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Strategy for Your Small Business’s First Videos

You’ve Probably Heard That Your Small Business Needs Video. 

Maybe you’ve even seen the statistics. So, yeah, you’re looking to make video.

Great! Except that leaves you with one big question. What video should you make? Videos, plural?

Well, let’s step back. You don’t just go out and make decisions about other parts of your marketing without a strategy, do you?

So now you don’t just need to figure out which videos to make. You need to figure out a video strategy. As if this wasn’t hard enough. Great.

It’s not. In fact, adding strategy actually makes things easy, because this video strategy will tell you exactly which videos to make.

And guess what: you probably already know what it is.

Whatever industry you’re in, you know that your buyer has a journey before getting to you. With video, you can lead them down the path.

In fact, it’s useful to think of a path when considering how to use video. While a funnel is a more common metaphor for sales, a path can be a more helpful metaphor. But let’s kick it up a notch. Let’s talk about your sales highway.

The First Three Videos Your Business Should MakeThe highway is where your prospects are. They’re busy people, of course, zooming right along. So the first thing you have to do is get their attention. That’s awareness.

Then, you have to get them to understand a bit more of what you offer. When you provide that, you get their attention. That’s what’ll make them take the off-ramp and come to you. That’s interest.

Once they’re there, you still need to convince them to buy. With more information about the value you provide, they’ll be ready to purchase. That’s decision.

And those are the videos you need to make. Let’s look into each one.

What’s Your Story?

First, people need to know who you are. Obviously, awareness is essential, but you can do more than simply get your name out there. With a Brand Flagship Video, you can tell your story.

There are a lot of ways to do that. You could tell your actual origin story. You could make a video that highlights your values. You could show your company culture. You could create sponsored content that simply brings delight to your audience.

Whatever you do, you’ll be aiming to create two things. First, of course, is awareness. 

If that’s your biggest struggle, you’ll want to get your name out there with whatever makes the biggest impact, even if it carries only a loose association to whatever value you ultimately deliver. 

That said, depending on your product or service, you might need to get tactical about what exactly you do. Awareness won’t mean much if they’re not aware of how you can help. Finding that balance will be key in making your Brand Flagship effective.

The second thing a Brand Flagship can do is create an emotional resonance. Since you don’t necessarily need to talk through features and benefits, you can focus on reaching your audience’s heart.

Usually, this is done by showing why your company exists, what you value. When your audience sees that, they’ll be primed to value you. If your Brand Flagship does nothing more than get them to think fondly of you, it’s a success.

Remember, you have a video strategy now! That means that you don’t need to do everything in one video.

To return to the highway metaphor, this first video is like a billboard. You’re simply trying to get your audience’s attention and make them know that you’re here. If you do that well, they’ll be ready for the next step.

(To that point, it’s also helpful to make sure they know how to find you. Don’t overlook the call-to-action, even if it’s as simple as displaying your URL at the end of the video.)

This particular example from Lown works as a manifesto of what they believe and what they want to achieve. Anyone who shares their passion for improving the world of medicine will be interested in discovering more—which is exactly the goal!

 

 

Want to learn about brand videos?

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Now, How Do You Draw People To You?

Continuing the highway analogy, that next step is to take the exit and arrive at a point of interest: you!

If they’ve turned in your direction, they’re looking for something practical. They want facts. They want understanding. They want explanation.

An Explainer Video helps you raise their interest by demonstrating your value. It’s no longer time to be intriguing. It’s time to be concrete.

By this point, they understand who you are. Now you have to show them why you matter. Specifically, why you matter to them.

You’ve probably seen the typical formula for an Explainer. Talk about the audience’s pain points then show your solutions. But there’s a little more to both of those things.

When you talk about pain points, you’re not just trying to set the context. You’re trying to demonstrate empathy. You want them to know that you understand their situation and what’s important.

If your audience watches the video and sees themselves in it, you’ve succeeded. That means they’re set up to appreciate the value you can bring. More importantly, it makes them the hero.

That means that you aren’t really talking about your solutions. You’re talking about how your audience can be the solution.

While it’s great to show how your product or service can help address pain points, it’s even better to show how you empower your audience to do that.

When they see that, they will see why you matter to them. Because you can help! If your Explainer gets your audience to see how it helps them succeed, they’ll definitely be ready for the next step.

(Again, don’t overlook the call-to-action! Think about what will help them most. A demo? A conversation? They probably aren’t quite ready to buy, so be sure the path you give them is one that will answer what questions/doubts/hesitations they might still have.)

In this example, Stackpath wanted their audience to be able to understand the complicated world of cybersecurity. By doing that, they empowered their audience to know enough to make an informed decision.

Want to learn about Animated Explainer Videos?

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What Can You Do For Your Audience?

Which brings us to the final stop on the highway: purchase. When your audience is aware of who you are and why you matter to them, they’ll want to know how.

So, show them!

A Testimonial or Case Study video is a great way how. In either case, you’re demonstrating real world outcomes. Evidence. Just the facts, ma’am (or sir).

There are three reasons this is effective. The first is really pragmatic. It’s one thing to make claims. It’s another thing to show results. Where your Explainer video talks about how it works, your Testimonial or Case Study puts the theory in action.

The second is a reinforcement. If your Explainer does a good job of making your audience the hero, a Testimonial can show them how someone like them actually got to be a hero. This makes it even easier for them to envision what they can benefit thanks to you.

The third is a little more emotional. People enjoy success stories. Even moreso when it’s someone they can relate to, someone whose shoes they’re already in.

Plus, this can hark back to the original emotion that your Brand Flagship created. Hooray for symmetry and completing the story!

One big key to this is to make sure your Testimonial is a story. It’s not enough for someone to say, “We love This Company!” That’s not pragmatic enough. It doesn’t show how they got to be the hero.

In a way, you can have a similar structure to the typical Explainer. Have them talk about their struggles then talk about how you helped them succeed. Again, this reinforces the explanation while also making it real.

In this example, it was a bonus to have several different companies willing to speak to the value they got from Zelle, but there’s no reason that one powerful story can’t do the job.

Want to learn about Testimonial Videos?

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Can Video Do Anything Else For You?

So now you have three videos to make. And then that’s it? All done? 

But wait! *Cue Billy Mays voice* There’s more! So much more you can do with just those three videos. 

Videos are only valuable when they’re viewed. In fact, until you get them in front of your audience, they may as well not exist.

“That’s for advertising,” you might be thinking. Getting those eyes to the landing page where the Explainer Video sits. Or leading people to your homepage to see your Brand Flagship. Or emailing a prospect with a link to the Testimonial.

Sure. Those are great methods. But your videos can even earn their own views. Time to talk about optimizing and repurposing.

Basically, this means tweaking the videos you have to make them more effective in particular deployments. Even a small adaptation can help you get even more ROI from your video efforts by letting you expand your reach and improve your audience engagement.

Best of all, this can deliver a pretty good increase in R with a minimal amount of added I. First, optimizing for social channels.

Having an Explainer on a landing page or product page makes a lot of sense. You created that video with that task in mind. So it makes sense if you’re hesitant to use that on, say, social media. 

Wouldn’t you rather use a video that was designed for social media?

Of course. And you can. Very easily. With minimal effort, you can repurpose content for whatever social media channels make the most sense for you.

For instance, your LinkedIn audience is likely to see your video without the sound on. What if yours doesn’t really get the message across silently? 

Simple. Add subtitles. No, it’s not quite as ideal as making a video exactly for that medium, but you might not have the resources to do that. 

Putting subtitles on a video is nearly free and effortless thanks to many of the automated solutions out there like Rev.com and easy-to-use software like Submerge.

Or, maybe you want to make a 30-second version for Twitter or Instagram. Even without professional editing, you can quickly do that on your computer. Again, it’s not the ideal, but you know that a small business has to be scrappy.

Repurposing is even simpler. Do you get great feedback about your Brand Flagship? That’s wonderful! Make sure all of your audience is seeing it.

Since some of your website visitors might be going directly to a landing page, they might not have seen it. Just because they’re already in your funnel doesn’t mean you can’t reap benefits from showing them a video that’s usually used for awareness.

Remember, that’s a video that helps make an emotional connection. If they’re intrigued by their rational investigation of how you help, it can help move them toward decision-making when they understand more about who you are.

After all, decision-making is not purely rational, and (believe it or not) they might be looking at others who offer value that’s similar to yours. Repurposing your content and delivering it to that audience might give you the competitive advantage you need to stand out.

And all you have to do is add the video to an email that you may already be sending to people who give you their information on the landing page.

Even more simply, you can add links to your videos in an email signature or on any and every page on your website.

What If I Want More Than Three Videos? 

Then make more! Here’s another great thing about the highway strategy: it helps you figure out what other videos you can make. As you move forward, you’ll be able to identify which stage might need a little extra help.

Worried about awareness? Maybe you could make other videos to support your Brand Flagship. 

Do your landing pages have a high bounce rate? A sequel to your Explainer could help you bring people back via email outreach.

Are you getting enough eyes but not enough conversions? Some industry-specific case studies could help prove your relevance.

When you look at your entire customer journey from start to finish, you’ll see even more opportunities to use video. But don’t stop there.

You can even use video after conversion. ”Always Be Closing” shouldn’t stop just because a prospect has become a customer. This is especially true for subscription-model companies.

These post-highway videos let you continue to deliver value to your customers. You could help them know how to use your product or service better. You could do a quick walkthrough when you roll out a new feature. You could simply say, “Thank you!” and show customers your appreciation.

The long and short of it is that video can enhance any and every step of your customer journey and beyond. Even if you’ve never thought about video—especially if you’ve never thought about video—it’s time to start planning how you can leverage the most popular medium to improve your marketing efforts.

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