How To Use Video and Video Marketing For Your Business in 2021

Thumbnail of Video Shoot for YouTube

How Is Video Changing In 2021?

Whether you’re a large, multi-national company or a small business, video is increasingly more important in marketing the business. In 2020, we saw a huge increase in the use of video and that appears to be continuing in 2021. Trends show that video is increasingly more important to share a corporate message than ever before. The question remains how has 2020 changed the way video is used? How will video be used in the coming years? In this post, we share some of the interesting trends we’re seeing in the corporate video production and corporate livestream video world and address the question:  How to use video and video marketing for your business in 2021?

The primary way video has been used in the years leading up to 2020 was to create a branded message with the purpose of converting a viewer into a fan and eventually into a customer. The road to conversion has shifted slightly. How it is being used and the methods that video has been incorporated shifted greatly during 2020. Many organizations shifted to creating videos that showed the viewer a behind the scenes, more intimate look at their operation. The goal was to show who was behind the scenes and how their people make up the business. The feel was directed to a “Our people are our business” mentality.

What is Video Marketing and How Does It Work?

Video marketing is simply the process of creating a corporate video for the purpose of highlighting what a business does, how they help their customers, or telling their story in a compelling way. The ultimate goal of any video marketing strategy is to convert viewers to customers or clients. This conversion should be measured and converted to a Return On Investment (ROI). If the video is compelling, more viewers convert; if a video is less compelling, less will convert. This means it is extremely important to enter the video production process with a purpose and goal. The purpose might be to share the story or show the human side of a corporation (think Publix Commercials) and the ROI might be 1 customer created for every 1,000 views (where we might assume part of the ROI is to retain or reinforce a message to existing customers).

Video Marketing usually works in the form of a commercial placed in front of the viewer (via television, online media consumption, or mobile media consumption). For example, a short video ad might be placed in front of another video that the viewer wishes to watch but must first watch the advertisement to view the video they want to see. This can be effective for forced marketing.

Another form of Video Marketing is the creation of a consistent stream of informational videos sent out to YouTube. For example, our Creative Director, Jenn Jager, created a YouTube channel several years ago to demonstrate her knowledge about video production. Since its creation, several clients have found Plum Productions because of her videos about various video production related topics. This is a form of Video Marketing that is more passive and less forced. People search a question about a topic, find her video on Google or YouTube, watch her video, and then later reach out because they have questions and want to know if she can help. This is a much better method of gaining clients over time than forced advertisements; although, there is certainly a place for paid advertisements. For example, in her videos, she may have a paid advertiser run their ad prior to her video or she may promote a product for a company based on a paid agreement (usually noted in the video).

How Effective is Video Marketing For Business?

Let’s start with the assumption that one is placing the video in the right place at the right time to be in front of the right audience. That is the critical first step and why it is particularly important to have a purpose and goal prior to creating any video. Now think about when you shop online for a product or service. Do you read any reviews? Most likely you do. Do you do any other research like Google the product name? You probably do. Do you watch videos related to the product or service? Most likely you do. That seems to align with the research. According to Smart Insights, more and more marketers (those who place ads) are finding that video are a critical component of their marketing strategy. They find that the ROI on video has been steadily increasing over the years and it continues to do so this year.

One shift that Smart Insights and the marketers they’ve surveyed found that there has been a shift in where videos are placed and get a return on their investment. They are not only seeing a greater watch time (increasing by approximately 19%), but also seeing a shift from television advertising to online video marketing. The spend has grown faster in the online video segment than the television segment, which is significant and worthwhile to know.

What Types of Video Should Be Used When Marketing?

At Plum Productions, we’ve seen a shift in the past year to more online events and a growth in creating video for websites to improve search engine optimization. Here are the types of videos being used to market business right now:

  • About Us Videos
  • Testimonial Videos
  • Video Reviews
  • Corporate Messaging Videos (internal and external)
  • Demonstration/Product Videos
  • Real Estate / Construction Videos
  • Sales Tool Videos
  • Live / Livestream Videos
  • Virtual Event Videos

Here is a little more information about each one:

About Us Video

In this type of video, the company is simply trying to share with the viewer who they are, what they do and why a viewer should do business with them. Think about the traditional, “We’re ABC Company and we do X” style. This is something Plum Productions does a lot of and can help you create a script or branded message to better capture potential customers.

 

Testimonial Videos

If your company has a client base that can be asked to give a positive statement on camera, this is a great tool to help any company convert a viewer to a sale. Most people want to know they’re not the only ones who are buying from you…they want to know that others have tried you and you are legit. This should be used on any sales page that asks for the sale (asks for a payment). It will help conversion over time and help close the deal.

Video Reviews

This type of video is typically used with products. Most times this is a video that is created by someone who purchased a product and wishes to unbox and review the product for their viewers. This can be a source of income for product companies if they request a YouTube Influencer to review their product on their channel. Be prepared to offer an affiliate link or payment for their efforts and time. If their channel is the right channel for your audience, it should be worth the investment.

Corporate Messaging Videos (Internal & External)

Recently we did a video for a national company to review how they did in the first quarter of 2021. This video was shared internally with their team around the county to give everyone a sense of how they did and give the team a goal/direction to strive toward. This is a great way to communicate outward to the team to motivate them to continue to improve. This type of video can also be used to communicate outwardly to vendors and even customers. This video might include information to help viewers understand how well the company is doing and how they are grateful for their customers. By doing this, it reinforces brand loyalty with both vendors and/or customers.

Demonstration / Product Videos

This type of video is for companies that sell products and want to show possible uses or the versatility of the product. For example, in this video from Epoca.

 

Or this video from the Tator Gator, both show how the product can or is used. This type of video helps the viewer understand what the product does but also puts the viewer into the situation to better clarify to the viewer if they should buy or not. If it’s not for them, they should be able to see that in the video to prevent product returns.

 

Real Estate / Construction Videos

This area has grown dramatically in the past few years. Realtors are starting to create short videos to show a home they have listed to improve the possibility of a sale. The other area video is being used is in the construction market. Here, Origin Construction shows what type of work they do, how they work, and who is their client.

Sales Tool Videos

Videos that are used as sales tools are videos that walk the viewer through steps to get to a purchase. It might be a short social media that leads the viewer to a slightly longer video on a landing page followed by an even longer video that makes the purchase easier for the potential customer. These videos can also be frequently asked questions (FAQs) before calling in to speak to someone in the business before making a purchase. The other way a sales tool video is used is during a sales meeting, the salesperson uses a video to explain or show their services. It becomes a tool in the process of making a sale. If the focus is to lead the viewer down the path to a purchase, it most likely is a sales tool video.

Live / Livestream Videos

One of the more complicated but highly effective videos is the livestream video. This has been on trend in the last half of 2020 and into 2021. This type of video allows large groups of people to gather without the risk of spreading disease…but more importantly, it widens the geographic area an organization can communicate. We had one nonprofit talk about how they did their livestream and learned that people were watching in all four time zones of the U.S., and they were able to increase their donations because of it. Larger audience for them meant more dollars coming in.

Virtual Event Videos

Like Livestreams, this type of video is one where we produce a full event (emcee, participants, etc.) provide the video to the client and they stream it as if it is a live event. This can be helpful if you don’t want to leave anything to chance and just want the event to happen. During the “event” everything runs smoothly, and all viewers feel like they’re watching a live event…even though it is pre-recorded and highly produced. Imagine a television show captured as an event.

Why Is Video Marketing Important?

Video and how you use it to market the business does several things. First, it creates an awareness for viewers. They begin to recognize the brand, the style, etc. and begin to feel more comfortable with the company. If a viewer feels more comfortable, they’re more likely to buy because they form a sense of trust. If a viewer can go online and learn how your product works or troubleshoot by watching a video, they’ll appreciate that more than waiting on the phone for answers.

Video and Connectedness

When done correctly, viewers will feel emotionally connected to the organization if they see people. Sometimes it’s tempting to simply create an animation/cartoon video to explain what your business does, but we find this to be less effective. When you research a company to trust with your money, do you want to see who they are or have characters explain your business? Most people tend to prefer people because they want to know who they’re dealing with. Obviously, the lower the financial risk, the less important that is, but it becomes increasingly important when the financial investment rises.

With all that said, it’s important to know who your audience is, what they are looking for and where they do their research. By knowing this, you will have a much higher probability of capturing them where they are while they are going about their daily business.

If you need any help creating a video that captures attention and converts to sales, please feel free to reach out to us and we’d be happy to answer any questions.

How to Set Up a YouTube Channel for My Business

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YouTube is the second largest social media outlet in the world. Other than Facebook, there is none larger. Getting your YouTube channel set up correctly is important for several reasons. First, it’s your brand. If you’re hosting your videos on YouTube, this is the primary way people will judge your ability to keep your brand intact. Second, it shows consistency. If you can demonstrate a high level of consistency within your brand, you’ve shown you have what it takes to stay organized. Do your clients want to know you’re organized? Our guess is they do.

What this post covers is what you’ll want to do past the initial set up. We know there are a lot of resources out there that will help you set up your channel initially, but once you have it set up, what should you do? This post will give you a checklist of sorts of what you should to do maximize your channel. Here we go!

Once you’ve followed the basics of setting up your channel, there are a few tips we’d like to share.

  • Channel Art. You’ll want to set up channel art to give your channel a branded look. The recommended size right now (2018) is 2560×1440 px, with a safe area of 2048×1152 px. YouTube recommends a file size of 4MB or smaller. This helps in the load time and cuts down on their storage needs. NOTE: make sure any text or logos you want to have displayed is in the safe area. If you create the recommended size, there is a safe area within that every device (or at least a vast majority) will allow the viewer to see.
  • Social Media Links. Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll want to link it to other assets, such as your website and your other social media pages. Currently, YouTube has a specific list of social media pages you can link to, including Google Plus or Google Pages, so you’ll want to make sure those are set up. Also, keep in mind these links, once set up, show up in the bottom right portion of the Channel Header Art, so keep that in mind when designing the header. If the social links cover important information in your art, like a phone number, it won’t be visible.
  • Icon. Add the icon in the top left. It’s not always visible on every platform, but it helps to have it there. Most people use their logo, others use their head shot, but in the end, its up to you.
  • Enhancing the Channel.
    • Optimize the Description. You’ll want to write a brief, high-level description of what your channel is all about. It should use keywords and incorporate specific statements as to what the channel is about. Google’s algorithms have gotten pretty smart when it comes to text, so this is important. Don’t include statements that are unrelated and always have a call to action. The call to action might be to visit your website, watch a certain playlist or video, or call a phone number.
    • Add Channel Trailer. A channel is less effective if it doesn’t have a trailer welcoming or describing the channel. You may not think you need one, but here’s why you do. When someone arrives at your channel, they may or may not know what your business is all about. They may not understand how your channel is organized or what is important for them to view to get a better understanding of who you are and what you do. The channel trailer will guide them or give them some reference as to who you are and why the channel is helpful to the viewer.
    • Add Links to Channel. These links (described above) help Google verify and solidify who this channel belongs to, who it’s associated with, and builds the web of links you want Google to know and understand to improve your website and channel optimization.
    • Playlists. Adding playlists is one of the ways you can tell your visitor you care about them. You’ve taken the time to organize your videos into bite-sized pieces to help them digest your message. Playlist are just that: a way of organizing similar videos and you should do it for a few reasons:
      • Organization. We’ve said it once already, but this helps the viewer know which videos relate to each other.
      • Get Discovered. When playlists are organized, YouTube (Google) knows that each of the videos in the playlists are related, therefore have a higher probability of getting discovered organically. When someone searches for a topic and you’ve titled a video with that search phrase, YouTube might bring up your entire playlist.
      • Related. Again, because they’re related, the viewer can dig in as deep as they like to learn more about the related topic.
      • Session Time. No, this is not the beer type of session, it’s the time they spend on your channel. If someone lands on your channel first (organically or directly) and then spend some time on your channel because they’re nosing around in similar videos, you get extra credit for keeping on your channel longer. Longer sessions usually mean credibility for Google/YouTube. Layer on top of that, YouTube will even reward you if you draw someone to your channel and then move off your channel to another channel. You get extra credit for bringing the viewer to YouTube (at one point, the entire session time they spent on YouTube was given to you, not all the other sites if they visited you first).

For a couple of examples, we’ve selected one channel that has some missing pieces (but otherwise might be ok) and another that does it very well. For starters, let’s look at the channel that is missing a few pieces. We’ve removed their logo and name to protect their identity.

Image of YouTube Channel page that's missing a few components

So here are a few points to consider on this channel. First, there is an inconsistent image for each video. You’ll see on the next example, how a consistent image can be created. Second, and this is something you can’t see in this image, they don’t have playlists created.  As a visitor, you might not know which video you need to watch, but if you knew that four of the list of videos were about a specific topic you came to learn about, you’d find it helpful. Third, the trailer did not have a call to action and did not incorporate a general message for the business. It was more of a moving PowerPoint presentation, which is fine, but less effective when it comes to getting the viewer to take action.

To see a good example of a YouTube Channel, we’re going to use our sister business My Video 101’s YouTube Channel.

Example of a good YouTube Channel layout

For this channel, we see some helpful things right from the start. First (green arrows), the header image is information about the channel and what to expect. For businesses, we recommend an image with a message that makes sense for your branding. On this example, we also see the social media buttons are set up. Second, this channel has playlists set up (see yellow circle). They use several: Vlogging Advice, Product Reviews, Technical Tips, and Behind the Scenes. Helpful if you only want to learn about one area of the channel, right? Third, this channel has consistent branding across all videos (see blue check marks). While each topic is different, each video looks similar, yet a little different. Consistency is pleasing to the eye and helps the viewer feel at ease when searching through the videos.

With just a few tweaks your YouTube Channel can improve your image and increase views. Take the time to set up your business channel the right way so you get the most out of your channel.

 

 

 

Sources:
DreamGrow (https://www.dreamgrow.com/top-15-most-popular-social-networking-sites/)
Gravity Search Marketing (https://www.yourseoplan.com/benefits-of-creating-youtube-playlists/)
YouTube Support (https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2972003?hl=en-GB)

Buffer (https://blog.bufferapp.com/create-a-youtube-channel)

How to Disrupt Your Industry Using Video

Set of 5 doors all with gray door and one red

You’ve heard it before, whether from your web developer or from a marketer… “You need video for your website.” While it’s true, video helps, video isn’t always the only answer. BUT, if done correctly, video can be the difference maker in standing out in a crowd of competitors. Let’s dig into a few stats and reasons why this is so.

First, think about the last time you purchased something online. Did the product page have information about the product? Of course it did.  Did the product page have photos of the product? Most likely. If the page didn’t have photos, would you have purchased the item? Most people we ask say they would not purchase an item online that didn’t have a photo to see the product. Did the product page contain a video? If it did, do you remember the video? Do you remember what or how they educated you on the product? Did they show you how to set it up, highlight certain features, or show it being used? Most likely, if the product page had a video and you connected with the product and video, you purchased the product.

Therein lies the effectiveness in video.

The video was effective in helping you process and retain information about the product so you can make better decisions. In fact, it has been shown that people are somewhere between 65% and 85% more likely to purchase a product after viewing a video than having not viewed a video about a product or service.

According to Eyeview, a video marketing agency, by including a video on the landing page, conversion increases by 80%. Even Hubspot Blog Post states that “54% of consumers want to see videos from brands they support in comparison to email newsletters (46%) and social media images (41%).”

Common Types of Video (and we have done all of these):

  • Product Demo videos showing how to use the product, how to set up the product, or just why you should buy the product.
  • How-To videos
  • Testimonial videos … who better than your clients to tell potential customers why you’re awesome!
  • Explainer videos that show the viewer why they need your product or service and what you can do for them.
  • Expert Interviews
  • Event Videos
  • …the list can go on and on.

Now you know why it’s important, how does it help you become a disruptor? Great question. One of the things we hear is that after creating the video and posting it (or several), they become viewed as an expert in their field. Our clients know a lot about their subject and can demonstrate that with authority on a video. Viewers can feel and sense this experience when watching. When they do, the viewer will feel confident in calling or buying.

Being a disruptor means you have to do more than know your subject matter. Being a disruptor means you have been doing what you’re doing for so long (or with enough outside experiences) to see an opportunity in the marketplace. Imagine that you have been doing your job for 15 years, you know it inside and out, and realize there is a gap in services or processes that might be taken advantage of. Imagine the expert talking about how to use this opportunity to help the consumer. Bam! Disruption begins. The person on camera suddenly becomes a person to be reckoned with.

The next time you see an opportunity in the marketplace that you can solve or fix, this might be the time to create a video and highlight your strengths! Let us know if we can help in any way.

Video Marketing Myths

pen writing text on paper

With over 300 hours of video sent to YouTube every minute (on average) and millions watching these videos everyday, how do you know what to do to be effective when it comes to video marketing? It seems a very small amount of businesses actually know how to take advantage of these actions. People are starting to catch on and businesses increasingly are using video to connect with customers and potential customers. They are finding that video is a highly effective tool to illustrate their personality and authority in their industry.  So, what myths do these businesses sometimes believe?

Which of the following about video marketing are myths and which are facts?

  • View Count – “We are successful if our video goes viral,“ or “Our video is a success if we have over 1 million views.” False. While this may be true in some respects, views do not equate to action taken by your customers or purchases by customers. If views were your goal, we would have to ask why. Why are views important? If you have a new product or app that no one knows about and views will help educate people who didn’t know your app existed, then maybe viewers is good…but it shouldn’t be the only measure.
  • The appearance (quality) of the video is more important than the message.  Myth. While we believe quality is very important in video, it is not what generates sales. The message is just as important. We’ve seen some videos that are a little poor on quality convert more sales than a flashy video. That said, if your goal is to show people that your business is trustworthy and professional, appearance is very important; however, the message must compete with competitors (both direct and indirect).
  • My video should sell to the viewer – Myth. There are all kinds of reasons to create and post a video…and only one of which is to sell. Many times clients contact us to create videos for other reasons, such as, recruiting video, office tours, professional expert video, and the list goes on. The client often wishes to tell their story, not sell it, by taking an approach of, “We’re experts in this. Watch us, listen to us, and let us help you when it’s time.” This is a much more useful tool to use than, “Buy! Buy! Buy!”
  • We must have actors in our video – Maybe true. Maybe not. While you can add actors and actresses, typically this just adds costs that may not be needed. It really depends on the video. For instance, if an employee or the president of the company can speak on camera about the topic rather than a paid professional, then why spend the money? On the other hand, if the topic needs a bit of an expert (like a doctor when you’re not), then an expert actor (actress) might be required. We can help with that.

We hope this helps you decipher and navigate through the video production process a little easier. We are always willing to help and answer questions. It’s OK to call us, even if you’re not ready to decide. In fact, we welcome it. We’d rather you go in with both eyes open than guess.