Lights, cameras, action! Video, the small business must-have for 2014

Lights, cameras, action! Video, the small business must-have for 2014
When it comes to using video to market your business in 2014, it’s no longer a question of whether you need video but, rather, how to get the most benefit out of video.

While businesses, big and small, are pouring small fortunes into their social media presences and blogs, video is, often, being ignored entirely.

The thing is, video is a powerful marketing tool because it is the perfect combination of sound and pictures, which human brains find far easier to decipher than, say, static text or just audio.

Video engages potential customer and it does so quickly. Think about it: A video that shows how your product works in a few seconds is always going to capture a visitor’s attention far more quickly than a page of text, which they not only have to read, but also decipher.

Humans are more inclined to believe what they see and brands that engage consumers visually through video marketing are going to get the lion’s share of their attention and, consequently, their wallets.

The beauty of video marketing for your business is that it’s so much more easier than in days gone by, largely, thanks to online video networks such as YouTube and Vimeo which not only provide the entire platform for sharing your videos, they do so for free.

Research shows that a website visitor who watches a video is more likely to make a purchase than one who does not.

You can use YouTube for business by uploading your videos to your branded YouTube (or Vimeo) channel and then implement Google’s Adwords program to maximise your video’s exposure to potential customers.

Below are some specific actions you can take to get the most out of video for your business and your YouTube marketing efforts.


Your video should be of good quality

This does not mean that must hire a production company and an Academy Award-winning director to create your videos. If you have the budget for it, great, but there are many DIY options available.

All you need is a decent camera and some affordable, relatively easy-to-use video editing software such as Corel Video Studio, Adobe Premier Elements, MoviePlus, iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. There is also an array of online

video creation tools including Animoto, Camtasia and WeVideo which can help with adding a layer of professionalism.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so the more videos you make and edit, the better you will become at it.

If you have a great concept it might be worth getting the right actor for the job. After all, if the person speaking is a bit dull and boring, few are going to stick around and watch your video all the way through.


Keep your videos short and sweet

Keep your videos short and to the point. The last thing you want is to bore viewers with painfully long diatribes. Long videos also take longer to download and can be frustrating to watch online. Try to keep it under a minute, preferably around the 30-second mark.

Use your videos across multiple channels and networks

Ensure your videos appear everywhere possible, including your own website and also on social networks, especially YouTube. For example, you can embed relevant videos on one or more of the following: your home page, product pages, blog posts and testimonial pages.

Of course, you should also upload your videos to video network sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

YouTube is the number one video site and particularly popular for How-to videos. It’s the Internet’s go-to video site, so YouTube marketing is a must when it comes to video for business.

In addition you can use videos in your Adwords programs in order to improve conversions. You can also place videos on Pinterest and Instagram for better mobile targeting.

Your videos must be relevant and complement your content

If you link to your video from a product page then ensure that video is relevant and about your product rather than a generic About As video. You can put an About Us video on your home page or your About Us page.

Your video should not replace written text (as you’ll lose the SEO benefits) but, rather, it should add value to what’s already written there for those who prefer to read content, or read the content before clicking ‘Play’.

So, use both and give visitors to your site the option to read or watch, or do both. You should use a video where it complements your written text. Great video topics include product demonstrations, instructional tutorials, testimonials and how to guides.

If you’re stumped for content, why not create a simple ‘Meet the team’ video to show visitors that there are humans behind the product or services you’re offering?

Use video links in email and newsletters

Don’t just let your videos sit there gathering digital dust. Send out the links to relevant video content whenever you have an email going out, be it a newsletter or a straight-up marketing email. You’d be amazed at how many times people will watch the video and, not only does it help inform your customers, it allows you to control what they see and how they see it, but it also engages them with your business.

Use email gates for lead-capture and list-building

If you’ve got something particularly useful to offer via video, use the opportunity to build your all-important email subscriber list. If it is, say, a free how-to video that provides value, ask visitors to enter an email address before granting them access to high-value videos.

You’ll get to build your email list and, therefore, your potential customer base.

Video SEO

Uploading your video to YouTube and other video network sites is just one step in the video marketing process. You need to apply video SEO tactics to improve your video search and rank results.

Ranking a video is often easier than ranking your web page.

In particular you need to do the following:

· Upload your video to an appropriate channel

· Tag your video with the correct keywords

· Upload a text transcript of your video

Search engines cannot ‘read’ or watch your videos, but that can read and index your tags and transcripts so don’t just whack in any old caption or, worse still, no caption. Use keywords.

Use analytics to track the performance of your videos

You need to measure the impact your YouTube marketing is having. Be sure to regularly peruse your video analytics to get better insights as to the performance of your videos. Don’t forget that knowing what is working is as important as knowing what is not working.

Video conferencing

The use of video in a business is not limited merely to marketing and showcasing your products and services to outsiders. You can use video to benefit your employees, your bottom line and, even, the environment.

You can use video conferencing, which is freely available via Skype or Google Plus, to reduce travel time and expenses. When you reduce your travel time, you also reduce your company’s carbon footprint, thereby helping the environment.

You may also have staff members that need to spend more time at home or who prefer telecommuting. In today’s connected world, you may well wish to use the services of an international freelancer and video conferencing is the next best thing to a personal face to face meeting.

In a world where consumers want things, especially information, instantly, video is crucial for marketing a business. As you’ve seen above, the great news is that, thanks to YouTube marketing in particular, it’s not nearly as scary or expensive as it may seem.

 

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