How to Use Online Video to Market Your Business

Over the past several years, using online videos to market products and services has proved to be a powerful tool to attract, engage, and influence customers. Just take a look at these mind-blowing statistics:

More than 50% of consumers prefer seeing videos rather than other types of brand content.

Putting a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by more than 80%.

90% of customers say that videos influence their buying decision.

Adding a video to an email increases the clickthrough rate by 200% to 300%; just mentioning “video” in an email subject line increases the open rate by 19%.

After viewing a video, 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website, 50% look for more information about the product, and 39% contact the company.

Social media also intertwines with video marketing, as social channels make up four out of the top six platforms on which consumers worldwide watch videos. Social media widens the reach of videos while videos increase the engagement on social media networks.

If you are interested but not sure where or how to begin with video marketing, read on. After, you will be able to gauge whether or not video marketing is attainable, even given your financial or technical limitations .

This article will discusss how you can get started with video marketing in a simple and affordable way, and lists a number of techniques you can implement and use to harness the power of online videos so that you can grow your business.

Joining the trend

If you want in on the game but are concerned that you don’t have the skills or the budget to make video marketing part of your business, you’ll appreciate this news. Recently conducted research shows that customers appreciate and prefer videos that clearly are not highly stylized, produced and edited. They prefer instead the home-grown feel of the videos which are a bit rough around the edges. This is because the simpler videos feel more genuine than the big-budget ones which can sometimes feel inauthentic and artificial.

Of course, simple does not suggest inferior quality—you still need to create a compelling video, just one without all of the hype.

Fortunately, it has become fairly easy to create decent quality videos without breaking the bank. If you’re on a tight budget, a decent smartphone is probably good enough for your recording needs. There are even free programs and mobile apps that you can use for recording and editing.

When it comes to lighting, good old fashioned natural lighting is your best friend. If you need additional lighting, there are low-cost lighting setups that can work. Similarly, there are affordable microphones that you can use, as well as budget-friendly sources for music that you can legally include in your videos. And if script writing and video editing are not your strengths, those tasks can be outsourced to experienced freelancers at reasonable rates.

The bottom line is, you can get professional quality videos without having to spend a lot of time, money, and effort simply by doing everything yourself.

Before you start making a video

For your videos to be an effective marketing tool, you can’t just point-and-shoot; you need a plan. The first step in crafting that plan is to answer the following questions.

What is the video’s purpose. Without a definite purpose, you might find yourselves wasting a lot of time reshooting and editing later on.

What do you hope to gain from the video? Is it to increase brand awareness, launch a new product or associate your brand with a certain image? Keep your end game in mind as you script your video. Other considerations while still in the planning stage are your target audience, your budget and your deadline.

Where will you host it? Your options are varied; your own website, Youtube, Facebook, or some other platform. This is important to know in advance, because different platforms have different requirements, such as video lengths and aspect ratios. The way to optimize videos will also be different depending on the platform. On Facebook, for example, videos should have easy-to-read subtitles because many users prefer to watch videos without sound. Youtube users, on the other hand, expect videos to come with sound.

How will you gauge the success of the video? In other words, what metrics will you use – number of views, number of likes and comments, social shares, the clickthrough rate, etc?

After you’ve answered those questions, you move onto script writing . While not all business videos need a script, most do. Having a script will keep the video tight and focused. When writing the script, begin with an outline listing your points in a logical manner. Use simple words and sentence structures, as well as a conversational tone. Once you’re finished, read the script out loud, as written words sometimes sound different when spoken.

Now, let’s look at ways you can use video marketing for your business.

Introduce your business

A simple introduction can get the ball rolling. Try adding a short (preferably less than 90-seconds long) video to your home page, explaining what your business does and what problems you believe you can solve for customers.

Doing this is a more engaging alternative to describing your company through multiple paragraphs. Combining audio and video also makes complex concepts easier for you to explain and easier for your website visitors to understand.You can also use an “about us” kind of video as a means to show your company’s vision, goals, values, and advocacies. This can attract customers who are aligned with you.

Use videos to explain things

If you’re launching a new product or service, creating an explainer video is a good way to discuss how your product or service works.

If your business involves concepts that are complex, an animated video can help explain those difficult concepts better than text or live action videos can. They are also entertaining to watch and visually different from regular videos.

Highlight your satisfied customers

Share the spotlight with your biggest fans.

You can contact your brand’s advocates and fans directly and request a video testimonial, or do a case study featuring them. You can also hold a contest and ask participants to share, on camera, why they love your company and your products.

Video testimonials from real fans will do more for your business than any of your employees’ sales pitches. Data shows that only about 10% of adults in the US trust a website ad and only 9% trust the messages written by the brands. On the other hand, 46% of potential users trust the reviews and testimonials written by other consumers. Just imagine how much more trustworthy and effective your testimonials will be if consumers can see the faces of your satisfied customers.

Share user-generated content

Doing direct video testimonials is not the only way you can showcase your satisfied customers. You can share user-created videos of your customers using your products, reviewing them, including them in their list of favorite or recommended things, doing “unboxing” videos, or participating in your video-based marketing campaign (certainly you can recall the ice bucket challenge of a few years ago which went viral).

Sharing user-generated videos not only provides potential customers’ with trustworthy content, it also allows you to tap your fans’ creativity and personality to engage and win over other consumers. In addition, recognizing these videos shows that your business appreciates the support and efforts of its fans.

Get experts in front of the camera

An effective way to position your brand as an industry leader is to have the experts in your company share their knowledge on camera. Not only will this get your name out there, the audience will regard your company as the authority figure in your niche and will seek you out when they are ready to buy.

You can do webinars, tutorials, product demonstrations, and other kinds of informative videos.

You can also tap into other people’s expertise by interviewing other thought leaders and influencers in your industry. This technique can even attract those experts’ followers who may not yet be familiar with your company or brand.

Show the human side of your company

Through video marketing, you can inject personality into your company’s image. No longer will you be a faceless entity that exists solely to sell products and services to people.

Using a video can humanize your business more than any other medium, and coming across as human highly influences buyers’ decision. People want to relate to companies they buy from; they want to support companies that “get” them, especially if those companies are small businesses.

People also want to be assured that the businesses they give their hard-earned money to are competent but at the same time compassionate, that those companies treat their employees right. So feel free to give consumers a peek behind the curtains, to see the team doing what they do best at work or having wholesome fun after hours.

Another way you can humanize your business is by talking about its origin and growth through the years. People love stories, and hearing about a business owner’s challenges and successes makes it easier to connect emotionally to the brand.

Thank your customers

People enjoy being appreciated, and when their support is valued, they tend to stick around, so post a thank you video to your customers every now and then. This kind of video does not even need a high production value, as being a bit raw seems more spontaneous and genuine. You can make it even more special by creating a short but personalized video thanking specific customers.

Use interactive video formats

Live videos are all the rage nowadays. They attract a lot of attention, have higher engagement rates, and viewers spend up to 8 times longer with a live video than a regular one. You can live stream events, presentations, and Q&A sessions. Other kinds of interactive videos you might want to try are 360° videos and augmented or virtual reality videos. These formats have not yet been used by a lot of marketers so using them may give your viewers a unique, more memorable kind of experience.

Leverage the power of Youtube

Youtube is the largest video platform on the globe, the second biggest search engine (after Google), and the third most visited website. Every single day, more than 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube. In fact, many Youtubers have even become powerful social media figures and have gained the trust and admiration of their followers over the years. Sponsoring or collaborating with these influencers can thus help in promoting your business effectively to their audience.

This huge audience should be more than enough reason for your business to get in there with an online video but, here are a few more reasons if you’re still on the fence:

Youtube lets creators post videos on their own channels for free, so you can build a following.

You can also organize your videos into playlists, making it easy for your viewers to watch related videos.

You can also post ads on Youtube.

When publishing content on the Youtube platform, make sure your videos have interesting and descriptive titles and descriptions. If you optimize your Youtube videos for SEO and add a link, you can tap into Youtube’s massive traffic, and channel some of that back to your website or landing page.

Make Google love you by adding videos to your Web site

Google—which, not incidentally, owns Youtube—loves videos. Having videos on your website encourages your visitors to stay longer. This tells Google and other search engines that your site has good content. In fact, you are 53 times more likely to land on Google’s first page of search results if you have embedded videos on your site.

Create videos that appeal to emotions

When it comes to social media content, people share things that make them feel. They don’t share raw facts, unless those facts make them feel something. To get people to share your videos, make sure that your videos are entertaining and appeal to emotions. Injecting humor is one way; giving the audience the warm fuzzy feels also works well.

Add videos to email messages and landing pages

Videos magnify the effectiveness of your landing page and email messages, so don’t forget to add them to your marketing emails or embed them in your landing pages.

Test, test, and test some more

There is no one-size-fits-all kind of video. To find out the sweet spot for your business, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different video platforms, video lengths, video styles, kinds of content, etc.

Bottom Line

Only a few years ago, creating and broadcasting a brand video was feasible only for big businesses with deep pockets. Fortunately, the playing field has since been leveled. Small businesses can now get in on the action without spending a lot of capital; all an entrepreneur needs is a little creativity, planning, and research. If you’re not using video marketing to its full potential, you are missing out.

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