One of the key things that will define the success of your online business is the marketing path you decide to take.
When it came to making decisions about creating and developing my own marketing plan, online video quickly became the "no-brainer" which I invested heavily in.
But why did I focus my marketing time and money on producing video content?
The reason is simple. Video encourages exceptional results:
On top of that, video marketing content is far more likely to be shared on social media than any other type.
As example of this, the hugely respected search marketing company Moz.com analysed engagement on their own blog. They found that:
When all three elements, text, images and video were contained within a blog post, the average share rate on Facebook and Twitter was over 1200 times.
If you want to energise your marketing and maximise your conversion rates then it's essential that you use video in your marketing mix.
My results from video marketing
And now I'm going to tell you exactly how you can do the same thing.
The golden rules of online video production that will deliver subscribers and sales
When it comes to information, people generally have short attention spans unless they are captivated by what they are consuming. The Internet has allowed people to develop a highly refined visual, auditory and emotional information filter.
In terms of video content, although you have the instant-win of faster engagement than written content, that can quickly tail off.
To avoid losing watchers before that all-important call to action is made, you need to make sure that your video content is:
If the point is more complex then you could allow more than 2 minutes, but however long your video is going to be, always be aware that every second of non-essential content means you are spilling watchers.
The second rule is that as well as being short, your videos must make a single and compelling point.
The information you deliver must be precisely around what the viewer expects and it must be fresh.
The third rule about creating high converting marketing video content is to make sure you do it regularly.
When somebody views one video they may like it enough to subscribe to view the next one. But you have not build trust at that point. It will take time to build that relationship, which means making sure they know when you are going to deliver content that builds it.
So produce video content that is as regular as clockwork for maximum benefit.
How to produce video content that people can't get enough of
People want answers to questions and solutions to problems. To produce video content that people can't get enough of, you need to know what the burning questions or problems they have are.
This means understanding what people are searching for online, by researching your niche using basic keyword research techniques.
It's about more than that though. You may have seen one of the endless “OK Google” TV ads recently.
This new use of voice searching, mixed with mobile browsing means search terms are now more conversational than they used to be.
My top tip is not to just do classic keyword research, but also to brainstorm around the types of actual questions people might ask. Put yourself in their position and generate lists of verbal questions you might ask. These are great for forming the basis of titles and content within informal, conversational style video content.
Another great way to find out what people are looking for content on is to....ask them.
You can promote the surveys using social media, or an existing mailing list, or pay per click advertising. However you do it, the answers you get will be gold dust - giving you powerful information to produce video content that matches the exact needs of ravenous buyers who are looking for reassurance.
Recording great video content is easy...unless you choose to make it difficult
Video becomes difficult if you over complicate and overstretch yourself. Video content is easy if you keep things simple.
Keep it visually simple
Use a blank background and you or a presenter in front of the camera. You can then use one or two static cameras and cut the angles in using basic video editing software.
Keep your lighting simple
Lighting is something that is overlooked often. Getting it wrong can destroy a great video. Consider filming outside. How do you cope with the light changes of a six hour shoot? Simple means shooting indoors.
Keep your presentation style simple
Simple makes powerful more easy to achieve and allows you to connect with more of your audience.
If you are concerned about presenting your own videos then there are ways around this. Get some coaching, get a professional presenter, use visuals with narration. Ultimately it will be your decision on how important it it that you personally connect with your potential customers.
To learn exactly how to create great video content with ease and on a tight budget, you can download my comprehensive guide "The small business owners guide to marketing with online video" completely free.
Publish your video content on just two powerful platforms
Too many people make the mistake of just posting their video content on YouTube, or going to the opposite extreme and trying to post it on every video sharing site they can find.
Firstly, it's essential that you make your video content the centrepiece of your own website. You don't have to have massive bandwidth issues by hosting the video yourself, you can upload a video on YouTube and then embed it into your articles.
This will give you two main channels for people to touch base with your content on. Any more than that and you may struggle to promote that content yourself, so initially at least stick to promoting your own site and your YouTube channel.
Each piece you publish on your website should put the video front and centre, and support it with other information. Calls to action, additional details, images, all of these will add to the power of your post for social media sharing, as we highlighted at the start of this piece.
My top tips for promoting your video content
You can't just publish your spanking new video content and expect it to go viral. The chances are that unless you are very established then you will only see a trickle of views and actions taken.
This is why a long-term marketing strategy for every piece of video content you make is essential.
Don't just think in terms of sharing it on social media such as Facebook and Twitter and telling your mailing list about it.
For every piece of content you create:
When it comes to the last point around exploiting opportunities, I'm talking about adopting content when you get success.
Let's say that you produce a two minute video clip on a topic that goes viral in your niche and starts to produce a good stream of regular views on conversions. That's the opportunity you need to spot and immediately exploit.
Take the content of that video and make another video based on the topic. Or reuse footage from your initial session to cut a new version. Bundle it up with a free lead generation report and create a new landing page. Push people from the existing video to the new landing page.
Never view a piece of video marketing content as the end of its journey, always be vigilant for opportunities.
Acting on feedback can be the difference between success and failure
As well as acting on success that you spot yourself, you can turn around a failed video by taking on board any feedback you receive.
As an example of this, after producing around 30 of my own video blogs I analysed the feedback I was getting and found that I was regularly being told people wanted to also read the content.
So we began to create written transcripts and offer them below the video. On top of that, we tested something else.
If people wanted to download the transcript then they could do it through an opt-in form, allowing me to harvest more subscribers.
Take note of what people watching your content are telling you. If you are not listening to the people watching your videos, then you are likely to also not be listening to what potential customers want from you.
This makes it vital part of your follow-up marketing is around listening to what people tell you and acting on it rapidly. If they want more information, get another video done and push it out to those people. The more you engage, the more you build a relationship, the more you will enjoy loyalty and higher conversion rates.
More YouTube-specific advice
Right from the day I started, I chose YouTube as my preferred hosting solution for videos. It was free and I could make my video content part of the entire Google and YouTube search engine.
After I created about a dozen videos, I started to really get into learning about YouTube and playing around with many of their features.
For example, I created my own "playlists" and grouped my videos together which meant that my visitors could choose ANY category and get theme-specific content served up.
And I can also see which of my videos had the most views (within the same period) - telling me what people searched for the most, or what they may mostly be interested in.
But - wait there's more...
Here's the really interesting analytics information, in my opinion. I can even tell exactly where these people came from (the traffic source).
If you look at the table above, what's really interesting to note is that the YouTube suggested video provided the highest traffic - more than even embedding the video on my site and driving my own traffic. This information simply makes me want to go back and tweak my video to tailor the suggestions even more.
By the way, even the playlists provided traffic - that little tactic that I talked about just above.
Pretty cool, right?
Now you can see how powerful using YouTube could be to help you improve your content, enhance your marketing and get even more sales leads and clients.
When are you going to produce your first video?
It's a great question that I hope I have provoked you to ask yourself today.
If you have walked away from producing video content then you need to look at the reasons why that is the case.
If it's fear, then get over it. There are people out there that can help you to produce the content and by engaging with them now you can take advantage of the massive benefits video can bring to your business.
If it's a lack of technical skills, again there are people out there that can help, or you can build learning some new skills into your goal planning for this year.
At the end of the day, an intelligently pitched piece of video will engage with all types of people who are interested in what you have to offer.
Video can stir emotions and provoke in a way that the written word cannot. The ability it has to generate rapid understanding, more instantaneous exploration and quicker decision-making make it ideal as an online sales conversion tool.