Unless you’ve been hiding under a log or sunning yourself on a remote Fijian beach for the past few years, you’ll have noticed how easy it is to watch video on demand these days. Laptops, tablets and smart phones all allow us to watch programs and video clips when and where we chose. Watching video on demand has become a way of life, and there are no signs that it will change or slow down anytime soon.
So if you haven’t already started to think about using video to help promote your business or freelance career, here are three reasons why you should reconsider.
1) Video is easy
We are becoming increasingly video hungry. Clips on YouTube of cute kittens, funny dogs, and even kids biting their brother’s finger are all gathering thousands of views, simply because it’s easy and available as and when you have a few minutes spare.
On a more useful level, YouTube is excellent for research and learning. Only the other day, I learned how to make puff pastry from a video online. It’s just one example of how integral video has become in our everyday life, and how much we are coming to depend on it – and that makes it a powerful tool for business.
Video also allows people to access the information they want or need quickly. Just think what happens when you’re looking for information online. If you come across a website that doesn’t make it easy for you to find out what you need straight away, do you delve deeper or simply click away and find an easier website to navigate? We have become so impatient that unless the information we want is in plain sight we tend to move on – and if that happens on your business site, you could be losing potential customers.
Video offers an easy opportunity for people to learn about your business, the products you sell or the services you offer. All they need to do is click a button and they can discover everything they need to learn. It also allows you to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they’re looking for from your business – what can you tell or show them about you that can help convince them that you’ve got what they need?
In today’s time-poor society (and who is more time pressed than a working mum?!) we’re all looking for the path of least resistance. And by using video to convey your key message on your website, you give people the option to just click and play.
2) Video builds trust
We all want more clients and customers, don’t we? But how do we go out and get them? Face to face meeting and referrals are probably the most productive means of winning new clients, as it gives them the opportunity to assess our personality, confidence and knowledge – all elements that build trust and help people feel comfortable about doing business with us.
But what happens when you can’t meet someone face to face? Static text in brochures, websites and leaflets has its place, but can never build trust in the same way because it doesn’t deliver personality, engagement and passion. And that’s when video comes into its own. You may not be able to sit across a desk from someone or shake their hand, but you can show them your personality, make your pitch and even demonstrate your product.
Networking equipment giants Cisco Systems estimate that more 85% of new purchases happen after an internet search of some kind. At a time when online patience is receding, captivating online buyers is becoming the number one criteria of online businesses, and video can really help.
Not only is watching a video quicker and easier than reading blocks of text, but it introduces you and your products or services to potential customers on an emotional level. Watching a video increases the chance that they’ll stay on your website longer, and they get to actually meet the face of the business – helping to build trust and making people feel like they already know you, which makes it easier for them to get in touch with you and turn from a potential customer into an actual one.
3) Video helps SEO and social media
In addition to delivering your sales message quickly and easily and building more trust with potential clients, uploading a video can give your SEO and social media activities a real boost.
Once a video is uploaded to the internet, there’s lots you can do to promote it. For a start, Google loves video. When you uploaded a video to a platform like YouTube you have the opportunity to add a title, description and search tags, all helping your website’s SEO if you’ve included a link. The process is quite easy to work out, and if you do get stuck there are plenty of YouTube videos to talk you through it.
A video is also a great way to generate social media chatter. Sharing it across your platforms can help to increase awareness of your brand, products and services, increase engagement and drive traffic to your website.
Of course to get the maximum benefit from your efforts, your video should be part of a well considered, long term marketing strategy that incorporates the overall tone of the business message. Done well, a video can reap unlimited rewards for your website, making it easier for potential customers to learn about your business, building trust and generating newsworthy exposure and increased traffic and SEO opportunities for your website.
But the best thing of all about video is that it can be busy selling your products and services to new customers while you’re fast asleep in bed at night. And what could be better than that?
Hax is a filmmaker and owner of Hax Media, a video production company that provides a comprehensive range of services to businesses.Mike Hacker