With the rise of YouTube, Vimeo, and Vine, video content has become one of the most effective ways to reach and engage customers. In fact, a recent report found that 69% of marketers plan on increasing their YouTube efforts—as they should since YouTube has more than 1 billion unique visitors each month.
Videos are not only shared up to 12 times more than text, they also provide an opportunity to communicate brand messages in a more engaging way than standard content.
If you are making your first foray into the world of video content, you might want to browse a guide to YouTube for small businesses, there are a range of resources online to help you get started. Once you understand how it works, a good video can help you achieve the following:
- Generate sales
- Create opportunities for inbound leads
- Build brand awareness or personality
- Educate your target market
- Demonstrate a new product or service
Producing video content does not need to break the bank. Of course you can create budget busting productions if you have the funds, but you can also get great results creating video using a smart phone or webcam on your computer, so it’s ideal for start-ups too. But before you start buying cameras and equipment, you first need to think about the type of video that will work best for your business.
Tutorial or ‘how-to’ videos enable customers to get the best from your product or service by literally showing them how to use it. Suitable for basic and more complex topics, your video should break down a process into more manageable stages. Viewers can follow the video at their own pace in the comfort of their own home and revisit sections they may find challenging.
Not only does this kind of content provide an invaluable resource for customers wanting to learn how to use or do something, they are also great in promoting your brand authority in your field and building trust. For example, if you run an interior design company you might want to create a video about how to make a small room look more spacious. Alternatively you could invite customers to record and share their top tips on how to get the best results from your product.
For maximum impact, keep your video less than five minutes, avoid overt branding or sales messages, and ensure the content is genuinely informative. Write a script in advance to help prevent inaccurate or confusing narration and ensure you have all the products, information, or ‘before and after’ images required to show the process from beginning to end.
Creating a video that tells a story about your brand, product, service or the world in which you operate will help you connect with customers’ emotions. They won’t just view your video; they will laugh at it, cry about it, think about it, and even debate it with friends. You could create a completely fictional tale or work with a real customer testimonial, telling the story of a problem they were able to solve using your service. The more engaged your customers are in your story, the more likely they are to share your video content among their own networks.
Creative storytelling doesn’t have to be expensive. Once you have your story mapped out, and a script drafted, you can pick up stock video footage to add a quality feel to an amateur production. If you have the budget, there are also professional companies out there who can help you produce something akin to a mini-movie.
Keep in mind that your story should have key characters, an entertaining plot and an appealing setting if you want to promote sharing.
Thought Leadership Videos
Thought leadership video content is all about reinforcing your unique selling point. Whether you showcase an individual expert or an entire business approach, your content should help educate, shape ideas, or change perceptions within your area of expertise.
As with other types of video marketing, it is important to avoid trying to sell anything through thought leadership. Demonstrate your expertise and credibility by delivering meaningful content and your viewers will soon become buyers.
The most effective thought leadership videos are focused on one idea or subject, targeted to specific audiences, and leave viewers feeling like they’ve learned something new that enhances their own knowledge or practice. Viewers won’t expect you to deliver powerful thought leadership in short clips, so if you decide to create this kind of content feel free to spend longer delivering your messages – up to 10 minutes if necessary.
Depending on your in-house talents or ability to buy in external help, you can have lots of fun with style. Animation, behind the scenes, fly-on-the-wall, interviews, and event based videos can all give a creative slant that will help give your video the edge. Tone of voice is important, so take time to decide whether you want to come across as professional, innovative, fun, technical, contemporary, or traditional and ensure it’s in line with your visuals.
Whichever approach you decide to take, stay true to your core brand values and you won’t go far wrong.
*This has been a guest post by Brittany Klontz – she would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!