It all started in 1941. Bulova, a wristwatch company, launched the first recorded commercial on a New York TV station during a Yankees game. Roughly 40 years later, in 1984, Apple launched a commercial for the Macintosh computer during the Super Bowl. YouTube was founded in 2005 and one year later, Google bought YouTube for 1.65 billion US dollars. Since then businesses from multi-billion dollar corporations to individual entrepreneurs, PR firms, professional bloggers and financing teams, have used video marketing to launch campaigns, boost brand recognition and gain new customers. 94% of businesses see video as an effective tool. This may be because people tend to find videos more entertaining than reading or because many people retain more information when it's explained visually.
Ready to add video to your marketing strategy but not ready for Super Bowl level advertising? Let’s review some simple strategies to help you create exciting and cost effective videos for your small business.
You Already Have a Great Camera
Don’t break your budget by buying expensive studio equipment: start with the camera that’s on your phone. If you are concerned about making professional looking videos (and you should be) you can buy a tripod for more stability and clearer resolution, or you can make one yourself. Using your phone to make videos has many benefits: you’re familiar with the features, social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are made for its vertical and horizontal video formats and it’s easy to edit your video content. Go a step further and borrow a colleague’s phone to record the audio, placing it closest to whoever is speaking on camera. Use your phone to capture the visual content. This will create professional quality audio for your video. Sync the sound and visuals later using free audio software like Syncalia or Video Grabber.
Excellent audio will make your video stand out but don’t forget about the images. Use a specially designed editing app to adjust colour, lighting, framing and other visual features. And consider adding music to touch the soul of your viewers. Check out the Belgian video campaign “Push to Add Drama” for an example of how effective high quality sound and music can be.
If you don’t have a solid strategy behind your content your video will blend in with the other 5 billion videos that are posted each day! Before you start, figure out the purpose of your video. Are you educating, entertaining or a combination of the two? Instead of spending money on five average videos, find out what will connect to your target audience and make only the best, most effective video. Look into the different types of marketing videos to figure out which one is best for your business.
You can use videos as an (inexpensive) opportunity to showcase your product as well as share reviews with the world. Video testimonials are also a great way to request user generated content. Creating trust in a new brand can take time; take your business relationship to the next level faster by sharing other patrons’ positive opinions. Add text to enhance the context and emphasize key points.
You Can Vlogg!?
Since the beginning of social media marketing and YouTube, small-business owners have offered a personal perspective through ‘vlogs’. Video blogs allow you to share unique features of your products, services, special events or even create ‘buyer beware’ segments. ‘Functional Vlogs’ will make your brand stand out as trustworthy and informative. (Remember, every time you or a member of your team create a ‘vlog’, it’s one more time you don’t have to hire actors, rent studios or other equipment.) Watch a Youtube tutorial for tips on how to structure your ‘vlog’ including some interesting ‘Dos’ and Don’ts’.
Reuse, Recycle, Reduce
As an entrepreneur you probably have dozens of projects on the go every day. It’s easy to get stressed out by the idea (and cost) of continually creating fresh video content. Sticking to your video marketing budget includes utilizing your content across multiple platforms and repurposing them in ways that are slightly different than your initial post. That means you should be using your video on your website, your blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more. Adjust your video to suit different platforms while refreshing the content. Keep in mind, reiteration is one of the oldest and most effective marketing strategies around!
Video marketing your small business will not only increase your chances of reaching your target audience, it will also add value and create higher customer retention rates. Once you get into the rhythm of creating videos about your business, you will look forward to increasing the types and quantity of your posts; an excellent way to keep your digital marketing strategy energetic and in the game!
Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the apps various social platforms is ready to go.