How to Use Video to Grow Your Business in 2010 By Lindsay Grubb There are many traditional ways to grow your business, from standard advertising and marketing campaigns to increasing your sales force and sending them out into previously unvisited territories to name a few. It’s a new year, and perhaps you should be taking a look at new mediums to target your current and potential customers. According to a recent study by comScore (link to: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2009/11/Hulu_Delivers_Record_85 6_Million_U.S._Video_Views), in October 2009, 84.4% of the total U.S. internet audience viewed online video. The study also found that the average online video viewer watched 10.8 hours of video, and that 125.3 million viewers watched nearly 10.4 billion videos on YouTube.com, while 41.1 million viewers watched 313.5 million videos on MySpace.com With monthly figures like that – should you be ignoring video as an option to grow your business this year? It’s no secret that online video is hot. A recent study by comScore revealed that in October 2009, more than 167 million viewers in the U.S. watched an average of 167 videos each, while YouTube reached 1 billion views per day – or 41 million views per hour – in the same month. At my company, we’ve seen our own surge in video viewing. Video now accounts for the largest number of files uploaded into online meetings on our platform. Given that many of our customers work in sales and marketing, what I infer from these numbers is that video marketing is poised for a huge year in 2010. The reason is clear: video simply engages people in a way that static text and images cannot. There are dozens of studies that show the power of video to boost customer interaction, drive sales, encourage viral sharing, and build brand awareness. And according to MarketingSherpa, 95 percent of the companies that have used online video marketing are happy with the results and expect to use it again in the future. Luckily, it’s never been easier to create marketing videos. You can create videos for free using stock images and still photos on services like Jivox, or even transfer existing TV spots to the Web. You can also create screencasts on sites like Screenr in under an hour by recording voice over still images, screenshots, and slides. If you want to shoot your own video, you can edit the footage using sites like Pixorial or Jaycut . Of course, you can also hire a video production agency to create the videos for you. Whatever type of video you create, make sure it’s short – under two minutes is usually best, but 30 seconds is even better. Simplicity is also key. Keep voiceovers straightforward and music at a minimum. If you want an example of the power of utter simplicity, check out the unique videos that explain hundreds of complex subjects produced by Common Craft. Here are some great ways to use video to boost your business next year: 1. Punch Up Your Web Site The easiest way get started is simply to embed your videos on your Web site. You can use YouTube to do this, or alternatives like Vimeo or Sorenson Media. Once you’ve got the videos playing on your site, make sure they are easy to share by adding a “share this” button on each video so that viewers can pass them along via Twitter , Facebook , and other viral channels. Already on Twitter, 8 percent of all shared URLs arelinks to videos on YouTube.
2. Use Video to Sell
We’ve found that our sales reps see 20 percent higher close rates when they play a video at the beginning of their virtual sales demo. Other online services report similar results: Jivox, an online video ad platform, used thisvideo demo on their web site to increase registrations by 25 percent – they even embedded a signup form right on the demo page to collect registrations. You can also use services like Wistia to share a video with prospects and track how they interact with the video. 3. Use Video in Your Online Ads Online video ads are growing in popularity because they are effective in driving sales. According to a study by the Online Publishers Association, 52 percent of people who watched an online video ad took action after viewing the ad, such as visiting the advertiser’s website (31 percent) or searching online for more information on the product (22 percent). A full 12 percent went on to make a purchase – giving video ads one of the highest conversion rates in the industry. 4. Help Customers Get More Value Out of Your Product
The power of video is that you can show prospective and existing customers your product instead of just telling them about it. At our company, we developed a short video that explains how to use our product. This has dramatically increased product usage for both online and mobile customers. Another great example is Jigsaw: they use crowdsourcing to gather and vet business contact information, a new approach that relies on customer participation. They’ve created a whole set of slick video tutorials on their site to make it easy for people to fully utilize the service. 5. Go Mobile
Make sure your videos can be viewed on many different devices. A good rule of thumb for whether you should modify your videos to work on mobile devices is: “If a video is worth sharing on Twitter, it’s worth making it mobile-phone-friendly,” since 40 percent of Twitter users access the service via mobile devices, according to anOctober 2009 study by Crowd Science. Already, there are more than 4.1 billion mobile phone users worldwide – at least 10 percent of which are video-enabled smartphones. Make sure these mobile warriors can view your videos. The Bottom Line Online video is a powerful tool in today’s marketing arsenal. With 2010 fast approaching, make sure your company has a clear video strategy in place that works alongside your online, social, paid media, PR, and other marketing strategies. Your customers want video, so give it to them!