Online video marketing is becoming the gold standard, just ask SuzelleDIY, her YouTube channel is all about entertaining and valuable content.

Not so long ago, using stock images and infographics were the life of marketing content. Over time, brand storytelling became important and encouraged the use of “real people” – before we knew it, brands were starting to build collections of their own stock images as a way of putting together relatable content. Fast forward to 2018, video marketing content has become more central to our lives.  Interactive and engaging content is what consumers want. As a marketer or a small business owner who handles their own marketing, the challenge lies in creating content that is interesting enough for prospective clients to want to watch, engage with, share and take the action. In this age of videos being churned out every second by both brands and individuals, your content must be “data worthy” for your prospects.

Someone who got this right long before “video marketing” blew up is Julia Anastasopoulos through her SuzelleDIY channel – consistent, succinct, authentic, entertaining and valuable content is exactly what her YouTube channel was about. With technology having made it easy for us to create and distribute content, video is definitely a platform that I advise small business owners to include in their marketing strategies.  Here are a few ideas on what to take into account:

Decide on the heart of the content
To this day, I still strongly believe in the “father of modern marketing”; Phillip Kotler’s theory of “Purpose to beneficence” which translates to setting your brand’s purpose, what value it serves to people and articulating this message clearly. You don’t have to get all philosophical but it’s important to crystallise the value that you are offering to clients through your products and services. It’s important to speak to the hearts of the individuals who you are targeting. Consumers have long moved past finding value in brands that emotionlessly sell to them: “Hi, we are Brand A. We sell X product at price Z.” They want to connect with brands that they find value in.

As a small business owner, identify the heart and soul of the product or service that you are selling, and then consistently carry it through in your marketing content. For example, if you are selling tyres, think of how you want to leave your customers feeling – are you delivering to them safety, reliability or companionship? How do you position yourself as a business that can add value to them through expert advice? Once you have decided on this, find ways of ensuring that it comes across in every piece of video content that you put out. Remember to make your introduction stand out; look interested, relaxed and engaging. Keep in mind the tone and the image that you wish to portray.

Name your channel or video series
Don’t make the mistake of leaving your series or YouTube channel unnamed. When naming the video, series or the channel; incorporate descriptive words that will not only make your video easy to search for but also words that are easy to remember. Keep in mind the keywords that your target market can relate with. Think of the words that people usually make use of when searching for your products and the nature of content that you plan on creating – “DIY”, “how to” or “tips”. Find clues in the way in which they engage with you in-store, on social media and  in enquiry emails and calls. If you have a well-established store name or your personal brand that you wish to have tied to the video strategy, don’t shy away from incorporating it when choosing a name for your channel or video series.

Throw in some special offers
If you are planning to have video content dominate your marketing strategy, find ways to direct traffic to the channel. Use your traditional platforms to make your prospects aware of the channel. If you own a hardware store, look into installing a display screen and playing your looped DIY videos in store. Remember to let customers know how they can subscribe to the channel and access the content from the comfort of their own homes. Reward them for subscribing to the video content. Consider throwing in great deals and special offers mainly on video, this will stimulate your viewership and subscriptions. A good idea would be to prompt your patrons to log onto the channel and watch one DIY video to get details on how to redeem a discount voucher.

Spread the word
Spend time on defining who your target market is and promote your video series to them using both traditional and digital platforms. Make the most of your existing platforms. You could start with including the promotional messaging on your store’s till slips, website, outdoor marketing, floor decals or any space that could be easy and economical to have the campaign message communicated on. Look into placing adverts that promote the video series or channel on social media platforms such as Facebook and use remarketing tactics; i.e. invest in one social media platform and have your advert appear on multiple social media platforms. This is quite easy to implement using Facebook advertising.

Frequency
Decide on how often you would like to have your videos published. Use stats to support your decision by finding out the peak times for traffic that goes to your website, your social media pages and any other platform that you plan to make use of to help distribute the videos. Sticking to the times that you choose will enable you to build consistent traffic flow, as well as excitement among your viewers and it will keep them coming back for more.

The final touches
The beauty with video marketing is that you need not invest in expensive recording equipment. Snapchat and live video capabilities on Facebook and Instagram have made users receptive of raw, unrehearsed and not-so-polished videos. You can record content using a good quality smartphone camera but in the same breath, you will need to take into account the type of content you plan on producing – you might want to invest in an inexpensive camcorder, tripod for stability and microphone to improve the quality of the sound.

DIY videos and tutorials require a steady camera positioned in the same spot while “behind the scenes content and experiences” need not be overly structured. Explore free editing apps on your Play Store or iStore that will help you incorporate music and the content that you would like as transitions between scenes. Also make the time to explore platforms such as iMovie, Pinnacle Studio, Windows Movie Maker, Lightworks or Power Director. Remember to include branding in your shots (don’t overdo it) and to test your sound as well as parts of the room that have the best lighting. Include a call-to-action; let your viewers know how they should reach you to further engage with you with on the topic.

Once you have ticked these boxes, you are well on your way to create a slaying video marketing strategy.

This article first appeared in Your Business magazine. Read the latest issue here!