For most SMBs, launching a Super Bowl ad video isn't possible, but you don't need a viral or national sensation to tell your story.
Video can be a great way to connect with your audience and increase brand awareness; there is a reason companies spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads each year.
But most small to medium sized businesses can’t necessarily afford big-time advertising budgets. For many companies, a good online video helps engage your audience and tell your story, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a viral or national sensation.
It can be intimidating when watching expensive commercials or elaborate corporate videos by large companies; especially when imagining how a great video could help your small business. But there are many ways you can use video to make a big impact on your bottom-line and help promote your business. Launching a successful video doesn’t take big dollars, just good ideas and proper implementation.
For example, Wasp Barcode Technologies has used their in-house creativity and skilled local freelancer editors to help produce videos that get views in the tens and hundreds of thousands on their own YouTube channel; videos that engage their viewers and promote their products at the same time.
Related Article: 4 Ways to Lower the Cost of Making a Business Video
Here are the keys to a successful online video launch:
1. Choose the Right Story To Tell
Picking the right subject or topic is important to increasing public interest in your story and your brand. You want to try to find subjects or topics that are memorable or entertaining and will grab and hold people’s attention. This often means working with customers to tell their stories and, in the process, tell your own story.
In the case of Wasp, while some may not find barcode technology itself that interesting, they work with a variety of companies that are in exciting industries and the way they put technology to work can be very memorable. From Monster Trucks to the police and emergency departments of the City of Dallas to life saving healthcare solutions, when thinking about potential video topics, try to find customers who are doing things people will be interested in learning more about.
While telling the stories of your customers, you can educate viewers about what your company does and how it might help them.
2. Keep It Short and Sweet
Remember your medium; online videos may give us the opportunity to exercise our inner filmmaker, but don’t get too carried away. You aren’t making a feature film and can’t expect your audience to pay attention for too long.
One of the great things about online video and YouTube is the ability to track and understand how people are interacting with your content. Utilize YouTube analytics to figure out what is working and what isn’t. One big takeaway has been to keep it short. Two minutes or less is ideal for a company profile or testimonial, while up to five minutes can work for a more engaging story.
3. Use Search Engine Optimization to Reach Your Audience
Once you have your video, you need to get it to the right people. YouTube is the second most popular online search engine and setting up your YouTube videos with proper search engine optimization will increase their discover-ability, making them more likely to surface in searches.
An easy first step is to make sure you use a few of the key words associated with your product, industry, or brand, in the YouTube title and in the video description. Tags are also an important tool to increase the discover-ability of your video. Keep track of which tags are most relevant for your industry and products and make sure to use them. Branded thumbnails are another useful tool that can be utilized.
When you get YouTube SEO right it can lead to great results and big returns.
4. Be "Social" With Your Social Media
Take advantage of your powerful social network. Building a relationship with your brand evangelists will help spread your videos throughout the Internet. It is extremely powerful if your employees, friends and family will share your content with their social circles as well.
Social media is a long game. If you don’t have the large following today, start building it now, immediately. If you have outstanding new video content and no audience to share it with, your video will not reach an audience.
Socialmediaexaminer.com has several great tips to help you achieve a successful launch. A couple examples include, creating a pre-launch teaser campaign on Facebook or a simple clickable tweet, with the text pre-populated, will encourage your audience to spread the word.
Per socialmediaexaminer.com, here are some possible places you may want to mention your new launch:
- In a banner ad on your blog
- In your Twitter bio and background image
- In your podcast
- On your Facebook page cover image
- On your Google+ page
- On your LinkedIn company page
- On your “About Us” page
Online platforms like YouTube and Facebook make it easier for small and medium sized companies to produce and promote their own videos to their audience in a scope that wasn’t previously possible. Now, when you see expensive commercials by big advertisers, instead of being intimidated use them to your advantage (i.e. a way to understand what people are interested in and the kinds of stories that connect), then apply those insights and these three strategies to your own online videos.