Video Marketing Is It For Me?

What It Is And How It Works —
For Small To Mid-Size Businesses

By Shari LeGate

“Everybody’s doing it.” As cliché as the previous statement may sound, your competitors and their competitors are all doing it. “It” is video marketing, which has become one of the most important components of marketing strategies. But what exactly is video marketing? Simply put, it’s using video to promote your business or products within your business or a service your business has to offer. Large companies and manufacturers realized the value of video marketing years ago. By incorporating video into their overall marketing strategies, they’ve been able to maximize their ability to reach the consumer on a more direct level.

Now you might think video marketing is only for large businesses and doesn’t apply to you. Perhaps you have just one storefront and your customer base is the local community. You may decide you don’t need this type of marketing thinking, it’s much too broad and expensive. Besides you own a store, not a brand, right?

Take another look at yourself. You do have a brand — it’s you and your store. And your brand has a much bigger advantage than any big-box store, even over manufacturers. Your brand has the ability to have a personal relationship with the customer and one of the most effective ways to do this is through video marketing, because it lets you get personal.

Develop Familiarity, Enhance Brand Loyalty

Video marketing affords you the opportunity to keep your current customer base engaged and, at the same time, has the ability to reach out to an entirely new customer you can introduce your store to. It can also help spread the word about your business and generate more in-store foot traffic. With video marketing it’s possible to make an emotional connection with the potential customer, which creates brand loyalty — ultimately leading to sales by putting a face to your brand and store.

Having an emotional connection to the consumer is one of the most valuable add-ons to any brand because it develops brand loyalty. By showing content related to you and your store, the consumer has the chance to get to know you, building trust and confidence. We all like to do business with people we know, and video marketing affords you the option to do massive outreach without ever leaving your store.

Video offers you a multitude of options to promote your business. Let’s say a potential customer in your area does a search for a particular product and lands on your website. A welcome video fits perfectly here, but it needs to personify who you are and what your store is. A three-minute video introducing you, your staff and what your store(s) offer(s) is informative and engaging. Now, when the customer walks through the door, they feel comfortable. There’s a sense of familiarity, since they’ve already seen it online.

Video marketing can be used to speak directly to your customer to tout an upcoming sale or store promotion. You could send out a direct-mail piece, but there’s the expense of printing, the cost of the mailing and there’s a good possibility it will get lost with all the other fliers arriving in the recipient’s mailbox. This is where video marketing comes in to play. A video can be attached to an email blast or the monthly newsletter sent out to the database. If you don’t have a database, the video can be added to your website or Facebook page or played on a loop in the store.

A word of caution though: If you’re creating date-sensitive content, such as an upcoming sale or special promotion, be sure to note an end date or remember to remove the video once the promotion is over.

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Look For Co-Op Openings

Another opportunity video marketing presents for the small to mid-size business is the ability to partner with other businesses and promote each other. For example, if your business doesn’t have an indoor shooting range, partner with a local outdoor range and play a looped video in your store introducing their facility as the place to shoot. Then, create another video played on a loop shown in the clubhouse at the outdoor range showcasing your store with all the shooting supplies to meet their needs. It’s a win-win for both.

There are many more platforms and formats where video marketing can be utilized. In today’s digital world, there’s so many outlets available — Periscope, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram — it’s never been easier to make use of video marketing as a promotional tool for your business.

Content such as customer testimonials, how-to videos and training videos can be added to any of those social media platforms, which gives you the opportunity to reach out to existing and new customers. This further positions your store as a resource to the shooting sports community in your area.

Video’s Instant Accessibility

Video is so easily accessible these days. Anyone can access online video anytime, anywhere with a mobile device, iPad or laptop. With video, you can reach your audience wherever they are in a cost-effective way. A recent report by Cisco showed by 2019, 80 percent of the world’s online traffic will be video. Today, viewers are 64–85 percent more likely to buy a product, use a service or visit a location/destination after watching a video. Landing pages featuring a video increase conversion rates by almost 80 percent and video attached to an email leads to a 200–300 percent increase in click-through rate.

It’s hard to argue with those numbers. Investing in a good video marketing strategy can only benefit your business, and it’s not beyond your budget. Creating a short video is easier than you think. Next month, I’ll share some tips and ideas on how to create a video marketing campaign that fits your market and your budget. The year 2019 may sound like the distant future, but it’ll be here tomorrow. Be ready for it.

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