“With over a billion people on social media it’s irresponsible for any brand not to have some sort of presence. 2012 will be the year for brands to go beyond cookie cutter campaigns and really determine how it not only adds value to their company, but how it adds value for their customers.”
There is a steady increase in the use of social media by small businesses. I see this everyday in my own business so I’m not surprised. Nor am I surprised that small businesses are focusing on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media does take time and effort so it makes more sense to do a great job on two or three platforms instead of a mediocre job on ten platforms.
This is not the time to just follow the pack. If your business has more to gain with videos, put your big efforts into YouTube. If you are selling B2B, Facebook may not serve you at all. Each business must look at social media and see what aspects will give them the greatest ROI. Make a specific marketing plan then follow it!
Interesting research on the use of videos from eMarketer.
The need to differentiate yourself from your competition has never been greater. Nor has the need to market your services / products consistently, concisely and clearly. Let’s discuss a relatively new tool to help you with both needs – video marketing. It fits so perfectly for the architect, the interior designer, … really the entire construction industry which is a visual business.
YouTube is now the #2 search engine in the world following Google (who just happens to own YouTube). The most popular videos viewed on YouTube are consumer or non-professional short videos. A short video is typically 3-4 minutes long.
Granted, a lot of video viewing is by the 18-24 year old crowd. They’re watching not only short videos but also music videos, full length TV shows, movie previews, full length movies and news stores (top five according to the survey). Average weekly viewing is 4.6 hours.
Do not be mislead by thinking videos ONLY appeal to that group. 50% of all online users watch videos weekly according to a study by Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., in conjunction with Metacafe.
People process information and learn in different ways and video marketing speaks to both the audio and visual learner. They see you and/or your product while hearing your presentation. Another study shows when the combination of voice and visuals are working together, information is absorbed and retained at a much higher level. It’s more than six times that of hearing alone (a phone call) and three times that of seeing alone (emails).
The really good news for businesses is that the audience actually responds better to amateur videos. They are not expecting gorgeous models, perfect delivery and slick productions. “Authentic” and “transparent” are crucial words for video marketing as for other types of social media.
There are three tools worth checking out:
The Flip Camera
www.TheFlip.com For just under $200, you can purchase a camera for quality videos which can immediately be uploaded to YouTube, your web site or other multi-media sites.
Mojo Video Marketing
www.MoJoVideoMarketing.com This firm will help you create videos or will use your videos. The critical part of their service is the automation. Remember the seven “touches” rule to make a sale? Mojo will help you set up your marketing process. Their software will send the videos out on your schedule. Mixing phone calls, emails and meetings in with the videos gives you a powerful presence. Equally important is the consistency. All of us have found a business card under a pile of paper on our desks of a good prospect that we met and then accidentally forgot. Mojo is so easy that you can add contacts to your video campaign from your SmartPhone. The touches continue on schedule!
www.GoldMail.com There are several companies that will convert still photos into a video (www.animoto.com). Most provide background music. Some will attach an audio recording. Gold Mail’s genius is the simplicity of their software to let you create the video yourself. You can use still photos, a PowerPoint presentation or one of their templates. You record your message with each slide. If you make a mistake, you can correct a single slide! I tested the software one Sunday afternoon. Being a multi-tasker, I tried the software out and created a message to my family and friends. It took a little over 30 minutes and that included finding recent pictures of the cats and of my new car.
Once you have created your video, you can insert it into one email or into a broadcast message through an Email Service Provider. Forrester Research has stated that adding clickable media to your emails can increase click-through by 2 to 3 times. A higher open rate leads to higher conversion rates. If you include a link to your web site in the email, you can also increase traffic to your web site.
Speaking of web sites, all indications are that web sites with videos generate more traffic both in new visitors and in keeping visitors on your site longer.
Bruce Clay, one of the godfathers of SEO, has even said you basically won’t exist, in search engine terms, if you don’t have video: “I think, that a year from now, we are going to be sitting here saying – ‘if you don’t have video, if you don’t have engagement objects on your website, you are just not going to rank. It will make you last among equals if you don’t have it.”
Once your video is uploaded to YouTube, it is quite simple to embed the video on your web site. You can then measure it’s success with Google Analytics or other traffic reporting software. You don’t need to abandon text or other graphic content on your site. There are people who want to read details. There are people who want to see charts, technical data, etc. Adding a video differentiates you. It marks you as a technology leader. It shows an openness to new ideas which is certainly important in your industry!
Don’t stop with posting the video. Tell people about it. Link from your daily emails. Include a link in your monthly e-newsletter. Submit the video to Metacafe.com, StumbleUpon.com, Digg.com or other video sites. Mention the video in all of your social media activities. This isn’t a field of dreams. You need to promote the video, your web site, your social media activities. Each marketing effort should support every other marketing effort