Follow the Leaders
Did you know that using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent? And click-through rates by 65 percent?* Video content will be the driving factor behind 85 percent of search traffic in the U.S. by 2019, according to AMA.org. According to the AMA, “Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook, video content on social media is what marketers need to focus on in 2017.” The word is out, and many CEOs of small and mid-sized businesses have already taken note.
“The introduction of social media has made it very clear that video has a more substantial place in the marketing efforts of smaller companies,” says Glenn Lock, Owner of TachLock Video Services.
“Business owners are now aware of the power of the video,” says Lock, who is also a VACEOs sponsor. “They understand that if you have a video on your website, it gets clicked on very, very quickly and there’s a higher level of engagement with your audience. There’s also a better understanding that a video done with character and energy using a cellphone can be very valuable. Smaller companies recognize that making videos is no longer cost prohibitive, and it’s also not technically prohibitive.”
CEOs are now investing time and resources outside of traditional testimonial content. Product demos, educational videos, brand spots, niche marketing videos and even company success stories are emerging. (View video: ACORN Sales Company Success Story.)
Charlie Connell, Principal, Punch Advertising, says, “At Punch, we utilize video for everything from training our clients how to use the tools we build for them to telling their stories and launching new products we develop for them.” The VACEOs member explains, “We’re generally engaged to help our clients create brands, support existing ones, build awareness about a new product or service, or help them gain market share.” Video helps them do just that.
Tom McCormick, President of American Electrical, Inc. (and VACEOs member), has more than 20 videos for use in his business. He uses them as a customer service and sales tool. “They’re a great ‘how-to’ guide that allows our customer service staff person to say, ‘Could you spend a moment with me on our video page so I can take you through the product features?’” McCormick adds, “We attach videos to our marketing emails to help with the product explanation and uses. The videos speak for themselves!”
JJ White, Franchise Owner, Dale Carnegie Training, and Great People Show Podcast Host, uses every medium available to him for his show, including podcasting (audio on iTunes, Google Play, Spreaker, Stitcher, SoundCloud, etc.), vlogging (Facebook Live, YouTube, etc.) and, of course, radio.
When it comes to presenting on Facebook Live, White says, “I specifically use it to build engagement during a live radio show. I get to interact with listeners and viewers in real time. Facebook does a good job of notifying every friend I have when I go live, even if they’re not getting a notification of anything else I do. It gives people a reason to ‘tune in’ in a world in which people want to be fed content to consume.”
We asked, “Can a small to medium-sized company effectively grow its business on a small budget?”
“We feel that it’s important to tie the budget to the overall goal,” says Punch’s Charlie Connell. “If you’re looking to increase your market share by X percent and the value of achieving that goal to your business is estimated at X dollars, then a reasonable marketing budget would be five to 10 percent of X.”
“My advice to anyone who’s looking to add video to their marketing strategy: Understand your audience,” adds Connell. “Who are they? Where and how will they most likely digest your content? What is their attention span? What will drive them to take the action you want them to take?”
Videographer Glenn Lock says you can grow your business on a small budget, but he cautions, “That’s not to say that there’s not a great difference between a professionally produced video and an internally produced video on a small or zero budget. That said, it’s good to do a blend of those things, if it’s financially feasible. The key point here is you don’t want to make a video that diminishes your brand.”
For those clients who like to create a few of their own videos, Glenn often creates “stingers” for them – most easily described as those professional-looking stylized elements you consistently find at the beginning and end of professionally made videos. (Think Pixar lamp shade!)
And for you future Facebook Live podcasters, JJ White says, “There’s only one piece of advice: You have to start. Don’t worry about having a master plan. Just put something out there for people to consume and ask for feedback. Then act on the feedback immediately to dial in your content to your target market(s).”
“Realize that if you’re not good at communicating in front of the camera, don’t,” Lock adds. “Get someone who is. Go out and research ‘How to create a business video on my cellphone’ to get an understanding of how to set up lighting, etc. Or call us. We’re glad to offer advice, too.”
“My advice is for all owners and CEOs to consider using videos for training, product introductions, engineering applications and design,” says Tom McCormick. “It allows you to get close to the customer without the customer feeling like you’re ‘selling’ them. Take the time to design your videos with the right message and facts. Make it more of a demonstration, not selling. By doing so, customers will feel less intruded upon and will BUY!”
The new reality is that your audience is increasingly expecting video content. So start experimenting through social media and your websites. And check out our next post, in which we’ll share specific video tips and ideas to help you optimize your efforts.