Changing the oil in a car, setting up pivot tables in Excel, learning to use a pressure cooker, and discovering new SEO best practices. These extremely disparate activities all have one thing in common: most people have no clue how to do them and turn to YouTube to learn how.
Online video is becoming an unstoppable force and a huge tool for businesses to build their brands. Read on as we cover what video marketing is, how to develop your own strategy, and provide a quick tutorial showing you how to produce your own videos!
Who would have guessed a decade ago that learning new skills and ideas would be as easy and accessible as watching funny cat videos? Today, over 4 billion YouTube videos are watched daily and while many of these are for comedic relief, millions are for educational purposes.
Overloaded with information on a daily basis, video considerably increases our comprehension of ideas, products, services, and much more. Top global brands have taken notice and have exponentially increased the business videos they’ve been uploading to YouTube in order to capitalize on this trend with a 99% adoption rate.
What is video marketing? The simple answer is that it’s the process of using video to promote or market your brand, product, or service. However, video marketing is so much more than simply promotion, and treating it as such is a misuse of time and money. In order for the resources spent on video marketing to pay dividends, priority shouldn’t be placed on promotion, but rather providing value to consumers. Producing videos that bring value to the consumer jumpstarts the process of building trust and a relationship.
The biggest benefit to video marketing is that it enables you to create an emotional connection with your customers. Creating content that intrigues them by exploring a creative idea, entices them to buy because of the feeling they’ll experience, or educates by helping them overcome daily challenges can forge a lasting emotional connection.
Video isn’t a fad. In 2014, audiences engaged with video at a 43% growth rate, and 3/5 of their viewing was on a mobile device. Cisco has projected that by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic. This medium is becoming the new gold standard in transferring information. Those brands that try to swim against the current of change in this digital landscape will be quickly swept away.
Size of a business or brand doesn’t dictate the success of a video marketing campaign. In fact, small businesses are able to take advantage of their adaptability and nimbleness to produce video content that closely follows market trends and changing preferences. Moreover, the broad acceptance of Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and YouTube has brought down the expectations for quality, in preference for engaging content. The most important thing for them is to develop a solid video marketing strategy.
Now that we know what video marketing is, and why brands and businesses need to incorporate it into their overall marketing game plan, we need to craft our own strategy. The overarching goal of any video strategy is to provide a point of differentiation between your brand and the competition. With very few exceptions, all brands have some sort of competition that they are trying to distance themselves from. Those brands that are involved with buying and selling commodity goods have an even tougher road, since price sensitivity is such a big issue.
Having a modern website and quality marketing collateral is a good start, but is seen as “par for the course” by most consumers. The new litmus test many customers use to gauge whether they want to do business with a brand is whether it understands them and video is the only medium that can convey this emotion.
Now for some good news, and bad news. Starting with the bad news, there is no cookie cutter strategy to producing videos that increase your customers. The good news is that since there are so many different ways of creating value, you’re able to create a very customized approach to targeting and engaging your specific customer.
Step 1 - Decide what the overall mission is for your video and whom you will be targeting.
Start by determining what your target market is, and who are your most receptive customers. What are their needs and expectations? Would they rather watch a humorous or practical video?
Once you know WHO you’ll be targeting, you’ll need to figure out WHAT you’ll be creating. Will it be videos that explain your product, educate consumers, are simply for entertainment, or something in between? Your video content should match the needs and expectations of the consumer.
Step 2 – Plan out the topics and types of videos you’ll produce.
Once you’re comfortable with the overall mission of your videos, it’s time to plan out the specific function for your videos.
Are they going to be used by your sales force to differentiate themselves from competitors? If so, then an exciting, product centric sizzle reel that shows off your advantages could resonate with your audience.
Don’t feel that you’re limited to producing only product specific videos for increasing sales. Marketing videos can be taken advantage of other departments within your organization. For example, by producing exciting videos showing your company’s great working environment and values, your can aid your HR department in recruiting employees that are a better fit for your organization.
Other topics for videos include:
Step 3 – Who will create your content?
The answer to this question will depend on two things; the quality you’re aiming for and the budget that you have to work with. What you decide will dictate whether you’ll be able to invest in an in-house videographer with the proper gear, or if you’ll need to outsource to a professional production company. There are pros and cons for each method, but ultimately the decision should come down to the overall mission you set forth on step 1. If you’re planning on expanding your video marketing over the long term, having an in-house team will likely provide the best value.
You can even do it yourself in a pinch. Click here to see our quick how-to video.
Keep in mind that regardless of whether you produce your videos in-house or outsource them to a production company, responsibility for these functions will need to be assigned:
Step 4 – Where will your content be hosted and displayed?
At its core, video marketing is meant to drive engagement and visitors to your site. Therefore, hosting your videos solely on a distribution channel like YouTube or Vimeo is an underutilization of your time and money. An SEO optimized YouTube video page can be a great tool for helping consumers discover your brand or product, but you should always be embedding and linking those videos onto your website. Having pages on your website dedicated to the videos you make, whether you’re hosting them yourself or using YouTube, can hugely benefit your company’s website with improved SERP rankings, which will lead to greater organic search traffic visitors.
Let’s take a look at a couple real companies that are effectively using video to promote and market their brand without pushing sales. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but simply ideas to get you started for your own strategy.
Audi Mission Viejo
Strategy Spotlight: Trust Through Comfort
An outstanding example of a company that truly demonstrates the difference between having a video marketing strategy and simply uploading video is Mission Viejo Audi. They’ve been steadily evolving their video strategy for the past 4 years and have hundreds of videos on their YouTube channel. This differentiation effort is especially impressive since auto dealerships operate in a very commoditized market. Moreover, tools like True Car, Edmunds, and Kelly Blue Book have taken any guess work out of how much a car actually costs, and how much you should actually pay. This has led to many dealerships duking it out with each other over price, which has led to a decrease in both profit and customer satisfaction.
If you look at a range of different Audi dealership websites, you’ll notice that they all look the same for purposes of keeping to a predetermined brand style. Even with this constraint, instead of resigning to this same sales strategy, Audi Mission Viejo is producing and curating video that brings value to those interested in Audi vehicles.
Other Audi dealerships and dealerships of other brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been making videos for years too, so what’s the big deal? The videos produced by Mission Viejo Audi create a sense of trust and form a relationship prior to a customer even visiting the dealership. Its sales professionals and managers give in-depth overviews of their vehicles, what the differences are between models, and the experience you’ll feel in their autos. The videos help the customer picture themselves owning these vehicles, in addition to making them feel more comfortable with the sales team. This feeling of familiarity and comfort with the professionalism of the salesperson leads Mission Viejo Audi to be their first and hopefully only stop in their car-purchasing journey.
Here are two examples from their YouTube channel:
2014 A6 Overview
“How To” Instructional Videos
Strategy Spotlight: Trust Through Simplicity/Education
Finance and investing are subjects that either bore most people or stress them out. Everyone knows they should be investing for their future, but the majority has no idea where to start and is intimidated. There are two main reasons people choose not to pursue investing. They’re afraid to do it alone and mess up, thereby losing their hard earned money, or don’t trust the “Big Banks” of America and don’t feel these institutions have their best interests in mind.
In comes Acorns, an app that makes investing simple, pain free, and fun. Instead of following the traditional route of investing thousands of dollars at one time into a handful of stocks, Acorns helps you invest without you even knowing it. Every purchase that you make, whether it’s a cup of coffee at Starbucks, weekly groceries, or anything else, the app rounds up to the nearest dollar and transfers those cents to your account. These small amounts add up without you having to take time or make the decision to money aside. Once you’ve funded your account with this spare change, the app holds your virtual hand through the investing process through simple visuals and options. No complicated graphs or spreadsheets. Just a mobile interface that people are already accustomed to through using the other apps they’ve downloaded.
In order to provide further value, and explain the ins and outs of investing, they’re producing simple animated whiteboard style videos. Only about one minute in length, they’re easy to digest and presented in such a way that even people with no investing experience can understand. Included in their catalog is a video that quickly shows how easy their phone app is to operate and the overall premise of why they exist. Also, they have tips for investors on how to avoid common mistakes and make the most out of their investments.
By boiling what is a very technical and complex process down to simple ideas that can be more easily understood, Acorns is earning their customer’s trust through education.
Video Production Tutorial
Now that you know why video marketing is important, and have picked a strategy for your videos, it’s time to start shooting! In the old days, this was where many aspiring video producers would get caught up. Luckily however, video capture technology has evolved so quickly, that this isn’t a major barrier to entry anymore. YouTube and apps like Instagram and Vine have lowered the bar for what is considered an acceptable video. This leaves a huge opportunity to surpass these low expectations with a video that uses proper filmmaking techniques. It’s less about the equipment you have, and more about the proper use of what you have.
The biggest mistakes in amateur filmmaking are poor composition, shaky footage, poor lighting, and bad audio. To show you how easy it is to produce a video with your phone, cheap audio equipment, and things you already have around your office, we created this “How Two” video production tutorial. In two minutes, we cover the basics and make sure you’re ready to start filming your own video without making the most common mistakes.
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
This philosophical question pertains to video marketing as well. You can meticulously plan out the purpose, scope, and production of the video, but if you don’t advertise your video, few people will see your hard work.
Ways to Get Your Video to the Masses:
YouTube: The most popular video sharing site in the world, YouTube, offers a great platform to target both broad and specific audiences with pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll video ads. Adwords for Video is an easy way to set up YouTube ad campaigns to target your desired audience at the price you’re comfortable with. Their integration with Google’s search function mean that a properly SEO optimized YouTube description can help your videos be found by your customers.
Social Media: Two great platforms to advertise your videos though social media are LinkedIn and Facebook. Which you choose depends on your target market, and type of business. Each has tools to segment and target a very narrow range of consumers that are more likely to be aligned with your mission or product. The tools provided through these two platforms are very easy to use, but they are by no means a “one size fits all” solution. For example, setting up a campaign to target the Baby Boomer generation through mobile Facebook ads would be a waste of resources. Not because this demographic doesn’t use Facebook or mobile phones, they just aren’t as likely to browse the social networking platform on the go as much as the Millennials.
Each platform has it’s own technical nuances and associations carried with them. For example, the business centric social network, LinkedIn, carries a higher credibility, which can help your video, brand, and company be taken more seriously. Facebook, while known as a more casual network, has unique premium video ads that automatically start rolling once a user scrolls over them. This feature makes it easier to for brands to spread their message and connect with potential customers without them even having to make the decision to play the video.
Once you have your video and it’s hosted online, you’ll want to get the most mileage you can out of it. The best way to do this is to cross-promote this video content over your other marketing channels.
Examples of cross-promotion:
Integrate into other content: The best way to get the most out of your videos is to “recycle” them and build other content around it. There are two main benefits to doing this. First, is that you’re saving on the cost of creating completely new video and content by recycling and reusing it in a different way. Second, you’re able to keep visitors cycling through your site rather than clicking away. This is great for building comfort and trust with your brand, along with improving your SEO ranking by improving the user signals (click through rate, time on page, etc).
Email newsletter/signature: A great way to take advantage of existing content is to create a monthly newsletter that shares the best of your created content, interesting news about the industry you’re in, or exciting future plans for your brand. This avenue lets you connect with the contacts on your email list and let the value of your content encourage them to watch your videos and visit your website more often.
Link to other content: There are two distinct advantages gained by linking to content on other websites. First, by linking to other content your audience finds relevant you gain trust and credibility by showing that your brand should be seen as a resource with valuable information, rather than simply a propaganda machine. Also, by mentioning other brands or companies in your content, you increase the chances they might return the favor and point their viewers to an interesting piece of content you create.
That’s a Wrap!
Now you know the importance of video marketing, ideas for picking a strategy, and how to get your video seen. We hope we’ve inspired you to get behind the camera and get your brand in front of your customers.