10 Ways to Enhance Marketing Using Video
Video creation is so easy these days that all you need is a smartphone and some apps to put together a pro-looking production.
While video marketing is already on the radar of most web-savvy businesses, recent indications are that the medium will continue to explosively transform the internet for years to come. For example, video-based social-media startup Instagram—a mere blip on the web’s radar a few years ago—now boasts nearly 500 million users. Snapchat, another video-centered social-media network is growing nearly as ferociously. And online video king YouTube cruises along these days at more than a billion users. YouTube reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable TV network in the United States, according to the company’s stats page (www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html).
“We’re at the beginning of a golden age of online video,” said Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Added Brad Jefferson, CEO of Animoto (www.animoto.com), a video-marketing service provider: “This represents one of the biggest marketing opportunities for small businesses in a long time.”
Currently, 55% of consumers watch at least one video per week on a mobile device, according to a 2015 Animoto study. And 48% of Millennials view videos exclusively on mobile, according to the study. But perhaps most telling is a prediction from market researcher eMarketer that businesses will for the first time spend more advertising dollars on digital advertising—approximately $77.4 billion—than on TV advertising by 2017.
Fortunately, businesses looking to cash in on the seemingly insatiable appetite for video on the web have a cornucopia of tools they can use to put together marketing videos of all types:
YouTube Director (www.tinyurl.com/itunes-apple-youtubedirector): Released earlier this summer, YouTube Director is a suite of easy-to-use tools specifically designed for small businesses looking to make quick marketing videos from their smartphones.
“We know that creating a video ad can be challenging,” said Max Goldman, YouTube Director’s product manager. “To make it easier for every business to get started with advertising on YouTube, we’re launching YouTube Director.”
The suite’s core product is a downloadable app that features commonly used templates for video ads. A business owner can quickly populate the templates with his or her own video content.
Looking to put together a business overview video? Want to get up close and personal with a business-owner story? Prefer to take your customers behind the scenes to show them how your business works? YouTube Director has video ad templates for all those kinds of marketing presentations and more. The templates also all come complete with prepackaged music that can be used to further polish the production.
Moreover, for businesses willing to spend at least $150 to advertise on YouTube, the video goliath will send a local video producer right to your door to put your video together for you free of charge (https://director.youtube.com/onsite/#). For businesses that go this route, the entire video creation process takes less than a day, according to Goldman.
Live Video Streaming: Nothing engenders immediacy in marketing quite like live streamed video. And major social-media networks are scrambling to provide this service to their users free of charge. For example, Facebook has begun rolling out a live streaming service that’s super easy to use on a smartphone (https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/12/introducing-live-video-and-collages). Users simply log in to Facebook, tap their Update Status button, and choose the Live Video icon to start filming.
While you’re broadcasting, you’ll be able to see how many people are watching and how many of your Facebook friends are in the audience. Plus, your viewers will be able to live stream comments to one another as they watch the video.
“Live is just one part of our overall video effort, but we think it has a lot of potential,” Zuckerberg said. “Friends go Live because it’s unfiltered and personal. Actors and news anchors go Live because they can reach bigger audiences—in some cases, bigger than they can even on their own shows. And if we do a good job, we think it’s something that people will associate with Facebook—with interacting with people and not just watching content.”
Free Stock Images: While online services such as Getty Images will happily charge you an arm and a leg for stock photography, there are plenty of sites on the web where you can grab tens of thousands of royalty-free images for your videos, free of charge. Some of these sites include:
- Pixabay (www.pixabay.com): This huge site has hundreds of thousands images that are public domain. It offers not only images but also vector graphics, illustrations and short video clips.
- Unsplash (www.unsplash.com): This site offers a plethora of high-quality images. Photos are arranged in collections, or you can drill down for more specific needs with a search tool.
- Flickr The Commons (www.flickr.com/commons): The Commons compiles images with no known copyright restrictions from museums, libraries and individuals all over the world, including the Smithsonian, the New York public library and the British museum.
- Magdeleine (www.magdeleine.co): At this site, you’ll be able to search for a photo by color, category, license type or simple keyword.
Videvo (www.videvo.net): This is one of the world’s largest sources of free cinematic video clips and motion graphics.
Free Background Music: As with images, there are a number of sites where you can download free background music for your marketing videos. These include 33 Amazon sites with free music for videos (www.mccoyproductions.net/free-music-for-videos); Free Stock Music (www.freestockmusic.com); and YouTube Audio Library (www.tinyurl.com/youtubeaudiosupportlibrary).
Free Video Analytics: You’ll have a better idea of how well your videos are doing if you know who is clicking on links in your videos that lead back to your website, Facebook page or other web properties. Buffer’s Complete Guide to UTM Codes (https://blog.bufferapp.com/utm-guide) will show you how to add special codes to your videos that Google Analytics can use to determine who’s clicking where. And Google (https://analytics.google.com), YouTube (www.youtube.com/analytics) and Twitter (https://analytics.twitter.com/about) all offer free analytics tools you can use to further understand what marketing videos are working best for you.
“If you put time and effort into creating a video that is easily shareable, you will reap the benefits,” said Daniella Paolozzi, marketing director for DP Marketing Communications (www.dpmarketingcommunications.com).
Joe Dysart is an internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan.
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