Startups and small businesses are facing more competition than ever before. Even if you have a unique idea, capturing the attention of potential customers so you can scale your business may seem like an impossible challenge.
Though there are many marketing tactics you could use to fuel the growth of your business, few prove more effective in today's digital age than nailing your video marketing strategy. This point really hit home for me when I interviewed Alex Brown, cofounder of the subscription beard care service, The Beard Club.
Thanks to some video marketing savvy, Brown’s company has generated over $10 million in revenue, while racking up hundreds of millions of views of their content on YouTube and Facebook. Your small business can also see significant growth if you employ video marketing the right way.
Communicating Your Value Proposition
One of the best reasons to use video marketing is because it helps communicate your company’s unique value proposition in a more engaging manner. As Brown explained, their most successful videos have been those which made people laugh but also did a good job highlighting what their products actually did.
For example, after launching a new hair growth product line, their team created a spoof of a stereotypical pharmaceutical commercial. “It’s a really funny commercial, and it got shared a lot because it was super funny,” Brown recalls. "It did really well as an acquisition tool because it communicated the benefits of the product—but in a really funny way. Those have been our best videos for both brand awareness and acquisition.”
This mentality drives the strategy behind each of his team’s video production strategy.
“We try to make people laugh and have a good time, which encourages them to share the video… and the more engagement a video has on Facebook, the more spend we can put behind it to help reach even more people.”
Moreover, the numbers back this idea up. An incredible 64% of online video viewers make a purchase after watching branded videos on social media—something that is sure to boost revenue if you can get enough viewers.
A Wide Range Of Tactics
Though funny commercials in the vein of The Beard Club can certainly prove beneficial, digital distribution has opened up even more ways for you to use video to spread the word about your business. I also had the opportunity to speak with Deyan Shkodrov, CEO of StreamingVideoProvider, to discuss some of the other ways small businesses can leverage video.
“Broadcasting live events is a fantastic way to not just spread awareness, but also increase your bottom line,” he explains. “For example, we worked with a company that needed to broadcast local sporting events—some of which would be available for free, some that would be available through a pay-per-view model. Strategic broadcasting ensured higher-than-expected audiences for their paid events. When live streams add value to the customer experience, they can boost your revenue in several ways.”
Many businesses may also benefit by providing educational video content. “You're an industry expert, so you should leverage that knowledge,” Shkodrov explains.
“Whether you’re teaching customers how to use your product or providing some life hacks, when you add value and showcase your knowledge, your audience will keep coming back for more. With the right setup, you could even further monetize your videos by creating low-priced educational courses.”
As these examples reveal, video marketing doesn’t just have to be a way to increase sales or customer signups indirectly. It can actually generate revenue in its own right.
“The heart and soul of our marketing and customer acquisition is great content. For us, it was a matter of getting those people on board,” Brown says. However, he recognizes that entering the world of video marketing can seem daunting for small business owners.
“It’s definitely tough when you’re starting out. It’s a question I get all the time. People ask how we initially afforded to hire a cameraman and video editor. Though that can be a challenge to navigate, there are lots of opportunities to find creative people that like working on commercials that would work for sweat equity and exposure. You just have to be really good at pitching your vision and having them get excited about what you're creating.”
Most importantly, you don’t actually need a big budget to get quality results. As Brown notes, freelancers, interns or even university students can help you craft quality content without the huge investments that would be required if you hired additional full-time staff.
Going viral doesn’t have to be your end goal, either. As Brown explains, “We’ve had videos that get millions of views but don’t produce a lot of sales. We’ve also had very low-budget commercials that were quickly done, yet have performed extremely well.”
The formula for success? It doesn’t lie in the budget. Brown’s team has shot videos for as little as $1,000 or $2,000. At the end of the day, success came down to educating customers about the product while also providing some level of entertainment. With the right people to form your creative team, a sound ROI didn’t depend on whether or not the video went viral.
The same basic formula can deliver equally desirable results for your business. Whether you’re selling an innovative product or providing a life-enhancing service, you need to find compelling ways to tell your story if you want to grow a strong, sustainable business. With the right techniques and high-quality production, video will deliver results that can seriously move the needle.