How to make video marketing an effective solution for SMEs
It’s well reported that video content has been the next big thing in the marketing landscape for some time now, and large companies have heeded that advice and have been reaping the rewards.
The constant stream of successful and stimulating video content from larger companies has created the misconception that the only way to make any success out of video marketing is by to do things their way.
We all know that SMEs operate in a totally different way to global brands, so why should the creation and utilisation of video content be any different?
Why is successful video content a challenge for SMEs?
Above all else, there are three things that are required for SMEs to make successful video marketing content: time, money and resources.
Creativity and originality are essential to make your videos stand out. Without these three things, getting your content seen will be a constant uphill battle.
Large companies are able to constantly create innovative video content because they have the luxury of time, money and resources, which allow them to push the boundaries. Combined with their huge, already established, customer base, these companies were primed to deal with video marketing before it became a serious consideration.
The logical process is that if you can establish a solid viewership online through a hosting platform like YouTube, then you can build an audience that will come back to watch your content time and time again.
With a total monopoly over the online video space, YouTube is the natural option for anybody looking to share video content. There isn’t anything wrong with this, and there are ways to make it a success.
With the question of how to make video marketing an effective solution for SMEs, YouTube is an obvious choice because it’s easily accessible and free to use.
This is usually achieved through a whole host of factors like following YouTube’s algorithm and SEO principles, making videos a certain length, working on thumbnail images that latch on to trends, working a varying degree of call to actions in your script and so on and so on.
That’s a lot of work for one video- and that has nothing to do with creating it in the first place.
Let’s say that you’ve managed to do all of those things: created a great piece of video content, SEO ready, the perfect length for YouTube- the works. How do you make both your content and your brand fly on the platform?
Making your content successful on YouTube
You need to keep creating regular, high-quality content. This is the only way that your brand will make it through the platform and come out of the other side as a trusted source of information that will get regular views and engagement on YouTube.
The real secret is to stay relevant- as the platform wants to keep viewers on the site. This means that your name needs to be filling that suggested feed on the side of videos, otherwise viewers will be clicking off of your content, lost in a constant stream of related, interesting videos that will ultimately take them far away from your brand and your content.
This is the point at which you should ask yourself- how will views and engagement on your YouTube videos help your company with sales?
How will views and engagements translate into sales?
Getting to this stage on YouTube isn’t an overnight formula for success. So while you develop your brand with video content from a standing start, you still need to be focusing on your business- making sales and encouraging growth.
For a large company, hiring a creative team and allocating time to make video content successful will barely make a dent in finances. This is not the same for an SME, where funds will be much better invested in the company infrastructure- helping with everything from wages, increasing staff and focusing on marketing that results in sales.
When ROI is fundamental to every business decision that you make, then taking a risk on the wrong approach to video marketing can be an expensive mistake. As I said earlier, this is a luxury that large companies have and should in no way become the blueprint for success when different circumstances are in play.
But video can work for SMEs. The monopoly of YouTube in the video-sharing space has given the marketing world the impression that it’s the only source for success and that the most important metrics are views and engagement.
This simply isn’t the case…
How does Video Marketing Work Without YouTube?
The most important thing to do is to put the marketing back into video marketing.
It’s easy to think that video marketing and your other marketing resources are separate entities that should be treated as such- and this is partly due to the difficulty and workload that comes with developing a consistent, constant and high-quality strategy that utilises YouTube with the intention of growing on that platform specifically.
When you are optimising content for a specific platform like YouTube, it becomes harder to see how that has relevance to everything else that you’re doing for your marketing.
Social media, SEO, blogs and email marketing: those are the methods that have traditionally driven sales through your website and will continue to- so why shouldn’t video content be able to help all of these become more effective as part of your omnichannel strategy?
Video content has the advantage of making websites stickier, you can get so much more information across to a specified, interested audience that is there for your product or service. If you compare just the context of viewing a video on your own website compared to an external platform like YouTube- the advantages are clear.
YouTube aims to keep people on their site, so will populate the screen with suggested videos as soon as your content finishes (alongside the suggestions bar on the side). On your own website, you have control over what will dominate the screen and how the viewer will be able to take in your content.
This control will allow you to point an already interested viewer in the right direction- no matter what stage of the sales funnel you find them in.
Aside from being able to control the context in which your audience views your video content, there are other marketing benefits to using video outside of a YouTube-based strategy.
Benefits of using a non-YouTube strategy
One of the most exciting benefits is the improvement to SEO. Hosting services outside of YouTube (like Wistia) will add SEO metadata to your video content and make it much easier for your content to be indexed by Google.
This isn’t the case for every hosting platform, so jumping into a decision like this wouldn’t be advised. But in comparison to the work that would have to be done to make your content SEO-ready for YouTube, this is an investment that will boost your entire site instead of one channel on an external network.
Including transcripts as well is just another string to your bow that will help boost the success of your video content. Transcripts will help improve the retention levels on your video content on your website itself, but also across social media networks like Facebook.
Writing video transcripts can have further use just through the fact that it contributes extra text to your page that can be found by search bots and help increase your rankings and relevancy to your target market. These little wins can have a huge boost, as your website can rise up the rankings (with the help of other SEO work) without having to add another few thousand words to the text that populates your pages.
How can video drive conversions?
So these insights can help your website rise the rankings, but how can video help to drive conversions? If you’re assigning the time and money to make a high-quality, customer-specific message- then surely it should be a key aspect of the sales funnel, not just an aspect of your content and SEO strategy.
Landing pages present the ideal opportunity to get your customers attention at any stage of the sales funnel. You can create pages on your website that you guide prospective customers to, from a variety of sources like social channels and PPC.
By utilising landing pages, you can create a much more focused discourse with an audience that is full of high-quality potential customers. Anybody who has found this page is immediately qualified as quality because of the way that they have found your landing page.
Whether through social or PPC, a visit to your landing page will all but guarantee that your visitor is high quality due to the fact that they have expressed a genuine interest in your product or service. These are the kind of leads that you want to convert- and video is one of the most effective ways of doing that.
If you’re wondering how to make video marketing an effective solution or what type of video you should be making for your audience to help convert sales from a landing page- our technical guide to video marketing breaks down the different types of videos that you’re most likely to be making and at which stage of the sales funnel they can be used.
The last major consideration to take into account is the idea of using video to maximise the power of rich snippets.
I’ll let Neil Patel take this one away:
“To put it simply, video-rich snippets help you stand out from the other nine search results on that particular page, and, therefore, searchers will be more inclined to click your result, which will increase traffic to your website.
You’ll be able to show searchers a thumbnail of your video and the length of your video. Make sure the thumbnail stands out and sums up what the video is about if you want to maximise conversion”.
This is an important part of how to make video marketing an effective solution.
Potential visitors will be able to see exactly what’s coming before clicking through on to your website through the thumbnail of your video and a short description about it. Video rich snippets will sort interested potential customers from those who are browsing and simultaneously entice those potential customers onto your website above your competitors.
Let your business thrive with high-quality video content
Video is undoubtedly a hugely popular and effective marketing tool. In many ways, it’s a difficult tool to incorporate into a marketing strategy because of the practical skills required to not only make them happen- but make them happen in context with your omnichannel approach.
It’s easy to become lost in the numbers game, especially when YouTube gives you real-time updates on how many people have watched your content and how many subscribers it’s helped you to attain.
Creating a successful YouTube content plan that grows your channel, brand and converts sales is a next to impossible mission without a sizeable budget. This is why it’s incredibly important for SME’s to remember that views, subscribers and the focus on one platform are not the only measures of success.
YouTube is an incredibly complex algorithm that you have no control over. With your website, you’re in total control.
Ultimately, you want your video content to help convert leads, and the best way to do that is to direct a more focused audience to your content and show them just how great you are through the power of video.
If you’d like more information on why your business needs video marketing, or how to make video marketing an effective solution, KUB is here to help. Get in touch to see how you could be growing your business by innovating your digital marketing strategy.