Video is a commitment, an investment, when used in marketing a small or midsized organization. You might be dissuaded by the resources, creativity and time producing a video, or series of videos, requires.
You know what? That’s a fair and reasonable objection. And it’s one I’m going to disabuse you of.
Videos are shared 12X more than links and posts combined on Facebook, and 100 million users take a social action every week on YouTube. You want storytelling marketing? Few things are as emotive as a video. And from a marketing standpoint, it works: About 46 percent of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video, and the average user spends 88 percent more time on a website with video.
The fact that consumers favor video to such a degree isn’t surprising. Rational data, experience and emotions help guide consumer behavior, but the reptilian part of our brains is usually the decider. The reptilian brain reacts well to movement, strong emotion, and primal need. It’s where you push buttons. And appealing to the reptilian brain is the thing video does best.
And that’s why even B2B organizations are increasingly leveraging video to tell their stories and reach customers.
True, you might say: I get how great video is. But my objections in the first paragraph still stand!
Glossy, television-quality video is expensive to do, granted. But there are plenty of ways you can break into video on a small scale that still reaps big returns:
- I once advised a client with a text-heavy website that he should consider video demos in order better explain the value proposition of his mobile browser. Quite literally the next day, he propped a small video recorder on a table and shot a video of him navigating the browser while he narrated commentary about its features. He uploaded it to YouTube within minutes and embedded the video onto his website. In little more than an hour, he had the beginnings of what would become a robust YouTube channel full of videos and views.
- Another client of ours — a small, local nonprofit, no less — uses low-cost video prolifically to share stories, document special moments, and show donors how their generosity benefits children in their program.
- Testimonials will give you a huge bang for your buck, and these are luckily the easiest kinds of videos to make if you’re intimidated by video. Another client invested in a camera and tripod, set up a couple of desk lamps with copy paper acting as diffusers, and put a chair against the wall in their conference room. They now keep this “studio” set up so that, in just a few minutes, they can get their business partners to sit for a one-minute video testimonial when they come by for meetings. They use the iMovie program installed in their Macs for light editing.
- Do you have Powerpoint presentations? You can easily turn them into video, with voiceover. Most entry-level editing programs, such as iMovie, can turn slideshows into video formats in a snap.
- Are you a interior designer, for instance? Do you have a retail store? Shoot some (well-lit) video of your inventory or your latest project, add a voiceover, and do some light editing. Hello video!
- Vine is a godsend for those who blanch at creating even a one-minute simple video. The Vine app creates six-second looping videos shot on your phone that can load instantly into Twitter. See these Vine ideas for business.
If the DIY method isn’t for you — and, admittedly, it’s not for everybody — you may be surprised how easy and relatively inexpensive it is to get into video anyway. Check with your marketing agency (us?) to discuss your options. Happy video-ing!