As a small business, your marketing needs are uniquely challenging, and you don't always have the budget, time, or skills to make your work stand out the way it could.
But thanks to video marketing (using video to tell people about your product or service) small businesses like yours are increasingly using the power of the visual medium to attract, convert, and retain new customers—and seeing hugely successful results.
And as more and more companies adopt video marketing strategies, it’s becoming clear that if you’re not using video, you’re passing up a huge opportunity. According to a 2015 survey conducted by Animoto, video is growing faster than ever, as more and more consumers show a strong preference for learning about a company’s product offerings through video. In fact, the study found that four times as many consumers are more likely to watch a video about a product than read about it. Perhaps even more importantly, one in four consumers lose all interest in a company if it doesn’t employ video at all.
So what’s propelled the massive rise of small businesses using video in marketing, and how can you start using it to great effect?
You might be thinking: why go to all the trouble of making videos? And more than that, what if you have no experience or skills in video production? Isn’t it expensive and time-consuming?
Thankfully, video doesn’t have to be a labor intensive, costly endeavor. In fact, it’s pretty easy to do in-house with a few simple, inexpensive tools. But before we dig into the actual process of video creation, let’s look at a few of the major benefits video can offer your business, which we’ll be covering in more detail throughout the guide.
Video provides comprehensive, clear-cut data that gives you all the information you need to see how successful your marketing strategy is. You can see how many times your video has been watched and better understand how viewers are engaging with your content.
No one likes sterile corporate messaging that lacks personality or charisma. Because video allows you to put a face to your brand, you’re able to form a deeper, more personal connection with your target audience.
When you host video directly on your site using Wistia (as opposed to an alternative hosting site like YouTube), you’re pulling in traffic directly to your site instead of a third-party platform. Even better, Wistia’s video search engine optimization (SEO) ensures backlinks go straight to your website for a better page ranking.
Video can also give your site visitors a better user experience, resulting in lower bounce rates and more time spent on page, something Wistia has measured and seen proven results from. So keep an eye on your metrics, and take advantage of the free tools that help you track your video return on investment (ROI).
Video hasn’t always been the best tool for generating leads. But that isn’t the case any longer. With Turnstile, Wistia’s email capture form, you can follow up and better target the right leads with client management software.
If you’re a marketer, chances are you’re tracking what percent of your visitors ultimately convert. By using simple tactics like adding videos to landing pages to draw attention to your call to action (CTA), or placing annotation links within your videos, you’re increasing the opportunities for visitors to follow through and eventually convert.
Tight budget? Limited training? No worries! With just a few basic resources, you can create professional-looking videos that engage and convert your target audience. Here are 10 cost-effective video tools to help you get started.
You don’t have to have the supplies (or the space) to set up a professional studio in your office. But you can turn an average-looking conference room into the perfect filming location.
For less than $100, you can assemble a first-class lighting kit that will ensure your videos look like they came straight out of a Hollywood studio.
No need to run out and by the latest state-of-the-art camera to capture your videos. Believe it or not, a great device for shooting high-quality videos is right in your pocket.
You have everything in place to make sure your videos look awesome. Now you need to make sure your viewers can hear your message loud and clear.
Wondering where you should start? Check out Wistia’s Guide to Audio for Business Video to learn everything you need to know about:
As the blueprint of your video, the script sets the stage for what your audience can expect to see and learn. And the more time you spend in advance thinking about elements like tone, word choice, and how you want your audience to interact with your video, the better the end result will be.
Not feeling super confident in your scripting skills? Get writing assistance from services like Upwork, which give you access to some of the industry’s best freelancers who can craft copy that perfectly matches your business and video goals.
You might find the idea of being in front of the camera to be nerve-wracking, maybe even terrifying. You’re not alone! Unless you have an A-list Hollywood talent at your disposal, you’re in the same boat as most small businesses who rely on their own employees to star in their videos. Here are some tips that will make your on-screen performances as natural as possible:
Whether you’re giving a product update, announcing an upcoming event, or going in-depth on a topic your clients need to know about, show enthusiasm for the information you’re relaying to your viewers. Disinterest and lethargy come across loud and clear on video, so boost up your energy level a few notches to show that you’re truly excited about what you’re talking about.
Yes, being the on-camera talent can be stressful. So if you need to crack open a PBR or a jar of Nutella beforehand to relax, go for it; do whatever it takes to get loose. Create a shooting environment that has a fun, upbeat vibe. Take comfort in the fact that you have multiple takes to get everything right. Even though you might feel awkward at first, try not to get discouraged. Have fun with it!
More than anything, the key to coming across naturally on screen is to let your true personality shine. Don’t feel like you have to put on an affected character to fit your audience’s perception of what your brand represents. Act naturally, and it’ll be easier for your viewers to connect with your message.
Whether you’re looking to show off client testimonials and success stories, an information-packed explainer video, or really want to get crazy with stop-motion animation, video marketing gives you the chance to experiment with a host of formats that can attract and engage different segments of your audience.
Company culture videos can also be an effective way to bring out the personality in your company and convey the human side of your business. They don’t have to be sleek or overproduced—just grab your phone and show what makes your business so unique.
After you’ve shot your video, it’s time to comb through all your takes and piece them together to form a cohesive narrative. Editing might seem like the most challenging part of the video-making process, especially if you’ve never tried it before, so you’ll want to choose an editing software that’s not only easy to learn, but also affordable.
Some editing beginners find it’s easiest to start with whatever program comes preloaded on their computer, whether that’s iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. Another great option is ScreenFlow, an inexpensive software that’s primarily used for screencasting, but also comes equipped with basic editing features that even the most inexperienced editors can learn quickly.
Eager to take a more thorough dive into the ins and outs of editing? Check out these Editing Basics for Business Video for tips on making a seamlessly pieced together video, from choosing the best take to adding music and B-roll footage.
Choosing a hosting service can lead you down a long road of weighing the pros and cons of a free platform versus a paid service. Obviously, the path of least resistance would be to throw your videos on YouTube and watch your views (hopefully) stack up. But before you make the final decision, think about how hosting relates to your business goals.
The main advantage of hosting your video with a paid service like Wistia is that it’s built specifically for businesses like yours. Wistia is ideal for driving more traffic to your site and increasing your conversion potential, along with providing a consistent brand experience for viewers. In addition, you get added benefits like analytics tools that give key breakdowns of how your video is being watched. And if preventing third-party ads from interrupting your message is attractive to you, it’s an easy decision.
If your main concern is your overall reach and play count, then YouTube might be your preferred option. Just keep in mind that you won’t have access to video metrics that can help you increase engagement and conversion (but more on that later).
Still unsure of where you fall on the spectrum of the YouTube/Wistia debate? Find out more about their differences in this blog post.
Getting your video in front of the right audience may be the final step in the video marketing process, but it’s by no means one you should skimp out on.
Treat your video the same way you might any other important piece of content you promote. Even if you don’t have a lot of room in your budget to widely circulate it, there are still tactics you can employ to make sure your video gets in front of the right people.
Just as you’d send out your latest blog post, case study, or whitepaper to your email subscribers, you’ll want to notify your company’s most devoted followers about your video. To ensure your video will really stand out in your email, use Wistia to paste the email merge tag of your video into your email provider, which will display your video’s thumbnail and direct viewers right to your video’s landing page.
Even with a small budget, you can still see substantial results from paid advertising on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram if you handle your campaign correctly. By allotting a budget for a set period of time to target super specific audiences, you can reach an entirely new set of potential clients.
This one might seem pretty obvious, but linking to your video’s landing page in your email signature can work wonders. It’s free, easy to implement, and gives you the chance to reach every person you, or anyone else in your company, interacts with.
Pairing video and automation, which lets you streamline and personalize your automated follow-ups to maximize engagement, may seem daunting at first. But with Wistia and Keap, the combination is simple, with easy-to-use tools and helpful resources to guide you along the way.
By combining the two, you can leverage the human power of video with the segmentation that client management and automation provide.
The best part about using video and automation together? It’s perfect for following up with new leads. Since more than 95% of customers prefer to be given different types of content throughout each stage of the buyer’s journey (the process prospective clients go through before deciding to make a purchase), you can segment them according to their needs and deliver relevant content at the right time. Plus, automation can also help nurture your leads into long-term clients. On average, companies that implement lead nurturing campaigns see a 45% higher ROI than those that don’t.
One of the biggest challenges of video marketing, and marketing in general, is staying in touch with the people who are fans of what you’re producing. As a visitor, it’s all too easy to watch a video, leave the website, and never return again. And as a marketer, it’s just as easy to forget that your audience is comprised of real individuals, rather than one faceless blob.
Fortunately, Wistia’s built-in lead capture tool, Turnstile, makes it simple to collect leads by adding an email collector at the beginning, middle, or end of your video. Turnstile allows you to gate your content upfront, or collect contact information after a viewer is done watching. Plus, Turnstile integrates with your favorite client management and email automation softwares, including Keap.
So what can the Wistia-Keap integration do for your marketing strategy? First, you can use video as a CTA by embedding a clickable video thumbnail in any email within Keap. When your subscribers click, they’ll be redirected to your site (or the landing page where the video lives), and their email addresses will be attached to their viewing activity.
Second, you can use Turnstile to capture email addresses from your videos, and then add those leads directly into Keap. This enables you to better segment your targeted, automated emails with Keap. You can even go one step further to produce a series of personalized videos that guide prospects through the entire buyer journey.
One of the primary goals of email marketing is to drive people back to your site, and content is a great way to do that. Regardless of whether your content is in written or video form, getting people to your site is critical for pulling in clients.
When you’re using video in your emails, it’s always a good idea to include a small preview of the content in the email, then link to the full video on your site. Once you take viewers to a landing page, they’re one step closer to performing your desired action. Remember, getting a lot of views isn’t the most important aspect of video marketing—interactions and conversions are far more valuable to your bottom line.
Chances are your audience is comprised of different groups of people with different interests. That’s why it can be hugely beneficial to create separate videos that relate to specific segments of your audience.
Combining video and automation can go a long way when you’re trying to reach your clients and leave a lasting first impression. Once your videos are made, hosted, and distributed, your efforts should be focused on nurturing people based on how they engaged with your content. And because of the detailed analytics that video content provides, you’ll get excellent insights into your audience’s habits.
Keap has mastered this approach with a warm, personable, and humorous way to follow up with leads that humanizes their brand.
Implement, test, and measure. After you’ve gone to all the trouble of creating a video, this should be your mantra to ensure your video is as successful as possible. This could mean running a simple A/B test (comparing two versions of a page to see which one performs better) on your site with video. You could also compare the performance of short videos to longer ones, or even test different thumbnails. There’s a huge amount of potential that can be uncovered by testing and optimizing your video.
Wistia improved its email click-through rate by testing a static image against an eye-catching video thumbnail (hint: friendly-looking faces equal more clicks). In the split test, Wistia saw an improvement of more than 300% just by using a clickable video thumbnail as opposed to an illustration. Yes, running such tests can be time-consuming. But in the long run, taking the time to test and optimize your video will yield significantly better results.
You've made your video and paired it with automation, now all you have to do is sit back and wait for new leads to roll in, right? Well, not quite.
You’ll want to keep a close eye on your video metrics to gauge your success and make changes accordingly.
When analyzing video metrics with Wistia, it can be tempting to focus on one result more than another. After all, certain numbers may be more important to your overall marketing goals. But in order to get a big picture of how well your video is performing, it’s helpful to look at video metrics from a holistic approach. So what should you be looking for to see how effective your efforts are?
The most basic metric for tracking how your video is performing is play count, which shows a video’s total number of views. It’s the easiest way to quickly see how wide an audience your video has reached.
Obviously you want to accumulate as many views as possible, but keep in mind that play count isn’t the be-all, end-all of your video’s success. Yes, views are great, but it’s even more crucial to pay attention to whether or not your video is actually engaging your audience.
How is your video performing on the page it’s located? Checking your video’s play rate clues you into the percent of page visitors who’ve actually taken the time to click on your video. It’s a great way to make sure you’ve placed your video on the most relevant part of your page.
By analyzing play rate, you’ll get insights into whether you should embed your video on a different part of your page (the upper half of a web page is usually best), or on an entirely separate page altogether.
Engagement is a huge buzzword in marketing, but it can be hard to define because it looks different for every small business. When it comes to video, engagement is defined as the percent of a video a viewer watched. More than any other metric, engagement rate is concerned with the actual quality of your video’s performance.
Finally, you’ll want to examine heatmaps, which graph a viewer’s specific actions while watching a video. This lets you see where your viewers drop off or rewatch your content. While engagement graphs show how an audience as a whole viewed your video, heatmaps show how each individual watched your video.
Plenty of other small businesses have been in your shoes before they tested the waters of video marketing.
They put themselves on camera so their audiences could get a feel for why they care about what they do, effectively making their businesses more human. Read on to see how two companies used Wistia and Keap together to produce standout results and ROI.
As a content marketing service, Convert with Content offers teaching tools like videos and ebooks that help their clients write stronger copy.
By utilizing video on their landing page, Convert with Content creates a friendly persona that gets visitors excited about entering their information and staying in touch with their brand. Both people featured in the video look genuinely happy, inviting, and relatable. Clearly, this video didn’t break their budget. While it may not have the highest production values, it really doesn’t need them in order to be compelling and effective.
Convert with Content also came up with an additional video to ask for more information on a second landing page, and then a third to guide users through a double opt-in sign up to confirm their email addresses. Not only do these videos give clear-cut instructions of the actions visitors should perform on each page, but also they’re personable and make people feel comfortable giving their information.Ultimately, combining videos with their landing pages doubled the company’s conversion rate.
Offering some sort of incentive to viewers in exchange for their email addresses can be a huge revenue driver, as Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch found out.The restaurant used Turnstile to gate a video that highlights their menu offerings, and also included a coupon for free chicken to anyone who entered their email address to view it.
The video itself gives clients a feel for the restaurant’s menu, but perhaps more importantly, it shows the human side of their business and the care they put into the food they cook. In the end, the company grew their email list by 800%, an incredible result from a video that wasn’t all that complicated to produce.
Need some additional inspiration for how video can increase your small business's exposure?
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