We asked, you answered.
This past April, we worked with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce to create a survey to help its members identify their core needs for Marketing and Innovation this year. The response was great, and in reviewing the results, a handful of themes rose to the top as common needs for members across the spectrum. These included:
- Lead generation (by far the most in demand)
- Digital marketing in general (trends, what works, different technologies)
- and finding, hiring and keeping great talent
With these themes in mind, I’ll be sharing a series of guest posts here on the Chamber’s blog to help you develop a broader understanding of marketing, and ideally, leverage some of them for your own business growth.
In my last post, I outlined how to write a guest blog post for inclusion on the Chamber’s blog. If you read through it to the end, you might have realized that, while I wrote it specifically for this platform, you should be able to apply this approach to blogging to your own business blogging efforts.
In continuing the theme over the next few months, I’ll cover a handful of topics that Chamber Members like you have raised as challenges, issues, and topics of interest. Specifically, I’ll touch on the topics that seemed most in demand:
- Content Marketing
- Video Marketing
Throughout the series I’ll also try to address barriers to marketing success that were uncovered during the survey like a general lack of resources (time, expertise, money) and how you’ll drive innovation in sales and marketing this year.
As I mentioned in my previous post, these are big topics and there’s a wealth of information out there already. Not every marketer will agree with me, and I won’t be able to hit on everything, but hopefully you’re able to take away some solid and actionable tips that have an impact on your business this year.
So, with that, let’s begin with Video Marketing.
Video Marketing Online and Lead Generation—Does it Make Sense for MY Business?
One of the hot needs you identified for this year is lead generation. And really, when ISN’T lead generation at the top of mind? I can’t remember ever sitting down and having a client say, “Yeah, so this year, we’re flush with cash, and we really don’t need an increase in leads. Could you just maintain what we’ve been doing?”
Lead generation is EVERYTHING. You could be making the coolest technology in the market, or make the most delicious hot pastrami sandwich, but if no one knows about it—they won’t buy it. And frankly, “build it and they will come,” has been proven to be nonsense.
So if you’re focused on true lead generation this year, whether you’re B2C or B2B, a large technology company, a restaurant, or an independent consultant, you’ll want to take a close look at what video marketing can do for your business.
Consider these 10 video marketing validation points:
- YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.
- 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
- One-third of online activity is spent watching video.
- 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online.
- 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video.
- The 25-34 (millennial) age group watches the most online videos and men spend.
- 40% more time watching videos on the internet than women. (Note, in our Chamber Survey, a large percentage of you wanted to know how to connect with, or market to Millenials)
- 92 percent of mobile video viewers share videos with others.
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
- Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
Just ask yourself this: how much time do YOU spend watching some form of video online? Whether it’s the video on how to replace the headlight in your Audi, a review of a restaurant, or the latest preview for a movie, I bet you’d be surprised at how much video you personally consume each week.
Even if you personally never watch video online (or your phone), I expect that you understand that a majority of people are consuming content this way, and it provides you with a huge opportunity to reach, engage and educate those people you’d like to have as customers and clients.
What types of video marketing are available to me today?
When I talk to people about video marketing, they often think it’s terribly hard, takes a lot of resources, and is beyond their current capabilities to create and leverage. While there are many types of video content you can create to support your lead generation activities, I’ll touch on a few here today that I feel are the easiest/most accessible to you and your business, while contributing to your lead generation efforts.
1. Educational Videos
In looking at your customer base and your experience, you know there are issues and questions that arise for your buyers before they need your product or service. Think about the last time you ran into an issue—you tried to solve it yourself.
This is where an educational video comes in. By definition, educational videos teach your prospects something. Early in your marketing funnel a video might teach your prospect how to overcome a simple challenge they’re facing, it might educate them on different solutions to their main challenge (one of those solutions being yours of course), or it might teach them how to do something simple, tactical and effective.
Typically, you can create a “good enough” educational video with your mobile device, a tripod, good lighting and high-quality sound. Whether you’re filming a product or a professional, make sure that whatever it is you’re teaching your prospect, ensure that it offers real value and can be applied by your audience.
For example, if you sell pig supplies, you might create a video like this one:
2. Tutorial Videos
One aspect that is a huge sales tool is customer support on the back end. If a prospect can see how much effort you’re making in supporting them once they are a paying customer, you’re eliminating some of the fear and uncertainty associated with making a purchase.
Tutorial videos go a long way in accomplishing this—and more. First, a tutorial video is a short video that shows your customer how to use your product. Whether they’re learning it for the first time, refreshing their skills, or learning an advanced technique, developing tutorial videos can often help make the intangible parts of your product or service—tangible.
The great thing about tutorial videos? There’s a good chance that you have some of these already lying around a computer somewhere—many companies have created videos for customer use—they just aren’t publicly available yet. Scrub out any client or proprietary info, and start publishing!
For example, if you sell men’s clothes, you might create a video like this:
Nothing helps a buyer get over the sales hurdle like hearing the success stories of people just like them. Quotes are great, images are awesome, but video testimonials are the holy grail of marketing. Why?
Social validation. Briefly, “if a user leaves a positive review for a product or a positive rating for a business, other, even non-affiliated users will be more likely to buy that product or work with that business. Because one person went on a limb and confirms that the experience is positive, others are likely to take a similar action.”
Second only to a direct, word-of-mouth referral, a video testimonial can have a tremendous impact on a prospect’s willingness to “take a risk” with your product or service.
If you are looking to highlight a client’s experience with your product or service, get them to tell their story about their participation with it:
(full disclosure, we created this video as part of a larger content marketing engagement)
One area that’s starting to see a lot of growth is video blogging—vlogging. Similar to blogging, vlogging is simply sharing your journey, expertise, or other thought leadership with your market via video. You might record videos on your laptop or phone and publish them to your website, YouTube, or even to your stories on social media networks.
Given how much people love consuming video online, and how much so many people hate to write, vlogging is a great option for building thought leadership online with the resources you have.
The advantage vlogging has over blogging is one of the reasons many people hesitate to start—vlogging makes you more human. If you’re like me, you hate being on screen. Personally, I feel awkward, gawky and uncomfortable—and just don’t want to do it. But if you can get past that, then blogging is great—because it helps build a real connection with the person watching your video.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia who rose to prominence in the late 90’s after establishing one of the first ecommerce wine sites, WineLibrary helping grow the family business from 4 to 60MM in sales.
You can check out how he uses vlogging to build his brand here:
Other Types of Videos
In addition to the videos mentioned above, there are other types of valuable video you can take advantage of. For example, Branded Videos help tell the story of your business. By introducing your core values, vision, and mission, you help prospects connect with you and your company on a deeper level.
Animated Infographics can help tell the story around the particular need you solve. By incorporating animated data points, illustrations, charts, tables, music, voice-over and other graphics, you have the opportunity to provide fact-based information to help drive leads to your business.
Often, products or services (especially new ones) are difficult to explain—particularly when you’re not there to explain them. Explainer Videos are short stories, typically describing your prospects current challenge, how they can solve that challenge with your offering, and what outcome they should expect.
How do I get started with Video Marketing?
Typically, Video Marketing is part of an overarching online marketing strategy. If you don’t have one in place, you can learn how to put together a content marketing strategy in 8 hours or less here. You’ll want to understand who your customer is, what “job” they are hiring your product or service to do, and how to help them work through that process with video.
Part of this process is discovering where your customers spend their time. Maybe they’re part of the billions spending time on YouTube. Perhaps they’re consuming content all day on Facebook. Maybe their viewing Stories on Instagram or Snapchat. Wherever they are, it’s important that you create content that is native to that platform.
The two most important aspects of creating video content for your prospects are to:
- Be authentic. As with any online marketing, it’s very easy for prospects to validate any branded messaging you put forth. If your marketing feels to “put on” or “commercial,” you risk alienating your audience.
- Just do it. Too many people hem, haw and stall—discovering a million reasons not to start. Some become paralyzed by all of the choices. Frankly, marketing (or anything else) isn’t effective if you’re not doing it, and the best way to learn what works is just to begin. Do a Google search, read a few blog posts, play around and experiment. Whatever you do, just start doing it.
Here are three great resources to help you get a further jump start on marketing with video:
- Your Stress-Free Guide to Getting Started With Video Marketing
- 7 Tips For Launching A Video Marketing Strategy
- Getting Started with Video Marketing
As always, it’s key that your video marketing efforts are based on your marketing strategy. Whether you’ve developed it in house, or brought in a marketing agency to create one for you, a marketing strategy will help you answer most—if not all of the questions you will have around what to create, why to create it, and who to create it for.
Have questions about video marketing or a digital marketing strategy? Let’s have a conversation today!
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