Video Marketing 101

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After your business is up and running, entrepreneurs must focus on making the world aware of their brilliant products and services.  While we know that social media is vital for broadcasting your message to potential customers, do know exactly what type of content users are looking for?  With one look at the marketing statistics (www.videobrewery.com/blog/18-video-marketing-statistics), it would be foolish to ignore the incredible potential that video can add to your sales.

Why Use Video?

Have you considered integrating videos into your marketing strategy yet?  Videos are some of the most compelling components of a marketer’s strategy, engaging your audience by offering visual and auditory content that images, whitepapers, blogs, and the like fall short of providing.

However, not everyone is on board with video.  Some believe that videos have to be expensive and time-consuming, or simply too risky for camera-shy individuals.  Worse, some believe that videos are still associated with the stereotypical bedroom “vlogger”–grainy videos, meandering content, and the bare minimum of forethought put into production values.  With a proper marketing strategy and video planning, you can add a vital weapon to your advertising arsenal.  And who knows, your video might even go viral.

It’s Not Just YouTube Anymore

When you think of online video content, the internet’s third-most visited website (www.alexa.com/siteinfo/youtube.com) should immediately come to mind.  YouTube is practically synonymous with video content, and with good reason.  According to YouTube’s statistics (www.youtube.com/t/press_statistics/), those who video create content can access an audience of 1 billion unique (visitors) users every month, reach more users than any television network, and broadcast on a network of viewers who watch over 6 billion hours of video per month.   Ranked within the top 200 websites in the world, Vimeo (www.vimeo.com) has been providing video content to the masses since 2004, with its content being geared towards a more refined art-loving audience.  But these two video-exclusive channels are not the only ones in on the action.

Other social media platforms have recognized the power of video content.  Instagram, the 25th most visited site in the world, allows users to post up to fifteen seconds of video, with advertisers being recently offered thirty-second videos to lure them to the platform. (www.adweek.com/news/technology/instagram-debuts-30-second-video-ads-its-latest-pitch-big-brands-166767) As the 9th most visited site in the world (www.alexa.com/siteinfo/twitter.com), Twitter has also recently gotten on board (media.twitter.com/best-practice/how-to-add-photos-videos-and-links) with adding video to its social media platform.  And last but not least, Facebook has been emphasizing video ever since changing its algorithms, replacing images as their most engaging content and offer autoplay functions that’s seen views for video content skyrocket.

So, if this hasn’t convinced you yet to start creating videos, you may be in the wrong business…

What Makes a Great Video?

While giving specifics on how to craft a great video could take the length of several articles, the simple truth of the matter is that no one wants to see shoddy video content.  The quality of your video should be preferably top-notch.

Good lighting is essential, as well as decent audio.  If you can invest in a mic, your videos will have a professional sound.  Luckily, if you own a smartphone, you already have the ability to create adequate content.

Don’t forget about software to edit your videos.  Your desktop may contain simple editing software already, but if you’re not sure, here’s a comprehensive list (www.reddit.com/r/Filmmakers/wiki/basicguidetopcvideoeditingsoftware) of free and basic programs to add to your capabilities.

If you’re looking for the finer aspects of how to improve the production value of your videos, check out Curtis Judd (www.youtube.com/user/curtisjudd) and The Frugal Filmmaker (www.youtube.com/user/thefrugalfilmmaker), two vloggers that teaches cheap and simple ways to increase the quality on a budget.  Vimeo offers its own free video school (www.vimeo.com/videoschool) which contains excellent how-to tutorials to drastically improve the quality of your videos.

Creating a Video Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve got a good idea about crafting videos, you should consider how videos play into your marketing strategy.  Videos are a type of inbound marketing, which basically means once you’ve put them up, they increment how much marketing material you offer to the public.  The more content, the more marketing.  Potential customers can see videos you’ve created months, if not years, ago and can be redirected towards your website to purchase your goods and service.

Videos also increase your audience’s awareness of your brand.  By creating the association in your audience’s mind of your brand and your content, you can funnel more people towards your sales strategies.

Ideally, you should plan out a series of videos based on a concept.  Define the purpose of your marketing strategy and think of what you can offer your potential customers.  Are you offering expert advice in your industry?  If so, create multiple videos showcasing your company’s role in helping solve your customer’s problems and satiating their wants.  Testimonial videos are great ways to incorporate your customers to your brand, so be sure to consider how user-generated content can factor into your strategy—offering incentives and even a bit of recognition goes a long way.If your company wants to create higher brand awareness and feel a human touch to your company, filming a tour of your staff and production facilities can be enough to create a positive association with your brand.  Lastly, if you’re pursuing angel investors and investment capital, a comprehensive series of videos can be a great supplement to your data and business plan.

As you can see, video is very versatile and only limited to linking your imagination with your purpose.  Experiment with different approaches—there’s not one single way that works for every business.  Try to see if having short videos or long videos is better for your business model.  Releasing content on a regular basis (“New videos every Friday!”) may be enough get a loyal audience—other times, customer may want a comprehensive video series explaining every facet of how your business can help them.

Finally, don’t forget that you can also monetize the videos themselves if you are looking for an extra revenue stream.  Placing advertisements before your videos is one such way, with each view adding a small amount of ad revenue to your coffers.  Also, don’t forget other businesses may want to use your audience to advertise their products.  Coupling this to the sales of your products and services is a great strategy for squeezing extra profit for creating excellent content.

That’s it for a simple introduction to video marketing.  Be sure to investigate all the different ways this type of marketing can enhance your business.  With so many platforms switching towards a video emphasis, you owe to your business to start incorporating video in your marketing strategies.  See you out there.

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