Using Video in Marketing
Video marketing can be used in so many ways today, far beyond the traditional TV ad – in your website, on social media and in your physical location. In fact, video is one of the hottest trends in marketing today, and social media is driving it. Every year, more than 100 million hours of video is watched on Facebook and 500 million hours on YouTube.
The reason is simple: video is effective at driving sales. Conversion rates of 80% have been reported with video-based messaging and a full 74% of customers who view an “explainer” video subsequently purchase the product or service.
Video has been shown to create higher levels of engagement than any other form of marketing. When you can engage a customer and create a stronger emotional connection, you're more likely to make the sale. Plus, social media provides the opportunity for your customer to share your video – and as we all know, there's no more convincing form of marketing than word-of-mouth. In fact, video generates 1,200% more shares than text and image-based content combined. And it just keeps growing – video consumption increases by 100% annually.
Types of videos
There are a wide range of types of videos that could benefit your business. Some of the most common types include:
• :30 or shorter spots: The classic form of video is a 30-second television spot suitable for paid placement on broadcast or cable television (but you can and should use it in other places, too). Typically these include a very clear call to action: buy, call, stop in, go to www.myproduct.com, etc. Shorter spots have the same goals, and paid placements are common in front of online content, either on YouTube or streaming services like Roku. Shorter spots are more likely to be viewed in their entirety on social media.
• Product videos: This type of video shows how a product looks or works. For example, the online shoe retailer Zappos includes a video for all their products, allowing potential customers to see the shoes from all angles and get lots of details about them – an effective way of overcoming the obvious limitation of shopping for shoes online, that customers cannot see and try on the shoes in person.
• How-tos: A how-to video shows a customer how to do something – anything from creative ways to tie scarves to how to use a product or service. These videos are typically a softer sell, demonstrating how a product is used (and how awesome it is) rather than trying to convince them to buy now.
• Education/training: These videos are related to how-to videos, but are longer and more formal, and sometimes intended for employees.
• Testimonials: A video in which a satisfied customer explains why they like your product or service is a high-impact, low-budget form of video that can be highly effective in making sales.
Videos generally include people, and people like watching other people – so when you use video in marketing, it helps build trust and customer goodwill.Bear in mind that it's possible to use the same video in more than one place, and you can re-edit videos for different purposes. If you make a lot of videos, you will soon begin to develop a video library with intros and outros, and footage that can be used for various projects – and you should structure your video shoots so that you get footage not only for the current project, but for future projects as well.
Where to distribute videos
Once you have all this great content, how do you get it out there? There are a variety of ways to do it:
- Broadcast: Network or cable television are the classic ways to broadcast your video spot, most commonly :30 long. It's also possible to buy video advertising on streaming services like Roku – the advantage is that viewers cannot DVR past them.
- Facebook: Be sure to upload your video directly to your Facebook Page, rather than posting a link to YouTube. Facebook competes with YouTube, and will give lower visibility to YouTube links because it wants people to stay on its platform. Remember that many people watch video on social media without sound, but fortunately Facebook gives you the option to include captioning. You can do paid placement on any form of social media as well.
- YouTube: Uploading your videos to YouTube allows you to easily embed them on your website, and you can also place paid video ads that air before content the customer is searching for.
- Monitors at your place of business: Installing monitor systems can be an effective way to sell products and services to your existing customer base (these videos tend to be without sound for obvious reasons). Cloud-based systems can run the same or customized video programs in multiple locations.
- E-newsletter: Use your e-newsletter to direct your customers to your videos on your website.
Bear in mind that it's possible to use the same video in more than one place, and you can re-edit videos for different purposes. If you make a lot of videos, you will soon begin to develop a video library with intros and outros, and footage that can be used for various projects – and you should structure your video shoots so that you get footage not only for the current project, but for future projects as well.
How to create a video
So, we've talked a good bit about why video is effective. Now, we'll discuss how to do it. Think about how you're going to use your video, and what story you want to tell. Who's your audience? What do you want them to do after having watched the video?
Once you're clear on those questions, you can create a storyboard for your video, and begin gathering the assets you'll need – like still photos, potential locations, and other props.
To create a quality video, you'll need a camera, microphone, tripod or gimbal stabilizer, good lighting, and video editing software. Some of the more affordable software packages include Adobe Premiere Elements, Corel VideoStudio Ultimate, or CyberLink PowerDirector. A more expensive option is Apple Final Cut Pro X.
Think about the composition of your shots, and ways to creatively frame them. You're not trying to be the next Stanley Kubrick, but the angles of your shots, the backgrounds you choose, and basic photography composition rules can make a huge difference in the quality and professionalism of your finished product. (For more about composition, visit Prime Design Solutions' Learning Center article on the topic https://www.primedesignsolutions.com/learning-center/how-to-take-better-photos-for-social-media/ ).
If you don't have access to quality equipment or don't want to produce a video yourself, you can hire a firm to make one for you. Before you make the investment, however, be sure you know what your goal is for your video, and how you want to use it. Credible firms will help you set realistic goals for your video, and help you get the most for your money.