Video Marketing Strategies
Published on 03 October 2019
In our ever-changing social media climate, the pressure is on for small business owners to produce better and more engaging content to keep up with new marketing trends. For the already-busy business owner, this concept can be extremely daunting, especially with how expensive things like camera, lights, software and training can be. In a recent Hub Live, SmartHub Business Manager Elize Hattin sat down with Wes Alan, who hopes to change all that.
A filmmaker by trade, Wes founded Tap Edit Go only 10 months ago in order to teach businesses how to make marketing videos using only their smartphones. Tap Edit Go makes video production more accessible, providing education resources and equipment through their website as well as hosting workshops on smartphone video creation from creating a plan to posting your finished content.
What is Content?
So much of a social media marketing strategy is about producing good, valuable content. “Content is a very broad term,” Wes explained. “There’s written content, blog posts, a photo, anything. And when people say value, people always get really distracted by saying “I need to educate people,” but value can be entertainment, like a photo of you and your dog having a play or pulling pranks on your staff members. The big thing about the value in the content you’re creating is that you need to remember that you’re not making this content for yourself at all in any way.”
In order to create engaging content, Wes utilises a five-point plan to ensure the content will be engaging, the first of which is asking who is watching.
The very first thing you should think of when creating content is who the content is for. To explain further, Wes used the SmartHub as an example. “You’ve got a great audience of business owners and you provide value by giving them education of what they need to do. The strategy you’ve got in place is amazing for that, but someone that’s a stay at home mum wouldn’t find this valuable. She would find something else interesting like baby photos or education on how to take care of her baby as a young mum. Your content has to be in tune with your audience, and you can’t just be broad and say everyone’s following you. It has to be specific,” he said.
One way to work out your “who” is to create a marketing avatar, which is a fictional person who represents your market who you can then create your marketing material to specifically appeal to. “When you put it down to one, it does alienate some people, but I love having that one avatar because it focuses down who you can appeal to. If you’re talking to a video it’s great to have that one person in mind that you’re talking to, because one of my most hated things on social media that I see a lot of people do is saying, “Hey everyone!” instead of making that personal connection,” Wes said.
He went on to explain further how to create that connection with the audience. “I’ve got this trick from a radio presenter, and he told me that no radio presenter ever talks to everybody. A radio presenter will never say, “Hey everyone, I have a new song for you all.” He’ll say, “Hey, I have a new song for you,” and it creates a personal connection. One of the hardest things for people is figuring out how to have that connection with someone, who is not in the room with them,” he explained.
The second point of Wes’s five-point plan is actually the most important – why are you creating this content? “People get told by so many social media experts to just put out heaps of content, but no one really takes a step back on why, and asking why are you making a video? Why are you making any kind of content? What’s the purpose that you’re trying to achieve with this?” Wes asked. “For me, I’ve got a workshop coming up. Every bit of content that I’m putting out now is trying to make sure people will come.”
When it comes to creating video content, there are four reasons that people watch. The first is for information. As Wes explained, social media is just the new version of a newspaper. “When we would look through newspapers, we would try to find a heading that would grab us, engage us, and then we would read a bit more. That’s pretty much all we’re doing now. We’re all looking for attention grabbing information. This is information that we didn’t know we needed, it was information we’re searching for, but didn’t know specifically what it was. We’re just being guided through,” he said.
The second reason people watch videos is to search for information, rather than stumbling across it like in the first point. “I don’t put any of my tutorial videos about how to make smartphone videos on my Facebook because that’s not why people are there. People are there to find information, so I put tips and tricks, but never my tutorials that go for 10 minutes long. That’s all on my YouTube page because Google Search works as a filter of finding information, and YouTube is a part of Google,” Wes explained.
The third reason is for entertainment. This is a harder category for businesses to achieve, as large-scale production companies dominate the market. “I live on the road full time, so I don’t watch public TV anymore,” Wes said. “Everything I watch is usually on social media or Netflix. That’s my source of entertainment, and a lot of businesses can’t do that. I think it’s much more important for businesses to focus on the last reason, which is to escape,” He said.
Wes firmly believes in the power of providing escapism as a social media strategy. “People don’t realise this, but social media has become a form of stalking that’s socially acceptable. People are looking to escape into other people’s worlds – and it’s not that we don’t like our own world or our own lives, we just want to see what other people and businesses are doing,” He explained. “One of my clients is Zoos Victoria, and I train them on smartphone videos. I asked them, what’s the most entertaining thing that happens around the zoo? And they’d tell me about the big events that they have coming up. When I asked what they do every day, they answered, “Boring stuff. We cut up food for animals,” So I said, “Yeah, the coolest animals ever!” Cutting up food for lions and giraffes is just their every day. It’s boring to them, but for a viewer that wants to escape into that world it’s not boring.”
With the knowledge of who your video is for and why you need to create it, you then need to decide on what kind of video to make. Wes breaks down different kinds of videos into six categories: product videos, testimonial videos, tutorial videos, explainer videos, escape videos and live videos.
As video content rises in popularity, customers are no longer content with simple product photos – creating product videos to showcase your products is far more effective. “It can be as simple as an unboxing video. People just want to actually see what it’s like, how it interacts,” Wes said.
Tutorial videos are some of the most difficult kinds of videos to produce, as they convey a lot of information and usually require a lot of editing. However, tutorials can have huge value. “Let’s say someone goes onto YouTube and looks up “how do I train my dog?” If you’re a local dog trainer your dog training videos will come up because Google uses a location filter. Now it does help if the video is already popular and it’s got a few views because of the algorithm, but you need to bring that value,” Wes explained.
Testimonials, Wes finds, is a category that many businesses fail with. “Word of mouth is the best form of marketing, so if you can capture someone’s testimonial and put it up as a video it’ll be so valuable to your business.”
He finds that many business owners are afraid to ask their customers for video testimonials as they’re afraid of a no but says it’s important to try anyway. “A niche market for me is caravan parks, and every park I go to, I’m like, “Why aren’t you asking for testimonials?” and they’re like, “What do you mean?” During the checkout process you’ll usually ask, “How’d you find it?” and they usually go like, “We loved it. It was amazing. We had so much fun.” And if you have that response, you can just say, “I loved what you said, can I record a video?” Most people say no and that’s fine, but the one person out of 20 who says it, that’s marketing gold for the next five years.”
Explainer videos are one of the easiest kinds of videos to create as they require minimal editing and involve just one person talking to their marketing avatar, informing them of something that’s coming up. “It can be a new product, a new workshop, a live coming up. It’s just giving them information about something you’re about to do,” Wes said.
Escape videos, mentioned earlier, are the videos you use to show off your personality. These can be funny everyday moments, pranks, travel videos and almost anything you can think of. Wes enjoys creating these kinds of videos, saying, “Personality videos are huge, and they’re one of my favourites to do.”
Live videos are a little more complicated, and Wes finds that many people do them incorrectly. “I have a love-hate relationship with live video. The SmartHub does a good job with live video because you plan and have a setup. A lot of people when they go live are just like, “Hey everyone, I’m going live, I don’t know what I’m going to talk about,” and that’s pretty much 80% of most live videos out there. They don’t write the marketing, they don’t have the direction, they don’t ask the who or the why. Live videos need to be done right.”
The next point to consider is how: How will this benefit your business? Wes likes to rephrase this to ask how this will make your business money. “You’re going to have to spend time making a video, making any kind of content. It is going to cost you money because time is money, so how are you going to get a return? I used to sit down with all my clients and actually map out a journey. If they’re going to pay me a certain amount of money to make a video, how was I going to create that into five times the amount of money? Basically, how is someone going to sit down and watch this and then give me a return?” Wes explained. “Social media has changed that game a lot, because now it’s not watching one video to a dollar value, because that’s how marketing used to be. Now it’s about nurturing.”
Nurturing a customer is about finding someone who isn’t ready to commit to your product or service and gaining their trust so that when they are ready to commit, they go straight to your business. Wes explains this using the SmartHub as an example: “Someone might not be ready for a co-working space, but they might be starting up their first business at home, and they want to get this value from learning some business tricks, so they watch you on these live videos, watch all the tips, come to the lunch and learns that you guys have. And then when they’re ready to move on and rent a space, we’ve nurtured them with a bunch of different videos and given them a bunch of different bits of value, but they’re not going to go anywhere else because they trust you. The goal is to make them trust your product as much as you believe in it.”
This final point is often the first people think of, and that is where the video will be posted. “I get people coming to me and saying, “I want to make a Facebook video, but then I can totally put it on Instagram as well, and then I can put it on Snapchat. I can do this.” But you shouldn’t. All the platforms work differently. And if we’re just talking about the social media directly, they all work differently with each other. But a lot of people don’t even think about platforms besides social media that they can work with,” Wes said.
He then went on to tell a story about a former client who worked in real estate who inspired him to create Tap Edit Go. “He told me he had about $500 and that he needed to make five social media videos to get out onto the market. That was way below my fee, but we sat down and had a conversation anyway. He worked as part of a franchise, which meant any social media posts he did would need to be approved and also there would need to be balance between him and the other agents in the market. It was just too complicated. I asked him why he wanted to be on Facebook, and he said, “That’s where everyone is.” So, I went through the five-point system and I asked him who his target was, and he said “Everybody.” And I’m like, “No, Who? It’s people who are buying a house or selling a house.” For people in my generation that’s likely to only happen once. So why target everyone when we could target just those people? As a real estate agent, this guy was collecting names, phone numbers and email addresses at every open house so we could use that as a different distribution strategy.”
Wes’s proposed strategy was to halve the number of open houses the real estate agent did in a day, instead using the extra time to create personalised videos for each potential buyer. “I told him to go to the list and let’s say it was Lucy and Tom who visited. So, he would pull out his phone and record himself saying, “Hey Lucy and Tom, my name’s Mark from the real estate for this house, I’d be happy to give you a walkthrough, just let me know if you are interested and I’ll text you the details below.” Everyone hates getting mass messages from real estate agents, but when a video comes up and you press play and your name is the first thing they say, it fosters a personal connection that other real estate agents don’t have, and it builds their trust.”
This is an excellent example of choosing a platform that suits your goal. Every video platform has its advantages for different uses. Some more platforms to consider could be the digital billboards in shopping centres, the advertisements before movies at the cinema or emailing videos directly to potential customers like the real estate agent above.
Utilising this five-point plan means you can plan a lot of content in advance. After you have your who, why, what, how and where, you can create an annual plan with a cohesive strategy to keep your social media feeds engaging and exciting your customers. There are two questions Wes often receives in regard to planning content; how much should I be posting, and how often do you make an offer to sell?
The number of posts is dependent entirely on how much valuable content can be created. “You might not be able to hire a marketing person, you might not have a team member, so just make sure that every bit of content you put out is valuable and engaging to the audience. Otherwise you’re just going to trail off and lose them right away. You need to have consistency,” Wes said.
When creating a call to action, the key ratio is five nurtured videos to one call to action. Wes emphasised the importance of the call to action, saying, “A call to action doesn’t have to be “buy now. It can be, “Hey, do you want to join my webinar? Hey, could you give me your email or phone number, and I’ll give you something else in exchange?” It just needs to be any kind of exchange. In order for it to work you need to earn their trust, introduce yourself, show proof and evidence, and then go, “Hey, I have this if you would like to buy it.””
The videos you create will vary in length depending on where it goes. Some places, like Instagram and Twitter, have a limit on how long a video can be, whereas people tend to spend longer watching things on YouTube or Facebook. “If someone put a feature film up on Facebook, I guarantee you we would sit there and watch the entire thing. Or on a live video someone might be thinking, “I’ve got places to be, I need this video to end,” but they keep watching. You want that kind of engagement, and it comes when you provide valuable content,” Wes explained.
Working with the SmartHub
Wes is a proud member of the SmartHub and a participant in the Turbo-Traction Lab. He first discovered the SmartHub after running a workshop for Tap Edit Go in July. “I was gobsmacked about how you guys can do all this. This seems like a big Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane based program, but instead it’s here in this little Rocky town. Luckily, I live on the road, so I picked up my life and just went, “I’m going to move to Rocky for 80 days while doing this Turbo-Traction Lab and get the value of being at the SmartHub, because being here is huge,” He said.
Wes is absolutely loved and welcomed in Rockhampton and at the SmartHub, and if you’d like to learn more about the services on offer to help your business grow, you can get in touch with the SmartHub via Facebook, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the SmartHub in Customs House at 208 Quay St, Rockhampton.