By Megan Ritter
Video plays a much larger role in small business marketing than ever before. The visual power of videos let small business owners convey messages much faster than they can through written content. We put together a step-by-step guide to help you start integrating videos into your marketing plan. But first, let’s take a closer look at the power of video on the Web.
The Power of Video
YouTube is the second most viewed website in the world. Take a second to let that sink in. More people visit a site solely dedicated to videos than they do news outlets and social media sites. Don’t worry though, news clips rank in the top 100 most-viewed videos, so at least people learn about current affairs between cat videos.
Other popular video venues include Vimeo and Instagram. Vimeo is great for creative/design companies since it’s a bit more attractive than YouTube (sorry YT, but you know it’s true). And while Instagram might trail the others, its mobile friendliness makes it quite popular. Plus its filter options make you look like you still have a summer tan in the dead of winter.
The visual power of video is undeniable. Consider this short video from Mama’s Sauce, a "gourmet print and design shop." It shows how they cut a stack of paper. Reading about something as mundane as cutting reams of paper is boring. Watching it is more interesting.
Online videos tend to be short and sweet, but Vine offers even shorter and sweeter videos. Six seconds is all it takes to hook an audience, just look at GE's fun science-project themed videos and tell me you wouldn’t watch that all day.
Be a Small Business Video-Marketing Maven
How do you capitalize on the amazing power of video? Here’s our four-step guide to help you start accessing this visually addicted audience.
1. Find your target audience
Find your niche audience instead of trying to appeal to everyone. Start by looking at your content analytics. What do visitors to your website look at the most? What do they share with friends? What do they make themselves? It’s OK to have a few niche audiences, as long as they're focused.
2. Determine which video site they use the most
Research which video site best suits your company since they all offer slightly different options. Then, create a company account with a custom logo. Follow influential fans and comment on their original content. Get involved in the social community (it’ll help you with step three).
3. Assess your customers' cares and concerns
By now you’ve submersed yourself into your customers' lives, and you can probably pinpoint their likes and dislikes. Fine tune this list and pay specific attention to both their passions and their concerns. Make two lists: one for key topics on your website that generate the most hits, and one for the topics they ignore.
4. Create videos for the specific social site, and address the target audiences’ interests
Here’s what we mean: create engaging content that addresses the interests of the target audience. Strike a chord with your viewers in the first five seconds. This may sound impossible, but if you're truly in touch with your viewers' concerns (i.e. step #3), then this will be easier than you think. And don’t forget: make your video mobile-friendly.
Final Tip: Avoid the Hard Sell
A hard sell reverses all your effort and turns your audience against you. Well, not literally. We're not talking mobs and pitchforks. We mean the modern-day equivalent: angry tweets and hashtags. Still, that can feel pretty bad, so do everything to avoid this.
Video marketing is a powerful tool. It’s still the same message, just in a different format, which can be overwhelming at first. Walk through each step at your own pace until you can comfortably make video content, and then you’ll look like a pro.
Megan Ritter is a business journalist with a background in media marketing. She has written about start-ups, communications, and business technology. Follow her on Twitter.
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