Are You Ready To Create A Small Business Video in 2018? Here's 3 Things To Get You In The Game...
Online video marketing for small businesses has been trendy for the past few years.
And as we head into 2018, most agencies and consultants are doubling down on their claims that 2018 will be the "Year of Video".
But many of them aren't answering a pressing question for SMB's: "What if my business isn't ready for a video?"
- The ONE QUESTION You Need To Ask Before Creating A Video For Your Business -
There is an endless waterfall of advice out there on how to best market your small business in 2018. SEO, Snapchat, FB Ads... the list goes on and on.
But pretty much everyone also agrees that video is one of the BEST ways to promote your business this coming year.
The infographic below (based on research from Cisico) shows how insanely fast video views, especially on mobile are projected to grow...
So video traffic online is still growing at a tremendous rate. It naturally follows that you should be getting in the game as well, right?
Well, yes, we would agree with that one one level, but what seems to be rarely discussed in that conversation is this critical question: "What are you going to do with that video once you make it?"
Now creative types (who are usually the ones wanting to make the video for you) have no problem dreaming up endless hypothetical ways that you could use this video in your business. 'Share it on social media' is usually at the top of the list. But most small business owners have to deal with the harsh realities of everyday life in their local world. These can include:
- Email lists that have been negelcted or have low engagement
- Social media business profiles that have not been created or have very few followers
- A poor web presence and/or a website that's not quite up to snuff
- Existing commitments to print advertising
- Industry standard referral-based coupon or rewards programs
- Franchise restrictions
- The list goes on and on...
If you don't consider how you're going to share this video with your existing customers and potential new clients, you'll most likely end up with a video that sits on a lonely website and never gets watched by the people that need it the most: Your customers!
Or worse yet, it might never even make it off of your computer! (It happen more often than you might think)
A Game Plan To Get Your Business Ready For Video in 2018
The point of this article is NOT to steer you away from video for your business... in fact, to be perfectly honest, we're trying to encourage you to pursue video. If we're a good fit for you, maybe you'll hire us! See more info here.
But we've seen examples of way too many small business owners who get really excited about shooting a video for their business, only to have the competed project delivered to them and never effectively put it to use to tangibly grow their business.
So how do you get ready?
Here's our top three suggestions...
1) Write Down Your Story
Pen and paper, Word document, typewriter... OK please don't write this down on a typewriter. But if you're going have an effective video for your business, you need to be able to clearly communicate who you are and what your business is about. That mean both facts and heart. But mostly heart.
People always have and always will relate to stories. Check out any production company selling their services... they are all focused on telling the story. And that's how it should be. Because people identify with and relate to stories. Your goal here is to make a connection with people... not nameless, faceless 'leads' or 'contacts' or 'users' but with living breathing human beings.
To do that, you're going to need to clearly communicate why you do what you do. Write down why you started this business, what drives you every day, why you're passionate about what you do and the people you serve.
Bonus: Writing this down not only gives you a great starting place for your video storyboard, but you can use it as a blog post to help launch the video as well!
2) Take That Story And Evaluate The Other Parts Of Your Business
Are you currently communicating this story effectively with your existing clients and contacts? Is it resonating? How about if you tell it to someone one-on-one?
The reason this is so critical is that we can often forget the video is just a medium for communication. And what a great medium, right? You get all aspect of verbal and nonverbal communication, you get storytelling an nuance, all of the things that make communicating a message through video a spectacular option in your marketing arsenal.
But the flip-side of that is remembering that you are still essentially communicating a message. And if that message is not resonating with your audience through other channels like your website, social media, email and in-person, chances are that you're either reaching the wrong people or you're not telling a story that's relatable and captures people's imagination.
Since you can easily spend hundreds or thousands of dollars producing a video for your business, you'll definitely want to make sure that your story is "working" on other channels before investing in a video concept that may have limited effect.
3) Have A Plan For How You Want To DEPLOY Your Video
Wow, how's that for a fun action step? But, hang on, stick with me. The reason this is included is because the best marketing campaigns are typically created by reverse engineering the outcome you want. Here are some questions to help get you started:
- Do you have a plan for how you are going to use this video? (Social media sharing, paid advertising, email blast, TV spot, playing on a TV screen in your locations?)
- How many people, and what kind of people do you want to reach? (Who is your ideal client and how are you going to share this with them?)
- What are the results you are looking for? (Do you want a bunch of shares or like on Facebook? Do you want a 10% increase in overall business in the next quarter? Do you want high reccuring sales from existing customers?)
Once you can start to answer those questions, even if you can't answer them fully, you'll start to naturally see places in your business that you could use this video and places where it probably isn't a good fit.
At this point, you should have a good idea of who you are trying to reach with this video, how you will get it to them, and what you want to tell them. Now, you are fully prepared to start working on the really fun stuff, like story boarding, creative direction and the rest.
Hopefully this hasn't scared you off from creating a video in 2018. Because it IS a highly effective, proven tool for reaching people that want to know about your products and services. And all indicators show that in 2018, people will be paying attention to video like never before.
The steps outlined above, far from being restrictive, actually give you so much MORE creative freedom when making your video. You know have specific goals and a direction, and you're free to create whatever form of video and storytelling that you want, without aimlessly wandering around from idea to idea trying to pull together scraps of video to make a cohesive message.
If you're interested in an initial consultation with us, or if you just have questions, you can visit our videography page here.