You probably have a ton of numbers, facts, figures, and ideas bouncing around your head right now. Let’s talk about what to do with all of this information.
First off, get excited. As I mentioned in Part 1 we are in a very unique time in marketing, particularly with video as an available tool. There are not many limitations as to how you can utilize video in your marketing plan–seek to take advantage of that.
Secondly, don’t get excited in the wrong way. Let me be frank for a moment: your video will not go viral. Don’t put the cart before the horse and start off with the notion that you’re going to create a viral video. It doesn’t happen like that. This doesn’t mean you can’t make an incredible video, in fact, knowing this can truly help you out. You are focusing on marketing your product or service to a specific audience, not gaining worldwide brand recognition. If your only goal is to create a viral video then you’ve come to the wrong place. Getting 50,000 video views won’t give you anything other than bragging rights. Views alone will not sell anything. Video probably isn’t what you’re selling anyway, rather, it is a tool to help you do this. Repeat after me: “My goal is not to make a viral video, my goal is to market my product with video.” There. Now that the tough-love portion of this post is done, we can move on to the cool stuff.
Let’s start with the basics. There are a couple competing notions about video pricing in our industry. One, from those seeking to utilize the power of video as a marketing tool, is that videos should be cheap. The other, from those of us who produce videos, is that videos cost a considerable amount of money to make. The truth is both sides are right. As much as I’d love everyone to have the budget to spend on creating a $10,000 video, the current marketplace doesn’t necessitate that. You can create a stellar marketing campaign with nothing more than a mobile phone that shoots video (however, if you have $10,000 to spend, please contact me immediately). That being said, there is a reason that great video costs what it does. The time, experience, equipment, money, and effort that go into creating high-end videos is immense, and as such the price of those videos reflects that.
There’s an old adage in the creative circles that goes something like this: “Good, cheap, fast. Pick any two”. This means that if a video needs to be cheap then it either won’t be good, or it won’t be done quickly. If you need a good video done soon it isn’t going to be cheap, and so on and so forth. Do you need a great video? Maybe, maybe not. Do you need it quickly? If so you’ll have to sacrifice cost or quality. These sort of questions can only be answered by you on a project-by-project basis, and the answers to those questions will help determine how to approach your video.
So what kinds of video can you do? When most of us think of marketing with video we picture commercials that air on local (and in some cases, regional) TV networks. However, with the Internet at our fingertips and the convergence of so many other forms of media, television commercials only represent a small piece of the pie that we have access to. One of the biggest things right now is promoting your brand on your website with a video. Having a website is a necessity for any business, and a great way to include a video on it (which, as you might remember, helps your search rankings) is to have a simple company profile video. Videos such as these showcase (profile) your business (company).
These should be short documentaries on your organization–basically giving viewers a
candid look behind-the-scenes. Company profile videos allow for some transparency within your organization, giving your audience the notion that you have nothing to hide (obviously you shouldn’t hide anything, but you know what I mean). They also humanize your brand–you put a face to the name and immediately viewers begin to relate to you. You’ve just become friends with your customers.
Does your business provide a service of some kind? Consider offering a series of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) or How-To videos. These style of videos are hugely popular right now, and not only market your brand, but give you the opportunity to become an information hub for your industry. Let’s say you run a bike repair shop: you could produce a weekly video on how to do minor tune ups like fixing a flat, changing a tire, taping your handlebars, installing new brakes, and so on. As viewers begin to see you as the subject matter expert, they’ll more than likely seek you out when they need help with other related services or upgrades. Additionally, you could tell new customers buying gear related to a video you’ve produced that they can find how-to and DIY videos on your website. Instead of an immediate upsell, you’ve gone for a longer term relationship that will pay off over time. Metaphorically speaking you’ve just shown your customers how to fish and cemented your place as a mentor in this area.
Another popular style of videos right now that would work particularly well if you sell a sleek, sexy product, are unboxing videos. These are insanely popular among the techy crowds and gamer circles. These are customers shooting point-of-view (POV) videos of themselves unboxing new products. Many of these are the early adopters of products such as the latest iPhone, new gaming consoles, highest pixel TV sets, and so forth. Unboxing videos require a very specific niche of products and customers, but can be instrumental in creating hype for your products and among your fans. The best part about these videos is that they’re ‘free’ to you since you don’t actually produce any content. If you’re in the market and think unboxing videos might help, find unique ways of getting this started by offering long-term customers or industry bloggers a chance to test the product out ahead of time, or by offering small discounts on future purchases for creating a video.
Similar to unboxing videos are review videos. These are done by customers (those who typically do these videos run blogs or similar sites) and show viewers the ins and outs of using your gear. If you make tools for example, a review video would be an industry professional putting one of your products through rigorous testing and then giving viewers the dirt on what worked well, what went wrong, etc. If you sell a great product these are basically free press-kits for you, they also provide valuable feedback on your product through a consumer’s point-of-view.
Next up we have product demos. When I worked at a B2B company I shot literally hundreds of these for our clients. They’d bring in their latest Widget and showcase it on camera. Very similar to review videos, but without any negative remarks. These are done with you as the gatekeeper, so you can focus the video however you’d like. They can then be put on your website and give viewers some insight as to how the product works. Product demos are a great way to sell those potential customers who are on the fence about it and need a reason to spend their money on your awesome product.
If you have a fan base already, something like a behind-the-scenes video can be a big hit among them. Giving clients or customers an inside look that they might not normally get from a standard company profile video can go a long way. Additionally, videos such as these can be a great way to humanize your company and show audiences your character. Think about doing a funny behind-the-scenes video next Christmas to send to all of your clients. Include some bloopers and other funny things in addition to a heartfelt thank you to really hit it home.
Another format to consider is that of the webisode. These are usually on the higher end as far as resources go, but can be the best way to grow and maintain a massive audience. Webisodes can cover a wide variety of topics: industry insights, how-to segments, guest interviews, product reviews, product news, behind-the-scenes videos, and a whole bunch of others (really the sky’s the limit on what you can include here). If you’re thinking about doing a webisode, keep in mind that continuity is key–don’t switch hosts every week, or change sets and graphics–make some decisions and stick with them so your audience isn’t confused by your whimsical change of scenery each week. Additionally, ask for viewer participation–at the end of each episode ask them what they’d like to see covered next time, or invite them to comment on the video. Give them the platform to have a voice in this as well.
If you’re leery about trying a webisode, give yourself X amount of episodes to do and consider that a ‘season’. Do 5 episodes and see how it works out (one of the nice things about webisodes is that you can record a few at a time and then edit and release them for the next few weeks, cutting down on your weekly production time). Once your season is over take a look at it with some analytics. Did your audience grow at all during that time? How did you market it through social media? Did you include your audience at all? Did anyone share the episodes? What segments were popular or unpopular? Was it too long? Too short? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself if taking on something like this. Once you have some answers begin crafting your next season.
In closing, video is an absolutely necessary tool in today’s marketplace. If you have a website, you need a video, simple as that. I hope that I’ve covered enough to get you started on your path down video marketing. That being said there aren’t enough pages to include everything you need to know about this sort of thing, but luckily, once you get started I guarantee that you’ll learn very quickly. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me regarding any projects or thoughts you might have regarding video marketing. I live for this stuff, so even if you need someone to simply consult with or bounce ideas off of, I’m happy to help as much as I can. I look forward to seeing you all later this week!