Video is essential. Those who don’t currently offer video marketing in their portfolio of services need to get on it. Now.
I understand this might sound intimidating.
While I have the pleasure of knowing some brilliant video marketers, there’s little point in denying that most marketers boast backgrounds in data, sales, writing, and social media, not the creation of compelling visual content. The message from HubSpot (and many others) is that it’s time to add that skill to your toolbox or add someone gifted in the art of video to your team.
As we’ll get to in a minute, that doesn’t mean you need to have a studio, expensive equipment, or a grizzled video marketer from a company with a name like PiXcel. You do need to understand why video is so insanely valuable and be willing to embark on this new journey.
Why is video important to marketing?
Why is video so big right now? Here are ten reasons, because we like nice, round numbers:
- Linked videos in emails can (and often do) increase click-throughs by 200-300% (HubSpot)
- 80% of users can remember the details of a video advertisement they watched in the last month (Small Biz Trends)
- 90% of online shoppers say they find video helpful as they’re selecting a product or service (Video Brewery)
- 73% of companies using video marketing report improved ROI (HubSpot)
- 65% of executives said they visited a marketer’s (or marketing company’s) website to learn more after viewing a video (Small Biz Trends)
- 92% of mobile users reported sharing a video with friends, family, or co-workers in the last month (HubSpot)
- Video shares on social media are engaged with at a 1,200% higher rate than text or images alone (Brightcove)
- 45.4% of Internet users (that’s a lot of people!) will see a video online in a given month (Video Brewery)
- 68% of marketers surveyed said they believe interactive video will become more important, so there’s your competition (Brightcove)
- 87% of respondents for one survey said they use online video to market their businesses (we think there’s likely some fibbing, there), but more importantly, 78% said they think it’s effective (Wyzowl)
Video is everywhere. It’s inescapable, and you need to keep up. Your problem, of course, is gaining the expertise and finding the time and budget necessary to make worthwhile videos. Fortunately for you, we have four easy, cost-effective ways to get started.
1. Go live (for free!)
You can’t throw a stone at your screen without striking someone broadcasting live from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube (of course we wouldn’t recommend actually throwing things at your screen). It has never been easier to film yourself or an event with your phone, and that means the cost of getting started with video is exactly $0. Unless you don’t have a phone. You should probably work on that.
Quality is inevitably an issue here. But authenticity has become increasingly prized in video marketing, and the ability to react quickly to industry news or take live questions is powerful. If you’re savvy enough you can even roll out or explain new products and services briefly with live video (though we don’t recommend that until you have the on-camera mastery of a Cronkite or minor YouTube star).
Facebook, based on our experience, awards business pages with more organic reach for their Live videos than regular postings. Just keep your videos short, punchy, and relevant to your audience; and be sure to label them in an enticing way to ensure those who don’t tune in live find it afterward.
If you think Facebook isn’t the place to reach your core audience, try YouTube. The beauty of the modern age is that you can shop around for the best fit, and we use “shop” loosely because you can do it for free.
2. Create a Snapchat account
Snapchat is a little different and a little quirky compared to some of the more familiar social media powerhouses. The audience skews young at the moment, but Snapchat has been working to appeal more broadly, and the audience for the platform is growing at an exponential rate. Eventually, chances are very good your core audience will be present on Snapchat too unless your core audience is 55 and older.
We’ve found Snapchat is ideal for capturing your office’s unique vibe, featuring your people, and giving a behind-the-scenes look at some of the work you’re doing. Your audience will likely start out very small, so it’s a great platform to treat like a sandbox for more experimental video marketing and branding.
This HubSpot guide is a great way to get started, but from our end, we definitely recommend authenticity and off the cuff videos. Your snaps will only stay live for 24 hours on your company’s story, so if you strike out, you’ll be fine to try again the next day. Just keep your company’s branding in mind.
3. Put together webinars
Webinars are not the craze they once were—we swear they seemed like a craze, once!—but they’re a budget-friendly way to get your message out in the world via the magic of video. You can also dive a little deeper into your areas of expertise and give thoughtful, thorough presentations that make excellent downloadable content offers later on.
The beauty of webinars is that you can avoid the on-camera work if you’re initially gun-shy about putting your pretty mug into a video. You can pre-record a webinar with a voiceover and slide deck (i.e. PowerPoint or Keynote) to limit live mistakes, too, until you get comfortable enough to wing it in front of large virtual audiences.
While you’re probably not going to stage webinars for free, you can get your hands on a solution like GoToWebinar for just over $1,000 per year, with all the screen-sharing and video capabilities you could reasonably need. A webinar is also an excellent way to capture email addresses and other key information for your marketing efforts.
4. Utilize YouTube
If you’re savvy enough with YouTube, you can use it to do just about everything for free. The world’s largest video hosting platform allows you to stream live video, direct people to subscribe to your channel, and store all your videos in one place. Regardless of what other platforms you’re using, you should use YouTube as the natural home for your video marketing, and one of the easiest, cleanest ways to embed videos.
As an added bonus, YouTube is part of the suite of services owned by Google and is widely considered the second-most potent search engine in the world. That gives you the opportunity to smartly optimize your videos for both YouTube and Google, which in turn means the possibility of greater reach every time you put your smiling mug on camera.
With these four methods, you’ll be sharing your marketing messaging via the magic of video in no time at all. If 2017 truly is going to be the year of video, you’ll be ready for it. For a little help allocating funds and resources to that and the rest of your marketing efforts, check out our digital marketing budget template below.