What Exactly Is Video Marketing & Is It For You?
Head to any blog post about video marketing and it will tell you about the immense online traffic that video consumption represents (Cisco Systems says that videos represented 73% of all internet traffic in 2016). No surprise, video marketing presents a massive opportunity to engage and capture your audience in a medium that they are actively seeking. But rarely do these blog posts tell you exactly how to use it, how to benefit from the stats that show all the success stories.
SO what exactly is video marketing?
The best way to understand how to define video marketing and whether it should form part of your marketing efforts is to relate it back to your current style of marketing, because not everyone goes about securing their clients or customers the same way right?
Also let’s face it, most people take a lot of convincing to try something new that they’ve never done before. Even with all the stats & facts floating around the inter-webs about the success rates that video marketing can facilitate, you’re probably unlikely to just jump in, you want to test the waters first right? So let’s do that by tailoring video marketing into your world right now.
You might have your crap together and have a perfect marketing funnel, mixed with powerful organic content, combined with targeted paid campaigns to draw people closer and closer to your product. Or, you’re in business solo, and have zero time for marketing and therefore rely heavily on past client referrals to secure your next project. Or anywhere in between!
I’m going to show you how video helps complement your existing marketing strategy through a couple of examples, but you should get the idea pretty quickly. It is after all, a communication medium, so all you have to do is turn whatever you do now to get those new clients into video form, and start implementing.
Before we jump in, I want you to know that I’m differentiating marketing from sales. Marketing means creating content for a larger audience, whereas sales is far more tailored and customised to that one person you are trying to make a sale with. As I’ve just mentioned above, video fits into anything you want to use it for, but this post is all about marketing, eg organic social media posts or paid campaigns.
The concept is this; grow your ideal audience out of the demographics that make up the kind of clients you want, by serving them content that is of value to them, then sell your product & service to the right kind of people out of this, because they are warmer to sell to.
The fly by the seat of your pants marketing approach
To the chagrin of many marketers and business development coaches out there, I don’t have a set marketing strategy for my main business of video production. I’m a freelance video producer, and I get the majority of my work through existing relationships and previous clients in the form of referrals. That needs to change I know, it is definitely nerve wracking to rely on only one channel for work, but it is what it is.
I am basically like a tradesman, I have a skillset that mixes the technical with the creative, with great word of mouth being the most powerful sales tool I have, but unlike a tradesman I sit on my arse at a computer much of the time so am unlikely to get some colour on my terribly pale skin.
I post infrequently to social media, and time is a massive constraint when it comes to creating content. So for everyone out there like me, what kind of video works best?
Well, just like the kind of content you put out on social media, something that you can do quickly without thinking about it too much, right?
What if there was a video type that existed that helped you create it as you talk about it, that’s completed when you’re ready to get on with the next task of the day? Well no surprise, it exists, and it is called Live Video.
Now don’t get scared. The word ‘live’ freaks many people out, but the benefit of live video is that you can create content in an almost stream of consciousness level of efficiency. It is hands down THE MOST TIME EFFECTIVE CONTENT CREATION TOOL OUT THERE.
How does it work? You go to the place where your ideal audience hangs out, (it might be Facebook Groups, it might be Instagram, it might be Twitch etc), hit the ‘go live’ button and start talking. That’s the just of it, the actual steps may be slightly different from platform to platform.
So what do you talk about when you’re live? Loads of options! Talk about something current that is happening in your industry, talk to another person and interview them, or treat it like a normal video and I’ve some education & value over a particular topic you get asked about a lot.
The real benefit of live video comes from when viewers, watching in real time, ask questions, or comment on your broadcast. This gives your live video a much better chance of reaching new audiences organically, since the platform will often tell their friends what best friend Joe or Auntie Susan has commented on recently.
Then, when you feel like you’ve spoken long enough, you stop the broadcast, and if you’re happy the video gets saved to your newsfeed and placed in people’s timelines. You have a completed video, and its taken maybe 15-20 mins to prep and practice beforehand. What other kind of content can you think of that you can create just as quickly? I’ll bet you not many.
And just how can this approach to video build an audience? Consistency. By regularly appearing in front of people, by actively engaging with them in the very short time you have free, you’ll be creating a ripple effect that draws like minded people to your page/channel. Spend a good few months getting into the habit of going live, and you’ve be surprised how quickly you can make it, and your audience will be ready for when you do want to sell on your products or services.
The ‘I actually know what I’m doing’ marketing approach
If you’re a digital marketer, or someone well versed in using social media to market your business, then the phrase ‘marketing funnel’ won’t be new to you, but just in case some of the fly by your seat folks are reading on; A marketing funnel is a strategy to build an audience of people who fit within your target demographic, by giving them content and serving them with messaging that moves people down a ‘funnel’, at the end of which is usually some kind of sale.
So let’s say I’m a hotel. I want guests to book with me. So what does my funnel look like? It could mean something like writing blog posts around the ‘Top 10 things to do with the family this weekend around Brisbane’, or sharing pics form their guest’s Instagram, showing off the suites or the views from the rooms. Then, they can target those people who have interacted with the content, shown an interest in them as a provider a campaign for a voucher or discount/offer if they book with them ‘today’.
That’s a funnel, it definitely lends itself to a sales mindset since the end step is usually seeking money in exchange for something, but qualifying them towards that step is all about marketing, about finding the right audience.
So how can video be used to slot into this approach?
Well let’s stick with the hotel. Or maybe its a boutique BnB trying to stand out amongst all the other Air BnB-ers out there. They could be creating their version of Getaway, the travel show that makes you wish you could pack up a suitcase and head to the airport tomorrow. Imagine a fortnightly video series where the hotel marketer or BnB owner heads to the local markets, beaches, events, bars, and anywhere they think is worth visiting in the local area.
Since video is so visual, you can imagine the incredible power a series like that could have on social media.
What about the entrepreneurs who are learning how to grow their business from industry leaders? Grab a video camera, and then interview those people and create a talk show for other startups & entrepreneurs.
Restaurants could have their chefs go head to head with others, and create their own version of Masterchef, with judges and all.
There is no end to the scale of video production you could go with this, but at the same time, you can keep it simple and have a couple of people do something on video. The key is having a regular approach to making videos, since you do have the framework of a marketing funnel, you need a system in place to make that content consistent. Making 5 vids and then having nothing new for a year means that you’ll have wasted the impact those 5 videos could have had if they were followed up with more and more content.
I often wrap up video marketing advice posts about video with the same thing, because it is true. When it comes to making video marketing a part of what you do, there is no right and wrong, you’ve got to test & experiment and find what ind of videos work best for you, which are the most convenient to make, what your priority is in the ‘production value’ of a video and therefore how your brand is perceived, and finally, you’ve just got to start making them. The rest will take care of itself. - Nick