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start-using-video-for-business

Taking on new marketing strategy requires some extra commitment up front—especially video. A lot of business owners are hesitant to take on video because they feel like they don't have the time, skill, or technology to do it right.

We have good news! Whatever your budget and time constraints are, there's a type of video that fits your business. Whether you want to amp up an existing strategy with some more engaging, modern content, or if you want to totally dominate the visual space, there’s a video strategy for your business.

1. Start by building a plan. Decide where your marketing efforts need a pick-me-up.


Let's evaluate your goals and objectives first. What do you want to accomplish by including video in your marketing strategy? The best way to target your impact is by choosing a set of assets to focus on.

Here's where video can help you stand out:

  • On your website: If your page conversions are sagging, consider your page goals—video can likely add value!

    • Homepages, About pages, and Team pages typically benefit from videos because they're dedicated to talking about yourself and your business. Audiences want to know what sets you apart from competitors, and those aspects of your business are often better shown than told by offering a virtual face-to-face.
    • On Service pages, you can show how your products are made or your services are developed. Our time at INBOUND 2018 hammered home the importance for businesses today to make authentic efforts to build trust with their audience. Video makes what you do—and how you do it—easier for people to understand, which will allows them to get comfortable with your business.
  • In your emails: What is your click-through rate like in your email marketing and sales efforts? If you want to encourage more contacts to schedule appointments or engage with your emails, consider incorporating a video.

    • HubSpot has partnered up with Vidyard to make it easier than ever to include video in your email campaigns. Linking an animated gif or an image of a splash screen to a landing page with video content is an effective way of incorporating video tactics. Not only that, but your email KPIs will thank you—video can boost your click-through rate by a whopping 65%
  • On social media: If you're looking to offer more on your social media channels in order to engage your audience and give your brand image a face lift, native content and video can help on social media platforms.

    • Videos on social media are about awareness, and grabbing attention in the first 2-3 seconds.
    • While B2C social media videos tend to be emotionally stirring, successful B2B videos are surprising and informational. Jason Hsaiao, President of Animoto and a presenter at INBOUND 2018, found that people on social media prefer to consume information in video form.
  • Anywhere in the sales cycle: Prospects want to know that you have value to offer. Show them! Here's a cheat sheet for every stage of the buyer's journey:

    • Awareness Stage = Thought Leadership Videos
    • Decision Stage = Instructional Product Videos & Company Story Videos
    • Decision Stage = Process Videos & Pricing Walk-Through Videos
    • Delight Stage = Testimonial Opportunities (featuring your customer, of course) & Troubleshoot Videos

2. Pick a video type and topic. There are so many to choose from! Here are only a few examples of videos you can make and repurpose for multiple objectives:

  • Tell the story of your company. What makes you so great, anyway? Every company, and every person working for your business, has a story. Together, your team makes up the aspects of your business that make you great—and undeniably unique. You can't help but be different from every single competitor out there, even if you sell the same product. Show them how.

    • This product demo video is in the form of a deliberately generic brand video, but yours shouldn't be!
         
  • Offer a valuable instructional video, or explain your products or services. The bigger the investment to buy into your products or services, the longer a video your viewers will be willing to watch. They want as much information as possible to justify what they have to spend to get what you have to offer. A webinar is an instructional or informational video type that is easy to make, and can be made quite engaging if you incorporate a good voiceover and minimal effects. Instead of sending out a newsletter so your current and future customers can read about industry updates or new products, consider a video instead so that you can show instead of tell.

    • Take Hootsuite's product launch video from 2014. They're upfront with their audience that something had to change, which build trust (and surprises users with honesty). They take it a step further, and resolve all of the drama by announcing their new UI.

  • Explain processes. Do a walk-through of your pricing, your proposals, or the way your processes work. People want to now what it's like working with you. With a video, you get a chance to speak to someone before you even get them on the phone. Producing How-To's is one of our favorite video types because it helps customers in every stage of the process.
  • Harness the power of word-of-mouth. Customer testimonials are probably the most common video seen from businesses at the moment. And it's arguably the most effective. Go for personality and authenticity, always, like this testimonial compilation from Closet Works:
  • Get intimate in email. Instead of sending a plain text email to a lead, introduce yourself in a more intimate way via video. With Video Signatures from sales teams, response rates increased 3x and 5x via HubSpot. Video in ABM showed a 50% increase in click-throughs. The unsold follow-up is another good situation where a personal video can be very effective.
  • Say "Thank You." The purchase thank you video can be sent via email or on a landing page after purchasing online. Talk about next steps in the relationship, or how you can help them along the way as customers.
  • Sharing is caring. Repurpose longer videos on the above topics by cutting them in to bite-sized pieces (10-15 seconds long). Share them on social media as stand-alone content, and tease them out as promotional content for longer videos. This means working smarter, not harder, since you'll be taking a single video and turning it into countless engagement opportunities—and increased ROI on larger, more highly-produced content. I'm partial to Wistia's awesome social video mix, which you can view at your leisure on their Instagram.

3. Determine if you can produce in-house or outsource.

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Once you're ready to start producing, consider which elements you can do in-house and which ones you need to bring out to a production company or freelancer. Identify the investment you're willing and able to make. Producing in-house without a dedicated expert will leave you simpler, lower-quality videos, but that doesn't mean that they won't be effective based on your audience and goal. Research your niche to see what the minimum viable product would be for the type of video you'd like to make.

4. Build an equipment list for in-house production.

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There's a lot you can do with a webcam, an of-the-moment iPhone, and a budget-friendly tripod. For simple videos, that's really all you need. Experiment with quality, get the camera at eye-level, at arm's length, and make sure you're well-lit (filming in front of a window often works well). If you use a webcam, don’t hunch over your computer, which can crowd the frame.

If you're more ambitious, explore some more sophisticated hardware. Artificial lighting, audio gear, AV knick-knacks, lighting reflectors, stands, camera extenders, a quality DSLR camera, clip-on microphones, shotgun microphones, and, of course, editing software like Adobe Premier, will need to be on our list if you're going to get fancy. Beware of overloading your cart: when you opt for fancy, costs tend to add up quickly. If you're not experienced with this kind of equipment, you'll probably want to get a quote (or three) from freelancers and credible producers.

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5. Work backwards to pick a producer.

If you're looking for production help from an agency or freelancer to shoot and/or edit videos, work backwards. That is, find examples of videos, especially those from businesses in your area and from your industry, and see if they've been outsourced. Contact the producer to get a quote for your own specific project.

Will this be a one-off video, or do you want to be able to produce more in the future? It may be worth investing in equipment, skills, and editing software if you are going to incorporate video into your business model and marketing efforts on a bigger scale in the future. This may mean looking at your marketing retainer if you have a agency and setting aside resources for video production, or it may even mean hiring or training someone on your team to take on video for your company.

6. Execute successfully: Get your audience's attention.

The secret to a great video, regardless of length, is to be unpredictable. You'll need good writers to develop your video concept and to make it work for you.

In terms of visual stimulation, something has to change every 2-3 seconds for viewers to remain interested. In movies, the length of a shot has gone from 10 seconds to below 4 seconds. It doesn’t mean that we are not able to stay focused, but that we prefer something that changes more than not. When you shift between visuals, you're challenging the brain into a constant state of engagement.

Other quick tips: Be authentic. Don’t read from a script. In emails, use the person’s name, and use an animated GIF instead of the play button in emails. These generally get more click-throughs in email than static images.

This is just the beginning. There are other considerations, of course, but sometimes you just have to take the leap.

You'll be doing it for the right kind of attention—your customers'!

We're always here to help if you need some extra insight on video topics, production, and how to promote your content. It also doesn't hurt to circle back to basic content marketing best practice. 

If you'd like to get back to the basics in content marketing, we're also hosting a blogging event on October 29, 2018. And you're invited! The upcoming Lower Hudson Valley HubSpot User Group event is titled "Everything You Know About Blogging is a Lie." We're letting you in on some not-so-little secrets and breaking down common misconceptions around blogging, and how to do it right to earn much-deserved traffic and leads from your website.

Find Out the Truth About Blogging