Advancements in technology have changed all our lives by giving us instant access to nearly any topic using either a computer or a Smartphone. While giving us access to this information is a clear benefit of technology, constantly being “plugged in” makes it difficult for us to slow down. The hectic lifestyle of the 21st century means that people are reading less and watching more. This not only applies to traditional entertainment mediums, like books and movies, but also to websites and online videos; most people are moving so quickly that they prefer to watch a video than sit down and read through text. Consider the following statistics:
YouTube has 1 billion users, or roughly 1/7th of the entire world’s population
YouTube is localized in 75 countries and in 61 languages
Half of all YouTube views are on mobile devices
The number of hours spent watching YouTube each month goes up by an average of 50% a year
In January 2014, 61% of the American population watched an average of 397 online vides; 36% (or 143 videos) were advertisements
With these numbers alone, you can see how important online video has become--especially in the business world. Rather than sticking with a snooze-worthy, text-heavy content to get your message out there, why not consider providing your customers with videos detailing your products and services?
There are lots of reasons to incorporate video into your business strategy, but let's break down what we think are the top five.
Online video increases traffic to your website
You can only get customers if people are aware of your company, and the best way to spread awareness about your products and services is to increase traffic to your website (your own virtual storefront where you control the message). When increasing traffic, you want to think in terms of quantity, not quality (quality viewers are those that are actively searching for your product). For example, if a hundred people visit your website, but only 5% are potential customers, you have 5 new leads/prospects. However, if you 1,000 people visit your website and only 3% become potential customers, you have 30 new leads/prospects.
See what I mean about quantity over quality?
As the YouTube statistics listed above showed us, billions of people watch online videos each day. Users also love to “share” videos with their personal networks using social media platforms (like Facebook and Twitter). This represents a great opportunity to spread the word about your company to a huge number of potential customers.
Online video makes you appear “real”
Any salesperson will tell you that the key to getting a sale is developing a human connection with the customer. The impersonal nature of websites makes this difficult; no matter how clever your writing or how beautiful your stock photos are, they just can’t convey the fact that you are a real person the same way your face, voice and tone can.
When your customer views a video, they see you as a real person, which gives you the opportunity to appear sincere and truthful about the quality of your product or service. Actually seeing your mannerisms also helps the customer trust you, so make sure your video doesn't portray you as a slick n sleazy used-car salesman (easy on the winking or the dreaded "two thumbs up").
It’s an affordable way to look really good
These days, all you need to make a professional video is a camera and a computer capable of editing video. You can even shoot video on most smartphones, meaning that you probably already have everything you need to begin putting videos together. All you need to do to start is create a YouTube channel (which is free) and begin shooting.
Of course, if you want your video to look good, you have to invest some time and energy into the project and make sure your editor knows what they are doing. (And don't worry, we are here to help with this part!) Having a well written script also helps; especially if you can present your company confidently.
Online video shows off your product
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video is worth 1,000,000 pictures--especially when it comes to touting a project. You will never be able to convince someone of your products worth just by telling them how great it is, and in the age of Photoshop, pictures can be easily doctored so they become less trustworthy. In order to truly get customers to trust you, you need to show them a video of your product in action. Just seeing your product gives potential customers a better understanding of how it works, which allows them to make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase your product--avoiding the time and energy spent dealing with unhappy customers at a later date.
Online video improves your brand
Branding is much more than simple brand recognition. These days, it’s not enough to get customers to be able to identify your company’s logo; you need to make them view your company as an essential part of their lifestyle. Online videos make it easier to create an environment that looks realistic and allows the viewer to place themselves in a situation, along with your brand.
A great example of this technique is the Red Bull Corporation’s YouTube channel. Red Bull’s target audience is young males, typically between the ages of 16-24. Men in this age group tend to take more risks than others and want to identify with a “cool” crowd of people like them. As such, Red Bull’s YouTube channel sponsors events in which professional stuntmen and athletes perform entertaining tricks--wearing Red Bull gear. Even if the viewer isn't necessarily interested in performing dangerous events, Red Bull’s marketing campaign is essentially telling people, “These people do cool stunts and drink Red Bull. If you drink Red Bull, you will be cool too.”
And it works: The Red Bull channel on YouTube has almost 4.5 million followers. Who all feel cool.*
You don't have to spend a lot of money to organize dangerous stunts to be successful. Focus on your core audience and determine what they value. Then, create a video showcasing this behaviour, and tie in your company’s product or service. Finally, get that video out there for the world to see!
*We have no statistics to prove that everyone who subscribes to this YouTube channel in fact feels "cool", but we have a pretty good hunch about it.
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