Perhaps, you operate an eco-lodge catering to vegan vacationers? Maybe you’re the best web designer this side of the Internet? Your product or service is the best on the market, but there’s just one hitch. Flattering certifications or wall-plaques singing your praises aren’t enough.
Stocking the shelves or creating an e-commerce website is just the first step. After all, you wouldn’t prepare a wonderfully lavish meal with all the fixin’s, but skip the part where you invite friends over to enjoy it, right? Well, maybe you would if a) you love to eat and b) you aren’t big on company and doing the dishes. The real point here, though, is you want to sell what you offer to eager buyers.
True, you already market your business. Still, expanding your clientele or building a steady, reliable source of sales can, at times, be an uphill struggle. No one gets ahead in life by focusing on the problem, though. What you need to do is flip the script. Think of getting the word out about your products and services as an exciting challenge. Thankfully, today’s technology makes it possible for even the smallest businesses to reach customers anywhere and at any time. As it happens, video is one of the most powerful tech tools a business can use to attract customers and boost revenues.
What is video marketing?
Video is ubiquitous on the Internet. It’s almost impossible to miss it in your browsing adventures. It’s how we consume everyday news, entertainment and business-related information that keeps us connected to our world.
Video marketing, in a nutshell, is the use of video to build awareness about a company, brand, product or service. The best kind of video marketing, however, doesn’t look like it’s trying to sell you something. That’s because it’s created to feel more like an experience than an outright sales pitch. In other words, video marketing isn’t advertising. It’s about providing interesting content to viewers in exchange for their attention. That attention can then be converted to loyal patronage of your business.
By now, entrepreneurs are aware of the value blogging brings to the promotion of a business. It’s a roundabout way to build and sustain interest in what you offer. That’s without hammering people over the head with salesy campaigns and jargon. Video works in much the same way as a blog. Its the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down, if you will. What’s brilliant about the video format is you can package your story in many different shapes, tastes and flavours. Video is perfect for the delivery of instructional presentations, entertaining content and compelling business stories. There are many ways you can use this versatile medium to raise awareness about your company and, ultimately, get customers interested and drive sales.
Spreading the word with video
The growing clout of video is no accident. With the surging influence of social media on our lives, many of us depend on these digital platforms to be informed and entertained. Videos can be eye-catching and pack lots of useful information into a compact capsule. So, it’s no surprise more people are choosing videos as their preferred method of consuming content online. Moreover, because social media is on our portable devices like smartphones and tablets, so is the video that’s circulating online.
Traditional media rely on the consumer coming to them. Television depends on getting viewers to sit down in front of the tube. With print, readers have to buy newspapers or magazines. Social media opens up access to a vast market by helping the small business owner go directly to customers. You don’t have to wait for them to come to you. People are online while waiting at the doctor’s office, on the subway or bus and even at work when they should be working. The majority of those folks are watching videos.
Converting browsers into buyers
Today’s audiences are pitch-weary and bombarded with advertising. They are being pulled and pushed in different directions with multiple demands on their attention and time. Video marketing offers fresh ways of capturing audience share in a world noisy with distractions.
Marketing videos, when done well, can show your customers you understand what they are thinking and feeling. It’s that connection that makes buyers out of browsers. Let’s say, for example, an organic farm cultivates pumpkins. The growers want to convince people pumpkin is a healthy, versatile vegetable beyond just Thanksgiving and Halloween. A series of videos showing different ways pumpkin can be incorporated into every day dishes is a perfect example of video marketing done well. Viewers’ imaginations can be sparked by these videos. Who do you think they’ll go to to try their hand at that pumpkin soufflé? That’s right, the organic farm that produced those videos.
Audiences want to feel as though their needs and wants are your top priority. Nothing builds a rapport with potential customers quite like video. Selling a viewer on a product is one thing. Telling a viewer, through a video product demonstration, the way the product works and how it applies to their lives can make all the difference in closing the deal.
Of course, it would be wonderful if businesses could go back to the days when a customer would see a product, like it and buy it, end of story. However, ice cream is no longer a nickel and Abba isn’t in the Billboard Top 100 anymore. Competition for the consumer’s hard earned dollar is far more intense today. The businesses and products rising to the top in this crowded marketplace are the ones that build trust and connect with customers. Video marketing is particularly effective at creating those bonds. The medium is also made for the new buyer, people who spend most of their time online searching for goods and services.
Video for the masses
A big factor behind the growth of video is cost. Traditional advertising such as television, print and billboards can be expensive and well beyond the reach of most small business budgets. Video marketing, powered by the Internet and the broad reach of social media, has levelled the playing field. Lower-cost cameras, smartphones and other video production gear have put the power of video in the hands of entrepreneurs and start-ups. Video is no longer just for television stations and production outfits with megabucks.
Thanks to a tech revolution, people from all sorts of backgrounds are creating their own videos with inexpensive cameras. In fact, the average smartphone can record video with a quality that was unimaginable only a few years ago. Furthermore, there are lots of resources such as video tutorials and books teaching people how to shoot and edit their own videos. There is something for everyone, even if you’ve never held a camera or stood in front of one.
Let’s say you’d like to get more eyes on your fitness consultancy business. Over the years, you’ve developed a beast of a workout routine guaranteed to get clients into a wedding dress or out of sweatpants mode. It’s now possible to record and share videos of your miraculous exercise regimen in action. You can use a camera that costs as little as $200 (or nothing if you’re using a smartphone). Both shooting and creating content has been simplified to the extent that anyone can do it on a modest budget.
There has never been a better time to leverage the power of video to grow your business. Apart from the availability of inexpensive cameras capable of remarkable quality, learning how to produce effective video content for your business needn’t be an intimidating process.
Video marketing as a universal language
You’ve worked very hard to shape your business model. It would be a crying shame, nay, a Greek tragedy if success remains out of reach simply because too few people know about you and what you do.
Video marketing reflects the shifting attitudes among customers towards the ‘buy-this-now’ bluster of old-school commercials. It takes a different approach to customer outreach. Video marketing is the language of the now and is focused on the needs of customers rather than merely beating them over the head with a sales pitch. The best part about it all is that it’s a language any business, regardless of size, can learn.