Using video as a marketing channel is increasingly attractive to cash-strapped start-ups, mostly due to its expanding consumer reach, plummeting cost and simplified production processes.
But how should your business use video? Should you simply slap a straight video advert online, or approach it in a slightly smarter way?
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The answer could be to create your own “how to” video.
YouTube revealed this week that its “how to” channel has risen to become the third most popular section on the video sharing platform, with businesses starting to realise the potential of educating viewers before selling to them.
So who out there is adopting this approach? Here are 10 of the best ideas that your business’ marketing strategy could benefit from.
If your business lends itself to video, half the battle is won. Etsy, the US online marketplace for handcrafted items, runs regular video profiles of its members, such as this look at a regular business day in the life of entrepreneur and mother, Ursula Dean.
The Etsy branding is subtle and gives the impression the business genuinely cares about its sellers – an important asset if you have a membership base of any sort. Etsy also runs ‘How to Tuesdays’ where its members share their advice, via video, with other users.
Luke Nicholas is the founder of Epic Beer, a small Kiwi beer brand. Since starting making the product on a small scale in another company’s brewery, Nicholas is priming the product for major growth, recently securing a listing deal with UK pub chain giant JD Wetherspoon.
Nicholas makes liberal use of video via Epic’s site and social media channels. As well as behind-the-scenes clips and explanations of Epic’s point of difference over other beers, Nicholas also personally hosts explanations of the brewing process itself.
Epic’s story is a great example of how video can expand consumers’ knowledge of an entire industry, thereby indirectly benefiting a certain brand.
3. The Gents Place
If you’re a retailer, it can pay to make the brands you stock the ‘hero’ of your marketing.
In this video, San Francisco bar The Gents Place cleverly piggybacks off the well-known Bacardi brand by holding a “how to” cocktail mixing event and filming it.
4. Valencia Property
Graham Hunt was doing nicely selling properties in Spain to British expats until the global financial downturn hit.
After shrinking his business down to a one-man operation, Hunt began to make short videos of properties for sellers’ perusal.
But he then realised the potential of video as a way to sell the lifestyle of Spain, rather than merely the properties. That, after all, was what people were essentially buying from him.
In the course of four days, Hunt put together 100 video tips on buying property in Spain, giving an invaluable insight to Spanish law, customs and culture to potential customers. As a result, Hunt claims his client visits increased by 225% and sales and rentals more than doubled.
5. Canine Obedience Unlimited
The starting point for any viable business is identifying a consumer need or inconvenience and offering an effective, cost-appropriate solution.
American dog training school Canine Obedience Unlimited makes good use of video by illustrating the problems caused by unruly mutts, as well as their remedy. A good way of sparking recognition of a problem, swiftly followed by an effective solution.