Marketing managers have bought into the power of video to persuade and connect with their audience.
What isn’t very clear, however, is how to get it done. Small companies in the B2B space know that video can make the case as far as their products or solutions go.
It costs a lot more than brochures, flyers or powerpoint presentations. Animating a presentation is not a video solution. Even if that’s what people do, to begin with.
Fiverr is popular with marketers and small businesses – freelancers offer amazing deals on animation production. Top-Rated sellers may start off at $100 for a 30 sec. 4K video. That’s a solid deal.
Take a closer look and you’ll see the price creeping up. $400 for a 2-minute video. Then, extended licenses must be purchased if the video needs to be shown on TV, globally or nationally. And once you get the licenses in place, video ads, even on local channels can be quite expensive, forget national ones.
Producing slick videos isn’t easy. Every YouTube star created absolute rubbish early on in their careers. They learned the hard way. Can your company take chances? It’s your reputation on the line. Unless you know exactly what you are looking for. And what you are going to get.
Video Advertising – Do’s and Don’ts
Visualize your product or service benefits. What comes to mind?
Think about the situations and the environment in which the video will be played. One to one. One to many. Exhibition screens. Event screens. Online. Think through which one applies most to the category you are in.
Explainer video creators have mushroomed and there are hundreds of producers out there who do decent work. But finding the one that works for you is still not easy, especially if you are in an abstract category, and not selling well-known services.
Talk to a few companies in the business and establish ties with those who take the trouble to understand your product category. It’s important to find a long-term ally and partner, instead of aiming for the lowest costs. And you’ll have to spend a lot less time briefing the team as they acquire a knowledge of your needs.
Another consideration. Are you in a space where your products change every few months? Then your videos will quickly go out of date.
Start small. Motion graphics don’t cost the earth and are good points to begin animating product benefits. Look at stock footage sites and see if there is stuff available that you can use, to begin with.
Convert your sales benefits into elevator pitches. Attention spans have dropped, so break up the benefits into multiple videos but maintain a thread that allows people to make the connections.
Don’t make boring screencam stories. A mouse pointer moving around a menu screen with a few rows and tables is not gripping video. Worse, it won’t be comprehensible to a non-technical audience if they are your prospects. Avoid talking heads – one person droning on an on.
Don’t compromise on voice talent. Even passable animation can be held together with a good script and a competent voice.
Audio of people or characters featuring in the video needs to be professional, not muffled or sounding as if it was recorded in a tunnel. With trains thundering close by.
2D Animation will be cheaper than 3D. Live action, filmed on location with real models will be ambitious and expensive. First timers make the mistake of casting friends and family to save on model costs – and the results can be an embarrassment, both for viewers and the models.
Prep your Video Marketing Strategy
In your mind, ensure that video features in your annual to-do list and make a budget provision for it. That’s the starting point
Analyze the marketing material you already have. Make a list of products from your range that would benefit from a video pitch.
Sometimes, the solutions may not be obvious. If you are in an abstract, knowledge-based business, it would help to get an external agency involved to help you decide which of your product pitches will be best suited for converting to video
Again, the best way is to take small but measured steps that lead towards a larger objective or goal. In the first year, you may not create more than one or two minutes of video. But persist and you’ll be surprised at how a video library significantly boosts your offline as well as online sales conversion
One suggestion could be a corporate video that introduces your company to prospects. The brochure or company profile can be left behind after a face to face meeting
Once you make your first video, integrate it into your sales process. Make sure that the sales team is adequately briefed and they begin to use the video as a starting point in discussions with customers
The advantage is that a well-conceived and executed video makes a great first impression. And it will cover every important point about the business you wish to emphasize. You don’t have to worry that your sales team may have missed out on some crucial aspect during a presentation.
How to do video marketing
Once you’ve got your first video produced, start experimenting.
Add relevant keywords, tags, and meta tags for your product or service category. If you have audio content, transcribe it and upload it to free channels like YouTube and help search engines find and index your video faster.
Create an inviting thumbnail to get viewers to click and watch
Repeat the process for all video channels where you plan to put up the video. Sure, this is boring and repetitive. But this is the bare minimum you have to do to drive views.
Search engines cannot index the audio well just yet, so you have to help the process along. If you use the video only in a sales situation, you may not need to do this. But then, the idea of producing a video is to get more traction and fresh prospects. If you aren’t increasing your sales potential, your investment will not yield the returns you would like.
In crowded environments like events and exhibitions, where you have to turn the audio down, check if your video still makes sense. For such situations, create a version with titles right through the film to get passers-by interested. If you don’t make the effort, they won’t even notice.
Constructing a media plan
Free will only go so far. You have to compete with every marketer who tries to be smarter, savvier and more memorable.
Base your decision on whether targets in your target profile are present in large enough numbers on the video platform you are considering – whether it is YouTube or Vimeo
Facebook now is severely restrictive of the spread of the free option. But it is a place to target your audience at low costs and see what works.
Again, the best strategy is to try low-cost options and see what works before committing spends on a specific campaign or a platform.
These are only the outlines of what is possible. You’ll have to experiment across social media channels to find the best fit and approach for your brand.
Simply posting across channels without analytics in place is a waste of your time and money
- List your products that will benefit from being presented on video
- Make a provision for video production in your annual budget
- Start small and enhance the number of videos you create every year
- Prioritize your product range
- Create relationships with video producers you trust to get a consistent look and feel for your brand
- After creating the video, tag it, transcribe it and make it SEO friendly
- If you start with sales initially, make video an integral part of the sales process and ensure that it is used
- To reach large numbers of prospects, experiment with low-cost media and campaign approaches
- Analyze data to see which channels provide the best conversions and payback
- The sooner you start, the better.
If you want a step by step, month by month video marketing planner, here’s one