Videos were once a marketing means reserved for business with big money. However, with the continual growth of the internet, more and more small to medium businesses are feeling the need for adoption of video as part of their blooming phase.
For startups and businesses looking to make themselves known, using video has become a staple in the industry both as a means of capturing new audiences and scaling your business operations. Here are the most significant ways various players in the industry are employing video as a way to boost their growth.
1. Reaching more mobile customers
The mobile market has been increasingly the most important group for marketers to target for a few years running now. With the kind of bludgeoning popularity video has also been receiving, mobile users have become more important than ever.
To give you a little bit of perspective on this, a Cisco study states that 60% of the mobile internet users are for video content alone. That’s phenomenal.
This relatively new concept is best summarized by a quote that’s as old as the first video ever recorded: if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth at least ten thousand. It is by far the easiest way to squeeze a lot of useful information into a short period of time.
2. Demonstrate how your product is used
Try and visualize trying to explain a complex product (or perhaps so mind-numbingly simple, it’s difficult to explain) using a couple of screenshots and maybe stock photos.
After which, imagine how much simpler that process would be if you opted for a 30-second video instead (or comparatively longer, depending on the complexity of your product).
In the process, you will also be able to clear up bits that are harder to understand or get around – say after a site-wide redesign, for instance. Since prospective customers come with their own preconceived notions, perhaps from hear-say or past experience, you will be able to clear up such misconceptions.
Videos such as product demos, for instance, can come in handy when you need to shed some insight into how different your product is from the competition. It might also take the form of an instructional video showing how rather complicated bits of your product can be used. The number of valuable customer service questions that will be saved as a result is incredible.
3. Give Third-Party Proof
As marketers, we often get so over our heads we forget that old-fashioned mortar and pestle is at times the most effective solution in the book. In other words, recommendations are quite effective ways of getting more people into buying our merchandise.
80% of people are more likely to buy something after being recommended a product by people they trust.
Trying to penetrate a person’s inner circle and getting them to recommend a product sounds like a lot more work than it’s worth. However, a social media recommendation makes purchasing a product 18% more likely than traditional advertising. That’s where the power of video comes in.
Combined with the exponential amounts of engagement a well-directed and produced video can achieve, getting a few customers to narrate their experience with your product is a pretty effective solution. Real customers would be preferable, but if actors have to be employed, the script has to be incredibly solid.
4. Educate your audience
Along with the previous point, the person doesn’t necessarily have to be giving a review of your product. It might be something as simple as an influencer or partner in your industry giving insight into the problems they encounter with regards to your field on a day-to-day basis.
You don’t even have to inject your branding into the video itself – this would be better done at the end of such videos.
Estimates have it that the average person in the West is exposed to about 3,000 marketing messages every single day. Terms like ‘banner blindness’ and general resistance to sales speak have become the new norm.
For this reason, one of the methods suggested for gaining traction in an increasingly closed-off world is educating rather than selling. Present them with free information and engage them rather than treat them like paying customers.
5. Show off your company culture
In a bit of a twist, company culture is another important aspect of growing a small business from its roots. Company culture is essentially the personality of the company, and a lot of money goes into making working at a company look good in the eyes of the public.
Take Google and their endless chutes and Apple with their foosball tables – they try to promote a ‘work is home’ kind of culture. Of course, we mustn’t forget Google’s old motto ‘don’t be evil.’
This is arguably more important for employees that want to work at the company since they get to know how well they will fit in with the rest of the company.
However, culture is also defined by things like ethics and what it chooses to back. The huge net neutrality debate last year is a great example of an event that helped shape different companies’ cultures.
From events like these, you risk either alienating huge swathes of your user base or gaining new supporters. Nike’s recent Colin Kaepernick campaign is also a great example of a company strategically defining their company culture.
6. Grow user engagement
There are about a dozen different ways to define engagement, depending on the platform you visit. Even primarily video-based platforms like Cincopa and YouTube all have different ways of defining the terms.
Factors that play a role in calculating engagement include commenting, liking, sharing, how much of the video has been watched and how many videos of a similar style/channel are being watched.
Engagement has always been a central focus for marketers because it’s one of the most effective ways of growing any business.
Depending on where your company has decided to place its central focus, of course, it could be defined very differently, depending on which of the factors mentioned above have the most weight. Its importance is hinged on the fact that higher engagement signifies a more invested audience, i.e. a greater overall impact on people.
Sadly enough, there is no fixed set of tricks to increase user engagement. All that’s needed is a clear understanding of what’s most relevant to your audience.
Again, depending on your industry and the kind of video you are going for, it might need to be more informative than it is entertaining or fast-paced than it is interesting. In the end, it might take quite a bit of trial and error and some A/B testing to get right.
7. Share Your Creation Story
This point is a lot more relevant for small businesses than large corporations. Just like people will choose to associate with your company based on its ethical/cultural standing, people show a lot of interest in how small businesses they run were founded.
If the company has been enjoying a recent spat of success and you feel the need to thank your customers, why not make it a two-in-one video, then?
It’s not to say large companies don’t do it, either. Guinness is a good example of a multinational company that has historically made use of these kinds of videos. Share a good story about how the company was established and possibly your future plans. Don’t forget to thank your employees and customers!