Video is an essential part of your digital marketing plan. It increases conversions, builds brand awareness, boosts social media engagement, and can help you connect with your customers and clients anytime and anywhere. However, some small businesses are hesitant to incorporate video marketing into their efforts, often due to concerns over high costs and middling quality. Thankfully, these concerns are misguided.
At LaFleur, we’ve been helping our clients boost their marketing return on investment with video for years. Now, as social distancing is changing how people interact, video has become an even more essential aspect of your marketing strategy.
In today’s blog, we’ll explain why you need video — and why you don’t need to hire an Oscar-nominated director to get results.
Video Attracts and Engages Consumers, Plain and Simple
In the past, online video was hampered by slow internet speeds and accessibility issues. Today, more people watch video on mobile devices than televisions or computers. In a 2017 whitepaper, the IT giant, Cisco, reported that video made up 69% of global internet traffic while projecting that this number would increase to 82% by 2022.
When marketing analysts look at video’s impact on digital marketing, the results are impressive. Companies and websites that use video are more likely to convert visitors into clients or customers and build better brand awareness. Why? Simple: our memories are better at retaining images than words. There are countless studies that show that video attracts more website visitors, keeps them on your site longer, and increases the likelihood that they’ll purchase your product or retain your services.
Video Is an Essential Part of Your Coronavirus Business Continuity Plan
While some states are starting to loosen social restrictions, there’s no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the way we interact. This trend toward less face-to-face interaction is likely to continue, especially as public health experts anticipate further rounds of social distancing and stay-at-home orders in 2020 and 2021.
We’re all craving human interaction. Video marketing can help meet this need and bridge the connection gap during the pandemic. While an online video isn’t the same as an in-person demonstration or a face-to-face meeting, it helps humanize you and your brand to your audience — allowing them to understand your company culture while also making authentic connections that create and strengthen relationships. As a result, more and more people are turning to digital media, especially video.
Video content that entertains, provides how-to tutorials, client testimonials, staff biographies, and other engaging content, can help build trust and educate consumers about your business while they’re at home. And this connection will likely continue once the coronavirus is contained and controlled.
A Global Web Index survey found that 87% of U.S. consumers report consuming more content during the lockdown, with online videos (like YouTube content) and broadcast TV tying for their top destination. Notably, 76% of those polled said that they didn’t anticipate a decrease in their online video consumption once the quarantine is lifted. Similarly, YouTube consumption is up by 16% since January 2020, according to The New York Times.
How to Create a Compelling Online Video Without a Hollywood Budget
At LaFleur, our team has a history of creating great video content that has produced phenomenal results — both for our agency and our clients. We have professional cameras, lighting rigs, and tools that help them make brilliant testimonials, video ads, and educational and instructional content. Unfortunately, it’s hard to bring a crew on site in the current climate. So, we’re getting creative. We’ve produced webinars on Zoom, filmed product videos in our homes, and coached our clients on how to film on their smartphones. Here are some of the basics.
Create a Script or Talking Points
When it comes to online videos, most people have a relatively short attention span. After 30 seconds, you’ll have lost many of your viewers, so try to keep your videos short and sweet. But often times, pulling off the basics can be especially tricky.
Here are just a few examples of different marketing videos you should consider creating and distributing through your most successful channels.
- How-to and explainer videos: Highlighting how to use your products or solutions — or answering your customers’ frequently asked questions
- Product videos: Launching or introducing new products and features
- Testimonials: Videos featuring your clients or customers while highlighting your small business’ unique value
- Company culture: Introducing your team, approach to customer service, and level of community engagement
- Brand awareness: Content that introduces your business and brand to viewers, providing an overview of your products, services, mission, and values
Before you start filming, take some time to identify the video’s specific purpose. Then, create a script or an outline of talking points. Finally, time yourself to see if you can keep your presentation down to a minute or so. If you can’t, you should consider revising your script or rethinking your approach.
Use the Tools You Have
You might already have many of the tools you need to make a great video. While a digital SLR camera will provide a higher-resolution video, a modern smartphone camera can get the job done. To reduce camera shake, you might want to invest in a small tripod, but you can always just have someone on your team brace themselves and hold the camera steady. We’d also suggest using your smartphone camera in landscape mode, which will make your final product more closely resemble those that are created with a traditional video camera.
Choose Your Filming Location Wisely
We’ve all seen people on Zoom calls who are sitting in shadows, washed out by too much light, or sitting at awkward angles. To avoid these mistakes in your videos, take some time to find the right location. Ideally, you’ll want a neutral background.
You’ll also want to place yourself or your subject so that the light is relatively diffuse and soft. Hard light, which is focused and bright, can cause unflattering shadows or overexposure. Many videographers start with a three-point lighting system, involving a key, fill, and backlight.
While you can replicate this system using lighting in your office or home, you can also film in a space with lots of natural light. Alternatively, consider purchasing an inexpensive ring light. These are popular with many influencers because they’re easy to use and create attractive, diffuse light.
Sharing Your Videos Via Your Website, Newsletter, and Social Media Platforms
Most online videos are hosted on YouTube, although Vimeo is also a highly popular platform. Approximately 2 billion people visit YouTube each month, and more than half of YouTube’s visitors use the platform at least once a day. And if you think all of those viewers are kids streaming “Baby Shark,” you’re wrong. In 2019, 73% of U.S. adults used YouTube — most of them in the coveted 18-29 and 30-49 age demographics.
You can also embed videos throughout your website and include them in your blogging efforts. According to HighQ, a data analytics firm, 81% of all business websites include video — and yours should, too. Just as important, you need to share them on your Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media profiles. On Facebook alone, more than 500 million people are watching and sharing videos every day. Most people watch video with the sound off, so be sure to enable captioning on all of your marketing videos.
Finally, consider embedding your videos into your email newsletter and other email marketing campaigns. According to HighQ, using the word “video” in your email’s subject line can increase open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%. Videos also remind your email subscribers of your business’ unique value and increase their trust and belief in your team and your offerings.
LaFleur: Connecting Businesses With Their Ideal Customers Through Video Marketing
If you have questions about video marketing for small businesses, the team at LaFleur would love to answer them. Our talented producers, video editors, writers, and designers can help you create compelling video content that resonates with your ideal clients and customers. Even during a shelter-in-place order, we can provide practical tips and assistance remotely.
2017: The year of video marketing. (2017). HighIQ. Retrieved from https://highq.com/en-us/resources/the-year-of-video-marketing/
Cisco annual internet report. (2017). Cisco. Retrieved from https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/executive-perspectives/annual-internet-report/white-paper-c11-741490.html
Koeze, E., Popper, N. (2020, April 7). The virus changed the way we internet. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/07/technology/coronavirus-internet-use.html
Series 4: Media Consumption and Sport. (2020, April). GlobalWebIndex. Retrieved from https://www.globalwebindex.com/hubfs/1.%20Coronavirus%20Research%20PDFs/GWI%20coronavirus%20findings%20April%202020%20-%20Media%20Consumption%20(Release%204).pdf