Okay, so your business is either doing well or it’s very promising. Yet, there’s a nagging suspicion that it could be doing better. You may be using social media posts and email lists in your marketing strategies to grow your customer and client base but prospects seem to have levelled off.
Video marketing sounds like a great way to expand your reach and boost your revenues. There’s just one problem. You know less about video than you do about chaos theory. Notwithstanding the upward trajectory of video’s popularity, it’s an area of marketing far outside your comfort zone. Additionally, the thought of incorporating the medium into your small business marketing strategy is overwhelming. How are you going to create videos AND keep up with the demands of a small business?
Well, like the man said: a job always seems impossible until it’s done. Adding video to your marketing mix boils down two simple factors. 1) Any practice or activity that can earn you greater income is non-optional. 2) Proper planning is the key to achieving any goal, including effective video marketing.
Here are five simple steps to help get you out of the doubt zone and into the marketing clout zone.
Understand your customers’ needs
Saying it’s important to know your customers’ wants and needs might seem obvious. In the context of video marketing, it takes on more meaning. The most effective marketing videos are built around the viewer, not the person or company making the video.
Sure, you want people to know all about your company. Everyone should know about the latest time management app or home security system you’re bringing to market. It is more important, though, to frame this information in the context of what your customers need. Your videos must first speak to their pain points or their wants.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and that will point you in the direction of the kind of video content that will have an impact with viewers. An understanding of the needs of your customers will tell you how to create your videos.
Determine your budget
Allocating a budget is important for your video marketing strategies. There are many different video types, all of which can generate small business success in varied ways. Working out your budget will help you determine what type of content you can create.
More money means you can hire help occasionally in the production of your videos. A restrictive budget, on the other hand, just means coming up with ways of keeping costs down while maintaining good quality. For example, lighting, which is important for any video production, can be expensive and tricky. There are, though, many ways around lighting costs. You can shoot most of your videos outdoors or in a room with windows for natural lighting.
Having less money doesn’t mean video is beyond your reach. It just means you have to be a bit more resourceful in how you get there. Settling on your budget is your first major step on that journey.
Assemble a toolkit
Regardless of what your budgeting exercise came up with, you’re going to need a video toolkit. This could mean a small start using your smartphone to shoot on-camera presentations. Perhaps you might be able to purchase an inexpensive consumer camcorder. It’s possible to get a decent point-and-shoot camcorder capable of recording respectable HD footage. Maybe there’s a little more room in your budget for something like a DSLR camera which can shoot striking images and give you more creative control over the look of your videos. Whichever camera you choose, you will need a dependable tripod.
Good audio is an important element of effective video. Depending on the camera you choose, you can purchase an inexpensive microphone that’s compatible with your video gear. When you research camera equipment on sites like B&H Photo and Video recommendations for audio accessories usually pop up.
Camera, tripod, microphone; these are all you need to get started. Even though you’re on a budget, it’s still possible to produce professional-looking video content.
Work out your content ideas and draft a video schedule
It’s all well and good to say you’re going to use video to boost your income. If you don’t put in the necessary planning, your video marketing won’t ever get off the ground. Compiling a list of video ideas saves you the trouble of wracking your brains every week to come up with a fresh concept.
You’ll want to create a video marketing calendar. The calendar is perhaps the most underrated tool in video content creation. Establishing a video schedule with firm dates adds commitment to your video marketing strategies. Additionally, you can build specific campaigns around seasons such as Easter, back to school, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Drawing up a list of video ideas and creating a calendar for these videos builds intent. This is an important element of planning. That’s how you use video marketing effectively to grow your business.
Create a production schedule
If you think you’re going to make a big splash with one or two videos, think again. When it comes to video marketing, consistency is critical.
Producing video while running a business calls for discipline. You should identify specific days and times for your video shoots. We often batch record our videos. We choose one day per month where we shoot between four to five videos. While that might seem nuts, this method provides us with up to four weeks worth of video content.
A video production schedule gives structure to your goals. It also ensures you strike the right balance between your day-to-day business operations and your video marketing.
Stop waiting and start doing
There are many instances in life where waiting and caution are a good thing. Stopping at a crosswalk or going all in during a poker game are good examples of times when it pays to be circumspect. As a business owner, however, video marketing calls for decisiveness