Video content has been around since 1878, when British photographer Eadweard Muybridge (yes, really!) created a series of still photographs of a horse which, when viewed in sequence and at speed, appeared to be galloping.
Fast forward to February 2005 when YouTube was founded by three former PayPal employees, before being purchased by Google for $1.6 billion just 20 months later, (yes, really!) and it was clear at that point that video would have a massive impact on both consumer and business markets.
What does this show?
Back then, video was expensive to produce and create. Companies all over the globe were, and still are, spending millions of pounds creating professional quality videos. The creation of video content was limited to businesses that had budget and resource to spare, after all, creating a video was often a time-consuming and costly process.
However, with the arrival of free and very low-cost video editing tools, as well as improvements in the recording capabilities of smart phones, video creation has become much more accessible, and is now a simple and highly viable option for marketing any business – a significant change from just a few short years ago.
According to HubSpot, 99% of businesses which currently run video plan to continue using video moving forward – and 63% of businesses have already included it as part of their Inbound Marketing strategy.
Can video marketing work for your business?
Video marketing is capable of accomplishing all the work that traditional marketing does – but amplifies that effect tremendously. As humans process visual data better, video, as a medium, is far more effective at capturing your potential prospects’ attention and gives you a better opportunity to engage with them.
Again, accorinding to HubSpot...
79% of consumers say they'd rather watch a video to learn about a product than read text on a page.
Why should you be using video in your marketing?
- Increase your exposure
Everyone is online in 2017.
With enhanced mobile devices, improvements in connectivity (3G & 4G) and the ever increasing amount of active social media users, there’s more opportunity than ever for people to be online whenever, and wherever they are in the world. In addition, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have made it much easier to be seen on social channels, you no longer have to click off to YouTube to view a video.
It’s become much more ‘sharable’ with a click of a button, and it also takes up a fair amount of someone’s mobile screen, removing the opportunity for interactions for easy exits that may be found on a desktop.
- Showcase your business’ identity and build trust
Video content is far more personable than written content and gives you the opportunity to really showcase your business’ culture, as well as its expertise. How? Well, you should be looking to create video that really tells the story of your company, that includes emotion and empathy when it comes to solving the needs of your visitors and customers.
Video really provides an opportunity for you to build trust with an audience, and puts a face and voice to your business, which is instantly more recognisable then a standard blog post.
- Cost effective
I know this has been a main pain point for many businesses over the last 5 years – cost.
Video has historically been expensive to outsource, and the equipment and expertise needed to run this in-house was at a similar price scale.
New tools and technology have removed this barrier for you. You can now use the latest iPhones and Samsung phones to record good videos, they include high-end cameras and sound recording which they simply weren’t doing 5 years ago.
In addition, with the increase in the amount of video within the market place and on social media, many companies are turning to ‘quick and unplanned’ videos.
The light may not be 100% perfect, there may be a couple of parts when the sound isn’t quite 100%, and the camera shakes ever so slightly, but this is no longer seen as a terrible mistake.
With the increase of video, consumers have begun to forgive mistakes like this, meaning there’s less pressure to create the ‘perfect’ video, which previously would have cost you £5,000 minimum.
Video marketing tips for SMEs and start-ups
- Check out what your competitors are doing, and be different.
By checking what your competitors are doing, you can avoid being the same as them. If they aren’t doing any video at all, then great, you’re already ahead. But if they are, make sure that you’re different, you're unique, and you're better.
- Catch attention within the first few seconds
If people aren’t hooked by the video within the first 10 seconds, they’ll be gone. You need to make sure that you’re capturing interest within the first few seconds of your video.
- Provide opportunities to convert
Yes, video doesn’t include ‘download forms’, but you can still push people towards URL’s and opportunities to convert on further content.
- Make sure your video is suitable for the platform it’s on
A video on Twitter should be very different to a video you can only find on YouTube or Ted Talks, whereas a Facebook video should be different to an Instagram story in terms of content and length. Research your social channels and where you’re audiences are, and tailor the videos for that content.
- Think about sound
Many video hosts and social channels will play ‘silent videos’, meaning that unless you click to unmute, the video will play muted. The reason for this is that so many people watch videos in public and they don’t want every video playing out loud straight away. For this reason, think about whether your video needs subtitles or not.
There’s no better time in marketing to start with video. Yes there are cheap pieces of equipment that you can purchase to improve your videos easily, but essentially all you need is an iPhone and free video editing software.