As you start to plan how you would like your business to grow in the coming year, you may be thinking of harnessing the power of online video. Has it been something you’ve wanted to try for years and years but it’s never happened? Why not put together a plan of action right now – let’s start with the end in mind.
In an Ideal World Our Videos Would Be:
1. Helpful or Valuable to Our Customers in Some Way
Whatever video you produce it should contain great content and add value for the viewer. It could entertain, but primarily the videos would share our best knowledge and create a connection with our customers or potential customers.
2. Released with Some Consistency
The internet can date you very quickly. I bet you can think of websites where the blog hasn’t been updated for months or even years! It doesn’t look good. Therefore a successful YouTube channel should be added to frequently. If you delivered great content on a daily basis, you might accelerate a lot faster than doing it once a month but you will have the challenge of keeping up. The point is you need to set this frequency and stick to it.
I present a podcast about energy efficient homes (House Planning Help) and I make sure that the episodes are released every two weeks on a Wednesday. This sets an expectation amongst the audience, upon which I consistently deliver. As part of that frequency I record many interviews a long way in advance so that I know I have the material. Ideally I would like House Planning Help to be a weekly podcast but I am not confident that I have the resources to maintain the quality at the current time. So I have made my choice.
3. Found Easily
If we go to all the effort of making these videos, they have to be found and watched! They need to be shared on sites like YouTube and embedded into your website where appropriate (not all in a video section). Using the right keywords and filling in description data as thoroughly as possible will make all the difference.
4. Professional to Watch
No matter whether you are sending emails, answering the telephone, writing a blog post or making a video, your brand values will shine through. I really believe in attention to detail, so however I reach out to my potential customers I try to maintain a consistent experience. In my view, an email with spelling mistakes and poor grammar sends a clear message: we can’t be bothered. So I will go out of my way to deliver on my promises, stick to deadlines, etc. The same is true with your videos. Yes, anybody can make a video, but is this a video that comes from your company?
5. Content That’s Ready to Go
Wouldn’t it be nice to get to 1st January 2013 and know that all of your videos were made and that the only thing left to do is press the publish button at the appropriate times? Much of the content we share on social media can be planned and created a long time in advance so get into the habit of thinking this way.
What does all this mean for your business? You need to do the best you can with the time and resources at your disposal.
What is My Budget?
Once you have established your overall marketing budget, then work out what your allocation for video might be. Are you going to do exactly what you did last year or can you be flexible in your approach?
I was chatting to a business owner recently, who told me that traditional methods of newspaper advertising no longer seemed to be working. These days he spends a lot of money on advertising online. However, having built up his knowledge on content marketing he could see that it was worth investing in or putting on trial. The great thing is that by using Google Analytics you can monitor the success of these videos by seeing the number of referrals to your website.
Creating videos doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’ve got the time, you can create some simple videos yourself (perhaps answering customer questions). If your business is in its infancy, this is probably a good option. However, if you have any budget for advertising, marketing and PR, then there’s a strong case for making things better and also increasing your production values.
Making a Simple Plan
If you’ve never tried video marketing before, this is one experiment you could do for the coming year:
– Create a ‘how to’ series with your best tips! We like this because ‘how to’ escalates you in the eyes of the viewer and makes you the trusted source.
– Make 12 episodes in your series, one for each month.
– Film it all in one session to keep the costs as low as possible. Remember, what makes a production expensive and try to get the mix right for your budget.
What Can I Achieve with a Bigger Budget?
Clearly more money gives you more scope for creativity and the ability to increase the number of videos you produce, but maybe it’s best sticking to the simple plan and doing a test run. Then next year, when you’ve seen how it performs, you can build up your video marketing strategy some more.
If you do have more money to play with, use the content from your 12 outstanding videos for the basis of 12 podcasts. You can go one stage further and have 12 blog posts with the information, too.
The whole point of this is that the year becomes a lot easier to manage. Too many people give up after a couple of months because it’s eaten into their time and it doesn’t seem to have worked. This is not an overnight solution to marketing but something that will build up over time.