When I meet and talk with fellow business owners inevitably the topic of what we do professionally comes up. When I tell them I help integrate video in to business’s marketing strategies, I am often met with a comment like this ‘Yes video I see is becoming very popular. We are thinking about it, but it’s not something we are ready to do yet”. It naturally raises my curiosity so I usually follow with asking them why this was. The answers are fascinating, so I then set out to ask as many business owners as I could, who aren’t using video yet; why not?
Though the answers were somewhat varied, they boil down to three main reasons. So in this blog I have taken each excuse, the thoughts behind them and offer a response to each of them.
1. Video is too Expensive
Professionally produced video does come with a price tag agreed, but in recent years due to technology advances in both cameras and post production software, production cost have fallen significantly. There is no doubt that a production crew worth it’s salt will come at a cost and the general perception amongst business owners is that it’s still expensive.
Compared to what though? Professional video will require a realistic professional budget admittedly, but the results, can be phenomenal. Right now video is out performing print and display promotion together with all other forms of digital promotion. It’s the preferred content on a website given the choice. It’s easily shareable making in it very functional in social media, online advertising and email marketing. In fact it’s safe to say that video is the ‘King’ of content right now.
Videos edited for specify functions will run effectively for at least a couple of years. In fact the only time they become ‘out dated’ is when their message needs to be update or it’s content has become outdated. I know of video’s on YouTube that still attract customer enquiries even though they were made over four years ago. Two examples out there are; Dollar Shave Club and Poo Puri have had incredible performances over the last few years. Video propelled both these businesses into multimillion $ dollar businesses from start up. In fact Dollar Shave Club was bought in July of this year for $1 Billion by Unilever! Not bad for a start up of just five years hey!
Something is only expensive if it doesn’t return a value to you; is it not? In business there are many things that we consider fix costs or unavoidable necessary costs because they are integral to the function of our business, like electricity, council tax for example. But something that actively and consistently provides benefits like brand awareness in the commutative world, a personal business introduction 24/7, a type of content that’s in demand right now and one that works across all digital advertising platforms to generate leads or enquiries is not a cost, it’s an investment.
They say that a successful business will devote the equivalent to between 15% – 22% of it’s turnover to marketing and promotion to achieve reasonable growth. The challenge is to spend that budget on cost effective marketing methods. Right now and for the foreseeable long term future, video is out performing all other mediums on a cost/result comparison. Once again, you only have to google ‘Video Stats’ to read just how the market place is responding to the use of video in marketing.
2. Video is too Complicated
Many business owners are looking for ‘Fire and Forget’ solutions to their marketing. The steps to go through the production process again are perceived to be complicated, let alone creating and implementing a broadcasting strategy. Like anything in life, we only consider things complicated when we don’t understand enough about the process.
Once the benefits are really understood then the processes become much clearer. If a business owner has clear goals and objectives then designing a path such as manufacturing or a route to market becomes easier. The same can be said about video. There needs to be a strategy and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether, as the owner you do the planning and implementing or whether you employ someone to do it for you, the devil is in the detail as they say.
Building video into your marketing strategy is a simple case of planning. That, and understanding where it’s true power lies and how to weald it effectively will directly contribute to lead generation and sales. Marketing is all about integration, usually of multiple platforms or disciplines. Video used properly fits like a glove and is a very powerful ally.
Start with a clear idea of what you want to achieve, who you want to target and steps to get there will become clear. The secret to effective video is to plan strategically, whether it is a frontline campaign or a simple line of funnel films through to a regular live broadcast series, there needs to be a strategy.
I was talking to avid FaceBook Live broadcaster Sarah Ann Lucas (Birdonabike) recently. Sarah broadcasts daily for about four to six minutes. Her strategy is to plan her content at least a month in advance and each daily topic is deliberately timed within an overall content plan. Her followers benefit from a structural release of wisdom, tips and viewpoints that are consistent with her professional expertise. They serve as a cohesive resource that directly benefit her followers, who, in time are open to become her clients.
The ‘complication’ falls completely away once proper time is devoted to any new regime in business. It’s exactly the same with video marketing and building it into your overall marketing. Again, a good video producer will help you define your objectives, implement a strategy and direct you to creating an effective campaign. If complicated means time, then hiring professionals to help formulate and implement a specific campaign will save time of course.
3. Too fearful of Video
This reason often make me smile. It often comes with a quote ‘Oooh you won’t get me in front of the camera!” The irony is that it’s often said to me at a networking meeting and the person is standing in front of me having just pitched their business to me.
Yes video is very transparent, but that should be regarded as a benefit in todays relational world. Gone are the days when transactional selling is acceptable. As consumers have access to so much research, opinion and information on competition, that we make our buying decisions based on an emotional response to the results of our research. That ‘Know, Like & Trust’ element comes into it more that ever now, particularly online.
If you stand in front of a customer to pitch your business, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t get in front of the camera to do the same. In fact pre recorded video allows you to deliver your message in a clean and tidy way so its often absorbed more effectively. Getting over the fear of being in front of the camera is a process. The trick is to understand that the video is not actually for you, it’s for your intended audience, your potential customers. The chances are you’re not going to look at it again once you’ve seen it at approval stage in production. Once its out there, it will work for you 24/7.
Besides, if I had a pound for every time a client of ours has come back to say that once they’d seen themselves on camera a few times they got used to it and no longer saw themselves in that shy, fearful way, I would be holidaying in Barbados right now!
Putting yourself in front of the camera is a very powerful sales tool for your business. It introduces you on a personal level, which will put a face to your business. Customers like that very much! It will encourage viewers to get to know, like and trust you. It will introduce you as powerfully as though you were in front of a potential customer, working on your website, social media, any digital platform for that matter, both day and night across the world. It doesn’t get better that that!
If appearing on camera is really a no no, then there are many other ways to make engaging videos without appearing yourself. Again a good producer will help you with that.
So there you have it, three reasons often used for NOT using video I hope dispelled . If you are not using or planning to use video in your marketing strategy then I strongly urge you to start. Businesses embracing video are getting ahead of their competition and building a strong public brand.
But like any new format in marketing though, you should approach it with three things in mind. Firstly define your desired outcome. Be clear the results you want. Is it subscribers? Is it enquiries? Or is it adding warm leads to a sales funnel? This will determine exactly what your call to action should be. Secondly, really be clear on whom you want to appeal to. Knowing who your target audience is and knowing as much about them will help you figure out where they spend time online. Knowing that; will define where you broadcast your videos. The last thing is to clearly understand your target audience interest or pain point. This will help you design you video content so that it resonates with them, closing the probability they will react to your call to action.
I’m Hax, a filmmaker by passion, and I achieve results with the films I make for my clients. I understand viewing trends and methods working with video marketing so that my clients can achieve a great return on their investment. To that end I not only make films, I specialises in helping motivated business owners integrate video into their marketing strategies.