By now, you’ve probably heard video marketing is a powerful tool for generating leads and capturing new customers.
So why aren’t you using it yet?
For many small to medium businesses, the reluctance to adopt video comes from a fear of the unknown. Video marketing feels expensive, cumbersome, and difficult to track. And these would be valid reasons … if any of them were still true in 2020.
Video technology has come a long way in the past few years. We’ve gone from “put it on YouTube and hope the millennials find it” to video enablement platforms which empower small businesses to create, share, and analyze videos without the agencies, actors, or expense.
If you haven’t seen what video can do for your company, it’s time to stop putting it off.
In this post, let’s review the top video marketing myths.
Sure, HBO’s Westworld may have beaten The Game of Thrones’ record with a price tag of $10 million per episode, but you don’t have to play their game. In fact, stay as far away from it as possible.
Video doesn’t have to be expensive. Today’s buyers and consumers actually appreciate authenticity over production value.
According to Fast Company, consumers prefer lower quality but “authentic” goods and services over those of a higher quality but which seem “inauthentic.”
This craving for authenticity is why we’re seeing such an explosion in micro-influencer marketing and user-generated content. With both of these marketing strategies, brands rely on their own buyers to create content, usually with little more than an iPhone.
With your own video content, don’t stress over having a low production budget if you have something valuable to say. For example, Vidyard produces Chalk Talks where they ask experts within their company to chat about topics like outbound sales, analytics, and video strategy in front of a chalkboard. The videos have been shared thousands of times, and the cost? A few minutes of someone’s time and a lot of colored chalk.
What many small business owners typically mean by this is “I don’t know where to begin.” When they think of video, they imagine a time-consuming process of coming up with scripts and storyboards, procuring actors and equipment, and hiring someone in jockey pants to operate the clapperboard and shout, “Action!” Yet modern video marketing is worlds apart from Hollywood and requires a lot less effort.
When it comes to camera equipment, the age-old aphorism still holds true: the best camera is the one that’s with you.
Today, most iPhone cameras rival all but the top-of-the-line DSLRs and video equipment and are a great substitute. You can easily capture videos of yourself, your office, events, and customers giving off-the-cuff testimonials when your sales and account teams pay them a visit.
And when it comes to actors, don’t worry that you can’t afford Gal Gadot: you don’t need her. Your employees will do a far better job because they actually know your products, your customers, and the details of your industry. After the initial awkwardness of seeing themselves on camera fades, you’ll have all the actors you need.
And finally, not everything needs to be scripted. Writers are great and preparation has its place, but a lot of great content can be created with little or no forethought. Take entrepreneur and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk, for example. He built a media empire from selfie videos recorded on his mobile phone. The below video of him giving advice to young entrepreneurs might be what the internet would call “potato quality” but it still gets the powerful point across.
If you feel like you don’t know where to start, HubSpot’s Video Marketing course can serve as a great guide to helping on your way.
What most brands hopefully mean by this one is “our industry doesn’t use video yet.” Video is industry agnostic and the demand is being driven not by businesses, but the people who work within them. Remember, both B2B and B2C are really just B2H (business-to-human), and humans love video. One need only look at the numbers for a reminder:
“What would the people who make up our customer base, business or otherwise, like to see?”
Videos can indeed be difficult to track, but only if you’re using a bare bones video hosting platform like YouTube or your website’s video feature. These platforms only show you total video views which is like measuring your website’s success based solely from visits.
What if 95 percent of your video’s viewers dropped off in the first three seconds? You’d never know. A true video enablement platform, on the other hand, can give you insights into how people watch your videos, who they are, what they liked and didn’t like, and what they did afterward.
You see, video has some unique characteristics that make it highly trackable. Because it’s linear and people watch it from end-to-end, video enablement platforms, like TwentyThree and Wistia, can tell you what parts viewers watched, where they skipped, and where they revisited. From this, you can automatically infer an individual’s interest in particular products or value propositions that appeared in the video.
And, with CRM and marketing system integrations, you don’t have to spend all your time on these analytics. You can trigger actions based on how your viewers watched the video. Did they only complete 25 percent of it? Better send them a different video. Did another viewer rewatch the part where the product is shown over and over? Better ping your sales team because you might have a qualified lead on your hands.
Of all the excuses, this one invariably makes our editor cough and spit out her coffee in surprise. Video is perhaps the most dynamic and repurpose-able type of content that you have: It increases open rates for email, boosts click through rates for landing pages, encourages shares on social media, increases time on page for websites, and drives more leads than text alone. And, with a great video editing platform, you can optimize one video for all channels.
A good video editing platform provides small to medium businesses with the tools they need to easily cut up, edit, and optimize one video into many formats for many channels. This scales easily because users can easily A/B test videos just as they would an email and can render dynamic content to personalize videos to viewers, such as inserting logos, names, or even swapping out different products. With the right tools, video has more uses than you’ll know what to do with.
Video is easier than you think.
Once you have the epiphany that unscripted and low production value videos are both desirable and trackable, you’ll also realize that it’s useful for more than just marketing and sales.
You can use video in your customer support to demonstrate how to use your product, in your internal communications to update your remote teams, and as a way for people within your company to communicate on a day-to-day basis.
So, knowing that video isn’t nearly as expensive, difficult, or untraceable as you previously thought, are you ready to stop putting it off?
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.