If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? It must be quite a bit, given that more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month and watch over 6 billion hours of video – that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth.With these staggering figures, video is increasingly becoming a favorite tool for small business marketers.
And it’s no surprise why. Consider all of the benefits of adding video to your marketing mix. Firstly, it allows you to engage with your audience in a dynamic way. How often do you get someone’s undiluted attention for three minutes online? Not often, except when they are engaged in a video. Video also personalizes you and your brand. Search engines like it, and by using apps such as Vine or Instagram (for short videos 6-15 seconds in length) you can boost your social media presence on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
So what sorts of videos could you create? There are many:
Promotional videos: Create videos that introduce you, your business, your staff, and your products. Maybe give people a virtual tour of your business, or of your website.
How-to videos: Videos that demonstrate how to do something related to your business prove to be very popular. By educating your customers you not only create extra value, but you can forge a better bond with them by helping them to understand something new. For example:
- Show how to best use one of your products
- Explain how to install a product
- Demonstrate how to do other tasks that relate to the product
- Display how a product can save customers time or money
This statistic probably won’t surprise you: website visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not. This is because people are visual, and they like to see what they are getting before buying it.
Videos that establish your expertise: Professionals especially may want to create and post videos on their website that share their expertise. A divorce lawyer, for example, can explain the ins and outs of the process. Videos that educate your site visitors on some valuable topic will always be popular.
The good news is that you do not need to make a full-length commercial to get the kind of results that will draw people in. Short, informal, informative videos do the trick perfectly well.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Remember, you are not Spielberg. You are not making a movie. Keep your video short, and say everything you need to say in five minutes or less. That said, rules are made to be broken and maybe longer form interviews or product demonstrations will work for your business. In that case, still try to keep it to 15 minutes or less.
2. Do your research. You can make your own video or you can hire someone to make it for you. Either way, look for examples online of videos you like so you have a clear vision before starting the process. Check out businesses similar to your own and see if they have videos on their site that you like.
3. Don’t blow your dough. You can easily make a great video on a low budget. You can even use your phone or camera. Just remember that sound quality, lighting, staging, and makeup do matter. Pay attention to these details, as they will really add to the quality of your video.
4. Use analytics: Get some real insight into the consumers that are watching your videos. YouTube and other video hosting sites can provide you with very useful analytics data. You can find out the demographics of viewers, how they found your video, the length of time they watched it, whether or not they engaged with it (i.e. by liking, commenting, or sharing), and so much more. This insight is incredibly valuable for creating more effective videos in the future.
About Steve Strauss
Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest,The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss.