As the year winds down and we reflect on how marketing trends changed and evolved over the past twelve months, one thing is clear: 2013 was the year of the video. The evidence is everywhere. Here are a few recent stats to back up our claim:
- According to MOZ, blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video.
- According to PEW Internet, 54% of internet users have posted original photos or videos to websites and 47% share photos or videos they found elsewhere online.
- According to YouTube, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
- According to Invodo, 52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions.
As a business owner, it's your job to make sure you're doing your best to present and provide valuable information to consumers in all the ways that they prefer to receive information online. This means that in order to continue connecting with current customers and prospective customers online, you need to produce more video in 2014. But where to start? Here are twenty-five video opportunities you can take advantage of that will help you connect with more people, provide more value, make more sales, and ultimately grow your business.
1. Customer Testimonials
There's nothing customers appreciate more than the honest and candid opinion of "one of their own". In this way, customer testimonials can greatly influence your sales by creating a connection and adding a human element to your marketing.
2. Success Stories
Building engagement means fostering a community and little does that better than celebrating the success of others. Highlighting the success experienced due to your products or services not only speaks to their effectiveness, but let's customers know that you care about their circumstances.
3. Case Studies
You can preach knowledge to your industry until the cows come home, kick up their feet, and flip on The Voice, but nothing beats an in-depth examination to demonstrate key concepts. Case studies not only relate valuable information, but once again emphasize community and engagement.
4. Product Presentations
Coaxing customers can take effort, which is why offering promotional materials helps customers learn about a product by guiding their research. By offering information in an understandable and digestible manner, brand ideals and concept can be more effectively communicated.
5. Product Demonstrations
While business is happening more and more frequently online, the inability to feel the quality of your snakeskin phone covers hurts sales. Video product demonstrations help compensate for this by offering an "in-motion" spotlight that can show effectiveness and operation and place the item or service in a tangible context.
6. Product Reviews
No matter how passionate you are about your robotic llama clocks, platitudes promising superior performance are known to be overly-rosy depictions. Product reviews, on the other hand, examine the pros and cons of something, giving a more trustworthy and relatable picture that can drive consumer confidence.
Whatever you sell, it's likely that it could benefit from some instruction. In this way, providing "basics of" or instructional videos not only inspires use and opens the imagination to possibility, but curries sentiment that you're a company who cares.
8. Visual Stories
Since the age of stone tools and articulate grunts, our brains have been hard-wired for stories, which is why presenting information in this format is so effective. Visual stories in particular combine the effectiveness of the format with the robust communication potential of video to multiple and varied ends.
Video isn't just for customers. The benefits of quick and effective communication can be used to help you and yours as well. Video resources for new employees can help reduce the personnel cost of education while making protocols and practices available in clear and effective ways.
10. Employee Orientation
Providing instructional information internally is useful, but getting employees to buy into the system takes a strong first impression. Video can help communicate tone, emotion, and authority to new hires and inspire confidence.
11. Recruitment Videos
Before you instruct employees, of course, you have to invite them to the party. Recruitment videos not only make your intentions for growth known, they also help inform candidates what kind of culture you embrace, which will assist their decision and yours.
12. Employee Communication
There's nothing more annoying than when Steve forgets to sign his invoices, so making sure that everyone is on the same page in your organization is essential to success. In this way, videos offer information far more effectively than a video, with a capacity to make corporate communication actually enjoyable.
13. Corporate Overview
Communicating to your employees and potential employees is simply the tip of the iceberg. Customers and, particularly, shareholders, want to know what your company is about and videos depicting your goals and personality can inspire confidence and breed success.
14. Conference Presentations
Your position in the industry can be greatly amplified by your authority. In addition, due to your unique ability to attend industry conferences and share information, video records of these talks can breed trust and a perception of authority, all while delivering value to your customers; a real win-win-win.
15. Round Table Discussions
There's a reason that panels of exports are so frequently utilized in society. Just look at American Idol. Gathering your experts and publishing videos of conversations on important topics can gain viewers and demonstrate your expertise.
The world moves quickly these days and VLOGs give a rapid-fire way of keeping up with new information. Choose topics wisely, covering new developments, relevant news, and the like, and offer that information in an entertaining format, highlighting value in the process.
17. Q&A Expert Sessions
Everyone has opinions, but what people really want are answers. Ask your viewers and customers for their burning questions and answer them with confidence to show that you're listening and helpful.
Even before the questions come in, knowing what your customer's need will be greatly appreciated. With Google's Hummingbird engine, the Internet belongs to sites that answer questions and being ready with helpful answers will improve your reputation and visibility.
19. Health & Safety Overviews
Information concerning products is useful. Information concerning safety is important. Identify avenues where your expertise can positively affect people's quality of life, then present it and save a life or two. What's more rewarding than that?
The obvious potential of video in advertising is well demonstrated, but bears repeating. The difference is that creating video commercials and posting them online can avoid costly competition with beer commercials while making content arguably more available.
21. Content Marketing
If you haven't heard of content marketing yet, then get excited. The new method of reaching customers is making big waves for good reason. In many of the aforementioned examples, the concept of content marketing is used: offer engaging, user driven information that positively affects their lives and your brand perception. Create content that benefits users and your revenue will smile.
22. Market Research, Polling
Old fashioned market research was expensive and not always effective. Video market research offers a more nuanced and less expensive means of gleaning insight that can drive sales and create growth potential.
23. Viral Video
Serious topics are worth their salt, but the tired Internet user loves a good laugh. Viral video not only entertains, but, through widespread sharing, can create market permeation that money cannot buy.
24. Micro Sites
Focusing in on an exciting new aspect of your company can increase awareness and build enthusiasm. Micro sites, which operate in tandem with your brand but with a specialized focus, can leverage video for branding purposes to further demonstrate just how great your new products really are.
25. PR Support Materials
You control your own image internally, but explaining to others how your brand should be depicted isn't just smart, it's important. Create materials that clarify things like copyright and trademark and avoid tempestuous legal circumstances.
The potential of video is still largely being explored, but existing methods promise incredible returns for savvy firms. Look at your business' operations and figure out where you can use video and enjoy the benefits of new media and new fans.