In this edition of Business Basics, we chat with Ben Newth about video marketing and how small businesses can take advantage of this ever-growing platform. Ben is the founder of Nottingham-based video production company, Reel Media, and has helped create compelling video campaigns for a range of clients, from recognised brands such as Boots and Capital One, to various SMEs throughout the UK.
Here, Ben shares his top tips and advice on how small businesses can build an effective video marketing campaign and get the most value from this lucrative platform.
Read the full Q&A below.
Video marketing can help legitimise businesses in their audience’s perception – what tips would you give to small businesses looking to use video content to create a sense of professionalism and personality?
A well-produced video with clear audio and visual quality will give the viewer the impression of professionalism. Cutting corners on production can be detrimental to how your customers view your business. Personality is important in winning the hearts and minds of your audience. So, think about the culture of your business, its values, and how you want to be seen by the outside world.
Play to your strengths. For instance, if a member of your team is confident enough to be in front of the camera, take time to write a script that is light but informative and will give the audience an essence of what you’re all about. Remember – people buy from people.
The wealth of video content available online means a business’ video output has to capture their audience’s attention immediately. How would you recommend businesses open their video marketing efforts to guarantee their audience is interested and engaged?
Attention spans are getting shorter, and studies show you have less than 10 seconds to capture and engage the viewer. With this in mind, your opening needs to be strong. Depending on your business and how you want to be portrayed, don’t be afraid to take risks. Some of the most successful online business videos are the ones that dare to be different. Try using humour or surprise to make the audience want to stick around, and make sure to get key messages in early.
For businesses looking to edit their own video content, would you recommend any specific pieces of software and tools?
There are several editing tools that are easy to get to grips with. For Windows users, you have Movie Maker, while Apple users have iMovie. Both are capable of simple cuts, organising clips and overlaying audio. For professional effects and anything beyond basic clip editing, you’ll need more industry-standard programmes such as the Adobe Creative Suite or Final Cut Pro. But remember, carefully planning your video with a script and storyboard will make the editing process a lot easier.
How should a business approach the split between entertainment and information when planning their video content?
Video content should be entertaining and informative. You’re trying to appeal to your existing customers while capturing a new audience. So, think about who they are, what they want to hear and how best to deliver those messages. A/B testing different styles will help narrow down what works best for you and your audience. Analytics for YouTube and Wistia mean you can see where in the video the viewer lost interest. So, learn from the results and keep refining your approach.
For a small business presenting in a video, should a member of the team be the focus of the content or should a professional actor/presenter be employed to deliver the key Messages?
If you or a team member has the confidence to speak in front of camera, it can be more genuine than employing a professional. That said, professionals talk with ease and know when to place emphasis. So, if you’re going to keep it in-house, ensure you are well prepared and natural in your delivery. Speak with enthusiasm and passion. Keep it light-hearted but informative. And try speaking with a smile on your face; it sounds weird, but it will help keep things positive.
In terms of creating the correct video environment/atmosphere – do you have any tips for planning the physical background and music/sounds?
This depends on what kind of video you’re producing. If it’s going to be presenter-led, you have two choices. One option is to film using your working environment as the backdrop. This has the advantage of giving the audience an insight into what your business looks like. The downside of this is that you have to keep the noise down and not have too many distractions behind you, otherwise, the viewer won’t absorb what you’re telling them. The other option is to go for a plain backdrop so all the focus on is you.
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Music is very subjective. What you think is the ideal soundtrack might grate on someone else. So, take time to find the right track that complements your video. There are several online music libraries with quality productions, and by using them and buying the license you won’t breach any copyright laws.
When video content has been produced, how would you recommend using it? Should it be placed across all social channels, throughout the business’ web presence, on relevant third-party websites and in email marketing? Or should the placement be more selective?
Your video should be produced for the platform it’s destined for, so think about where you’re going to place the video before making it. Producing a three-minute video wouldn’t be suitable for social media channels where short-form video is king. Long-form videos work best on YouTube where you can end with a clear call-to-action and the footage can also be embedded into your website. So, plan your video strategy as part of your overall digital strategy.
How often should a business update video content?
Re-sharing the same messaging could irritate the audience and saturate the impact of exposure. Every video has a shelf-life, but to limit premature ageing consider using language that won’t date. If you want to produce videos regularly, take time to consider your content. Maybe shoot a batch, so you can publish one each month, but also be ready to react to topical subjects, this way you come across as current and relevant. Video shouldn’t be considered a ‘bolt-on’ but should be carefully integrated into your marketing strategy.
We’d like to thank Ben for chatting with us about all things video marketing. If you’ve enjoyed this article, you might also like these reads in the Business Basics series:
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