When I started in marketing 15 years ago, television ads were the gold standard for advertising. We’d spend months developing ideas, writing storyboards, hiring actors and picking locations. If we did our job well, those months of work would result in an engaging and effective 30 second TV spot and a significant drop in our marketing budgets.
Fast forward to today, where a stay-at-home mum can film a 4 min clip of her laughing in a Chewbacca mask and reach more than 160 million people (selling a LOT of Chewbacca masks in the process). The marketing world is *not* the same.
It is safe to say that the rise of social media and smart phones has fundamentally changed the way video is made and consumed. As larger numbers of people shift to ad-free subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Video, the effectiveness of traditional, high-value television ads is going down. It is being replaced by videos shared on social media.
A recent study by market research firm GfK found that video ads on Facebook increase the viewer’s likelihood to purchase by 25%, compared to a 20% increase after seeing a traditional television ad. When you combine the increase in effectiveness with the much lower cost of entry, Facebook video ads showed a return on investment that was 4.4 times better than the TV ads.
So what does all of this mean for your small business? You don’t need a multi-million pound marketing budget to use video to promote your business. If you’ve got a decent camera and a good idea, you’re ready to go.
Here are some tips to help you get started using video to promote your business:
One of the least expensive and quickest ways to get started with videos is to use Facebook’s Live option. Simply open the Facebook Pages app on your mobile device, click to start a new post and select Live video from the options. You’ll get a countdown to let you know exactly when the filming starts.
Your followers will be able to interact with you in real time, as well as being able to view the video on your page later. To make your Live video a success, pick a time of day when your followers are online, promote the event in advance and come up with a list of talking points to keep you focused. If you need an idea for your video, why not use the Livemap to see what other people nearby are doing.
Use an app
You don’t need a fancy video-editing package to put together a professional looking video. You can use online apps like Magisto or Adobe Spark, or use standard computer software like iMovie. Choose from pre-set themes, upload video or images, add in your text and your video will be ready in no time.
Focus on the content
One of the best parts of online videos is the freedom to make them as long as you want. Equally, one of the worst parts of online video is the lack of hard constraints on timing. Keep in mind that while you might be happy to talk about your product for an hour, your audience probably doesn’t feel the same.
Focus on the content of your videos – pick one key message and find the shortest, most straightforward way possible to communicate it. A great example of this is the Tasty recipe videos. They condense a 15 min prep time down to 30 seconds by skipping over the tedious steps, but still give you enough information that you can execute the recipe on your own. It seems like magic, but in truth, it’s just good planning.
Put your customer at the centre
Reaching all of your followers would be good. Having them turn around and share your video with everyone they know would be much better. So how do you get them to start sharing? Simple: make the needs and interests of the audience the centre point of your video. Think of it as the difference between talking about the fancy new window display at a shop versus talking about the items that are actually on display. The customer doesn’t care that the owner spent £500 on shelving, but they do care about the new boots that are sitting on them.
Here are some quick video ideas to get you started:
- Industry trends – what’s coming that will impact your customers?
- Insider tips – share your knowledge to make them smarter consumers
- Your product in action – address the most frequently asked questions about your product
- Customer case studies – let someone else tell the world how great you are
- Behind the scenes – humanise your business by showing the people and processes behind it
- Tell a story (funny, inspiring, timely)
Upload, promote and share
Once you’ve made your video, don’t stick it on your YouTube channel and call it a day. Upload it directly to all of your relevant social channels and put a small budget behind promoting the posts to help ensure maximum reach. Don’t forget to embed it on your website and company blog, too!
Make sure you include a call to action within the posts, whether that is leaving a comment, clicking through to your site or sharing with a friend. Don’t leave the viewer guessing about what they should do next!
What are you waiting for?
Video is quickly taking over social channels, and according to insiders the trend is going to continue to grow. With so many no cost and low cost solutions available, there’s no reason why small business owners can’t make the trend work in their favour. Grab a pen and paper and your smartphone and get to work on your first. Once it is live, share it with us in the comments.