How to Grow Your Brand with Video from Seed to Sequoia

Okay, first off, this is a sequoia tree:

Chris M Morris/Flickr

Now that you get the reference in the title, let’s dig in:

Video is kicking ass online. We would bombard you with a bunch of statistics to show you how important it is to be using video for marketing now, but if you are:

  1. A person who is alive
  2. Online for even a second throughout any given day

… then you already know how important it is.

The question is: How can you, a savvy business person with a limited budget who is just getting into the video marketing game (and who is also exceptionally good looking) get started with this whole video thing and work your way up to being a video content king … or queen … or non-binary something something?

Well, first …

Start Simple with Slideshows

Scott Robinson/Flickr

If you are just starting out or you haven’t got a huge marketing budget, you may think that you don’t have the resources to even bother with video. That could be a lack of money, time, creativity or patience.

However, this thinking is probably because you believe that video marketing has to do with big budgets and highly polished visuals. But, the truth is that you can actually start right now, you can do it for free and you can have a video to upload in seconds. (Well, probably minutes, but seconds sounds better.)

To do this, simply find one of the many free online video makers that you can use to create dynamic slideshows, which are basically slideshows in video form. They string together text and images and create a free flowing video.

If you have a bunch of pics from an event or something, you can whip up a video of it in no time and it’ll look professional enough to put your logo on.

You can get started with slideshow videos using tools like Renderforest and Adobe Spark Video, which are both free with a registered account and which both have hundreds of templates to choose from.  

With these services, you can make videos like:

  • Repurposed blog posts or content pages
  • “Thank yous” to your existing customers
  • Announcements about upcoming events

Once you get started, you’ll be surprised by how quickly your thinking shifts from text-based to visuals-based.

Try it and see.

Create Product Demos or Explainers of Your Core Services

Mark Hunter/Flickr

(This is where we come in.)

When you have a bit more of a budget for video, you can bring in the professionals. If you have products or services that require explaining, your best bet is informational videos like product demos, which you can shoot yourself, and explainer videos, which you can hand off to a competent and affordable animation team whose name starts with a “W” and ends with an “s.” (We know that sounds super specific, but it totally makes a difference in quality.)

A quick product demo or explainer video can clarify things in your customers’ minds and be the deciding factor in their purchasing decisions.

Demos should focus on benefits to the consumer while talking about the features in an informational way. It’s more of a resource than a promotional ad.

Explainer videos should tell a compelling story using characters and situations your target audience can identify with. You can read more about what makes an excellent animated explainer video here.

Personify Your Brand Through Video Marketing Content

Speaking of great stories, video is ideal for making these emotional connections with your audience because you’re hitting so many emotions at once. You can set whatever tone and mood you require by combining the right visuals, music and editing techniques to convey the appropriate message about your brand.  

People tend to remember up to 95% of what they see as compared to 10% of what they read (you’re going to forget this whole blog post except for the first tree photo by the time you close the browser window, for example), so videos help keep your brand in people’s minds while also helping those people to relate your brand to the values and personality you want to convey.

That’s exactly what SnapChef did with their video. They come off as super helpful and the brand is personified by a friendly chef. Plus, they outline a common problem faced in the restaurant and catering industry, helping them to connect with their target audience.

Use Video as a Climbing Rope to Reach the Top of Mt. Search Results

Yes, that’s a cheesy heading, but it’s true. Having video on your site is now of great importance to the great overlord of the internet, Google. One study unsurprisingly found that you are 53 times more likely to reach that coveted No. 1 search result on Google when you have video embedded on your page.

That means you should accompany each new page you have or new blog post with a short, but relevant video. Even if your video is just reiterating the written content or expanding on some aspect noted in the written content, it’s worth it to toss up a slideshow video just so Google sees you have one on there. Although, you should make sure it has some value for viewers.

Criticize Your Work

Chris Huggins/Flickr

Take a critical look at what you’re producing and investing your marketing budget in. It should be good quality and give people value.

For self-produced, live action videos, heed these simple suggestions:

  • Use a tripod, even if you’re shooting on your phone.
  • Light your subject well, even if it means building a homemade light box.
  • Be aware of your background, especially busy or distracting backgrounds.
  • Have great sound quality by using a clip-on or directional mic.

Becoming a decent videographer is actually fairly easy. If you don’t think it’s for you, hiring someone might be better. For animated explainer videos, there’s us. Click here to get started on planning and pricing your very own whiteboard animation video. It’s time to plant that seed.


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