SBOC Team on Oct 21, 2011 9:07:25 AM
Social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube, can be a viable platform to reach your targeted audiences. Companies – large and small – that aren’t creating and sharing digital content are missing an opportunity to communicate and build relationships with a mass consumer market.
You may want to consider adding video content to your social media marketing strategy as another way to capitalize on these opportunities. Video marketing does not necessarily require expensive equipment and high-production values. With affordable video cameras and easy-to-use software, video has become accessible for small businesses.
The number people who watch online videos is staggering – most web users watch 186 videos a month, according to digital marketing research firm comScore. Posting your video on YouTube will give you access to the channel’s 20 million monthly visitors.
Once you decide it’s worthwhile to create a marketing video, you must then determine what you will be filming. The following are some examples of how you might use video to promote your small business:
Product Demonstrations: These are short, demonstrational videos about how to use your product or how it might fit into a viewer’s lifestyle. They can be very effective in capturing customer attention for your company’s website and these types of videos are appealing because they are often easier to follow than a printed manual. Budget permitting, you can hire professional talent, but you don’t have to.
How-To Videos: Showing your customers how to do something new without directly promoting your product or service is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. For example, a hair salon can create videos about how to create simple up dos and a kitchen appliance company can give cooking demonstrations. If you post your how-to video on YouTube, be sure to use strategic key words, so your video can be found by customers who might be interested in your product. Also, do not forget to display your web address prominently on the video page in order to drive business back to your site.
Viral Marketing: Equip select, responsible customers with inexpensive video cameras and ask them to submit videos of themselves using your product in amusing ways. This type of word-of-mouth marketing is cost effective and can be more compelling to potential customers than a paid advertisement.
Here are some considerations to bear in mind if you’re considering using online video as part of your marketing mix:
Typically, online videos should be between 30 seconds to three minutes long and should encompass two or three message points.
Using an inexpensive camera with 320 x 400 pixels will work fine, particularly if you plan to post your video on YouTube.
Editing can be done with simple do-it-yourself software such as iMovie, Avid, Adobe Premiere, and Final Cut Pro. Distribution can be handled through services like Ooyala and Wistia.
In addition to YouTube, investigate video hosting services like DailyMotion, MetaCafe, Vidler, and Vimeo or social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
When uploading videos, it’s best to adhere to a regular broadcast schedule – whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly – so your customers know what to expect.
If you want to quantify the impact of your video campaign, invest in analytics tools that allow you to see whether customers view the full video or only watch the first 30 seconds of it.
Online videos are easy and inexpensive tools for small business owners. So, don’t be shy; grab your video camera and show what your company is all about.