How Small Business Owners Can Use Video Marketing in 2018

Technological developments and the declining cost of quality camera equipment have combined to make videos a popular way to connect with customers. It’s highly effective, too: not only do consumers say they find video ads helpful in their decision process, they also share them with their friends and networks.

Video production may seem daunting to some small business owners, but there’s no denying its importance to your overall marketing strategy. Here’s a look at where and how you should be focusing your video marketing efforts this year.

Use them to introduce yourself

Rather than trying to cram a ton of text on the landing page of your website, use a short video to explain or demonstrate what your business is all about. Think of it a little bit like a 30-second commercial combined with your elevator pitch. Having a frequently watched video on your homepage will also increase your ranking within Google’s search results, driving more traffic to your site.

Don’t stress about production values

You may lack the expertise and budget to produce high-end video content, but that’s no excuse to not do any. By and large, your audience will be willing to accept something unpolished if it’s honest and authentic. Try hard to keep creating quality content (ensure you have good lighting, a tripod to keep the camera steady, and clear audio), and be willing to accept feedback and advice. Be innovative whenever you can, rather than feeling bound by traditional styles and formats.

Combine content with your other marketing efforts

Video marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so connect your clips with the other things you’re already doing to market your business. If you have a blog, are there posts that can be adapted into video content? Create quick clips to accompany press releases and other announcements, and maintain consistent messaging across both videos and any print or written marketing campaigns.

Go live!

Live video broadcasting on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram gives brands and businesses the opportunity to act like a small-scale television channel. Live videos get noticed better in busy newsfeeds, with statistics showing they’re six times more likely to be watched than pre-recorded clips. Live video also offers interactivity: viewers can submit questions or comments and have them answered and acknowledged while they watch. Live broadcasts are great for how-to videos, Q&A sessions, or reacting to important news in your industry, allowing you to position yourself as an expert.

Keep them short

With the exception of live broadcasts, most of the videos you post on social media should be between 30 and 60 seconds, sometimes shorter. Viewers often don’t have long attention spans, or feel they can’t spare the time to watch a long video, so grab their attention immediately and get your message across before your audience starts to tune you out and looks for something else to watch. It’s okay to post longer clips, say five minutes or more, for complex how-tos or Q&A sessions, but brevity is the best bet for most of your video marketing efforts. The shorter your clips are, the more likelihood they’ll be shared.

Connect with on-the-go customers

The rise in video marketing’s popularity dovetails with the increased use of mobile devices and our growing willingness to watch video on cell phones and tablets. Customers who might not have the time or inclination to read about a subject will often happily consume a brief video clip instead. Make sure the videos you create and post can be viewed easily and properly by mobile users, and you’ll be better able to connect with a busy audience that uses multiple devices to stay in touch.

Go behind the scenes

One great way to reinforce the connection between your business and its customers is to make them feel special and privileged, say by offering access to a behind-the-scenes tour of your business, an in-depth look at how your products are made, or any other ‘insider’ video shedding light on something that’s otherwise unavailable. These videos are also a great way to educate viewers about your company ‘culture’ and what your business stands for, update people about an expansion or renovation at your business, or show what went into a new product launch.

Feature favourable testimonials

Build trust with potential customers by creating testimonial videos featuring current customers crowing about their positive experiences with your business or its products. The obvious emotion expressed in a video testimonial tends to be far more powerful and convincing than any text-based tribute you have elsewhere, no matter how glowing.

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