When it comes to attracting customers and building brand awareness, video is fast emerging as the marketing tool of choice for small and medium-sized businesses. Video marketing is also seen as a key resource for generating leads and building (or enhancing) brand awareness.
According to the recent B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report (sponsored by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs), B2B marketers have jumped full force on the video marketing bandwagon:
- 76 percent employ some form of video in their content marketing efforts
- 72 percent use YouTube to publish video content
- 70 percent use more video content than they did in 2013
So how can a small or medium-sized business make video a meaningful part of their social media and content marketing strategy? Here are tips that won’t break your marketing budget:
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Know what you want to achieve
Is product demonstration the most important thing you want to get across to your target audience? What about boosting inbound lead generation or increased brand visibility? Determining an overall goal for your video content is the essential first step in deciding on the type of video you want to produce.
Aim for what consumers want
Your video content objectives should, as much as possible, align with your understanding of what customers are looking for. For example, a typically inexpensive “how-to” video that offers solutions to a pressing consumer need is always a safe bet.
Don’t get hung up on high production values
Too many businesses put off creating videos due to a misguided notion that great video content is only possible through the use of high-end equipment and adherence to costly production values.
But in the digital era — and especially with the proliferation of social media sites featuring attention-grabbing amateur efforts — standards are looser than in the past. Of course, this doesn’t mean a sloppily filmed, poor-quality video is acceptable. But suitable cameras and microphones are available at fairly low costs, and you can even create compelling video content goals with a smartphone or a GoPro camera.
Design and manage a YouTube channel
Probably the best (and least expensive) starting point is through creation of a company YouTube channel. Choose a name for the channel that fits with your business name, add appealing thumbnail descriptions and make sure the images and content provided are consistent with your brand. Then start posting customer testimonials, short how-to videos linked to your product or service, offbeat animation, etc. Before you know it, you’ll have an impressive video library for visitors to explore.
Another option is posting video teasers on YouTube to entice prospective customers. “For the best SEO, put a teaser — not the whole video — on YouTube, and link back to your website for the full video,” says Gary Lipkowitz of GoAnimate. “Host the entire video with keyword-rich text and the right tags on your own site.”
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Take advantage of existing content
The great thing about video content is that you most likely already have the working materials in your marketing and public relations archives. Search for past media coverage (a TV story about your business or an online profile), as well as existing video product demos. With some low-cost editing and/or creation of additional material, you’ll have new content to post on YouTube and other social media platforms (Twitter, Vine, Instagram, etc.), where you can encourage followers to share your content with their own networks.
To attract the most interest, your videos should be short, informative, entertaining, and story-driven. For businesses on a tight budget, a little creativity and inexpensive technology can get the job done.