Build A Local Audience

Part Two Of Connecting With Video

By Shari LeGate

Conversations are part of our daily life. We talk every day with family members, co-workers, friends — even people we don’t know, like the barista at the local coffee shop or the friendly cashier at the grocery store. We strike up conversations with complete strangers daily, the people who walk into our store, our regular customers … and we generally don’t think much of it.

In part one of this series (“Connecting With Your Audience Through Video,” Dec. 2018), we dissected exactly what social video marketing is and how to use it effectively. One of the conclusions in the article argued the case for the smaller retailer (with perhaps only one or two storefronts and no national reach) that this type of marketing can be powerful on a local level. And, it’s very affordable — because all it takes is a little bit of conversation.

Conversation is simply the act of talking in an informal way, connecting with those around you sharing ideas and thoughts. Sound familiar? It should, (as noted in the opener) you do it all the time. This is exactly what social video marketing is: It’s merely a form of conversation — one you’re already engaging in with local customers on a regular basis. The only difference is, when using video marketing through social media platforms, you’re increasing the amount of people you’re talking to and addressing them all at the same time.

Today, no business owner can take hours and hours out of their day and spend it on social media. You have a business to run, and this is where video comes in. Video allows you to talk to your customer (putting a face on your business) so they know who you are before they walk through the door. People like knowing who they’re talking or listening to — it allows them to connect with a real person, rather than a faceless building or company. Video does all this, plus it’s an easy and quick way to build an audience and increase your customer base.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION AND BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE

Start by tapping into the current customer base you already have. Be active on the social networks your customers use (and where you think potential customers are most likely to be.) Further, join the conversations currently taking place on social media. Write comments, ask questions and start conversing.

One of the most successful ways to increase your social media footprint and build an audience is to connect with people, groups and influencers you relate to and who you follow. (In turn, they’ll follow you and share your information.) By sharing their posts and engaging them in an online conversation, your brand’s visibility increases — leading to more followers, likes and shares. Likewise, putting your store or profile on the radar with influencers, you’ll converse with a wider circle — which will again lead to more opportunities. Think of it as a snowball effect.

In time, you and your store will be on track to become a local influencer. When you accomplish this, it becomes a resource in the community and provides knowledge and expertise to consumers looking for help. Just because you’re working locally doesn’t mean you can’t be an influencer. Building an audience will help you become that influencer.

WHAT PLATFORMS AND HOW TO USE THEM

There are literally dozens of different social networks to chose from and just because they’re all sitting on this giant World Wide Web, doesn’t mean being on all of them makes for good marketing. Take some time to understand how each platform under consideration works, how it’s used and, most important, who uses it.

Just having great content and being active on a particular platform will do no good if your customer doesn’t go there.

Despite its anti-firearm policies, Facebook is still the powerhouse and remains the most popular platform with almost 80 percent of all internet users checking it daily. If you want to build your social media audience, this is a good place to start. And if you’re still questioning whether or not video connects with people, take a moment and check a competitor’s Facebook page or website. How many posts have videos attached to them compared to those posts that are merely text or have only a picture? Adding a picture may not necessarily get the message across or keep people coming back, but video will.

FOLLOW THE 70-20-10 RULE

If you can’t decide what type of videos you should be sharing, follow the 70-20-10 rule defined by Crystal Vilkaitis (influential founder of Social Edge), who broke down business’ social media posts into three different categories:

70 percent of your content should be building the brand and adding value;

20 percent can be ideas, posts and thoughts of others;

Only 10 percent should be promoting yourself or the business.

Remember, when creating a video, it shouldn’t be more than two-and-a-half to three minutes long. Shorter is better. In today’s fast-paced world people want their information quick, and you’ll be surprised how much information can be crammed into a two-and-a-half minute (or less) video.

Being creative with video content is really pretty easy and it gives you the opportunity to bring a personality to your social presence. Something as straightforward as adding GIFs, memes or action will entice your audience to share your content and keep coming back to see what’s new. Creating content shouldn’t be intimidating. Being afraid you’ll say or do the wrong thing stops many a small business owner from using video, but it shouldn’t. A short welcome and a quick pan of the store goes a long way. Potential customers will feel more comfortable and feel like they know you and your store before their first visit.

Twitter and Instagram are great for short bursts of information and you don’t need to create an entirely new video. Repurpose the video being used on Facebook and shorten it.

Both of these platforms are used as a fast way of imparting information in 30–60 seconds or less. Plus, it’s in real time. Want to run a flash sale? This is how you get the word out and you won’t have to do it all yourself. Your Instagram and Twitter followers will share it with their friends, who in turn will share it with their connections and all of sudden, your reach has been expanded three-fold.

Finally, be consistent. The key to a strong social media presence is consistency. Keep posting, even if it’s only a quick 15-second clip of a thought, idea or product that caught your attention. Your followers want to hear from you. Once your audience grows, they’ll be depending on you for guidance, inspiration and information. Don’t let them down. Once they realize they can rely on you for regular posts, your following (and influence) will begin to rise.

VANITY METRICS — I.E., LIKES

Having a video go viral and receive 500,000 likes or views can be exciting, and it may even feel like a huge success. But, when working locally, vanity metrics are more about the cool factor than returns. On a local level, how are those likes translating? The goal when working locally and connecting with an audience is quality, not quantity. We’re looking for the likes that will impact sales — those likes who become loyal followers and then turn into customers who want to share their good fortune in finding a new resource of information and guidance. Connecting with video on social media may not take you viral, but those customers you do connect with will stay in touch with your store and that’s the bottom line.

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