Take a look at social media pages, and you’re likely to see an increasing amount of video. While many of those videos are for enjoyment, business videos can often do double duty by sharing brand messages throughout cyberspace. Thanks to increased accessibility and usability in terms of video platforms and technology, it may now be easier than ever for small-business owners to take advantage of the business video trend.
“Social media has revolutionized the way online users communicate with each other, and video is an integral part of that shift,” says Kim Levine, head of production for Wasabi Publicity, Inc. “Quite simply, visual storytelling is the most powerful tool available to spread your message and tell your story in the digital age—even more powerful than print and text.”
Business Video Increasing on Social Media
Business video continues to gain ground, particularly on social media sites, believes Erica Allison, CEO and PR strategist for the Allison Development Group. “The obvious is YouTube, which according to the company, has more than a billion users, and the number of hours people spend watching videos on the site is up 60 percent per year. In addition, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have placed their proverbial flags in the video sandbox within the last year.”
An increasing number of people are searching for solutions online delivered through the medium of video, and many millennials consume more online videos versus television, believes Pamela Herrmann, co-founder with Patty Dominguez of the business consulting firm Create Buzz and author of The Customer Manifesto. “If your target audience is in the millennial age range, this approach is what we would classify as ‘low hanging fruit’ that allows your company to deliver content via video and engage with your target audience.”
The increased business video trend is likely to continue, Dominguez adds. “A great way to monitor trends is to look at what kind of social media apps are being developed and how quickly they are being popularized. If you think Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat and Blab are only for 16-year-old girls, you’re missing out on some of the most powerful organic growth strategies for your business. Major national brands are already on platforms such as Snapchat, creating engagement and brand loyalty. Small businesses have a big opportunity to leverage these types of video platforms to spread their message, highlight their value proposition and create customer engagement.”
Benefits of Business Video
Digital marketers V. Michael Santoro and John S. Rizzo are co-founders of InVidz, LLC. They developed Vaetas, an interactive video marketing system that helps businesses gain a competitive advantage using the power of video. They point out the following benefits of business video:
- Provides an Ideal way to connect with your target market and make your business stand out.
- Is effective for brand awareness, lead generation and online engagement.
- Builds authority online, which builds trust with potential customers.
- Has SEO value and can generate organic traffic long term.
- Allows brands and small business to identify new ways to establish meaningful emotional connections with their audiences.
Ease of Entry Into Business Video
It used to be that you needed a production crew to shoot a professional business video, but that may no longer be the case, Allison notes. “Today, it's as easy as grabbing an iPhone, recording and sharing. With that level of user-friendliness and removal of barriers to entry, video popularity and use will naturally increase.”
Many free apps, including Vyclone, are available that may help make it easier to create a business video, adds Allen Shayanfekr, CEO and co-founder of Sharestates. “These apps enable small-business owners to film a simple video from multiple angles.” He created a 90-second video that explains everything about investing in his platform for the novice investor. “We were able to quickly explain the concept of real estate crowdfunding in simple, clear and engaging ways," he says.
Almost any business can leverage video, advises Dominguez. “We’ve seen some amazing videos from landscapers, plumbers, mechanics, attorneys and even CPAs that net results. Some are recorded on a smartphone and edited in iMovie and uploaded to YouTube, while others are recorded by videographers for a fee. No matter how it’s done, the videos allow small businesses to tell their stories and share brand personality.”
Making the Most of Business Video
Taking advantage of the popularity of business video and using it to further your small business may be possible, if you keep a few tips in mind.
- Brand yourself as an authority. Business videos that offer helpful expert content can help make you stand out in your field. “Each video should be about a single topic, state the problem, how the problem can be solved and share a call to action that can turn the video viewer into a lead,” says Rizzoof of InVidz. “Businesses that leverage video are doing a few things really well,” adds Herrmann. “They have created a small library of brief how-to videos within their subject areas of expertise that are designed to educate and inform.”
- Take advantage of all your hard work. Use business videos to their utmost. Post them to your social media platforms, put them on your website’s homepage and use them in email campaigns.
- Upload business videos for proper SEO. Reverse engineer what your ideal customer would be looking for online and create a title for your business video based on those key search words.
- Use basic marketing principles. “Before recording a video, ask who is your target audience?” Allison says. “Where do they go for information? Where are they hanging out in social media? What is the best way to deliver a message that provides value, engages and generates a desired outcome?”
- Evaluate the payoff. Determine how much time, effort and energy you and your team can devote to business video and how much time is needed to generate a call, click or lead, advises Allison. “If you can quantify those questions with an answer and you're ready to dig in to video, the benefits will be increased brand recognition, a shortened sales cycle, as well as low cost, far reaching marketing that traditional paid advertising may not accomplish.”
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