The overwhelming response from business owners when it comes to using video is positive and they can see the real benefits of video and how others are using it to market and get more leads and sales. But for most business owners the truth is, they often can't see the relevance of video for their own particular businesses. They find it difficult to see how it fits in with how they run their businesses, and how to use video in a way that can benefit them and their customers. So today I'm going to give you a process to help you define the many and varied ways that video can help you specifically to promote, engage, uplift, educate and inspire your customers and your staff (if you have any). There is no one-size-fits-all approach, when it comes to video. It just takes putting time aside to focus on the answers that are right for you, and a little imagination.
So let's start at the beginning. Start with these three questions:
- What is My OBJECTIVE?
- What PLATFORM do I want to deliver on?
- What FORMAT will I use?
1. What is My OBJECTIVE? What is the objective of creating a video? Just start with one first. So ask yourself "what do you want your audience to do?" Do you want to?:
- General leads and/or direct sales of products or services.
- Create brand awareness
- Inform or educate your customers for staff
- Promote a course, event or an online program
- Grow your audience and/or community.
Let's expand on a these points a little. The most common type of video that we see is business is a corporate style video with a specific objective - to sell a product or service. This is probably the one that every business owner can relate to because it is the most common form of video, i.e. "Here is what I sell or this is the service I provide, come and buy from me."
But this isn't the only way to sell products and services. You can still sell, but use different approaches, rather than a 'direct selling approach'. It all really depends on the type of business that you are in, your objective, and who your audience is. You can still sell products and services, but in a way that is more engaging and gains the trust of your audience first, and so you may sell over time. However, if and when you do create a video to sell a product or service, your 'call-to-action' in your video is critical. You want to ensure it directs people to buy straight away and how to quickly find what it is that you're selling.
If you want people to know who you are and what you're about, and you have a strong message that you want put out into the world, you can use videos that create brand awareness. This is more about getting your business name and your brand in front of your target audience, regularly and consistently so that they get to know and recognise you. The objective when it comes to brand awareness is to build recognition, trust and credibility so that when your potential customers are ready to buy from you, you are at the forefront of their minds, rather than asking them to buy something from you straight away.
Brand awareness videos can be where you talk about specific subject areas that you're an expert on, or it could be a straight promotional video that relays a bit about your history, what you do and why. And really powerful brand awareness videos that larger companies are beginning to embrace are narrative style, brand story and origin story videos, because audiences are now wanting to know more about how businesses come about and what they stand for. They want to feel a deeper sense of connection with the brands they're engaging with.
If your objective is to inform and/or educate your customers, then consider creating a 'How-To' video, that gives specific instructions taking your audience from Point A to Point B. Or it could be in the form of a Training Program video for your staff. Perhaps you could create a video that describes and takes your customers through a 'process' to solve a recurrent problem or question; put something together like a piece of furniture; show them how to use a piece of equipment; take them through a step-by-step guide on backing up their computer, etc, etc. The possibilities are endless when you want to help inform and educate.
Do you want to promote a course, event or an offline or online program that you're running? Before you do, work out how you can use video to reach your audience with more impact and deliver a strong message that inspires your audience to sign up or participate. Videos can be used along all stages of the marketing and promotional process for your course, event or program. It can be also used within course or online program content as well, as a teaching tool.
To grow your audience and/or community so that you have actual customers to sell to, consider creating a weekly Vlog (video blog). This can often be extrapolated from a blog post that you've written. Choose just one subject or topic in your post and expand upon it in a video blog. You can create a weekly FB live or Linkedin video to again discuss relevant topics of the week or answer questions or challenges posed by customers and your community/audience. Customer video testimonials are great for growing your audience and/or community, because its' objective is about building trust. Keeping in mind that growing your audience is about relationship and trust-building. Sometimes people just want to know stuff and get information without being sold to constantly. So in this case it's not about getting the sale (not directly anyway).
2. What PLATFORM do I want to deliver on?
Once you have a clear idea of the objective for your video, then consider what platform your video will be delivered on. So you need to ask yourself, "Where does my audience hang out?".
Does your audience hang out on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, or can they find you directly via your Website if it's well optimised? The reason you need to take into consideration where your audience hang out, is because this has a major bearing on type of video that's going to appeal and their attention-span. The more intimately you know your audience, the better you will be at creating video content that speaks directly to the customers you really want to attract and who are more likely to buy from you (whether that comes to a product or a service). Say for example if you want to create a video for Facebook and Linkedin. You may want to create videos with a different approach in mind, as your audience are mostly on facebook for social reasons and for Linkedin, you may want to create videos that are more educational and inspirational in their delivery. If you have an audience that already has a heavily vested interest and it's a unique or niche area, or you've built an audience, then this is where you can be more flexible with the style of video and also the length, because you're audience already knows and trusts you and you know they're already interested. So, consider where your audience hang out, and why they are there when working out what approach will work best for that given scenario.
3. What FORMAT will I use?
What I mean by format is, "What will my video look like?". Ask yourself:
- Will it be a DIY or a professional video company that creates my video?
- Will it go for 30 seconds or 5 mins or longer?
- Will it be a promo, explainer, music, intro, narrative style video?
- What overall style and feel do I want? Is your business more corporate style where you're a business or medical professional, accountant, lawyer, etc or is your business a trade or service in the areas of fashion, retail, health and wellbeing, artistic, etc, etc. Because your industry will be a major determinant of the look and feel of your videos, marketing and overall branding.
In summarising...to answer these questions thoroughly and to work out what is the right approach for you when it comes to video, you should firstly take into consideration your business and/or the industry you're in, and your target audience. What is going to appeal to your audience? But also remembering your objective and the platform on which your video is going to be seen. For example, if you're creating videos to grow and build your audience and build relationships, then DIY videos in the form of FB live, Linkedin, instagram, etc, are quite acceptable and very popular, especially when the objective is to engage, interact with and create dialogue on a regular basis. And depending on your business, weekly vlogs created as DIY are also now alot more mainstream, as people are wanting more connection and authenticity in their dealings with businesses. They want to know the person or the people behind the business.
But if you're wanting a video to create brand awareness or purely promotional video and the industry and size of your company creates the expectation that a more professional approach to video is required, then you may have to go down that line. It's then a matter of finding the right company to create the video. But be sure to look for a company that can deliver something that is in alignment with your business brand and desired objectives.
And most importantly, ensure that you have good communication between you and the company you use to create your video. It should be a collaborative arrangement to ensure that you're both on the same page, and that they understand exactly what you want, so that you get the desired outcome.
I hope these questions and examples have helped you see that whatever your business, that video can play a significant role in delivering the message or messages that you want to uniquely convey to your target audience. And if you're having difficulty working out what may work best for you or how you can use video in your business, then please give me a call, book a skype session or let's just have a coffee so that I can get to know your business a little better and offer suggestions.I may not always have the answers, and in fact, if I feel we are not a good fit, I will point you in the right direction.
Have a great week!
Kerry :) x