Why is Video Marketing considered so important to an online marketing strategy?
Video Marketing is well justified, with the fact that over 94% of Australian web users now enjoy the use of broadband. Further to this, over 10 million Australians recently viewed 934 million videos in one month alone. Couple that with the claim that the average person spends just 60 seconds on a text-only website as opposed to 6 minutes on a website featuring video content, and the arguement for video marketing begins to take shape.
What can I achieve with video?
Video is engaging and can say more about a product or a service (or your organisation) than a few skillfully-written paragraphs of text. When you land on a web page seeking information on a product or service, you generally begin to skim-read the text in front of you. Bullet points can be more effective than just paragraphs of text, and bold type can assist your customers when skim reading. Supporting images can help a great deal - but video grabs attention and engages your customers.
Google loves websites with video content!
With video content your website can climb the search engine rankings faster than a comparable website with only text and images. Google returns search result links to YouTube-hosted video (the fact that Google owns YouTube should explain why) and gives higher priority to video content than text-based content.
What type of video is right for you?
Whether you pay a professional or shoot and produce in-house, you need to first decide what it is that you want to say. Will your video serve as a page introduction or a product demonstration? Will your videos be video blogs or customer testimonials? Here's a quick check-list of different categories for you to consider:
- Instructional or Training video
- Product demonstrations or presentations
- Business blog
- Customer testimonials
- Executive speech or presentations
Professional shoot or 'roll your own'?
A 'talking head' video of ~60 seconds will cost you approximately $300 if you use a profesional video creation company. Not bad. Add another $200 and you get a simple production also close to 45s-60s in length. Very simple video with some basic edits. At these prices it's best to decide the type of video you think that your customers would like to see. Be prepared, however, to pay well in excess of $1,000 for the most basic of videos. If you're a small business with only a small or modest marketing budget then a self-produced video could work for you but it must be appear to be professional.
Roll your own
Okay, you're daring and want to give this a go. DIY video is best done for product demonstrations and presentation. Because you know your product/s back to front you can quite possibly shoot the video in one take and effectively remove the need to edit using suitable software. Shoot a few practise runs and rehearse your dialogue beforehand. Like any over-the-counter product presentation, stick to the product's main features and benefits and experiment with "question and answer" style presenting.
- Invest in a simple DV (digital video) camera. Internet-ready USB cameras are now widely available and many cost less than $500. The results, for what we're doing here, are more than adequate.
- Purchase a tripod. A reasonable enough tripod for what you're going to be doing will cost under $100 if you don't already own one. If you have an assistant, experiment with hand-held shooting and have the person holding the camera move around to keep the viewer's attention. Experiment to see what works best.
- Prepare a neat and tidy background or an interesting background and make sure it's well lit. Ensure that the person conducting the presentation is front-lit and avoid shooting video if there's a lit window somewhere behind the presenter. If you have a bricks n mortar retail store, shoot against your stock shelves or display areas.
- Choose a presenter who has enthusiasm and who loves the product theyr'e presenting! You want to excite your viewers, not send them rushing for the pause buton.
- Be natural!
- End the video with a call to action. Something like, "To purchase this product, click the 'add to cart' button at the botom of the page. If you order before June 30, we'll ship to your door and we'll pick up the cost of shipping".