We write a lot about video marketing here on the Ideas Blog, but we’re hardly the only ones. Ask any marketer what strategies they plan to develop this year and next, and you’re likely to hear the word “video” mentioned more often than not.
Naturally, many companies are still intimidated by the prospect of video marketing. How much does it cost? Do we have the right skills to pull this off? How long will it take to create something? Is it worth it? And if large companies still have these questions, you can bet that some startups and small businesses are doubly skeptical.
The good news, however, is that these days, video marketing really isn’t as scary as some might think. In fact, as content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi puts it, the “sheer cost of video production has come down to a point where there are no barriers to entry.” This means that for small, young companies, video marketing represents a huge opportunity – they just need to be willing to take the first step.
For startups and small businesses interested in taking the video marketing plunge, here are a few things you should know.
#1. Video marketing doesn’t have to break the bank. I’ve seen great video companies that were shot with expensive cameras, professional lighting and polished on-screen talent. I’ve also seen even better videos shot on flip cameras and smartphones. You don’t need world-class equipment to create powerful video messages these days. There are even amazing things you can do with PowerPoint slides and animations that can be converted to voice-enriched videos to share with your audience.
Add that to the fact that cloud-based solutions and web hosting have made video more practical for even the tiniest of companies, and the cost benefits start to become very clear. Speaking of benefits…
#2. Video can open up your small business to a whole slew of potential customers. YouTube isn’t the only video sharing platform on the web, but it’s certainly the biggest. With billions of views each day, creating video marketing content for YouTube can do wonders for extending your brand’s reach and visibility. Obviously, this is critical as you’re just starting to get your company off the ground. YouTube videos also hold high authority in Google search, making your SEO efforts of a heck of a lot easier.
#3. Everyone else is doing it, so why not you? I already mentioned how video has become a popular target for online marketers, but there’s also hard data to prove it. Social Media Examiner recently reported that of all the things marketers plan to invest more in for 2012, video ranks number one. That’s ahead of blogging, social media and other marketing tools and channels. Over 3,800 marketers can’t be wrong, can they?
#4. Video is a haven for creativity. As Video for Dummies co-author Bettina Hein points out, companies shouldn’t be afraid to have some fun with video. Humor is a great tool engaging your audience with your products or solutions, and a funny video has a better chance of going viral.
Believe it or not, I’ve found that it’s actually easier for smaller companies to get creative with their marketing materials, as there are fewer “cooks in the kitchen” when it comes to developing marketing materials. Get together with your small team and brainstorm some ideas that you find entertaining; chances are, your audience will like it too. Starting a company from scratch is a risky endeavor already – don’t get sheepish with your marketing. Come up with something fresh or different, and go for it!