Back in 2006, when Google paid $1.65 billion for a tiny business above a pizza parlour, it left a lot of people scratching their heads and thinking that Google had lost the plot.
However, that tiny business was YouTube and in just a few short years it has officially become the 2nd largest search engine (second only to Google itself).
The growth of video is phenomenal. It is the number medium of choice on the Internet. It already accounts for 70% of the search engine results on Google with text trailing in third behind images. In fact Cisco Systems, the world wide leaders in networking and the way we connect on the Internet, predict that by the end of 2015, video will drive 90% of web traffic.
If you are marketing your local business online and haven’t started to use video marketing yet, now is the perfect time to start. Here is the reason why you should:
Sell 3 Times As Many products and services With Video
They say that ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. If that is true for images, image how much more effective moving pictures are. It is a scientific fact that humans make a decision based on emotions. Videos have the power to tap directly into the emotions of a viewer with a combination of moving pictures, words and music in a way that words only can never do.
Figures have proven that videos convert visitors into buyers three times better than a normal sales letter. This is because video puts you in the driver’s seat. With a sales letter the view can scroll down the page very quickly and not read the benefits of your product or service or the reasons why they should buy.
With a video on the other hand, you control the whole sales sequence, unfolding your sales message in the way that presents your product in the best possible light and only revealing the price at the precise ‘magic moment’ when your view is awestruck with all of the unbeatable benefits your product or service will give them.
The result is more happy customers and a larger number of sales and bigger profits for your company.
However, that is only scratching the surface of the power of video. For example, imagine trying to learn how to tie your shoelaces using just written instructions. But when you show visitors how to do it, with video, they understand instantly.
This is backed up by US military who found that soldiers understood and recalled much more information using training videos instead of instruction manuals. Your visitors and potential clients will similarly be more likely buy your product or service after watching a video demonstrating the benefits rather than just reading about them.
Grab the top spots on Google search
You have no doubt noticed the results of a Google announcement that was made not so long ago regarding their ‘universal search’. What this means is that search results are now a mix of text, news, graphics…and yes, video.
An average of six of the first page results are videos, the majority of which are on YouTube.
As it is relatively simple to get your video on ranking high on YouTube what this would mean for your business is that you also get a wonderful opportunity to show up on the first page of Googles search results. Imagine how many your visitors your website would receive from ranking high on the largest and second largest search engines in the world, simultaneously.
To help give your online marketing a kick-start and boost your profits here are our top tips for you to put into action when creating your videos and putting them on sites like YouTube:
Find your companies cheerleader to attract more visitors
Ideally you want to have a person in front of the camera or a mix of screen capture and a real person onscreen as this approach will resonate better with your audience. If you are a bit shy about appearing in the video yourself why not ask one of your employees to feature in them instead? Who is the cheeriest person in your office or store? Consider them to front your YouTube videos as they will appeal to your audience.
Find the correct tone of voice for your videos
Your tone of voice in a video is very important. Remember, it’s a conversation you are having, so to try to avoid sounding like a 70’s DJ and speak naturally. When expressing yourself on video, be as real and natural as possible. Robotic speech or sounding like you are reading from a script will not be appealing to your listeners and will sound monotonous. Talk directly to your listeners and image that you are in the same room with them. This will help you to keep the video friendly and personal.
Hook your readers in….
Remember, most people have a very low attention span and there are a lot of videos out there competing to lure your visitors away so it is crucial that you use the opening seconds of your video to hook your viewers in and keep them watching your recordings right to the end. This portion of your video only needs to be a few seconds long, but any effort you make to get it right will pay dividends as you will engage with them and increase the amount of people who will watch your videos. For example you could ask an intriguing question and tell them that it will be answered later on in the video, or you could show them the finished product or results of what you are promoting and tell your audience that this is what they’ll have learned to create by the end of your video.
Keep your videos short and relevant
YouTube visitors are not going to sit and watch a 20 minute infomercial no matter how good you think it is. Ideally your video should be about 2 minutes long….3 to 5 minutes maximum. If you saw two videos offering the exact same information, only one video was 3 minutes long and the other was 20 minutes long which one would you choose to watch? You won’t want to watch the long drawn our version and your customers will make the same decisions. With that in mind it is best to keep your content relevant. Know exactly what information you want your video to get across to your viewer and stick to it.
Keep video titles short
Social media sites like Vine and Instagram have conditioned people to very short, attention-grabbing videos so you need to get your message across very quickly. In most cases your viewers won’t have time to watch videos with long introductions featuring pointless graphics and awful music. Keep your video titles short or get rid of them altogether. Jump straight into action to keep viewers hooked, or if they are really necessary, at least keep your video intro graphics short and snappy, explaining who you are and what your video is about.
Plan your Greeting and sign off message
It is a good idea to start every video with a greeting, your name and business name. Finish your videos with your business name and tag line. It is a great way to brand your videos especially when they go viral on sites like YouTube. For example your YouTube intro and sign offs could go something like this:
Intro: Hello everybody, its Tina here again, owner of Clothes For Cats; check out the link in the description to check out the full range on my website. In this video I’m going to show you…..
Sign Off: That’s all for this time. I hope it helped. Don’t forget to click ‘subscribe’ for lots of more cute tips for your cats like this one. Take a second to click the ‘like’ if you enjoyed this video and check out the link to my website in the description below. Thanks for watching and good bye.
Watermark Your YouTube videos
Add a company watermark and/or website address to your videos for authenticity and for branding when your video goes viral and is put on other people’s blogs and websites.
Post videos regularly and consistently
Once you launch a YouTube account and publish your first video, don’t just abandon your account. Instead, try to make at least one to two videos per week, to build traction with your audience and have them look forward to seeing more content from you.
Name your video with search engines in mind
When coming up with a title for your videos, think about what your audience is likely to search for and reflect that in the words that you use for the title. Ideally your title should be keyword rich and match the content that your video contains. Remember that only the first 45 characters of your video title are displayed in the YouTube search results on mobile devices, so make sure the primary keywords that you want to use are near the beginning of your video title.
Write effective descriptions
Make sure that you write a tempting description that makes your potential viewer want to hit the play button when they see it in the search engine results. The best way to do this is to add a 5 – 6 word call to action such as “Brilliant white teeth in 7 days”. Or you could start your description with a full URL of your company’s website. Be as descriptive and keyword-rich as possible to help your search engine ranking but make sure that it is not spammy or repeats keywords unnecessarily.
Select the right video category
It is very important that you submit your YouTube video to the right category. Choose one that your viewers are most likely to look under to find your content. Don’t worry if there is no exact match. Simply choose a category that mostly fits your video content. The reason why this is so important is that videos submitted to the wrong category will not get relevant traffic. If your video could fit into two potential categories, select the one where you think it would have the least competition to increase the chances of it being found and watched.
Where to share your video
Regularly sharing videos will help keep your audiences engaged. There are many video sharing sites, but to be honest, the best choice for business owners really boils down to YouTube or Vimeo.
The reason is that both provide ‘embed’ code so that you can put videos back on your own blog or website, and allow others to do the same which means that more people will see it. And of course, don’t forget to promote your video on your social networks.
More Video Quick Tips
There is no doubt that creating and sharing videos is an excellent way of promoting your business. Here are some final tips in summary:
Think about your audience: Think ‘infotainment’ rather than advertising. Make sure that your content is engaging and relevant to the people you are trying to reach.
Educate your market: People frequently search YouTube for video tutorials. If your business has a practical element, show them how to do something related to your brand.
Plan in advance: You don’t necessarily have to create a script or storyboard but you do need to have a very clear idea of what you want the finished video to look like, as this will help you to get all of the footage in advance before your start editing.
Embed your video: Embed the videos on your own blog and website once you have uploaded them to YouTube or Vimeo.
Still not sure what to do?
There is no doubt that creating videos for your business will attract more visitors and customers to your website but we also know that it might all sound rather daunting.
The worst thing you can do is ignore the video revolution that is happening all around. Video really is here to stay.