Scott Gerber is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, public speaker and author of Never Get a ‘Real’ Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke. The content for this post was sourced from the Young Entrepreneur Council, a group of successful Gen Y business owners. You can submit your questions to this group on NeverGetaRealJob.com.
In today’s YouTube crazed society, video is more accessible and easier to create than ever. One 30-second video has the potential to create a customer for life, or — conversely — a hater that will plague you with negative comments and bad word-of-mouth. This is why small businesses must learn to properly utilize videos to market their services on the web. These same videos can also be used in offline and online branding, sales, marketing and PR strategies. A great video will pay off ten-fold.
Sure, not every web video you shoot on your iPhone will end up being the next Old Spice ad, but a few hundred — or even a few thousand — views can lead to some serious moola for your business. I asked a panel of successful Gen Y entrepreneurs how small businesses can improve their web video marketing efforts and what they can do to make their videos sing. Here are their responses.
1. Be Real and Get Real
‘I can’t stress this enough: when you sell or market your business, be real with people. Most customers out there want to know who they can trust and how your business/product can help them. So in your web videos, make sure [you] don’t do the same old boring marketing videos that push things on people because nine times out of ten they hit ’stop.’ Let them see the real side of your business.’
2. TubeMogul Is The Answer!
‘You cannot improve what you cannot measure! Use TubeMogul video analytics to track your online video viewership trends and statistics on video sites like YouTube and get rich metrics from your own video player. Use these findings, and number of views and trends, etc., to improve your videos, tags, length, and all other elements and efforts of video marketing.’
3. Keep it Simple
‘Nobody wants to watch long videos, so keep it short, simple and to the point. I follow the two-minute rule. You should come up with a similar rule for yourself. If you have to create a longer video, consider dividing it into parts that make it easier for your viewers to digest. There’s a website called BlipSnips.com that is really good for this.’
4. Have Fun With It!
‘The best web videos are ones that incorporate comedy. People like to share videos with their networks that are funny, inspiring or thought provoking. The standard ’sales/ promotional’ videos will not become viral. Follow David Meerman Scotts‘ motto that ‘No one cares about your marketing except you,’ and try to create funny content that other people will want to share with their colleagues.’
5. Use YouTube
‘Instead of separating yourself from the crowd, jump on the YouTube bandwagon. Distributing your unique info at an existing online gathering place increases its power.’
6. Keep It Short and Simple
‘For better or worse, we live in a world of sound bites. Often I see companies try to pack too much information into one video. If you have a lot of information to convey, try posting a couple of different videos so that the viewer can select the content most important to them. In addition, take the extra time to make the videos look really good. It is worth the investment!’
7. Be You
‘Stop trying to be someone else. Just be you. Once you’re able to do that, then you can speak from your heart. And people will relate to that. And that’s the key.’
8. Know Your Audience
‘The question should be ‘does your audience care about or consume video online,’ before you worry about how to make it more effective. Once you know it fits your audience, I think it is just like another medium. Give your audience the information they want via the channel they want and it will be effective.’