Without a doubt, blogging is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to websites and engage audiences.
But for busy local business owners who aren’t accustomed to writing, consistently cranking out quality content is a major ask.
Thankfully, there’s a simple solution that’s popularity surpasses almost every other form of content: video.
In fact, video has become so prevalent, a report by Smart Insights reveals that social media and video viewing are the two most popular online activities, accounting for more than a third of all time spent on the Internet. In addition, video is now the second most lucrative form of content.
(Source: Smart Insights)
Fellow data nerds might also be interested to know that:
We could go on, but you get the gist. Video is an increasingly powerful way to communicate with prospects and customers.
In terms of your inbound marketing efforts, it can play a major role in helping you capture, nurture, and qualify leads. You can use it almost anywhere including blog posts, websites, emails, social media posts, and landing pages. It’s also far more cost-effective than ever before.
And what does this mean for your bottom line?
More reach = more prospects = more opportunities = more clients = PROFIT!
In this post, we’ll cover:
Before we jump in, if there’s one thing we want to say upfront it’s this:
Don’t be a perfectionist. Just get started.
Your first videos will likely be awkward. There might be a major cringe factor that makes you wonder what the heck you were doing. But here’s the thing…
Your confidence will grow. You’ll get better. And soon enough, you’ll be producing video content your competitors envy. Besides, viewers tend to prefer raw footage from businesses as they perceive it to be more authentic than polished and heavily edited videos. This is especially true for live streams.
So, if you’re concerned about production quality, don’t be.
If the stats don’t make clear the rising importance of video and why you should incorporate it into your marketing activities, perhaps the following benefits will clue you into why video is a game-changer for customer acquisition.
After watching a branded video they enjoyed, 83% of consumers say they would consider sharing it. That means every video you publish creates an incredible opportunity to amplify your reach, broaden your audience, boost your online presence, and increase brand awareness. This is essential for customer acquisition campaigns because the more places potential buyers can find out about who you are and what you do, the better your chances of converting them into paying customers.
What makes a video highly shareable?
In 2011, The New York Times Customer Insight Group released an eye-opening whitepaper on the psychology of sharing and the motivations behind it. The study revealed that the reasons people share include:
A One Productions infographic depicting consumer attitudes to video reveals that 3 in 4 people say they would share a video if it was entertaining while 1 in 2 people would share the video if it was inspirational. Furthermore, 2 in 3 people would share a video if it was informative.
Creating the kind of virality that would bring significant exposure to your local business isn’t easy, but you can certainly put the odds in your favor by ensuring your videos epitomize the reasons people share. And don’t forget, improving the shareability of your videos encourages viewers to do a good amount of valuable leg work for you in terms of free promotion. Plus, it’s shared by a trusted a source.
Thanks to the Internet, consumers have become highly informed individuals who educate themselves before proceeding with a purchase. While written content is always useful for educational purposes, video can simplify topics in an efficient, refreshing, and engaging way. In a matter of minutes, you can: 1) capture attention, 2) convey your message, explain your topic, or demonstrate your product or service in a neat and memorable presentation, and 3) communicate to viewers why they should care.
Think about this: would you rather read about how something works or see how it works?
Video can help provide more context, provide visual elements that other content formats simply can’t, and help your local business stand out from competitors.
From likes, shares, and reactions to comments, higher view counts, and increased watch times, you’ll find video content tends to generate crazy engagement rates compared to other content types. According to a study by Marketing Charts, 60% of consumers will watch at least two minutes of video about a product or service they want to purchase while 37% will watch three minutes or more. The benefit of maximizing engagement is that sites like Facebook will boost a video’s organic reach because the algorithm perceives it as being more relevant.
People do business with people they like. Establishing positive, long-term relationships with prospects and customers is key to creating the right sentiment and that starts with building credibility, trust, and an emotional connection. Video can help you do that by revealing your personality, showing your authenticity, and putting a human face to your brand. Viewers get to see you, hear you, and establish a connection with you before they ever meet you face-to-face.
In addition, video has the ability to tug at the heartstrings like no other form of content. You can effectively use the combination of visuals and sounds to create the right feelings and perceptions around your business. This makes it an excellent storytelling tool.
The Googs loves video content, so much so that you’re 50X more likely to appear on the first page of search results if you have a video embedded on your website. Search engines tend to use the amount of time spent on site as a metric to determine whether content is relevant, so it benefits you to have videos people hang around to watch. The more time they spend watching, the better your search results.
In addition, you’re able to optimize your video for search on your hosting platform. For example, YouTube lets you add a keyword-rich video title, tags, and a description to your upload. These searchable words can help surface your content in result pages and send traffic your way.
Hubspot published findings that show people have the ability to recall 65% of the visual content they see three days later. Earlier reports indicated that 80% of customers could remember a video they’ve watched in the last month.
Now think about this:
(Source: AE Video Marketing)
Brand recall plays a considerable role in increasing customer loyalty and generating repeat sales. It essentially makes your local business synonymous with your niche, service, or product. This leads to other benefits such as greater awareness, increased word-of-mouth marketing, and more.
Simply put, video converts. In fact, Demand Metric survey results reveal that 70% of respondents claim video outperforms every other content type when it comes to conversions. A product or service video in an email, an explainer video on a website, or a testimonial video on a landing page can do wonders for your open, click-through, and conversion rates. The format not only gives you an opportunity to communicate compelling ideas, but it also allows you to explain your value proposition in a fun and unique way. Hello sales!
Although the return on videos positioned at the top of funnels can be hard to measure, it becomes easier to ascertain true financial gain closer to the conversion. Most marketers agree that video is an excellent investment. Production no longer requires a major chunk of your marketing budget, technology has evolved to a point where most business owners are able to record content on the fly, and video continues to deliver increasingly great results.
At this point, video marketing really is a no-brainer. However, you might be looking for the easiest way to get into regular video production for your local business.
If you’re just starting out, we recommend jumping in with Facebook Live.
You might think that’s crazy, but we’ve found that our clients have experienced amazing results in a short amount of time. Live videos can be downloaded, edited, and published to other platforms like your blog, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms. You can shoot them with your smartphone camera right where you are and create a good-quality piece of content without much hassle at all.
We’ve written a complete guide on Facebook Live for local businesses if you want the walk-through.
If you’re not comfortable with real-time recording, the following section will provide a quick rundown of the key steps in video production.
Before we get started, download a free copy of our video creation worksheet to follow along and plan your own video.
Okay, let’s get cracking.
The success of any video relies on your understanding of the buyer persona you’re targeting and their sales readiness. This information is going to inform the type of video you create and where you’ll use it. While some videos will be relevant to everyone since personas will have overlapping interests, you’ll also want to ensure you’re placing targeted video content throughout your local business marketing funnels. Creating a script with one specific person in mind ensures your content is authentic and relatable.
What do you want your video to achieve? Should it grow your audience, increase your engagement, or establish your credibility? Should it grow brand awareness, educate prospects, or generate leads? Should it provide social proof, solve a pain point, or launch a special offer? Limit your video to one goal so that you remain focused and viewers don’t get confused about what they should be doing after watching.
With your buyer persona and objective in mind, what kind of content is going to appeal to your audience while helping you achieve your aim? For example, a chiropractor who wants to increase conversions on a discounted consultation might create a testimonial or treatment demo video for back pain sufferers who are in the decision stage of the buying cycle.
Ultimately, this is the step where you brain dump ideas based on your work in step one and two to figure out what your core message is going to be for this particular video.
Whether you need a script or not depends on the kind of video you’re making. Although there’s a good chance you’re able to speak off-the-cuff, a script can provide direction and ensure you stay on track.
Here are a few quick-fire tips for scripts:
As you work through your script, take note if there are any particular shots you’ll need. This could potentially affect your equipment and setup requirements, which you’ll need to account for later.
Location is purely dependent on what you’re filming. If you’re shooting something more casual, you could film at your business location in your office. If you’re doing something more professional like an expert interview, you might want to create the right setting in an appropriate space. Consider how location could affect your equipment needs, travel, and production costs before making a final decision.
If you want to take video production more seriously and produce higher quality videos for your business, you’ll need to invest in a few basics. At the very least, you’ll need a camera, microphone, lighting, tripod, selfie stick, camera batteries, and SD cards, We’ve made several recommendations for good quality but cost-effective equipment in our Facebook Live post, so be sure to check it out before you go shopping,
In this final pre-production step, you’ll want to ensure everything related to the video is organized and scheduled. If you’re simply whipping out your iPhone to record in your car, this step is unnecessary. However, if there are other people involved and you have specific requirements regarding equipment, location, permits, hair and makeup, and more, it’s important to work through a checklist as you finalize details. Be sure to consider a contingency plan in case things go wrong.
Although you don’t need top-of-the-line equipment, you should ensure your visuals are crisp, clear, and professional. Make certain your camera settings are correct and that you have good lighting. If you’re shooting multiple clips rather than a single take, be sure to leave a buffer at the beginning and end of each clip to avoid editing issues later.
From paid video editing software like Camtasia and Adobe Premiere Pro to free options like iMovie, finding affordable software with plenty of features to make your video shine is easier than ever. When editing your video, consider whether you want to add graphics, special effects, royalty-free music, voiceovers, text, captions, or other elements. A few small tweaks can take a video from average to amazing. If you’re looking for royalty-free music, try AudioJungle or PremiumBeat. If the busy business owner in you is reeling at the thought of managing this part of the process, think about outsourcing this task to freelancers who already have experience with video editing programs.
If you’re streaming on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, or Twitter’s Periscope, your video already has a home. However, you can also share or embed these videos on other platforms, as well as download, edit, and re-upload the content to hosting sites like Youtube, Vimeo, Wistia, and Vidyard. You can also create pre-recorded videos for these hosting platforms or share your footage through features like Instagram Stories.
With so many options, it can become overwhelming to say the least. However, the best way to figure out which platforms will form part of your hosting, distribution, and promotion strategy is to identify where your audience interacts online and how you’ll use the video content. Yep, the same way you’d determine which social media platforms you’d leverage to grow a following for your local business. It’s really as simple as that.
On the promotion front, you’ll want to ensure you incorporate your video content into your blogging and social media publishing schedule. You’ll also need to set up videos in the right places throughout your funnel and then configure your CRM, email marketing, or automation software to push out video content to leads, prospects, and customers at the right time. Don’t forget that part of promotion also means encouraging people to engage, so be sure to include CTAs that generate comments, shares, and more.
Last but not least, it’s crucial to ensure you’re monitoring video performance and meeting your goals. Start by defining the best metrics to determine whether you’ve accomplished your objective(s). Metrics can include view counts, clicks, conversions, watch time, completion rates, play rates, comments, shares, trial or demo requests, sales, bounce rates, time on page, and more.
Depending on your publishing platform and the tools you’re using, you may have access to deeper insights. The benefit of video over other content forms is that you can see a variety of performance indicators that other types of content won’t provide. As a result, you’re able to see what’s working and what’s not so that you can optimize future videos.
I used Camtasia, stock photos from Adobe, and music from AudioJungle. It took about an hour to create.
Now that you know the steps involved in producing a video, let’s look at how you can leverage video to get more customers for your local business.
What your buyer’s journey looks like from initial awareness to purchase depends on your local business offering, but most of these steps can be placed into three primary stages: 1) awareness, 2) consideration, and 3) decision.
As a result, your video content should be designed to transition your target audience through these stages by attracting, engaging, and then converting them.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at the type of content you should be creating for each phase to ultimately gain new customers for your local business.
The goal of this phase is to draw in people who are potentially a good fit for your product or service and introduce them to your business. This requires a deep understanding of your target audience, their problems, and how you can help solve their issues or eliminate their concerns. These videos typically have a broad appeal and high entertainment value so that they attract as many people as possible. Explainer videos, round-ups, tips, lead magnets, behind-the-scenes content, interviews, and ‘meet the team’ videos are just a few examples of the type of video content that helps businesses get on their customers’ radar.
MaidPro does a great job with their animated explainer video:
It touches on core problems their customers face and explains how their service eliminates those issues.
Another excellent example is from an Australian-based real estate business that hired dancers to show off one of their luxury home listings in a fun and creative way:
The video has gone viral on social media, racking up thousands of views, comments, and shares in a matter of days.
It’s time to warm up leads through repeated engagement and by proving to your prospects that you can provide valuable and helpful information. As this stage, you’re helping your audience figure out how to overcome some of their key challenges while building your credibility and relationship with them. This type of content generally includes useful presentations, Q&As, training videos, virtual events, how-tos, educational videos, tutorials, comparison videos, demonstrations, and interactive live videos.
Houston-based chiropractor, Dr. Gregory Johnson, does a great job of creating Q&A video content. After collecting chiropractic questions from around the world, he spends more than half an hour responding:
You’re now at a place where potential customers are convinced and ready to convert. During this stage, you’ll give them one final push to take action. This is usually done through testimonials, case studies, FAQs, and videos that help overcome objections.
Here’s a great testimonial example from HomeTeam Pest Defense for their pest control services:
Another fantastic example to learn from is this case study video from Dr. Eric Berg who specializes in healthy ketosis and intermittent fasting.
These kinds of videos translate well across any industry and can have a significant impact on your local business’s bottom line.
Video marketing is growing in scope and its role during each stage of the marketing funnel is only increasing in importance. As a business owner, you could be limiting your customer acquisition opportunities by not investing in this popular medium. Fortunately, it’s not as hard or financially prohibitive to produce quality video content as it once was. If you’re unsure where to begin, start with Facebook Live. It’s easy to set up, you don’t need fancy equipment, and you can start producing videos today. We even offer you 30 Days of Facebook Live Content Ideas in a free downloadable guide complete with talking points, so there’s no excuse.
What are your favorite types of video to watch and do you believe it impacts your buying decisions? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.