One of the most effective ways to reach customers is through videos. You can say a lot more with images than with words alone. However, small and medium businesses (SMBs) may wonder how they can best utilize video marketing to bring in revenue.
Wyzowl surveyed 813 marketing professionals and consumers about the state of video marketing. It found that 69% of consumers prefer to watch a video instead of reading about a product. Also, 93% of marketers felt videos were an essential part of their overall strategy.
Understanding the importance of video marketing and knowing where to start are often two separate issues. Unless you have a brilliant promotional professional in your corner, your marketing team may need a few pointers to get the most out of your investment.
The last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars on equipment and footage only to find it falls flat with your viewers. If your goal is to create successful videos, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Invest in Lights
You can probably shoot decent videos with one of the newest smartphone models or an inexpensive DSLR camera. However, if your lighting is off, you’ll either have to do a ton of costly and time-consuming editing or reshoot everything.
Invest in some softboxes to filter the light. You want your subject illuminated but not washed out. You may need to experiment to find the best combination.
2. Strive for Excellent Sound Quality
One place where a lot of marketing videos fail is in the sound quality. It’s frustrating to users to turn the volume way up or down to listen to your video. If you plan to create informational videos, the last thing you want is a bunch of distracting noises taking away from the advice being given.
In addition to an amazing microphone, invest in sound panels to filter down any outside noise. Find a small space where you’d like to record and cover 50%-70% of the surfaces with thick acoustic foam.
You may want to set aside a day when no one else is in the office, plus have a sound booth for recording. This will ensure any outside noises are at an absolute minimum.
3. Study Your Competition
Take time to see what types of videos your competition releases. Stalk them a bit on social media and YouTube. If they only offer videos showing their latest product, take your topics up a notch and show viewers how best to use your products.
Think about what adds value to your users. If you know your target audience the way you should, you understand the pain points driving them to find a product solution. Address the problem, offer a fix and you’ll gain more customers.
If your competition does something particularly well, you don’t want to copy them. However, you want to make sure your videos are at least as good as theirs.
Find your own voice as a brand and stick to it. People will come to see you as reliable, and your name recognition will grow over time.
4. Add Video Content to Your Site
Although posting videos on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram all have benefits, you should also include unique offerings on your website. In one study, researchers found video posts attract three times as much traffic as any other type of content.
One easy way to benefit from as much traffic as possible is by posting your footage to a repository such as YouTube, Vimeo or Rumble. You can then embed the video into content on your site, share it on social media and place it in an email newsletter.
Depending on your web hosting provider, you may be better off embedding rather than uploading to your own site. The last thing you want is to slow load times or overwhelm the bandwidth on your host’s servers.
5. Make an Emotional Connection
Don’t just create a dry script and expect customers to respond. Videos seem to get a bit more sophisticated each year. Marketers learn new ways to grab attention and develop editing skills with beautiful transitions between scenes.
The truth is you don’t need a lot of fancy editing. You just need a message that resonates with your users. What emotions drive people?
Think about the pain points your customers deal with and the emotions behind them. For example, let’s say you own a smoothie bar. Why do your customers come in to buy a smoothie?
Their pain point may be hunger or thirst. However, the emotions behind why they come specifically to you to solve that problem are complex. Perhaps the smoothie makes them feel they are getting a well-deserved treat. Maybe they want to take better care of themselves and see it as a healthier option.
If you aren’t sure of the emotions, survey your customers. Dig deep and ask them why they get a smoothie from you specifically. You may be surprised by the answers. The more information you have, the better you can address their needs via your videos.
Do they come to you because you offer the freshest produce in the area and provide a nutritional boost? Talk about how it’s time for them to do something for themselves and tell the story of how fresh your produce is and how you ensure they get the healthiest ingredients possible.
Know their pain, tap into the emotions behind it and your users will respond to your videos.
6. Engage Your Top Customers
Every business has a few customers who come back to them repeatedly. They likely tell others how much they love you and send you word-of-mouth referrals. Tap into those people and ask them to help you promote your company.
Create video testimonials and let them share in their own words just how much they love your brand. People are much more likely to believe a peer than something you say about yourself.
You can use the testimonials on your website and social media channels. Send them to new leads to show them how happy your other customers are with your products or services. Putting a face behind the recommendation makes it much more powerful and provable.
7. Stick to Your Budget
One concern a lot of SMBs have about video marketing is how much it might cost them. The good news is that it depends on your initial budget because you should spend a percentage on video development.
In a survey of several key studies, researchers found online video had the highest increase of about 11% a year. It was the biggest category of spending for most companies.
Figure out how much you want to spend on online marketing, and then allocate a percentage to video. You may have to create only a handful of videos a year or do much of the work in-house, but make sure you set an amount and stick to it. It’s easy to spend a lot, even in the editing phase, and go over your projections.
8. Automate Processes
When you pair automation with video production, you can increase leads and revenue easily. Smaller businesses don’t have the funds to customize every element of their marketing plan. However, you can create a video targeted to your users and then automate responses with third-party apps.
For example, if someone comments on your video, a bot can respond. Just be sure it’s programmed correctly so the answers aren’t nonsensical.
If someone signs up for your mailing list via a specific video, you can implement a series of lead-nurturing messages that guide them through the buyer’s journey. Involve a live agent during the sales funnel’s final stage to answer any specific questions and turn them from lead to customer.
9. Make a Video Thumbnail Your CTA
Do you send out a regular newsletter? Your users may be unaware of your videos. Include a thumbnail link to them if the topic resonates with that segment of your audience.
When they click on the link, they get more information. If someone is already on your mailing list, they’re interested in what you offer. They may need that final push to invest their hard-earned money in your business.
A video thumbnail makes them aware of your expertise and provides details they may not have time to read about in your email.
10. Optimize Your Videos
Another pain point many SMBs face when creating videos is a lack of audience. You make an amazing how-to and upload it to YouTube. It gets 20 views, and half of those were your employees.
How do you find an audience for your videos when thousands are uploaded every single day? Start by using the appropriate keywords in your title and description. What words would someone use if they were looking for the topic? Be aware of natural language patterns.
Customize your thumbnail, add tags and ask people to share your videos with others. It may take some time to get the buzz going, but if you create quality content and describe it in detail, you will eventually see a spike in traffic.
Get Help When Needed
One of the most difficult parts of videos is the editing. Almost anyone can figure out decent lighting and background. However, the transitions and post-production work are time-consuming and confusing. Video editing software can be complex and take months to learn.
Don’t be afraid to hire freelancers to handle your video edits. If that isn’t in your budget, bring an intern into your company and have them teach you how to edit clips and do some basic things. Interns bring a wealth of technical knowledge, and they can try out their skills and develop on-the-job experience for when they graduate from college and seek a full-time position.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’ll learn new skills and find affordable ways of completing your videos on a budget.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.