The Importance of Video Marketing
Three, Two, One - ACTION!
Video marketing continues to be on the rise as one of the most effective ways to promote your business, brand or product. You don't have to have expensive equipment, a studio or even a ton of knowledge to make a video that viewers want to watch. Video marketing can start with something as simple as your smartphone!
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You've probably noticed the increase in Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and maybe even Snapchat. And YouTube - holy cow there's a how-to for everything there right? Want to know the correct way to eat a pomegranate? My good friend Linda did an impromptu, super simple video in her kitchen showing how to peel and eat a pomegranate. She filmed this YouTube video over 8 years ago and it currently ranks #3 and has had over 3.5 million views. I kid you not.
So what's the deal behind all of these videos (including Linda's pomegranate how-to) and how can you get started with video marketing? I'll outline the Why, the How and the Where below to help send you on your way to stardom. Ok, maybe not stardom but how about a powerful way to engage with your viewers? (Although you'd look really good on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!)
Video Marketing - The Why
The numbers speak for themselves...
- 55% of people consume video content thoroughly. (HubSpot, 2016)
- 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. (HubSpot, 2016)
- 81% of marketers are optimizing their social videos for mobile viewership. (Animoto, 2017)
- Having a video thumbnail in the search results can double your search traffic. (Search Engine Journal, 2018)
- Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs. (Wordstream, 2018)
- Video will represent 82% of all IP traffic in 2021. (Business Insider, 2017)
I could go on with statistics but the bottom line is video is, and will continue to be, huge. And statistics are boring.
Cost Effective Content, Increased Engagement and Better Search Engine Results
Producing a video or live broadcast is as easy as point and shoot with your smartphone and a couple of social media apps, like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. It really is that simple.
Shoot a quick video on your phone and upload it to your favorite social media channel, or go live! Live broadcasts give you the opportunity to engage then and there with viewers. You can answer questions on the spot and generate excitement about a new product or promotion. Going live creates content that is uniquely yours.
Video in general is showing to improve search engine ranking too. Google appears to be placing more and more importance on video in search queries. You've probably noticed that YouTube videos are starting to appear in your search results. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Google now owns YouTube...
The Google algorithm has been known to put higher value on the end-user experience, in other words you're more likely to rank well if you're delivering quality, meaningful content that the user is searching for. Video is one more tool in the tool box to do just that.
Video Marketing - The How
So hopefully I've drawn your attention to the fact that video is popular and growing, and that you should be considering how to integrate it into your marketing strategy. But how?
Tools to Start
- Your smartphone.
Yep, that's it. We're going to keep this super simple. Your smartphone has everything you need to start filming videos - from Facebook Live, an Instagram Story or just a short YouTube video.
And remember to put your phone in Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode before you start shooting. You don't need the phone ringing while you're chatting it up with your viewers.
Where Should I Film?
You've got a lot of options here but let's start with your desk. Do a short video introducing yourself, a quick elevator pitch about what you do and thank viewers for watching. That's it.
Pay attention to the lighting, the background and ancillary noise. I suggest your desk to start because you're probably sitting in a desk chair, so that gives you a solid, non-distracting background. Your office is probably, or should be, somewhat quiet. And hopefully you've got some decent lighting so you're not just a dark blurb on the screen.
Film yourself a couple of times, or a dozen like I did. Get comfortable with speaking on video. Focus on being yourself, like you're sitting across the desk from your audience.
If your message is more outdoors related, go outside! Again, be mindful of the surroundings so that the viewer can focus on you and not the trucks rolling by down the street.
What Should I Talk About?
Lots of options here but let's start with some basics:
- Introduce yourself - let the viewer get to know you and/or your company.
- Share your brand or product - show someone using your product.
- Testimonials - do a brief chat with a client about their experience with your product.
- Highlight an event that you're holding - both before and during the event. (Best for Live broadcasts)
How Do I Promote My Video or Live Broadcast?
Facebook offers some great tips and best practices for doing a Facebook Live broadcast but they apply to Instagram and other broadcasts as well.
- Announce to people ahead of time when you will start to broadcast. Create a visual with the specific date and hour and include what topics you will broadcast about. Same applies for a recorded video - announce and share it on your social channels.
- If you're broadcasting live, make sure you have a strong internet connection prior to going "on air". You don't want to lose contact mid-stream.
- Create a great description about the broadcast or video that entices the audience to tune in.
- Engage with your viewers; say hi by name and thank them for tuning in.
- Be sure ask viewers to subscribe and follow you so they can receive notifications about your broadcasts in the future.
Video Marketing & Social Media Platforms - The Where
Ok, so we've done some testing, gotten a bit more comfortable with ourselves on video and we have some ideas for what to talk about. Where do we go from here? Now's the time to play with different social media channels, ie Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Each has its benefits and they're definitely not mutually exclusive.
YouTube & YouTube Live
Youtube launched on February 14th, 2005 and is now the 2nd most visited website in the world with 30 million visitors each day. 1.3 billion (with a B) people use YouTube and almost 5 billion YouTube videos are watched each day. Impressive numbers aren't they? Time to start thinking about how to effectively utilize YouTube isn't it? Plus it's easy to start!
Open the YouTube app on your phone and go to the top of the screen and click the video camera icon. From there you can record a video or go live. Alternatively, you can record a video with your phone's camera directly and then upload the video to YouTube later.
The benefits of YouTube? We'll let me remind you that Google owns YouTube. SEO boost anyone? Yep, it would appear that Google places the same importance on video as it does on text content as YouTube videos are now appearing in search results. Just sayin'... don't ignore this opportunity to put yourself or your company out there.
And just a note... Approximately 20% of the people who start your video will leave after the first 10 seconds. Create a damn good intro.
Creating a Facebook Live video is really easy. To broadcast directly on your profile, tap Status and then click the Live Video icon (ideally from your phone).
Facebook Live is a great opportunity to drive people to your Facebook Page plus it's viewable as a video once the live broadcast is over.
Instagram & Instagram Live
Instagram is a mobile/smart phone-based app that allows you to upload either photos or videos to your feed. Instagram has over 800 million active monthly users so it makes for a great platform to share visual content and connect with viewers and potential followers.
You can upload a video from your phone to your Instagram feed or take advantage of the Instagram Live feature in Instagram stories. Instagram Live allows users to stream video to followers and engage with them in real time. When users broadcast live video streams on their accounts, a ring highlights their profile picture in Instagram Stories to alert followers that they can view the live stream. And the benefit? Well your story is up there at the top of the page, ahead of all those images and videos in the feed stream below. Nice exposure huh?
Same as Facebook Live, Instagram Live is done from your phone. From the home screen of Instagram, click on "Your Story", then "Go Live".
One of the things I like about live is that it's authentic. You're not editing anything for perfection; you're just being your real self. I think people appreciate that transparency. And a live broadcast is a great way to engage and interact with your viewers in real time.
So that's it for my thoughts on video and live broadcasts! Don't ignore this valuable tool for marketing your business. Spend some time getting comfortable with video and then start to formulate your plan for incorporating it into your marketing strategy. I'm working on integrating more video into my social channels as well so stay tuned for more fun!
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Laura Nowak Brown
aka The West Coast Cyber Chick