Video marketing used to be costly and time consuming, but the exponential growth of video sharing sites on the internet, such as YouTube, has now turned video into a very cost-effective marketing method.
Marketing with online videos is growing at a fast pace for a number of good reasons:
• Research has shown that online video marketing delivers double the conversion rate of other media;
• If properly implemented, video content can boost your ranking on search engines and make it easier for potential customers to find you;
• People like to learn something about a product or service before they make a buying decision. Video can be a great way for customers to get to know your business and the benefits of your product.
Although videos can be highly successful, haphazardly posting them on the Web doesn’t necessarily deliver results. Knowing the basic techniques of effective video production and promotion strategies will help you succeed with your online video debut.
Here are a few tips for achieving success with online videos.
Content is king
As with other media, relevant and high quality content is crucial. If people have no reason to view your content, it won’t get watched and won’t get recommended to other viewers.
When creating content, you need to ask yourself “What’s interesting to our customers and prospects?”
It’s important to remember that you want to deliver value to your viewers, so you need to provide more than just advertisements. If you sell products, your videos might teach customers how to install them correctly or use them more effectively. You can also talk about industry trends and how these affect your customers.
Depending on your market and offerings, you can look at ways to entertain viewers. Blendtec is an example of a highly successful campaign based on entertainment. The company makes very durable blenders and highlights this by blending a range of non-food items, including iPhones and iPods, in its products.
Blendtec’s ‘Will It Blend?’ videos went ‘viral’ and have had over 100 million views in three years. The result has been a dramatic increase in the company’s sales. This type of campaign might not suit your business, but it shows the importance of being entertaining and informative in your videos.
It’s not always necessary to create special video content for online marketing. When it’s relevant to your customers and prospects, even a company presentation or speech can be captured on video and used online.
Whatever content you choose to present, good production is important.
Video filmed with a low quality camera or using poor lighting and sound equipment will detract from your image. If you don’t have the budget to pay a professional be sure to employ, at the least, a good camera with a tripod, and use appropriate lighting and sound equipment.
Make sure you can be found
The best content is worthless if your potential customers don’t find your videos and recommend them to others.
Like all Web-based content you need to optimize the chance of being found by search engines by including relevant keywords about the content of the video. You can start by determining what your prospects are searching for and include these keywords in the file names, titles, tags, URLs and link texts of your videos.
And besides posting your videos on your own site, put them on sharing sites such as YouTube where they can be found by a wider audience. This will also help optimize your videos when you include the relevant keyword information. Recommendations are a large part of successful video marketing, so it’s important that you make it easy for your viewers to come across your videos on YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social media sites. Tweet news of your videos to reach a larger audience.
Other ways to promote your videos are to cross-link them with related videos and link them to your company’s blog posts.
Encourage comments about your online videos to create two-way communication between you and your market. By doing this you will make it possible to answer questions and concerns while gauging opinion about your product.
The rise of the internet has made it easier and more cost-effective to reach existing and potential customers through video. Knowing what to show, how to present it, and making it easy to find are the key steps to successful video marketing.
You can use a video to show satisfied clients recommending your firm; demonstrate a product in action; or use music and images to create an emotional connection with potential clients that will encourage them to buy. One of the most popular video categories are ‘how to’ guides. A list of the most common questions fielded by your sales or support staff may offer inspiration.
Unlike a television commercial, you can make the video as long as necessary or host a series of videos. If your video is amusing or impressive in some way, it can ‘go viral’ and receive enormous amounts of traffic, with ensuing publicity.
A growing trend among new software companies is to show nothing else on their home page but an introduction video that explains in simple terms why the software is worth using. This direct method of communicating with potential clients is far more engaging than filling the page with detailed explanations of the software’s features and pricing.
Small businesses can host a video on their website but this can be technically challenging. If your firm’s website receives a spike in visitors - in response to a sale or over Christmas, for example - your video might take too long to load on visitors’ computers.
There are several services which will host video for you with the ability to scale up resources to make sure the video doesn’t slow or stutter.
YouTube is by far the biggest and best known, but some may consider it inappropriate for hosting a business video that displays a YouTube logo.
Amazon Web Services (a division of the online shopping behemoth) can host video without any branding, but it requires more effort to set up. Once hosted, you can promote your video through social media sites such as Facebook.
At youronlinebusinesscoach.com video marketing is a key element to our business plan and we have found great success in using WebVideoZone to host our videos. Uploading videos is very easy, the usage tracking tools are effective, the speed of upload is fantastic and the monthly subscription fee is value for money. We are happy to recommend this service to you.
To find out more, click on the graphic link at the end of this article and check it out for yourself.
The required tools for creating videos have become more affordable with prices of digital video cameras plummeting. Simple-to-use, high-definition units can be found for $200.
But before you rush out and start filming, consider hiring an actor or a studio to help write the script and shoot the video for you. Done well, video marketing is a very effective tool for your small business. Done poorly and you could look unprofessional, cheap or worse.