In recent years, video has taken over the word of digital marketing rapidly – because it just works! According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2018 report, 97% of marketers agree that video helps increase user understanding of their product or service.
As the next generation potential consumers spend an increasing amount of time watching videos on their smartphones, these numbers are only likely to grow in the future.
Still, affordability remains a significant hurdle, especially for startups. Making high definition videos could turn out to be a costly affair, involving thousands of dollars in investment. Startups are less likely to invest that kind of money out of what is probably a shoestring budget.
Don’t worry though! If you are a startup with a limited budget, the following tips will prove helpful for creating a smashing video marketing strategy without breaking the bank.
1. Create videos in-house
In-house video production is one of the best ways to save money – and make more videos. That’s two birds with one stone. Plus, with in-house production, you can customise your video making and editing schedule according to your business needs. Fortunately, you don’t need to buy professional or fancy equipment to make decent quality videos. You need little more than an iPhone and a simple video creation tool such as Animoto or Powtoon, you are all set to go. Cap it with an editing platform such as Final Cut Pro and you’re on your way to creating professional videos with little effort.
Whiteboard Friday, the weekly video series by Rand Fishkin and the team at Moz is a classic example of using in-house videos for marketing. Whiteboard Friday is, in essence, a comprehensive free education program that targets beginner-to-intermediate SEOs. Each video features an SEO or digital marketing expert (mostly Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin, or a Moz employee, or a guest) who explains a specific topic using a whiteboard.
Taking a leaf out of Rand’s book, and start educating your audience with short, informational videos – see how personal branding expert Digital Pratik uses Instagram to build new, engaging audiences by sharing his insights with them:
And oh, you don’t need an iPhone! You can record high definition videos on any decent smartphone. Smartphones with high-quality cameras are affordable and readily available. You can also find several apps that extend the functionality of a smartphone camera with digital effects and smart editing features. Most importantly, you can upload these videos to the web and social media directly from your smartphone. With no significant investment in space or equipment, you can start making videos right now.
2. Get users to star and produce
While in-house production sounds great, you also need to have enough content to produce videos. If you are selling a limited number of services or products, it may be difficult to keep churning out meaningful videos frequently. One way to overcome this challenge is to leverage user-generated content for your video marketing tactics.
Instead of using text-based reviews, you can use video testimonials to boost your brand image and trust. I got an impromptu testimonial from YourStory Founder Shraddha Sharma when I met her at an event, and that single video worked wonders for my reputation in the industry:
Fortunately, client testimonials don’t need to be high-profile. In fact, highly sophisticated video testimonials are often deemed less trustworthy because they appear too well-rehearsed and not at all natural. Just ask customers to record quick one-minute testimonials on their phones and send them over. Offer them discount coupons or VIP memberships in return for their reviews.
Alternatively, you can also create videos using user-generated images or photos. It’s super easy and not expensive or time consuming at all. No editing required and no waiting for weeks to receive a video from your customers. World Economic Forum and St. Pete/Clearwater regularly post such videos on their Twitter accounts:
3. Live stream on video-specific platforms
No matter whether you operate in the B2B or B2C space, you can benefit from platform-specific video streaming on various social networks. For example, Instagram, the Facebook-owned mobile platform, has recently launched a new video streaming feature called IGTV (Instagram TV).
IGTV allows Instagrammers to upload videos of up to 10 minutes (one hour for selected accounts) in duration, a substantial improvement over the previous limit of just one minute – and 15 seconds for stories.
IGTV is available as a standalone app as well as a part of the regular Instagram app. Videos are vertical and full screen, so they’re easier to play (and make) using smartphones. IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app, making it readily accessible to the audience.
Many well-established brands such as BuzzFeed have already started using this feature to improve their video marketing reach. The best part for startups? There’s no ads at the moment; Instagram hasn’t yet tried to monetize IGTV yet. So, make hay while the sun shines!
You can use livestream video media such as IGTV or Facebook Live in a variety of ways. For example, retailers can show ads of their bestselling products or create tutorials that to drive targeted traffic to your e-commerce store. Alternatively, you can also use it to share important events with your audience, offer behind-the-scenes tours, telecast live interviews, and provide live training sessions. You will be able to do this at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional video making agency.
4. Make video part of your integrated marketing strategy
Don’t just make videos for the sake of making them. They shouldn’t look self-promotional. The more valuable they are to your target audience, the more likely they are to succeed. Therefore, focus on quality and context.
You will also need to commit to a fixed video creation and distribution schedule. While chalking it out, make sure to take your existing content marketing and SEO priorities into account. Make sure to use the appropriate keywords in your headlines, descriptions, and transcripts. Don’t forget to optimize videos for maximum reach and engagement on different social media platforms, according to their specific algorithms.
Naturally, you will need to have a well-planned strategy in place encompassing all these factors together. Do that, and your video marketing will be invincible.
There you have it – your quick and handy guide to exploiting the full potential of video marketing. Sure, as a startup, you are going to struggle with the actual shooting and editing process in the beginning. Over time, however, your videos will get steadier and smoother. In the meantime, get hold of your smartphones, start recording, and keep practicing. And please let me know in the comments what video marketing tactics work best specifically for your business!
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