Please Tell Me You Didn’t Send Me a Video of That? Video Marketing the Right Way

Sometimes I just can’t help myself. Someone does something really stupid and I have to use it to make a point. Using video marketing in your local online marketing efforts can be extremely powerful. After all, YouTube is the second most popular search engine with over 2B views a day and over 24 hours of video uploaded every minute. That’s a staggering amount of content, but people consume it and in fact is the average person spends 15 minutes a day on YouTube. What are they watching, well everything, but for the purposes of this article, I’m going to stick to a discussion of using video for local online marketing. Now, for a short, humorous story.

Last week I had someone contact me via email saying that he was in the same business as me, social media marketing for small businesses, with an offer me to help me with clients. Interesting I thought, but he provided no detail and no website so I had no idea what he could do. I wrote back and asked him what he does and in reply he sent me a video. Great, I thought, that’s innovative and I started watching the video. To make a long story short, he sent me a 5 minute video (way too long) in which he basically said nothing except that he was really tired and had a long day and that normally he had more energy. That part he repeated 4 times. REALLY? Yes, it really happened and no, I couldn’t believe it. Now here’s is someone who claims to be in marketing and he cannot even market himself!

So, rule number one- never, ever make a video when you are tired and if you do, for goodness sake don’t send it to someone who you are trying to impress and ask for a job. Ok, common sense, but it was SO stupid, I had to share.

Why should you use video marketing for your small business?

One reason to use video marketing is because a video creates a personal connection between you and your audience. It’s the same reason we like to meet people in person and why video over Skype is popular. We can make eye contact and it feels much more like we know the person. As a business owner, you want to make that personal connection to people who haven’t met you and video can help you do that.

Another reason is that video is still a bit novel and it breaks through the clutter. People have so much information thrown at them, you can stand out by providing information via a video.

A third reason to use video is that it improves search engine ranking. There are a couple of factors at play here. Remember search engines want to connect people with what they are searching for. A video can reduce site bounce (where someone goes to your site and jumps right back off – a sign to Google that they didn’t find what they were looking for) and they can increase the time people spend on your site because they are watching a short video.

What are some uses for video in your online marketing efforts?

  • Add a personal welcome to your website. This can tell your prospects about the services you provide or something special about the products you sell. It might just be a short story about why you got into the business you are in. The objective is to connect to your audience and make them want to stick around to find out more about you and your product or services.
  • Use it to build your email list. You can create a useful video that people would find valuable and you can send it to them if they agree to join your email list. Remember to make the video on topic for your website and remember good email practices – double opt-in.
  • Provide an expert tips video series. Often people would rather watch a video rather than read something, so this can be a great way to engage your audience and get them coming back for more.
  • Use it to sell a specific product or service. This is different than the welcome video which is more general in nature. This is more of an in-depth look at a particular product or service. Make your product come alive by showing it in action or tell a great customer story about how you helped a customer’s business with your service.
  • Make a teaching or instructional video. It can be a how to video with screen captures that demonstrate something or it could be a video of you using a product. Personally I use instructional videos all time. I go to YouTube or just open Google and I type in “how do I (do something I don’t know how to do)”. Inevitably some nice person has created a video and loaded it onto YouTube teaching me exactly what I want to learn. Think about the skills you have and what you could do. You want it to relate to your business, but it could be how to hang a picture straight if you are a handyman or how to fold napkins in a special way if you have a restaurant. It doesn’t have to be overly complex, just of value to people who might not know how to do that thing.

Like all social media marketing, you will want to set goals for your video marketing. For local business marketing, it’s probably to drive traffic to your website and ultimately your storefront. You may also want to build trust and credibility if you provide a service such as bookkeeping. Or you may just want to provide a face behind your business. Keep your goals in mind as you think about the types of videos you want to create.

One last point. People are often frightened away from video if they don’t have a glamorous studio or they don’t look like a model. Forget that. Some of the greatest video success stories started and remain in humble surroundings. Focus on providing quality content and being genuine and you will be fine. Video marketing can be a powerful tool for small business marketing if you follow common sense the pointers I provided.

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