s especially true for videos that answer questions, Rankin said. “Google typically favors video content over blog articles to answer user questions. Small businesses get frustrated that their website isn’t showing up on the first page of Google for their niche — but their video likely will.”
2015 was dubbed “the year of video marketing,” and video has only gotten bigger. According to a survey from Animoto, an online video creation app, four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, and 84 percent of consumers said they have liked a company video that showed up in their newsfeed.
Consumers spent 39 minutes per day in 2015 watching video on mobile devices, up from three minutes in 2011, according to eMarketer. Cisco forecasts that globally, video will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019.
Not only does video do well in search, it gives your business a face, which creates a more human impression. And it gives you one more piece of content to share on your website, in your newsletter or blog and in social media.
“On your website, use brief videos telling users why they should come into your store, opt in to your e-mail newsletter, sign up for your service, etcetera. These strategies increase engagement rates significantly because it gives the user a first-hand idea of you and your company’s message,” Rankin said.
Bill Corbett, CEO of Corbett Public Relations, teaches, coaches and writes about marketing. He and Rankin recommended these steps to create and distribute a video for your business.
- Define the purpose. Why are you making the video? What’s it about? What message do you want to present? Corbett tells business owners to know exactly what they want to say — and write it down.
- Practice being on camera. Presenting your message clearly and powerfully should be your goal. “Work with people who understand marketing and video production. If you can’t afford that help, you can watch other videos for inspiration,” said Corbett. Don’t practice to be perfect. “You just have to practice until you feel so natural and comfortable that you can’t get it wrong,” he said. “Practice in front of people, use mirrors, or record yourself on your smartphone video. Watch your video and see how you can improve it.”
- Shoot it yourself. If money’s an object — and of course it is — you don’t have to hire a professional to create a powerful video. Plenty of effective videos such as daily vlogs (video logs/blogs), “Meet the Team” or “Tour our Office” style videos are shot on DSLR cameras in the $400 to $500 range, Rankin said. With today’s cameras and even smartphones and tablets, it’s easy to produce good quality video, Corbett said.
- Edit it for little or nothing. “There are free and very low-cost editing platforms available and even apps that can edit video,” said Corbett. “If you need help editing and refining your video, skill marketplaces such as www.upwork.com allow you to find an editor that meets your budget needs in no time.”
- Try animated videos. Screencast-O-Matic lets you create videos, complete with voiceover and music, from PowerPoint presentations. “This is great for restaurants who want to show off their menus, or for businesses to give quick presentations demonstrating their authority and expertise in a given niche,” said Rankin. Whiteboard and explainer videos can be made quickly and cheaply with services such as Fiverr, Rankin noted. “Starting at $5.50, you can get effective explainer videos made and much more. You can even have someone record the voiceover for you on Fiverr if you are microphone shy.”
How to optimize and where to share
Include your contact information (such as your phone number and website URL) in the video thumbnail, the static image that appears in search results, Rankin advised.
For search engine optimization (SEO) and to boost the chances that your business will show up in local search results, Rankin said, “Be specific in your video title and description; make sure you are sending the right signals that your video is relevant for your service area or city. These are free, organic ways to get in front of potential customers.”
Where to share your video? Put it on your own website, of course. But don’t stop there. Corbett suggests:
- YouTube. Be sure to write a clear and keyword-rich description. For a list of YouTube tutorials, check out these videos. Rankin offers some YouTube marketing tips here.
- Facebook and Twitter
Start with one video. But Corbett said ultimately you want to personalize your content for each social media platform and website.