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Video Marketing: What Is It and Why Is It Important to Your Business?

Video marketing utilizes video to reach brand-new potential customers by bringing more exposure to your business. It allows you to improve your marketing message and to connect with your target audience in a way that's familiar and highly engaging.

Today's technology gives people the opportunity to view videos at any time, no matter where they are. People no longer turn to the Yellow Pages™ to find a company. When they need information, the vast majority of people now use computers, tablets, and mobile phones to find out about your local business. They search online for the products and services they need.

Videos are crucial to being chosen by people who are looking for what you have to offer. Marketing with video helps prospects find you online, gives you an easy and effective way to demonstrate your expertise, and allows you to create the image you wish to communicate. They transform interested prospects into paying customers.

Why Use Video Marketing?

Here are just a few of the benefits to be gained by adding video to your marketing mix:

  • Instant credibility. Giving people valuable information quickly establishes you as an authority in the market. For instance, if you're an accountant and you regularly publish videos that help small business owners manage their cash flow better, who do you think they will be most likely to call when they need help with their books? And who do you think they will recommend when their friends need help? That's right — they'll contact the business that's been helping them all along.
  • Greater reach. Helpful videos that provide real solutions are shared all the time, and when videos are shared, their visibility in search results typically increases. Since videos let you demonstrate how your products and services solve the problems your prospects want to solve, people will be able to find you when they search for those solutions online.
  • Stronger connection. Videos add a personal touch to your communication, which creates a stronger bond between you and your customers. Allowing people to hear your voice and see your face establishes a level of trust because they will feel like they know who you are. And it doesn't have to be you! As the business owner, you can decide who you want to be the “face of your business” and let the market get to know that person.
  • Branding. Well-done videos make your company stand out from the noise in a crowded marketplace. You can create videos that deliver helpful tips, share a bit of humor or even fully resolve common issues faced by those in your target audience. Use videos to demonstrate who you are and to project the image you want to be known for.

By now you know that video has the potential to grow your business exponentially, but …

What exactly is video marketing?

Video marketing is a strategy by which you use video to advertise your brand online. The strategy is simple:

Create -> Distribute -> Promote

Create

Create videos specifically designed to gain, persuade and amuse customers. Video marketing is about more than just making “commercials.” Promotional videos are extremely beneficial (read profitable), but to truly engage the people in your target audience, it's good to go a little bit further.

You will get the best results if you use videos throughout your entire sales and marketing process – and beyond. Video attracts new prospects to your website with valuable information and advice. It welcomes new visitors to your website and creates an immediate sense of familiarity. Videos demonstrate and explain products and improve sales. Follow-up videos continue to build that connection and build customer loyalty. As mentioned earlier, people do business with people they know, and video helps create that familiarity.

Here are a few ideas to help you connect with your viewers:

  • Plan your content before you start recording. Practice ahead of time, and prepare for the unexpected. For example, have an extra shirt on hand in case of a random spill (it happens!)
  • Maximize the quality of your video by doing several takes. This will give you multiple shots to choose from in putting together a great video.
  • Start strong by telling the viewers what the video is about and then introduce yourself. In most cases, people decide whether or not to watch a video in the first 8 to 15 seconds, so let them know right away that what you have is what they need.
  • Project a professional yet approachable image. Be sure you dress and behave the way your customers and prospects would expect you to. Maintain your focus and energy to keep their attention, and strive to make the viewer feel valued.
  • Above all, be sure to know the needs of your target audience. What are their questions? What problems can you solve for them? Remember that consumers don't want to be sold products; they want solutions. Use your videos to show them how your products and services meet their needs.

Distribute

Distribute videos to various sites where your prospects and customers might be found. The more you distribute your videos and get your message out there, the more prospects you can reach.

YouTube

It's very likely you’ve heard of a little website called YouTube.com — the second most trafficked site on the web [source: Alexa]. More than a billion hours of video are watched every single day on YouTube, and with over a billion users, YouTube reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the US [source: YouTube]. Obviously, publishing your videos on YouTube is a must. YouTube makes it simple to your share your videos and you can publish your videos for no cost.

Your Website and Blog

Develop a welcome video for your website's home page and place demonstrations on your product pages. Embed informational and entertaining videos on your blog. Repurpose the material you've worked so hard to create to gain maximum exposure.

Other People's Blogs and Websites

Find influencers who share your target market and/or your geographical location. Connect with them, and offer to share your educational content with their audience. Many times, you'll find that website owners are in desperate need of high-quality content to give to their visitors.

Email Marketing

Include video in your email marketing campaigns. Include a call to action in each video that encourages viewers to sign up for your mailing list. Every time you release a fun or informative video, invite the people on your list to view it. Continue using video to deliver information, conduct demonstrations, and engage even more with your customers.

Social Media Sites

Billions of people around the world visit the most popular social media sites on a daily basis. In fact, Facebook alone gets more than 1 billion visitors every day [source: Facebook]. Fortunately, sharing your videos on these sites allows you to tap into their vast membership in a variety of ways. Publish videos natively wherever that capability exists, such as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Promote

Publishing your videos to popular sites doesn't guarantee an instant flood of traffic. In most cases, you'll need to promote the published videos to gain more exposure. Here are a few quick tips to generate more buzz around your videos:

  • Paid Advertising Campaigns. Paid advertising is highly effective for warming up cold leads who have never heard of you and reminding those who have heard of you why they should do business with you. Running paid ads, especially on social networks, is a great way to provide significant value to a broader market in order to gain trust and authority status.
  • Social Media Sharing Campaigns. “Viral” videos – those that garner millions of views in a short period of time – can be a huge boost for your business, but there is no magic formula that can guarantee that kind of attention. Fortunately, you have a secret weapon – many people will share a good video when they are incentivized to do so. For example, you could set up a sweepstakes where people receive an entry every time they share your video. Or you could offer a special discount to everyone who gets their friends to watch your content. There are thousands of possibilities as long as your content is worthy of being shared.
  • Social Bookmarking. In addition to publishing your videos on popular social media sites, gain even more traction by posting links to your videos on social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon. Link to all of your videos – those on your own website and those on other people's sites and social networks.

Whether you're trying to garner attention locally, regionally, nationally or even globally, the people in your target market are online and they're regularly watching videos. Make sure yours are part of the mix.

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