As published by The Gaston Gazette:
(03/22/15) BELMONT, N.C. – YouTube. Vimeo. Snapchat. Vine. For the unfamiliar, these words can sound like a foreign language, but for those in the know, they are merely a testament to the fact that video is everywhere right now, and if you’re not using it to boost your marketing efforts, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity – and on lots of potential eyes that could be seeing your business or your product in a whole new way.
What makes video so appealing and so successful as a marketing tool? Here are a few thoughts:
- It offers a great return on investment. Thanks to cell phone cameras and inexpensive video editing software and apps such as iMovie and Moviemaker, making videos is easier and cheaper than it’s ever been. Even the basic functionality of professional-grade editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro can be taught to amateur videographers in less than half an hour. Once a video is created, the opportunities for free self-promotion are endless: consider that, according to YouTube, the site has over 1 billion unique visitors each month, and, according to Nielsen, it reaches more adults ages 18-34 than any cable channel – and uploading a video to YouTube is free. That’s a huge audience for a business to tap into for little more than the investment of some elbow grease. In addition, once the video is done, you then have dynamic, eye-catching marketing material that you can post on your website, your blog, your social media accounts, and distribute to current and potential customers via email, which makes it one of the most flexible and useful mediums around.
- It can boost your SEO. Want to boost your website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results? Maybe even make it onto page 1 of a popular search engine like Google? Use video. But make sure you follow a few suggestions from sites like quicksprout.com in order to make the most of this opportunity: first, post your video to YouTube, but then embed it on your website as well. Tag your video with a lot of detailed and specific key words and a long description – the more text you surround your video with, the more information Google and other search engines will have about your video. And also make sure you submit a video sitemap to Google so that the search engine has all the information it needs to index your video properly.
- It’s the best way to show people what your business can do. If your business sells or makes something that can easily be demonstrated, make a video. It’s far faster and far easier than writing a description, and it will clearly illustrate to people exactly what your business can do. If you can capture your capabilities on video instead of describing them in words, you’ll quickly and easily gain the confidence of customers and potential investors alike. And if you’re creative in the way you illustrate those capabilities, there’s always a chance that your video might go viral – and that’s the kind of exposure that’s priceless.
- It appeals to the powerbrokers. It’s inaccurate to think that the only people watching videos are millennials on their cell phones and laptops. In fact, according to Forbes, 80 percent of senior executives are watching more video than ever before, 65 percent have visited a website after watching a vendor’s video, and more than half share videos at least weekly with colleagues. Keep this in mind as you craft your videos: it’s important to stay on the cutting edge of this medium, but make sure you maintain your professionalism at the same time so that you can be sure to capture the attention of potential customers and investors of all stripes.
- It allows you to beat the language barrier. When you create an advertisement for print or web, one of the biggest challenges to tapping into the lucrative markets outside of the English-speaking world is the necessity of having those ads translated into a host of other languages. But with video, you can clear that hurdle without investing in a translation service: simply create a video that depends more on visuals and music than it does on language. Not only will it challenge you to be creative without using words, it will also give you a final product that you can utilize in virtually any market and that will have a universal message.
While video can seem a bit intimidating when you first begin working with it, give it a try – the more you work with it, the better you’ll get, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself speaking the language with ease – and earning the admiration of potential and current customers alike for staying abreast of the latest trends. So get out that phone and start filming!
Lyerly Agency’s President and CEO Elaine Lyerly and Executive Vice President and COO Melia Lyerly share their 35+ years of marketing, advertising, public relations and brand strategy experience with readers each month in a column published by The Gaston Gazette.