When you talk about video marketing, it’s a lot more than just creating some videos and putting them out there.
First of all, if “putting them out there” means posting a video or two on YouTube, you’ve put a lot of effort towards something that will give back minimal results.
Yes, you should most definitely post it to YouTube; but as part of a strategy, not an after thought. The line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come”, does not hold true in video marketing. It goes more like, “If you plan a video strategy, then produce and post videos with that strategy in mind, they will come.”
What’s the right strategy for your business?
There isn’t really one size fits all. It all depends on:
- Your business category
- How competitive your category is in your market
- How aggressive your competitors are with video
- What kind of budget you’re able to free up towards video
The budget is certainly a key consideration. There is always a law of diminishing returns, but with a more aggressive budget you’ll see return on investment that much sooner.
Do I need an expensive video produced?
Yes and no. Yes you will want to spend some money on well executed video if you’re promoting a product where branding and image are integral to convincing people to choose you. No, if you’re doing time sensitive iphone self-record videos where your audience is more concerned about time sensitive content than a polished brand. A realtor may have an immediate listing he/she wants to tell their Facebook or YouTube audience about and a hand-held video recorded in front of the listing would suffice. But even in this instance we would recommend the realtor places the video over a branded base that has a logo and contact information. Produce one well designed brand base and use it over and over.
Sell the Sizzle
A French patisserie or a trendy cafe will connect with a lot more people if they record some well thought out videos. The sound of the coffee being ground, people fawning over the scone selection, a quick clip with a barista talking about his/her passion for making the best latte in the city; they all contribute to sharing and creating an event that builds brands, loyalty and ultimately business.
But what about the strategy?
Again, the strategy will be slightly different depending on your business category. Let’s say you’re a mobility company. You sell staircase lifts, wheelchairs and other mobility devices. But you’ve noticed people tend to google you and your competition and pour through websites before picking up the phone or dropping into your retail location. For this particular business category, your strategy should do the following:
- Build trust
- Show the ease of use of your equipment
- Show the longevity of your business, or if you’re brand new, the longevity of your suppliers
- Show how friendly and knowledgeable your sales staff are
- Reach your most viable audience as cost efficiently as possible
These are the goals. But what’s the actual strategy?
We recommend the first video you make is a general introduction video speaking about the main advantages of choosing your business. This introduction video can be repurposed in several ways.
- Your website – people can immediately watch a short video featuring you, or one of your star sales staff being very knowledgeable and approachable.
- Your YouTube channel. This should be properly tagged so the keywords point back to your business category and aid in driving traffic to your channel and your website.
- Your Facebook page. Upload the actual video, not a YouTube link. This gives you more search optimization benefits.
- A paid campaign on YouTube, Google Adwords and Facebook. You may choose to only start with one paid campaign depending on your budget and aggression timeline.
Stage 1, video #1, your general awareness video will cover off some of your strategy goals. You’ll have a video that begins the trust building with your audience. And you can promote this video in the ways described above. But will people trust you simply because you tell them to? It’s a start, but you still have more work to do.
Stage 2, produce a series of videos that show how your top selling products work. A how-to-video on how to operate your most popular stair lift will go a long way to building more trust. And your sales staff will appreciate being able to email those video links directly to prospective customers. As you add more how-to-videos to your YouTube channel library, and promote them through your website, blogs, social sharing, email list and sales staff, people will appreciate the efforts you’ve made to give them a learning resource centre. It’s like a sales team that’s working around the clock for whenever someone is curious about one of your products.
Stage 3, produce a testimonial series. Real people saying great things about your people, your equipment and their over all satisfaction works wonders. A line of cold text on a website from John D. isn’t nearly as impactful as someone on camera who is clearly a real person. Sometimes someone slightly awkward, but truly passionate about your product is the holy grail. A slick, over coached testimonial performance, even if it’s real, will be questioned by viewers in today’s media savvy society.
We talk a lot about trust. This is nothing new. But video marketing gives you ways to speed up the trust bonds you want to build with your current and future customers. Posting videos already produced by your suppliers along with additional how to videos you create yourself helps you quickly create a substantial library of material. Your customers will appreciate it and the Google and Bing search crawlers will too. The traffic your resource centre starts to draw will not go unnoticed and your organic search results will reflect it. And it will impact your paid search quality score.
But it’s not just about posting videos about your equipment. You will want to post general interest videos that speak to your target audience. A mobility company will have an older demographic who will start to experience a series of health issues. Posting videos that promote healthy diet and realistic exercises that can actually slow down their need for your mobility products will speak volumes. It tells your audience you’re there not just as supplier of equipment for their mobility issues, but as a caring brand whose interests go beyond the all mighty dollar. And this will yield an emotional bond that will last long past the end of a traditional media buy.
And the testimonial videos mentioned above will also go a long way towards establishing your credibility with an audience who are clearly doing their homework before spending their hard earned dollars.
There’s a direct correlation between the sticker price and the sales funnel. It only stands to reason, the more someone is expected to pay, the more convincing they’ll need that your brand is the right choice. That only comes from a dogged determination to keep your brand in front of that consumer with solid, fact driven information. It’s not about price. It’s about trust. And if you give them enough reasons to trust you, they’ll be a customer for life.