Web videos – inject personality into your online marketing
Web videos are revolutionising internet marketing. In 2006, just a year after YouTube was established, Google bought the video-sharing site for $1.65bn in shares, showing just how much the search engine giant valued online video even at that time. Since then YouTube has continued to grow and is now a powerful search engine in its own right, with millions of internet users visiting the site daily to watch a movie trailer, to find out how to fix their iPhone, or to watch the latest viral video that’s sweeping the nation.
So YouTube is here to stay. But web videos aren’t just there for entertainment purposes. More and more businesses are now creating web videos to promote their products and services and are posting them on their website, YouTube or both. There are many good reasons why businesses are turning to online video production, but the one I’d like to cover today is video’s efficacy in conveying personality rather than just showcasing products and services.
People buy from people
‘People buy from people’ is one of those annoying clichés you’ll have heard a lot if, like me, you’ve ever worked in sales. But there is lot of truth in it. While people tend to buy products based on their features and benefits, sometimes this isn’t enough – there are other factors to contend with, such as price or length of contract. And what if two companies are selling what is essentially the same product at the same price? In such situations there’s another factor that can sway them – the person selling the product.
By ‘the person selling the product’ I don’t necessarily mean the company’s sales executive. It could be a customer services advisor, account manager, the MD of the company – anyone within the business who comes into contact with a customer could make the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity. If the customer builds a rapport with that person, they’re naturally going to be more inclined to buy from them. It’s human nature.
So what does all this have to with video? Well, a video is a very direct, effective way of getting your personality across and marketing your business at the same time. It’s an opportunity for your potential clients to ‘meet’ you without actually meeting you.
Let’s assume you run a hairdressing salon. A web video would allow you to talk directly to your website visitors about your business, your passion for hairdressing, years of experience etc. Whilst you’re talking, the video could cut to shots of you and your colleagues at work, chatting cheerfully with your customers whilst expertly cutting their hair. What you say on camera will inform the viewer of your abilities – it will reassure them that you’re good at your job. Meanwhile the shots of you working will suggest that you’re a busy, vibrant company with lots of happy customers who all have great hair.
It’s nice to ‘meet’ you
But the general effect of the video will be more powerful – the viewer will be left with a sense of familiarity, almost like they’ve met you in person. As long as you come across as friendly and approachable, they’re likely to be left with a good impression of you. And you can bet that when they’ve finished browsing for hairdressers, the website with the friendly, professional video will be the one they’ll remember.
I’m not saying that the above example will work for every business. I’m also mindful of the fact that not everyone’s comfortable in front of a camera, and that not all personalities will be appealing to all people! This would be something that you’d have to decide for yourself. And there are other options – a testimonial video, for instance, in which your customers do the talking, or you could even go for an animation.
Whatever you decide, my advice is to get involved with web video sooner rather than later. It’s a powerful medium that is growing more popular all the time – and, to coin another cliché, if you snooze, you lose!