Adding online video to your marketing efforts can generate more leads and sales for your small business. Here's how.
Are you ready for your close up? Don't worry, even if you're not, you can still increase your online visibility and generate more online leads through video. Adding video to your marketing mix doesn't need to break the bank, either. If you're reading this post on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, chances are you already have all the equipment you need to get started in online video. Below I've outlined fifteen ways that video can help you generate leads for your business. So read through this post, take a deep breath, and hit record!
1. Video improves your search engine visibility.
You've seen it before. You do a search and the top three results are all videos. Google and Bing want to show your video as part of the mix. In fact, if your competitors consistently beat you at the search engines and they're not using video, adding video to your marketing mix might be the best way to leap frog them in the page one results.
2. YouTube is the number two search engine in the world.
People go directly to YouTube to do searches on how to overcome their biggest problems. If your video can help them tie a tie, restring a guitar or improve their email deliverability, YouTube will serve it up, helping you reach more people.
3. Over one billion people watch a YouTube video each month.
That puts YouTube just behind Facebook as far as reach goes. That's a lot of eyeballs, and not all of them are watching cat videos.
4. Video is the most engaging online medium.
When you create a video, people can see your facial expression and hear the passion in your voice. You can demonstrate how your product works, or how to get more out of a product or service they're already using. You can include imagery to illustrate your point. You can use music to inspire and words to persuade.
5. Video will help you increase your online conversions.
At flyte we've found that people who watch one of our videos on YouTube are over 700% more likely to fill out a contact form at our site than the average site visitor. We think that's because they have seen us in action, have come to trust us, and therefore are more likely to want to engage us for business.
6. You can create links from within your YouTube videos to your website.
With YouTube's annotation feature, you can create buttons within your YouTube video that will take visitors directly to your website or squeeze page. That's an incredibly powerful way of driving engaged prospects to an opt-in page! Here's a video I created that walks you through the process.
7. You can get a lot of mileage out of a single video.
Once you've created your video and uploaded it to YouTube (or Vimeo) you can embed it back into your blog to increase its reach. But don't stop there: you can promote it (driving traffic) from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, your email newsletter, your podcast, and just about any other social media channel. You can also take the same video and upload it directly to Facebook for even greater reach and engagement.
8. You can be camera shy and still get the benefits of video.
You don't actually have to appear in your own videos. You can do screen capture videos of your computer and just provide voice overs. You can record webinars and post them. You can use free or inexpensive animation software like PowToon or GoAnimate (I haven't used either of these so I'm not recommending, just referencing.)
9. Video is (or at least can be) inexpensive.
If you own a laptop, tablet or smartphone, you already have a video camera. I once bought a smartphone tripod for $5 with free shipping. I've also created my own inexpensive tripod from another case.
There's plenty of free video editing software out there, or you can get some inexpensive software, too. If you plan on doing screen capture, I can't recommend ScreenFlow Pro enough ($99, Mac only.)
10. Video helps you reach and engage a different audience.
Forbes reports that about 6 out of 10 executives would rather watch a video than read text. They're not alone. There are plenty of people who learn better by watching. And you can always add a transcript of your video for those who prefer to read. By not providing a video, you're shutting the door on a lot of prospective customers.
11. Video continues to perform.
One video posted to YouTube and embedded in a blog post will continue to attract new visitors and generate leads for your business for years to come. I get new viewers every day to videos I created years ago.
12. The ROI of video is unbeatable.
Consider creating a helpful video and uploading it to YouTube. Your cost could range from next to nothing to several hundred dollars, depending on how you value your time. Even if you hire an outside firm, the cost could be under $500/video. Compare that to a non-interactive newspaper ad. Just one instance of a quarter page ad could run you anywhere from a few hundred to over $1,000, and that's just one ad…and they don't just sell one ad! And once that paper hits the recycling bin, it stops working. And don't even get us started on the cost of TV time.
13. If your product is demonstrable, video is the way to go.
This seems self-evident, but if you have a product or service that needs to be seen to be believed, there's no better tool than video. Research shows that consumers are more likely to buy after watching a video.
14. Video helps you capture people on their smartphone.
According to Emarketer, 72.1 million US smartphone users watched video on their devices at least monthly in 2013. This is expected to rise to 86.8 million, more than a quarter of the US population, in 2014.
15. Video inspires trust in consumers.
In 2013, Mediapost reported that 57% of consumers say that product videos make them more confident in a purchase and less likely to return an item, up from 52% the previous year. Meanwhile, Internet Retailer had a study that showed the visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not. Now, that report is a few years old, but the numbers probably haven't moved that much.
So, are you ready for your closeup?
Have you been using online video for your business? If so, what were the results? If not, what's the biggest concern you have about jumping into online video? Let us know in the comments below! Rich Brooks Celluloid Hero