As more people use the Internet in search of information, online video becomes increasingly important for reaching and connecting with followers, fans and customers. Video's rise in power as a marketing tool is due to its attractiveness to web surfers. By adding a smile and a friendly voice, you can build rapport with your customers faster and help them relate to your business on a more personal level.
Video connects customers on a deeper level because it covers and reaches out to different types of learning styles: the visual where people learn by reading or seeing demonstrations of a product or service and the auditory where people connect by listening to audio.
Videos also help sites show up higher on the search engines. Browsers and search engines are becoming savvier and are spending less time reading endless web pages of text. Instead, they are picking up on keywords tagged on videos appearing on sites.
As a growing business, it is important that you integrate video into your online marketing efforts. Even if you start with a basic video tip on how to best use your product or service, just get it recorded and post it to YouTube, your own website and/or blog. Although most people like humor and creativity, they also like messages that help them save time or money or makes their life easier, and that's what you can provide.
Here are seven things you need to keep in mind when creating video marketing pieces:
1. Offer value.
Every video you offer needs to include something of value for the viewer, whether it is a tip, resource or just a laugh for the day. You shouldn't record video just for the sake of having video. The following approach is an excellent way to begin your video efforts and get you comfortable with video creation and marketing. This great technique comes from trafficgeyser.com. Create the following four videos:
- Two FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). These are questions frequently asked by your customers or clients. For example, as a fitness trainer, you might record an answer to "What are the best ways to prepare for a marathon?"
- Two SAQs (Should Ask Questions). These are questions your customers or clients should be asking but aren't. This is additional valuable information that will make their lives easier or save them time or money.
2. Include a call to action.
Many businesses create great videos and yet include no call to action. If you want clients to call you or visit your site, ask them. You can also ask them to sign up for your email list or share the video with friends. If your video is focused on how your business can help your customers -- that is, what's in it for them -- then you'll have their undivided attention.
3. Tag. Use relevant keywords in the video titles and descriptions when you upload them to sites like YouTube. Search engines will find it much easier to index your video file. Make sure you include your URL within the actual video at the end of your video--use a clearly visible font at the bottom middle for better viewing and exposure. Finally, give your video file a relevant name so it will show up better in search-engine results. The file name should be understandable and relevant to what your customer is looking for. For example, if you're selling widgets, then "SmithCompanyWidgetsFAQ.mov" is better than "9077709845wdgt.mov."
4. Address objections.
Respond to any objections that have surfaced about your products or service. Videos are a great way to connect with upset customers because they can look at your face and see that you are sincere.
5. Pick a focus.
Make sure the video has the essence of your brand personality and carries a single message or story. Do not try to cover 15 things in a 60-second video. But be creative, whether you choose to create FAQ and SAQ videos, or film on-the-road footage, candid-camera laughs, bloopers, or even product demos.
6. Upload them to your site.
Make your video's visible on the home page of your website. Don't hide your marketing on some obscure page that an online customer will never find. Including a short video on your homepage can often keep visitors on your site longer. Make sure you keep your video above the fold on your site, meaning people shouldn't have to scroll down to view it.
7. Keep it short.
Videos should be short and to the point. Remember, the less people know about you, the shorter their attention span will be when watching your video. Prospective customers often know little or nothing about you; they simply want to know who you are, what you do, and most importantly, what's in it for them. So give them the message in less than two minutes.
This article is an adapted excerpt from The Social Wave: Why Your Business Is Wiping Out with Social Media and How to Fix It (Entrepreneur Press, 2011) by Starr Hall.