Video is the king of all media when it comes to potential reach. YouTube receives over one billion unique visitors monthly, more than any other channel except for Facebook. And according to Marketing Sherpa, embedding video in emails is said to boost conversion rates by as much as 50 percent.
Many marketers are intimidated by video. They’re concerned about how expensive it can be to hire professionals to create a short video that probably won’t have a very long shelf life. Videos can cost thousands of dollars and take weeks of planning to execute.
In the past, if you didn’t hire a professional, you at least had to buy a nice video camera and learn how to use complicated editing software. Today, more likely than not, you can record videos using the camera embedded in your computer or phone. For better quality videos, a simple flip cam with tripod and a wireless mic will do.
Marketing is all about telling stories and we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. In that case, a video is worth a million! There are many different ways to use simple videos for marketing that are extremely effective. These include:
- Preparing your sales team. Another way to use video for marketing is to shoot short videos to show off features of a new product. Bloomfire customer Sport Chalet shoots dozens of videos highlighting their product and makes those available online to salespeople in their stores so that they can familiarize themselves with the new merchandise and be ready to sell.
- Bringing customer testimonials to life. Getting your customers to talk about how your product solves a problem is a great marketing and sales tool. And while written case studies are strong, there’s nothing more powerful than seeing a real live person on video singing your praises. Videos can be shot simply wherever is convenient to you and your customer, whether that be at their office or at an industry trade show. If you plan to edit the video later, be sure the interviewee answers your questions in complete sentences that make it clear what was asked. This is a pretty simple skill to get the hang of with a little practice.
- Running a video contest. This is a great way to source content that you can reuse, and the best part is that you don’t even have to create it yourself! The key here is to come up with a prize that is going to be truly special and will motivate your audience to participate. I actually entered (and won!) a video contest through Whole Foods a few years ago. The prize was a trip for two to Europe – as a result, the company got quite a few entrants! Be thoughtful about the kind of content you are asking folks to create and make sure it’s something that will be useful for branding beyond the life of the contest.
- Sharing your company culture. Use your phone to shoot short interviews with staff at company team-building events, or trade shows to give customers and prospects an inside look at your culture. Share those videos on your Instagram, Vine, and Twitter accounts. People like to do business with people they know, and this is one way to make them feel more connected to the company, and more likely to buy from you.
- Training employees on new software. Screen recorded videos are a time-saving way to train employees that work remotely, or distributed workforces. You can use screen recording software like Camtasia (or the Bloomfire screen recorder), to record a training session on new software or processes, and break them up into short training videos that employees can watch when they are ready to learn.
- Introducing new software features to customers. If you sell software and are releasing new features regularly, you can easily create screen recorded videos to walk through how the features work and what pain points they address.
Using video in your marketing efforts has the additional benefit of making your company more visible to search engines. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. It’s owned by Google and they place a high value on their own inbound links. There are countless ways to incorporate video into your marketing efforts to help tell the stories that will bring your company and products to life, both for your employees, your customers, and your prospects.