In case you missed it, Mari Smith had a wonderful webinar the other day focused on using video for marketing your business. I’ve put together a brief recap, as well as included my own observations about why and how video should become a part of your marketing strategy.
How can video help your business?
The great thing about video is that it both shows and tells. And because 80% of all the information the human brain receives is visual, video can be a great low-commitment way to appeal to your audience who might not be interested in reading the text.
Use of video rose from 52% in 2011 to 70% in 2012. An average web visitor watches 250 videos per month, according to Michael Hoffman, CEO of C3 Communications. This is most likely a mix of educational, entertaining, instructional, music and other videos, and yours could be one of them.
Use video on your website, blog and throughout your social media channels to:
- introduce your business and tell your story
- announce a special offer, promotion or event
- demonstrate your product/service in action
- illustrate proper product care
- answer your customers’ FAQ and SAQ (Should Ask Questions)
- showcase testimonials from customers who used your product/service
- spotlight your employees
- walk your customers through choosing, purchasing, installing or operating a product
- reveal “behind the scenes” of your business
These are just some of the ways a video can help you reach your customers and prospects with a targeted message.
So how do you get started?
There are three types of video you might want to integrate into your marketing strategy.
On-the-go video is taking advantage of spur of the moment situations. If you are attending an event that can benefit your audience, you can record the presentation or film your own observations on the subject. Or if you meet someone who uses your product or service, you can record a quick testimonial. The best thing is, all you need to make a video on the go is your smartphone. With a few nifty accessories, like a special case, external light source and a tripod attachment, you can turn your phone into a steady camera. Edit your recording later to choose the best shots.
With the release of Twitter’s new Vine app, you can now easily edit your cellphone videos into a short animation and share it on other social networks. You can use Vine to create teasers from your on-the-go footage, keeping your audience curious about what you have in store for them.
Of course, not all video should be shot on the go. Some of it, like product demonstrations and testimonials look more convincing when made professionally. Don’t get scared when you hear “professional video,” as it doesn’t necessarily mean spending “bookoo bucks” on a videographer. As long as you have a good three-point lighting, nice backdrop, quality mic and a decent DSLR camera, you are good to go. This equipment is not as expensive as you think and is a one-time investment that you’ll get a lot of use out of. Of course, someone will need to edit the recording, include effects, intros and transitions. So if you don’t have anyone handy in house, you can outsource the editing part.
If you’ve been running your business for a while, you are most likely an expert in what you do, and people might benefit from your expert advice and opinion. Take advantage of the live webinars to provide value to your audience and ask them for feedback. The same equipment used for making professional videos will work for webinars. The best part is that you can record your webinars, offer replays and even chop them into short bits of wisdom to share through social media.
If you are unsure where to start, start with “how-to” videos related to your product or service. They will help you position yourself as an expert and provide value to your audience at the same time.
A few tips for making a good video:
- Take advantage of the natural light whenever possible.
- Diffuse the light by putting a piece of parchment paper over your artificial light source or a white sheet over a natural source. Diffused light softens figures and faces creating a flattering image.
- While shooting professional videos, position yourself far enough from the backdrop, so that viewers can’t see texture, creases and other imperfections of the backdrop.
- Choose the backdrop color that works with your skin tone and branding.
- Avoid lengthy intros: in the first 10 seconds let people know how they benefit from watching.
- Occasionally, use close-ups of the eyes to make visual connection with the viewer.
- Avoid buzzwords as they usually get ignored.
Make sure the length of the video is appropriate for the format and the audience. Webinars can last 1 hour or longer, how-to’s can be wrapped up under 15 minutes and anything posted on social media should be no longer than 5 minutes. Of course, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but just keep in mind that the longer the video – the greater the commitment your viewers will have to make. Sometimes, they might not have those 20 minutes to spend on watching your tutorial.
Do you have experience with video? Fell free to share which format works best for your business.