Competition out there is fierce!
In a digitally-obsessed world, it’s easier than ever to start a business. From retailers, health and wellness coaches and course creators of every stripe—2020 was a watershed year for online businesses.
With more people home-bound because of COVID-19 lockdown measures, the population of online entrepreneurs (hustlers?) exploded. The digital business landscape, which was already filling up, became even more crowded, seemingly overnight. Customers are bombarded with choice in almost every niche.
That doesn’t mean there’s no space for you; it just means you’ve got some work to do. Getting attention from your customers is just one hurdle; the next is convincing them to choose you over competitors!
Enter video marketing for business. Done right, it’s an effective strategy to rise above competitors, build trust, and attract paying customers and loyal clients.
You might be new to video marketing or you’ve dabbled in it with less than impressive results. In this post, we’re going to give you some simple steps for making video marketing a part of your daily business routine in a way that will get you noticed and turn on that tap of revenues.
Here are broad strokes of what we’ll explore:
1. The importance of video in marketing—without learning the fundamentals of video marketing, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
2. What is video marketing—get to grips with video marketing and how it can help your business.
3. Why video marketing works—top reasons why video marketing is so powerful in the digital age.
4. How video marketing works—the mechanics of video marketing and how it puts businesses in front of the eyes of consumers.
5. How to get started with video marketing—easy-to-follow steps for applying video marketing to your business goals.
Who doesn’t want to wake up every morning and find new customers beating down their doors? More importantly, we want to step off the dreadmill of endless exhausting hours in a business that feels like a newborn constantly crying for attention. In short, we want a fulfilling life with the bills at our backs and the winds of prosperity in our faces. Sounds almost like a fantasy, right? It really isn’t.
Everyone wants a marketing strategy that stimulates sales, repeat business, a dependable income and consistent cash flow. These are the gears and sprockets of a business that delivers the returns you expect.
As a business, you want to be where customers are, using the content they’re consuming to get them to pull the credit card trigger. Video can help get you there.
Video can help build a steady, reliable source of income that can make your vision a reality.
1. The importance of video in marketing for your business
Trust, respect and credibility are the foundations of a strong, successful business. These elements, however, all flow from one important source-communication.
You build trust, respect and credibility by connecting with people. Show them how you can help solve their problems or make their lives better.
Communication has always been a critical component of success, it’s just that communication tools have evolved. No business can thrive today without modern communication skills.
If you want to connect with your target audience in a meaningful way, you have to use the language of the digital age—video.
1.1: Video and social media; a match made in revenue heaven
It’s impossible to cruise any social media platform without stumbling onto a video fairly early on. Video is the oxygen of digital spaces where we spend a fair bit of our time.
Educational, entertaining, long, short, funny or eye-opening—this is how we’re choosing to consume the information that keeps us connected to our world. The meteoric rise of video is no accident. It’s tailor-made for this on-the-go age of smartphones and tablets.
Social media platforms have all become champions of video. On these platforms ordinary folks can go live or do video stories to build followings.
People are making more video content because audiences are consuming more videos. The potential it holds for your business is limitless.
Video done effectively captures audience attention in a world busy with distractions and packed with competitors.
1.2: Video marketing helps you find customers where they are
If you don’t adapt to changing consumer behaviour patterns in the digital age, your business will be left behind.
Here’s a quick dive into some stats on the value of video marketing.
- There are more than four billion internet users in the world today. A great proportion of that number represents your customers.
- Of the world’s four billion internet users, three billion use social media often.
- Roughly 55% of people search online for reviews and recommendations before buying a product or signing up for a service.
- More people look at videos to help them make spending decisions.
Any business that means business should find itself in that statistical stream. Video is simply an inescapable feature of doing business in the digital age.
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2. What is video marketing anyway?
Granted, the term ‘video marketing’ does have a somewhat starchy or stuffy ring to it.
Truth is there are loads of video marketers today who’ve probably never used those words in describing what they do—it has simply become second nature for them to make videos that build awareness about their company, brand, product or service.
That’s what video marketing really boils down to. Video marketing is the means by which you nurture relationships with customers using an organic form of business outreach that finds the customers where they are and uses a language they understand.
2.1: Video marketing and advertising aren’t the same thing
Today’s audiences have a finely tuned sales-o-meter. They’re wary of being ‘sold something’ so they have permanently activated defenses against the traditional sales pitch.
Who can blame them? They are being pulled in different directions both offline and online, bombarded with all kinds of sales gimmicks
That’s one of the reasons video marketing works so well. The best videos don’t even look like there’s a sales pitch coming. That’s where it’s entirely different from conventional advertising.
Effective videos resonate with audiences, mirroring their needs and making viewers feel something about the content. Of course, there are sales videos, but those come after you’ve built credibility and trust with your viewers.
Video marketing puts a face to the brand, coaxing trust and connection with content that registers on a human level.
2.2: Video marketing makes you indispensable to your audience
It’s nice to feel needed; it’s even nicer to BE needed.
Many entrepreneurs have achieved success by using video to give audiences something they need. That could be tips on how to extend the life of their car or how to save money on their car insurance.
One of the defining characteristics of effective video marketing is that it usually involves a generous sharing of expertise or knowledge. It delivers information or wisdom that often improves viewers’ lives.
By feeding viewers with solutions and answers they’re searching for, you make yourself indispensable to them.
In establishing your usefulness and expertise with audiences, they’re more likely to complete the buyer journey, graduating from viewer to loyal customer!
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3: Why video marketing works
Video can be educational, engaging, entertaining, easy-to-digest and efficient—all the things you need to be a successful modern business.
What’s also particularly exciting about video is it’s flexibility. Video content can be tailored to the needs of your customers. Make your videos according to what they’re interested in. This way you give your content the best chance of hitting home with your target audience.
Additionally, while successful video has, beneath the surface, a fairly specific formula at work, there are countless different video types you can pick from to suit your business needs.
3.1: The power of images
Our brains are hardwired to gravitate towards images.
Humans are visual creatures. There are many studies that show visuals are much more powerful and easier to understand than mere text.
Video marketing takes visuals a step further with moving images, thereby, increasing its appeal to the brain.
Remember what we said about the flexibility of video? Well it can also incorporate other forms of content. You can work into your videos, pictures, audio recordings and short text (because short is better in this format.)
These additional elements in your videos keep the brain engaged.
When customers have questions about a product, more of them are searching for videos to answer those questions.
3.2: The crucial human element in marketing
Video is the closest thing to one-on-one interaction with customers because of the way it combines images, movement, sound and emotion.
As we’ve pointed out, video marketing is not advertising. It’s not about the bombardment of sales videos and commercials.
The one thing that will distinguish you from rivals in your field is, well you. Video can really help the consumer see you, connect with you and relate to you. It adds a personal element that simply isn’t there in conventional advertising.
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4: How video marketing works
As competition is so stiff, video excels at ticking a box that’s a must for any business – trust. You see, the sprawling influence of the internet has shifted the dynamic between business and customer.
Social media platforms, ecommerce and the powerful review culture have put more choice and power in the hands of the consumer. The buyer holds more of the cards.
There’s an old cliche that says people prefer to do business with people, not businesses. Video marketing puts the ‘people’ into building customer relationships. It identifies the people behind their products, their values, motivations – their humanness.
Video marketing is, in that sense, less about marketing and more about trust building.
4.1: Enables personal connections
Some of the most identifiable businesses have become so because their loyal customers connect with a brand, not merely products or services under the banner of that brand.
Here’s an example: In many countries around the world “Pampers” IS the product. What do you put on the baby after a bath? Why, pampers of course! In some cultures the word diaper is rarely used, even though that’s exactly what the product is. That’s what happens when a brand becomes so powerful it’s universally used as the name of the product.
Video is particularly good at creating powerful branding, which is what you want. As a business, your name should be on the lips of all customers when they think about tax form preparation services, real estate, custom home furnishings, or health care products.
The businesses that rise to the top today are the ones that build connections with customers in their marketplace. Those businesses sink a lot of effort into personal branding using video because that’s where valuable connections are made.
It’s that connection that makes buyers out of browsers.
A business rises or falls on the quality of a product or service, but it's the connection that gets the buyer on board in the first place.
4.2: Persuasion through expertise using video marketing
A competitive atmosphere, one in which consumers are bombarded with sales messaging like a meteor shower has created an unfortunate evolutionary adaptation – people are more skeptical about the claims of products and services.
Many folks now react to marketing with almost impenetrable doubt. There are doubts your product can do what it promises, or that you can deliver as advertised.
Any of that sound familiar? Video marketing is a powerful antiskeptic for one important reason: you treat skepticism with expertise.
Video allows you to reach out to your customers and show them you know what you’re talking about inside out. Your competence and expertise helps remove barriers to the sale, barriers built by skepticism.
There are few strategies that can erase doubts in your customers that stall the buyer journey more effectively than video.
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5: How to get started with video marketing
One of the biggest roadblocks in the way of getting started with video for many businesses is the question where to begin.
You see videos all the time on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and YouTube. Still, there are many people without a background in video who are intimidated by the medium.
Then you hear things like “The best way to get started with something is to just get started” That kind of motivational spam looks good as a meme, but it’s actually the opposite of what we’d recommend for your video marketing.
No one, particularly a busy entrepreneur, wants to jump into something that turns out to be a costly waste of time. To get the most out of video, you’ve got to have some sort of game plan.
It doesn’t need to be anything overly elaborate, but you do need a plan. With that in mind here’s a quick glance at how you might get started.
5.1: Start with recorded videos
You’ve probably seen fellow entrepreneurs in your niche using live video on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Streaming video is immensely popular with businesses and entrepreneurs. It is a cost-effective way to consistently reach out to your customers and forge lasting bonds.
Streaming video, though, might seem intimidating for first timers. After all, you are going live in front of potentially hundreds of people. Not everyone is ready for that kind of exposure in the early stages of video exploration.
As a video marketing newbie, we’d recommend getting your feet wet with recorded on-camera presentations. You can rehearse what you want to say until you’re comfortable with the material.
The big appeal of the recorded video for any beginner is quite simple. If you’re not happy with your recording, you can reshoot it or use simple editing to hide minor mistakes.
With recorded videos you have full control over what audiences see of your efforts.
5.2: Make customers the reason behind your videos
When it comes to video marketing that hits the target, there’s one simple rule to follow: it’s about the customers, not you.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and that will point you in the direction of the kind of video content you should be creating. Understanding their needs will tell you how to make your videos.
Sure, you want people to know all about your company. It’s more important, though, to frame this information in the context of what your customers need.
The best videos are built around the viewer, not the person or company making the video.
Choose video topics based on what your customers are searching for online.
5.3 Begin with a modest toolkit
When choosing your camera gear, keep in mind that these are merely tools. The true power of connecting with audiences lies in your message and content.
This could mean a small start using your smartphone. Perhaps you might be able to buy a consumer camcorder or a DSLR camera. Whichever camera you choose, you will need a dependable tripod.
Good audio is a crucial element of effective video. Depending on the camera you choose, you can purchase an inexpensive microphone that’s compatible with your video gear.
A nice camera is great but what you say to customers and how you say it is far more important than the equipment you use to reach them.
5.4: Work out your content ideas and draft a video schedule
If you enjoy getting a) frustrated and b) nowhere, then don’t do what’s recommended above.
It’s all well and good to say you’re going to use video to boost your income. If you don’t put in the planning, your video marketing won’t ever get off the ground.
Compiling a list of video ideas saves you the trouble of racking your brains every week to come up with a fresh concept. You’ll also want to create a video content calendar that schedules your videos on social media and your website.
Drawing up a list of video ideas and creating a content calendar for these videos builds intent.
An ideas bank and content calendar help streamline the process of making videos, leaving more time to run your business.
5.5: Create a production schedule
If you think you’re going to make a big splash with one or two videos, think again. When it comes to video marketing, consistency is critical.
Juggling video content creation and your business calls for discipline. You should identify specific days for your video shoots. We often batch record our videos.
In one day per month we shoot four to five videos. While that might seem nuts (there are video marketers who shoot way more), this method provides us with up to four weeks worth of video content.
For the video marketer there is nothing quite like the feeling of dipping into your content bag of tricks and pulling out already completed videos ready for upload.
A video production schedule gives structure to your goals. It also ensures you strike the right balance between your day-to-day business operations and your video marketing.
Creating a video production schedule is a fundamental part of all the regular business activities that keep pushing you forward.
There can be no question that video is an inescapable feature of doing business in the digital age. Mobile devices have become like attachments users can rarely set down. As a business you need to put yourself in the hands of consumers who are scrolling, googling and swiping their way through content online.
It’s all about communication in an environment heavily steered by digital trends. Video is the leading language of communication today.
Here are a few things to keep in mind for yet-to-be-video-converts:
- Video marketing doesn’t have to be expensive
- Yes, you can learn how to shoot, edit and upload your own videos
- You and your message will always be more important than equipment
- Videos should be more about customers needs, than what you sell or do
- For video to work it must be supported with strategy
- Videos can give you a foothold across all social media platforms as well as your own website.
- The pandemic has further boosted the importance of video for businesses
- No, you are not too late to get started!
Content can be produced inexpensively, with a minimal investment in equipment. The cost factor that might once have held you back is gone.
Video is as indispensable to business success today as is a website, or continued learning in your chosen field. The good thing is there are more learning resources than ever to adapt to this video-first world we live in.