Video Marketing On A Small Budget

Create The Personal Touch To
Stand Out From Your Competition

By Shari LeGate

In today’s technological world of smartphones and tablets, advertising and marketing has become an increasingly contested fight to get the public’s attention. Small businesses are competing with big businesses in a race to get noticed. Believe it or not, small businesses are gaining ground — even winning in some cases. As a small business, if you can put the personality that drives your brand in front of potential customers you have the opportunity to get people as excited about your business as you are. People want to know the story behind you and your brand, and video marketing is the perfect platform to accomplish this ­— let’s find out how.

Develop A Strategy

Start by breaking down the goals of the video(s). Strategies can range from increasing traffic, boosting sales, promoting a special event or reinforcing your brand. There are other opportunities for video marketing, as well. Hunting season and the beginning of the competition season are great times to send out a video touting special promotions or the announcement of a big sale. You can also produce a video on local happenings your store is involved in — such as sporting events, conventions, trade shows and don’t forget the holidays throughout the year or product launches from manufacturers. Develop a calendar of all these events and strategies so you can plan ahead.

Then, invest in a good-quality camera, reliable audio equipment and a decent editing program. A video camera today is less than $200 and editing programs are even cheaper. It’s important to either have these things, or work with someone who does. There’s nothing worse than bad audio or a blurry video with poor lighting and is off-color. If viewers can’t see or hear clearly, they’ll click off immediately. It won’t look professional and will ultimately reflect poorly on you and your business.

The next step is to have a script. Many people, especially business owners and salespeople, think they can talk off-the-cuff in a video. No matter how good you think you are, the camera picks up everything and those one- or two-second pauses we use in everyday speech are an eternity on video. Don’t read the script, but at least memorize it. It will help you sound more professional, you won’t forget important points and it will stop the “ums” and “you knows” that sneak into everyday conversation.

If you’ve done these, you’re ready to create a video. I can’t stress this next tip enough: Make sure your video is “real,” which is why I recommend not reading from a script. People come across sales pitches every day and it’s easy for them to tune out when they hear one; just be you. Customers want to get to know the person behind the business. Make your first video an introduction to your business and to you, but don’t forget to have a call to action (more on that in a minute). The goal of the video is to find potential customers and reconnect with old ones, so provide a reason for them stop by.

Things To Keep In Mind

Keep It Short: You should keep your video to three minutes max. Studies show the watch time for an online marketing video is two to three minutes — and if you haven’t grabbed viewers’ attention within the first 30 seconds, you’ve lost them. So, those first 30 seconds need to be compelling and interesting with the core of the message. Highlight the things that make your store unique, whether it’s the best prices in town, the outstanding customer service, a special sales promotion, etc. Start and end with this message.

Incorporate Multi-Media: Combine different types of media, which can be done easily. Incorporate still images into the video: the outside of your store, pictures of your employees, a special event you participated in — anything that shows the personal side to “who” and “what” you are.

Add A Personal Touch: Don’t be afraid to address the customer directly in the video. The message can be from you or one of your employees, giving them a friendly face to relate to. It can either be a welcome message or testimonials from customers.

A Little Humor Doesn’t Hurt: Last year, a mom took a video of herself in the car, laughing hysterically while she donned a Chewbacca mask designed for kids and posted it on Facebook. Three days later, this four-minute video garnered 140 million views. Now that’s going viral. You don’t need to go viral, but this is a perfect example of how people like to be entertained. Bottom line: Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Include A Call To Action: Be clear about what the viewer should do after watching your video. Make sure they know how to find you. Add your phone number, address, website, email and social media accounts. If you have a storefront, show a map with directions. Offer a special coupon through a backlink or discount pricing if they mention the video.

Get The Word Out

Now you’ve created your video and everything is in place, it’s time to distribute it. Use every possible outlet available on social media. Email is the easiest way to get your video out, simply send a mass email to the store’s database with the video attached. If you don’t have a database, I suggest you start building one — but there are still other ways to promote your video.

Add it your Facebook page, your website, send it out on Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter username, find a loyal customer who does. Make a copy of the video on a USB drive and give it to local ranges in your area and, in return, offer to promote their range in your store. Also: Don’t forget about your Google My Business listing, add your video to it — a great visual representation of your business.

Next stop is YouTube. You don’t need your own YouTube channel to post a video, but what you do need is to understand how people find videos on YouTube. And this is where Video Search Engine Optimizations (VSEO) comes in. When it comes to video marketing, VSEO will be your best promoter. Much like SEO (search engine optimization) which focuses on content that is easily categorized and archived by numerous search engines, VSEO focuses strictly on video content so it can be presented in search engine results.

When you post your video on YouTube, be sure to use keywords in the description about the topic and don’t generalize. For example, simply using the term “shooting sports” will likely land you on page 89 of the YouTube results and lost. Find the key words to describe what your video is about, including the word “video.” Use them in the filename, title tag, description, tags and link text. Also, add a short paragraph describing the video to the landing page, which will help the search engines understand and promote what the video is all about.

Video marketing may sound like a lot of work, but it really isn’t and it sets you apart from your competitors. In the beginning, it may seem a little confusing and time-consuming, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll be quick and easy. However, if you still think you don’t have the time or the tech savviness, there are video marketing companies that provide all these services.

Just remember though, you’re not producing a blockbuster mega-movie; you’re just trying to get the word out about you and your store. It’s worth a little time and investment, don’t you think?

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