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5 Steps to a Successful Video Marketing Strategy for Small Business

May 12, 2016

Even if you’re a marketing novice, you probably know that video is the hottest thing in marketing right now. Forbes magazine deemed 2016 ‘The Year of Video Marketing’  and the trend shows no sign of slowing any time soon. Consumers are turning to videos to get more information faster, and to learn about new products before they buy. When it comes to influencer marketing, there is a whole industry of YouTube celebrities on videos who have made careers (and lots of money) by endorsing products.

Are you trying to add video to your small business marketing toolkit?  Follow these steps to get started.

1. Ready, Set… Get Tech

It can be easy to think you need to hire a high end agency to produce your marketing video, but the fact of the matter is you hold a lot of power in your hand already –  we’re talking about your cell phone. Modern day smart phones are more than capable of shooting high quality video, so you don’t necessarily need to buy an expensive camera.

Lighting and acoustics, however, are very important. If you’re shooting at a location with bad lighting, consider investing about $50 in a basic lighting kit from Amazon. You’ll be thankful that you did.

2. Identify an editing software

If you’re looking to produce an award winning docu-series about entrepreneurship like Hiscox’s Courageous Leaders,  you may want to hire an A-list agency. On the other hand, if you’re just trying to introduce your product (or yourself), there are a number of resources that can help you produce and edit high quality video by yourself. Companies like Magisto and Animoto are equipping small business owners with easy to use templates and themes that can enable you to shoot and edit clips into an engaging video. Many of these web-based editing software are free or semi-free, so they won’t break the bank.

Also, keep in mind that Youtube has come a long way in the past several years and has its own native video editing software.

3. Consider  Your Content

Now it’s time to think about content. What type of video are you going to produce?

By now, you’ve probably already assessed the target demographic for your product, but when it comes to video you’re going to have to dive a bit deeper. What is going to make them keep watching past the first few seconds or minutes?  The only way to keep your clients engaged with your video is to produce something that adds value to their life. For example, if you’re a personal trainer you might give a demonstration of the latest workout technique to get washboard abs. Or, if you’re an IT professional it might be an interview with a hacker that informs your audience how to prevent cyber breaches. Be creative, snappy, and make sure to include a call to action at the end of the video so customers know where they get more information or purchase your product.

4. Start with a script

Many people, especially business owners and salespeople, think they can talk off-the-cuff in a video. But no matter how many times you’ve made that sales pitch or described how to use your product, you need a script. You don’t have to read from it, but you should memorize it. This will help you to avoid long pauses and annoying ‘ums’ and ‘ahs.’ It also ensures you don’t forget an important point.

You have a very short time to engage the viewer in your video—maybe ten seconds or so. If you don’t grab them in those first few seconds, they’ll click elsewhere. Be enthusiastic but not manic, and start out with something that will make people want to hear more.

When someone watches your video, they should know what to do next. It may be, ‘Visit our website,’ ‘Call us at…’ or ‘Come see us at..’

5. Promote, Promote, Promote

Now that you’ve created your video, how do you get people to see it? It works the same way as generating traffic to your blog. When you write a blog post, you load it up with all those wonderful keywords that your clients are searching for, you add links to other popular sites, and then you promote it through your social media channels. Video works in much the same way.

In fact, just as you optimize your blog posts and web site for search engines, you can also optimize your videos. VSEO, or video search engine optimization, determines how your video ranks when people search on YouTube, for example. Make sure you use appropriate search terms and tags when posting your videos to get that all-important placement on Google.

Post your video on YouTube, first and foremost. Then put it on your website and your company Facebook page. Tweet about it and include the link. You can even put it on your LinkedIn profile. (You’ll need to use Slideshare. Look for directions in—you guessed it—a video on YouTube.)

Just remember that when you post a video on social media, it’s ‘shelf life’ is only as long as any other post, so after a few days (or even a few hours) it will start to get crowded out by newer posts. This means you’ll need to continually provide new video content. Now that you know how to do it, it’ll be a breeze!

How do you use video to market your small business? Tell us in the comments below.