It will probably come as no surprise to you that the consumption of online video has been soaring rapidly as of late, what with the popularity of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and the recent introduction of “Live broadcasting” services on social media platforms likes Facebook. But many small business owners are failing to realise that leveraging video content as part of their marketing strategy is fast becoming essential if they want to stay competitive in their marketplace.
In 2015 online video overtook social media usage as the number one online activity in terms of average time spent per user per day. Statistically, users are now spending an average of 1:55 per day consuming online video, versus only 1:44 on social networks (source: emarketer.com). This is a hugely important message to consider when planning your marketing activity, and it emphasises the importance of ensuring video plays a key role.
Video content can be used in large a number of ways, and just knowing where to start may seem a little confusing at first. But in reality it’s possible to get started pretty quickly and at little or no cost.
Decide Where to Start
There is no right or wrong answer here, but a good place to start for many businesses is with what is called an “explainer video”. In this context I’m talking about a short video, normally no more than 2 minutes long, which explains what your business does. A bit like an elevator pitch, but in video form. An explainer video done well can be incredibly powerful. Dropbox are a great example of this. They used a landing page containing only a 2 minute explainer video and a download button to grow their user base from 0 to 100 Million users in the space of 5 years.
The reason these kind of videos work so well is simple; a short video can convey much more than just words alone. In fact there is a popular reference originating from Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, which says a one minute video is worth 1.8 million words. While in reality it’s very difficult to quantify how accurate this is, the important point here is that our brains are designed to consume visual content, and as such we are naturally very receptive to it.
What Equipment do I Need?
A lot of people tend to use not having any video recording equipment as an excuse to put off creating video content. But in reality, if you have a smart phone and a laptop you have everything you need to get started. It’s very easy to film something that is good enough quality for use on the internet using the in-built camera on your phone and some free video editing software (there are plenty of options available to download, just do a quick Google search). Alternatively you could get an animated one created for you very cheaply using sites like Fiverr or PeoplePerHour. You don’t need to spend lots of money on buying an expensive camera and professional editing software in order to get yourself started.
If you do decide down the line that you want to invest in proper equipment, there are plenty of affordable options. Going into detail about choosing the right equipment is a bit outside the scope of this article, but it’s possible to achieve professional looking results from an entry level DSLR camera with a reasonable quality second hand lens on it.
Keep the Content Coming
Once you’ve moved past creating a core explainer video for your website, producing regular videos and sharing them via social media is a great way to keep customers engaged with your brand. One way you can approach this is to create a series of short, regular, informational videos about whatever your specialist area is. For example, if you’re an accountant, you could do a weekly one minute video giving tips on ways to save money on your tax bill.
Like with all content, the best strategy is (in my opinion) little and often. If you keep drip feeding good content, you keep things fresh for your audience and you don’t have to devote large chunks of time all at once to producing it. I generally find it’s much easier to find a few minutes once a week, than it is to find an hour or more once a month.
Make sure you share it
This may sound like a very obvious point, but it’s worth making because it’s so important. You can produce the best content in the world, but if no one sees it, you’re wasting your time. Don’t just stick it on your website, or leave it on your YouTube channel hoping people will just stumble over it and watch it. Share it and promote it everywhere you can. Post it on your Facebook account, tweet it, blog about it, email a link to your mailing list. You can even approach influencers in your industry and ask them if they will share it. The more people that see your content the better.
Originally posted on UK Business Forums