While most companies have finally caught on to the idea that a video is a great tool for sales, marketing, and communicating with your internal audiences, many have not implemented a video plan for their company. This is usually due to cost or the fact that they just don’t fully understand what needs to go into a video plan for their video to succeed. In order for a video to succeed, customer experience must be a priority.
In addition to being a sales and marketing tool, your video should be considered to be a part of your business’ customer service with the ability to respond to users’ questions. This means that your video needs to have relevant content which meets the viewer’s needs.
Here is what you need to know for video success in 2018:
Product videos will be an even bigger deal in 2018 because Amazon is allowing video for 3rd party sellers. This will allow a video to be uploaded to one of the main image blocks. Why is this important? Amazon is the largest product search engine in the world. Every B2C company should be paying attention.
When creating a product video for Amazon, make sure to pay attention to Amazon’s content policies. The policies are simple but most companies get into trouble because they don’t know to plan for them. Also, make sure that your listing is optimized with remarkable photos and gripping keyword-rich copy.
If your video needs an audience, ads on Facebook and YouTube provide a great opportunity to find viewers. Facebook ads are based on demographics such as age, interests, and education, just to name a few. YouTube ads are based on keywords.
On Facebook, video views are very inexpensive and a great way to build your audience without breaking the bank. You can move on to other types of ads from there. Make sure to do the research needed to find the people who are most likely to buy your product or service.
The more targeted your ads are, the less expensive they will be and the greater your campaign success will be. For YouTube, consider 6-second ads. They are the best-kept video marketing secret. The idea is simple. Make a video ad that captures the viewer’s attention in 6 seconds. One of the great parts of these ads is that they are very inexpensive.
Live video is the golden goose for those who dare look into the eye of the live camera. This is because both YouTube and Facebook think Live video is important. Because of this, extra love is given to those who use live video. Many people are scared of the idea of live video and this is a valid fear. Once you say or do something live, it is out there and you can’t take it back.
The good news is unless you already have a lot of followers, very few people are going to see your first live broadcast. This means you are free to learn and get better as you build an audience. If you are a large corporation with a professional brand, you need to spend some money to have a production value that matches the expectations of your audience.
Live video received a big push in 2016 from both Facebook and YouTube. Even though it is still fairly new, the newness is starting to wear off. My suggestion is that brands that want to use live video should get started today to reap the benefits given by each platform before YouTube and Facebook find something else to focus on like they have in the past.
No matter how you slice it, a video is going to cost you money. This is true whether the money is being invested in buying the equipment and learning how to use it yourself, employing an in-house production team, or hiring a production team to come in and do it for you. If you want a video to do something substantial for your company, it is going to cost real money.
I tell clients to look at how much you would pay a well-seasoned salesperson for a year. That should be your starting budget for your first year of video marketing. This should be enough money to create a series of video for sales and marketing purposes. These videos may not be ultra-creative or fancy but, at this stage, you just need results. Remember, not everything needs to look like a Super Bowl commercial.
Consumers trust the recommendations of peers and experts over brand advertising. Influencer marketing isn’t a new idea but it has become a buzz word that marketers should pay attention to.
Using influencers to create video content is a great way to generate new leads. If this is a new idea for your business, I would suggest starting small. Look for influencers who have smaller audiences. Make sure that their audiences are similar to the types of audiences you are looking for. These types of influencers are often referred to as “micro influencers.”
You can work directly with an influencer or use a service to connect you with influencers. While you can use celebrity influencers, I should caution you. As exciting as it sounds, the cost of using a celebrity influencer may not be worth the money and it may not be right for your brand. Influencer marketing has its pitfalls and should be ventured into with a plan in mind.
There are people out there with fake accounts who are gaming the system. Just paying someone because they are an influencer is not a recipe for success. Do your homework and have a plan in place before you get too excited.
If your video is specifically for social media, and this goes for any type of advertising, you should be, at the very least, creating different calls to actions at the end. This will allow you to test and tune your video for each audience. Creating different versions will save you money.
Different versions of that same video can be used to go with a salesperson to a meeting and be used on YouTube. You should know that retailers like Amazon and Lowes don’t allow a call to action at the end of any videos are that posted to their sites.
The New Infomercial
The new infomercial is my favorite type of video for products. You are going to be seeing a lot more of this style of video in 2018. This video combines the best of what works from both an infomercial and a brand video. You could also call it a ‘creative infomercial.’
This type of video works best for products that solve a problem and that people already love. For these videos to succeed, there must be a strong marketing campaign behind them.
Rise of the Storytellers
Turning a camera on and recording is easy. Making that same video worth watching takes lots of work. I think this is one of the biggest disconnects for companies. They think creating a video should be easy. Case in point, you can take a video with your phone. However, it takes more than a hammer to build a house.
The internet is crowded with video. Over 500 hours are uploaded to just YouTube alone every minute. Your company needs to find a way to stand out. How do you do this? You do this by telling good stories. People make buying decisions emotionally. Video is a great way to deliver emotion and the way this is done within a video is through the art of story.
And last, but not least, the losers for 2018…
This is a bonus tip for how to completely and utterly fail at video in 2018. (Don’t let this be you!)
Runner-up loser of 2018: The businesses that hide their brand behind cookie cutter motion graphic videos. (This goes for those whiteboard videos that were all the rage a few years ago, too.) Why don’t these styles work?
People connect best with other people, so unless you have something to explain that is hard to understand, your video should have real people in it. Combining motion graphics and real people is OK and, as a matter of fact, it is a great way to make your videos more compelling.
But the award for the biggest losers with online video in 2018… drumroll, please… It’s a tie between B2B companies and local small businesses. Why you ask? Unfortunately, most B2B companies will miss the opportunity to reach their ideal client on Facebook and YouTube with paid ads because they will fail to realize that, even though they are B2B companies, it is still people who purchase their product.
Meanwhile, local small businesses will fail to use ads to target people in their local area. However, it does need to be said that social media video ads are best for the small business whose customers and clients have a high lifetime value.
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