You’ve got blog posts. You published an insightful e-book. You offer how-to articles and case studies. What more could you offer your potential customers to inspire them to listen, watch, learn, share, and buy?
The answer is video. And if you think video is only for companies with big budgets, you’re wrong.Getting started is easier than you think, even on a small-business budget. You don’t need a professional videographer—although the quality will be better if you can afford an experienced team to shoot and edit your video.
But, to get up and running and start experiencing the benefits of video, you can produce effective marketing videos with some basic equipment and your own staff:
- A camera—Smartphones, point-and-shoots, and DSLRs all record HD (1080p, 720p and 4k) video.
- A microphone—While your phone or camera will have a built-in mic, it doesn’t cost a lot to invest in a separate microphone to insure audio quality.
- Tripod—For moving images, you want to keep the camera steady.
- Editing software—If you want to edit your own video, all you’ll need is Movie Maker (Windows) or iMovie (Mac), programs that are preloaded into newer computers and devices.
Why use video?
Research reveals video is preferred over most types of content. Here are some reasons why:
- Videos appeal to people with short attention spans (everybody).
- Videos is a fun, easy medium to consume.
- Our brains are hard-wired to respond to the human face, voice, and eye contact.
- Video can keep viewers captivated. People skim long written works, but tend to stay focused on what they see on-screen.
- Videos have been proven to increase trust. A brand can come off as more human and sincere.
- Video on your website and blog looks professional (or, at least it can).
How will your business benefit?
Did you know that YouTube (owned by Google) is the second-largest search engine and the web’s third- most-trafficked site?
Evidence indicates that adding video to a landing page makes it 53% more likely to appear on the first page of Google results. A thumbnail image of the video is presented on the search engine results page (SERP), which makes your content stand out among text-based listings and makes it twice as likely to get clicked.
Energize social sharing
People love sharing video on social media networks, and social networks encourage people to share video. Facebook, for example, has made a commitment to video by adding auto-play, view counts, and more mobile functionality to its native video player. Twitter has a native app allowing users to record, edit, and tweet videos under 30 seconds long. Twitter’s Vine app is a video tool, and its new Periscope app adds live video streams to the service.
Video tips the scales in your favor for conversion. The storytelling element of video increases the likelihood that viewers will take the next step. As you can see in this presentation by Adelie Studio on SlideShare, video on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%, and 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
Gain a mobile edge
A report focused on mobile marketing from Adobe reports that close to 40% of consumers say video increases the chance they will make a purchase on a mobile device.
What type of content lends itself to video?
Don’t be intimidated by worries about creating a detailed script or storyboard series. Although you can hire professional help for the creative side of your video production, you can start by experimenting with your own team to see how creative you can be. Here are some ideas:
- Content promotion—Make a short commercial-like video to promote downloads of your written content.
- Situational overview—A form of the “explainer” video, you can create an overview for various product lines or vertical markets you serve. Answer the “what’s in it for me” question.
- Interviews—Conduct interviews on important topics featuring your CEO or founder, or more casually with staff and/or clients using a “man on the street” style.
- Product demos and how-to’s—Produce simple videos answering common questions about how to use your product or service.
- Event marketing—Make videos before, during, or after conferences you attend. Give your website visitors a taste of an event they may have missed and/or show your clients or prospects at the site; people love to see themselves and this encourages them to watch and share your video.
- Testimonials—Customer testimonials are ideal to help prospects through the consideration stages of the buyer journey.
How do you get your video out there?
First of all, distribute video through the channels you are already using. Post the video on your website and promote it through your newsletters, social media accounts, and existing advertising.
However, video does enable you to leverage additional methods. YouTube is the obvious leader, and companies can set up their own “channels” on the platform. If you want to invest a little money, you can take advantage of services such as Vimeo, Brightcove, Limelight Networks, and others.
Just remember that video marketing is no longer the exclusive domain of TV advertisers who can afford professional equipment and talented production crews. Harness your creativity and passion for your products, services, and people through video and find out what a difference it can make.
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