Using Video to Grow Your Business

When we say social media is here to stay, we base this on almost unimaginable statistics on its use in today’s market. Businesses that will survive are those who recognize its significance and get on board. One of the most underused marketing strategies for small business is branding through video, especially using YouTube.

First, here are a few stats to whet your appetite:

  • Facebook Users watch 100 million hours of video per day
  • 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day
  • Over 430,000 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every day
  • YouTube has more than 1.3-billion users and more than 10,000 videos
  • Over 70 million of hours of video are watched on YouTube every day in 88 countries and navigated in 76 languages
  • An average mobile user spends 40-minutes a session on YouTube
  • 62% of YouTube users are male
  • Almost half of YouTube’s users are between 25 and 44 years of age
  • 9% of U.S. small businesses users use YouTube (it’s probably similar for Canada and the U.K.)

Please take note of the last point – at the current time your small business competitors may not be latching onto this major marketing opportunity; move now and be ahead of the game! Video, across all social media sites, holds a massive opportunity to develop your brand. Videos can build your brand by increasing your visibility, credibility and showcasing your expertise. Imagine what an impact you could have by tapping into a tool whose audience number is so staggering. In addition, videos assist in search engine optimization and encourage viewers to visit your website and learn more about you and your business.

How can you use this incredible tool to market and promote your business? It doesn’t require a fancy video recorder – just a decent camera, as you’re going to keep these videos under three-minutes. Then post the video on your website. Here are some ideas.

Provide expert advice

Is there some aspect of your business you could provide some practical tips on? “How to’s” are very popular: how to grout your bathroom tile, how to make a spectacular dessert, how to write a business letter, how to paint your attic, how to cook a turkey – the well from which to draw your content is limitless. How about a one-minute video series on a whole variety of topics related to your industry, products and services? When you are seen as an expert, users will start looking for you specifically when they want to know “how to” do something related to your industry. These repeat visits, or hits, increase your web optimization.

Highlight a product

Show your customers how to use a product they have purchased. You can also show them what the product looks like from various angles. People are visual. When potential customers see what the cake, article of clothing or car looks like they may be more inspired to buy. A video can demonstrate your product far more effectively than a photo. Take a look at Amazon’s products where you can run your cursor over the product image to get a close up look before you buy.

Talk about your business

You can use video to make mini-commercials to highlight your product or services. Take a minute to just talk about what your company does, why people should use you, what you have to offer that’s different from your competitors. When people hear your voice, see your face and learn more about your company they may be more tempted to purchase because they feel a personal connection to you. If you aren’t comfortable talking in front of a camera, write a script and use cue cards so that you don’t appear to be rambling or flustered; they will also help you stay focused and on track.

Drive traffic to your website

Make sure you complete your profile on YouTube or any other site when you upload your video. The first thing and last thing you want to put on your profile is your website address. This will encourage viewers to click and visit your website. There are a lot more advanced techniques to fancy up your video with captions, music and logo, but it’s best to keep it simple at the start. As you get more experience, you can experiment with those things. You may even want to consider getting a professional video made if you find you’re getting good results.

Share it everywhere

Post your video on your website, your social networking sites, and your blog. You can include a link to your video in your email newsletters or magazines. Your video can become a fabulous grassroots marketing tool, if it’s interesting and you’re creative about how you distribute it. Encourage your customers to share the video with their network as well.

People do business with those they know, like, trust and those who they see as experts. You may not get to meet every potential customer; video is a great tool for branding your business so that people get to see and know you through this medium. Take the plunge. Try it. What have you got to lose? Uploading a video is easy and inexpensive – and the potential benefit your business could derive may boost your brand to a whole new level.

This article talks primarily about YouTube – after all it is the third largest site on the Internet – but for business use, you should also check out Wistia; Vidyard; Brigthcove; and SproutVideo. |