iStock_000048367300_Small - women watching video Successful small businesses know that an online marketing strategy is essential. While social media messaging and optimized web content are best practices, video marketing are fast becoming an important element to marketing success.

Why Video Is Important

Over 4 billion YouTube videos are viewed every day. 1 billion of these views are achieved through mobile technology. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Vine has over 100 million views per month, and Vimeo has over 148 million. Now more than ever, users are seeking videos on everything from entertainment to DIY projects to enrich their experience of the world.

According to Cisco, over 69% of online consumer traffic will occur via video by 2017. Almost every person has a personal selection of online videos that they show their friends and family. It is the next frontier in word-of-mouth marketing, and it is expected only to grow in popularity.

It is also important to note that because of their ease of use and entertainment value, videos are more likely to keep visitors on web pages longer. If visitors enjoyed the video, they might even watch it again. And the longer they stay on your page, the more likely they are to explore it.

By adding video to your small business marketing strategy, you can tap into this enormous market.

Here are some tips for bringing video into your content marketing.

Study Your Competition

You can begin your video discovery by analyzing your competition. Find your competitions channels on YouTube and watch some of their videos. Pay attention to their message and write down what you like and dislike about the content.

Potential questions to ask your team include:

• Who does this appeal to? Why?
• What is the purpose of this video? Educational? Funny?
• Is it too “salesy”? What is being promoted?
• How much traffic (views) has this video received?
• What videos are “recommended” afterwards?

By answering these questions, you should be able to gain an understanding of the general marketing purpose of the video. Then, use this information as a guideline for understanding what you might create for your own.

Don’t restrict your research to competitors. Find other companies you think are doing it right and analyze their video content too.

Creating Videos

Online videos are captured and uploaded in a variety of ways, including from mobile phones, computers, SLR cameras and professional video equipment. While many of the most followed accounts on YouTube utilize professional digital shooting equipment, there are plenty of popular users who only use only their iPhone’s video capabilities.

You may think that it’s too expensive to invest in quality video production equipment, but these costs have fallen in recent years making quality equipment more affordable. With an abundance of affordable applications to edit videos and a good digital shooting system, virtually anyone can produce an interesting and informative video.

The topic of equipment is important because you want the quality of your video to reflect your brand. If you want to exude a polished and professional reputation, you will want to make sure video and audio quality are maximized. If clear and crisp videos represent your brand, research lighting and sound adjustments, so your videos do not appear dark and quiet.

Quality equipment is not the only concern when thinking about quality. On-camera individuals should reflect your business image. That may be casual and outdoors or well dressed and in an office location.

Spend time planning your video shoot and you will be rewarded with much better content and much easier editing. Identify the message you want to communicate and how best to deliver the message.

While some businesses will be more comfortable with off-the-cuff interaction, some amount of scripting or prompts will help the dialog stay focused.

Plan Your Content

Your small business does not need to create a high volume of videos to support your overall online strategy. The idea is for videos to reinforce your overall online presence. When creating your first videos keep the focus on creating something informative, educational, and reflective of your brand.

Here are some ideas:

• Satisfied customer interviews
• Featured employee interviews
• Advice about services
• How-to videos
• Behind-the-scenes videos
• Seasonal greetings

Choosing a Video Site

You should not limit yourself to one video site, but it is wise to choose one site as an anchor. YouTube is an ideal spot for many businesses because it is the video system most tightly integrated with Google.

YouTube’s setup allows extensive linking opportunities, automatic playback of branded content, and profiles can be used to further develop an online personality.

Length is Important

If you’ve ever been in Toastmasters or an acting class, you know the importance of grabbing an audience’s attention right away. The same principle applies to online videos. Research reports estimate that viewers will decide to stay and watch the video or leave within 10 seconds of pressing play.

Also, most Internet users tend to prefer videos that are short and informative. The 2-minute mark is most popular. If you need more time than that to achieve your goal, try to cap content at 5 minutes.

Remember—you can always edit. Editing software is extremely useful and can help you add multimedia features like music, sound effects and scrolling text.

Practice Makes Perfect

At first you may feel uncomfortable creating videos for your business. But, practice makes perfect. Utilize these planning tips and do a few dry runs to ensure your composure appears natural and relaxed on camera. Don’t forget to get feedback from your employees!

With increased practice, you can create more videos that support your overall marketing and content strategy. It won’t be long before you realize the powerful potential of this dynamic marketing tool.

Here is an early example of a video that we created that was tightly scripted and shot in a only a few minutes.

As you can see it is nothing fancy or elaborate, but it does have a clear and educational message.

Think You Might Be Ready to Start?

As the demand for video content grows, you have the opportunity to enhance your business’ marketing strategy.

Valens Point provides consulting and online social media marketing for small businesses looking to broaden their customer base. We can help you develop video media marketing strategies to improve your total online presence.

To start developing your content marketing strategies, including the use of video, contact us today.

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