You’re a small business owner or independent professional who wants to incorporate video marketing as part of your overall marketing and advertising strategy, but aren’t sure how or where to get started with it.
You might have heard about the popularity of Facebook Live, read statistics about the growth of video marketing, watched competitors’ videos on your social media networks of choice, or know that you personally feel more invested in a company you are considering hiring because you’ve gotten to know them, their employees, and their business better through the videos they post.
Video marketing is a pretty comprehensive topic. It’s not just about adding on a couple videos to whatever else you are doing to position or grow your small business. Video marketing can be the bulk of – and even the entire – marketing strategy for a business, which is why you need a plan in order to execute your new video marketing strategy effectively.
How to Get Started with Video Marketing
Video marketing has 4 main components:
- The content you’re going to cover in your video
- The technical parts of shooting, editing (if needed), uploading, and publishing your video
- How to make your video be something that others want to watch plus get them to act
- Optimizing and repurposing your video once it’s created
One blog post isn’t going to be able to adequately cover each of these points in detail, but will be helpful for a solid overview of what you’ll want to learn more about before embarking on your new video marketing journey.
Your business and your goals for your marketing will play a big role in what type of video content you plan to produce. Plus, you may have some very specific videos you want to record to put into place for long-term use. For example, you might want to have a general welcome video to include on your website, a video to show new visitors to your YouTube channel as well as a separate video for returning channel visitors, or a video tour of your place of business.
Aside from any specific videos you need to create, to maximize your video strategy long term, you should plan to create video content on an ongoing basis. You as the business owner don’t need to be in front of the camera (or even behind it) for every video. Employees, happy customers, and complementary service providers or vendors who are eager to get in front on your audience all make excellent candidates for videos. One easy way to get started is to record a new (and brief) video for every frequently asked question you get from your customers and potential customers. Videos like that will be short and simple to plan for and record, and useful for your customers and potential customers.
Want to capture customer testimonials on camera? Setup a staged area in your business including a tripod so customers can easily and quickly step in front of the camera to record their thoughts.
Do you already blog? Why not make a video that discusses whatever you wrote about in each blog post? Remember, there’s no need to recreate the content idea wheel. Plus, different people prefer to consume content differently.
One other thing to keep in mind is your video script…or lack thereof. Some people feel they need to write out a full script of what they are going to say, but that can also bring some challenges with it. While you do need to plan out the main points you want to cover in your video and might want to plot out the opening line or two of your video, writing out a word-for-word script takes a lot more time and can feel inauthentic to viewers. Think about it this way: when you speak to a customer who walks through your door or calls you on the phone, you have no idea what they are going to say or ask. Yet, you always know how to respond to them…and do so without a pre-written response! You know the ins and outs of your business, so feel confident in talking about the topics you want to cover without writing out and rehearsing an exact video script.
Still feeling stuck coming up with ideas for your small business marketing videos? Check out my post with 9 video ideas to help.
Shooting, Editing, and Publishing your Videos
First and foremost, remember that once you have a final video file to use, you can put it in so many places. So the bigger concern is really about doing a good job with making your videos.
But don’t feel intimidated by the mere thought of shooting and editing a video! You really don’t need any special equipment nor other tech. A smart phone or laptop, good lighting and sound, and a pleasant background is all that’s required. Good lighting can be natural lighting…standing near a window with the sun coming in often works wonderfully. You can also buy inexpensive lighting kits on Amazon if you want to step it up a notch.
If you’d prefer an external mic, you can pick up a lavalier mic on Amazon.com relatively inexpensively, too. Be sure to locate a spot in your home that has a pleasant background or stage an area with a few decor accents so people aren’t staring at a blank wall behind you.
You can record from your laptop (assuming that you have a built-in webcam) if you want a still, consistent shot, or you can use your phone on a tripod (for stability in your shot).
You also don’t need to edit your videos. You certainly can, and by using the default editing software that comes with your Mac or PC-based computer or laptop (meaning, no extra expense!). I don’t do any editing of my videos, but I do use eCamm when recording for what’s called a “lower third”. eCamm allows me to add a logo and my business’ name to the bottom third of all my videos. You can also add a lower third with BeLive or add it in after recording with apps on your phone. Software like eCamm lets you record and save to your computer for later publishing if you aren’t ready to go live.
Once you have your video recorded and edited to your liking, now it’s time to publish it! Of course, if it’s a live video on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, there’s no pre-recording or editing. But one of my favorite things to do is go live on Facebook, then export to my YouTube channel, and then download my video file to upload to LinkedIn and Google My Business. YouTube videos can be embedded on websites and blogs as well.
Another option for pre-recorded videos – especially if you are scared to go live – is to schedule a Facebook Premiere. Facebook Premiere acts similarly to a live video once it publishes and gives you the option to interact in real time with viewers while you watch it during its premiere.
Making your Marketing Videos Better
Which video opening would encourage you to watch longer?
Opening A: Hi, my name is Jane Doe. I’m the owner of ABC T-Shirt Shop in Springfield, USA. Today I’m going to tell you about our process to design and print t-shirts that you need for your next group event.
Opening B: Are you in need of a cool, custom t-shirt design for an upcoming event? Our creative, hard-working crew can take you from the ideas you have in your mind, to printed t-shirts, in less than a week! Here’s how we work!
Those first few seconds of your video are absolutely critical to piquing interest and keep viewers watching to find out more. You want to briefly explain what they’ll get out of the video, too. Starting by asking a question or addressing a pain point is a common and effective approach to doing exactly that.
You can still introduce yourself and your business in your videos, but wait to do that until a little later into the video.
Some other tips for making your videos more engaging:
- Keep moving through your video. If you are live on a social media platform, don’t wait for more people to join because that means your current viewers are going to get bored and click away. And even if it’s a pre-recorded video, keep in mind that people want to get to the meat of a video as soon as possible. Attention spans are extremely short.
- Ask questions and encourage people to leave a comment or question. Most anywhere that you’re posting that video has a comment section. Engagement keeps people watching longer and encourages broader organic reach of your video.
- Smile. Be happy. Be animated. Act on video like you do in real life speaking to people. Think about it this way…no one wants to watch someone who seems robotic on camera. Plus, video is what helps you develop deeper relationships with customers. Feel confident being YOU on camera since that’s who your customers will be interacting with after they hire you.
- If you are demoing a product, make sure to give its full name, price, and how they can purchase it after watching.
- Include a call to action at the end of your video (and sometimes in the middle, too). Then add a link for people to take that action in the comments.
- Be consistent in publishing new videos. If you publish one or two videos, and never publish anymore, you aren’t going to see the same kinds of marketing benefits you would if you published multiple videos over several months or years.
Optimizing and Repurposing Videos
You’ve put in all the work to make the video – make sure you get all the long-term marketing goodness that goes along with that work.
- Make sure you publish any video you create on all the social media platforms that you have a presence. Think about if it makes sense to embed the video in a blog post or on your website, share a link to it in your email newsletter, or use it in an ad. If you are comfortable with your video editing software, try creating shorter clips of your video to use as ‘sound byte’ clips as additional social media posts.
- Optimize your video after it’s published on your platforms of choice. Every video platform has its own features, but typically you can choose a video thumbnail, add captions, add tags (for searchability), and add to a playlist. If you are publishing a video on Facebook, here is a list of things to do after publishing, how to add and edit captions, and how to take advantage of your Facebook Video Library.
- YouTube is owned by Google and the second most used search engine. Learn more about ways to optimize your YouTube videos, making the most of your YouTube video descriptions, End Screens and video series, and creating and optimizing playlists.
Proper optimization of your videos – regardless of platform – greatly increases the chances of each video being watched for weeks, months, and years to come. So while it feel tempting to mark that video as “complete” as soon as your publish it, you’re short-changing yourself by not taking the extra steps afterwards.