Gil Becker is CEO & President of AnyClip, the AI-powered online video platform. Learn more at anyclip.com or tweet at him @Becker_Gil
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are no strangers to living in the shadows of large corporations. The push and pull between Wall Street and Main Street is ever-present, often forcing SMBs to get creative and think on their feet to gain on the competition. For SMBs, it’s life or death. There is no reshuffling resources from different departments or operating at a loss quarter after quarter. Covid-19 has amplified these inequities, challenging SMBs to think outside of the box for survival.
Large corporations have a clear budgetary advantage when it comes to marketing. But SMBs have speed and agility on their side. In times of crisis, nimbleness matters. SMBs can more easily adapt their marketing efforts on a dime, engaging with customers using the method those customers are most receptive to. One of the most engaging, enduring and economical formats to use for that engagement is video.
There’s been a recent explosion of investments in video for promotional material, branded and marketing content, webinars, online education, video calls and virtual events. Video is now the preeminent means by which people communicate online. While it may lessen after the pandemic subsides, our comfort with and dependence on video will remain. The bright side for SMBs is that you needn’t be a giant corporate behemoth with a multimillion-dollar budget to succeed. In fact, the more authentic, the better.
According to HubSpot, 54% of consumers want to see more videos from businesses they follow, while 88% of marketers say videos give them positive ROI. In the era of social distancing, it’s an invaluable way to see and learn about products and the companies that make them. While video does not reproduce the intimacy of one-to-one sales, it’s infinitely more scalable.
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Commit to going big with video.
So, how can SMBs embrace the growing video opportunity and steal share from their bigger competitors?
Robin Hood and his band of merry men didn’t topple Prince John with a single arrow, so when it comes to video, you need to load your quiver. Impact isn’t made with a single video, but rather, by threading video throughout the whole of your customer journey. Commit resources not to a video strategy, but instead to a full-funnel marketing strategy activated and enhanced by video.
Concentrate viewers’ attention with an on-site video hub.
Social media, particularly YouTube, is a great resource for distribution and building brand awareness, but it has several downsides SMBs should be aware of when constructing their video-enhanced marketing plans and should not be solely relied on.
SMBs need a video hub on their website. They need it there because social media plays into the hands of bigger businesses — thanks to their bigger marketing budgets — and delivers your competitors’ videos right next to yours. The result? Stolen leads. Lost data. Minimal ROI.
How can you use an on-site video hub for your benefit as a small business?
• Redirect customer attention to your own website, where customers can research upcoming purchase decisions without distraction and more seamlessly convert to purchase on an adjacent section of your site.
• Host a searchable, private “walled garden” of video content that controls your customers’ access to information and blocks out competitors.
• Customize your video content experience with enhancements like in-player call to action buttons.
• Collect and use the data of customer video consumption on your site to inform future content strategies and market to active prospects with accuracy.
One example of this is a regional real estate office aggregating property tour videos on their own domain, where it’s easier for homebuyers to contact an agent to schedule an in-person visit. Similarly, a local music store could distribute hours of video lessons or instrument demos to increase brand awareness and drive sales.
Accelerate the future.
Thanks to a range of effective and affordable new technologies, “successful video marketing strategies” are no longer the fantasies of a big-brand playbook. Any company, big or small, can now achieve results and positive ROI by using video throughout a holistic marketing strategy.
As we have seen from the increasing sophistication with which smaller businesses have embraced video production, the power of video for SMBs is real — and it’s just getting started. It’s not just about how fancy your videos are; it’s about being crafty, smart and creative with your strategy and your budget.
SMBs, your customers are waiting. Use video to educate and excite them. Turn internal interactions into videos, and share your videos for all to see. Keep the focus on your own domain to maximize your conversion potential. Grow. The world is watching.