You can’t deny the numbers. According to a Cisco report, video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020. Another report says 62 percent of businesses that use video believe it’s increased their organic traffic.
SCORE talked to Cynthia Knapic, Head of Animoto for Business to learn how small businesses can best incorporate video into their marketing strategies.
Q: How does using video impact marketing success?
A: Small business owners need to be aware their customers are spending their time on social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, and they need to deliver the type of content that people enjoy, which is video.
And when they do that, it works: We recently conducted a survey of small businesses and their use of video marketing, and found 77 percent of professional marketers and small business owners who have tried video marketing said it had a direct impact on their businesses.
Q: Where should you post videos you create?
A: It only makes sense to “fish where the fish are”—so make your content is available on the channels where your customers already spend a lot of their time—and that is on social media, increasingly via mobile devices.
Q: Is there an ideal length for a marketing video for a small business?
A: The length of your video is less important than the ability to tell a cohesive and concise story. Videos that try to share too much can get confusing very quickly. And, by getting laser-focused on telling one message, it’s easy for people to digest it and share with others.
Q: Is the shift to video coming at the expense of other marketing methods?
A: Digital influencer, Jay Baer, says that video is the new blogging. And I agree wholeheartedly with that. We’re going to see a lot more marketers creating videos more easily and frequently because, as we’ve seen with other marketing methods, the rise of new technologies and easy-to-use video tools are democratizing video creation and empowering people to participate in the shift to a video-first world.
Q: Are there different formats? Which one is best?
A: Yes. Over 90 percent of Facebook’s daily active users access the platform on mobile devices, and we’ve found that square format videos perform best for mobile viewing. That makes sense because square videos take up 78 percent more screen space in the mobile social news feed than landscape videos, improving viewability and engagement. Additionally, a recent study showed view rates for square videos are 28 percent higher, and consumers are 67 percent more likely to complete viewing square videos over landscape.
In fact, this week we updated our Marketing Video Builder to enable businesses to create square videos. The feature is already doubling social performance for major brands like Billboard magazine, Brussels Airlines, Buffer and the Jane Goodall Foundation.
Q: So many business owners think their videos must go viral. You can’t plan for that, can you?
A: Yes, you can plan for it.But like blogging, it’s usually not an overnight miracle. After all, the brand or influencer you admire most for producing amazing videos didn’t just wake up one day with millions of views. Their success is the result of time-consuming hard work to develop video content consistently, and investing in video on social media.
Q: Can you share some statistics on the growth of video.
A: We’re already seeing the number of small businesses utilizing social video to engage with their customers reach new heights in 2016, and expect that trend to continue. On a recent earnings call, Facebook reported 1.5 million businesses uploaded at least one video to their Facebook Business page per month. That number has doubled since then, and will only continue to grow as more small business owners understand the power of video, and begin to implement it into their ongoing marketing strategies.
Q: Should business owners DIY video production, hire a contractor or find an online solution?
A: If there’s anything I’ve learned while helping small business owners and brands create video marketing content, it’s that you don’t need high production values and a huge video department to create video content that will resonate with your customers.
I encourage business owners to research all their available options including online tools to create video—don’t let a lack of sophisticated video skills or a limited budget keep you from experimenting with video and incorporating it into your marketing campaigns. Across the board, social platforms are prioritizing video content, and marketers need to be a part of that conversation or risk losing out on crucial audience engagement.
Q: Are there best practices for using video in your small business marketing?
A: Make it timely. Social media is all about living in—and talking about—the moment. If you can make your marketing content timely and become a part of that conversation, you will have a much greater chance of successfully engaging with your customers.
Keep it concise. Get laser-focused on telling one specific story, and you’ll keep your audience engaged. You can always make another video later if you have more to say.
Keep it simple. Video content doesn’t have to be highly produced or complex to succeed. It’s better to start somewhere than to miss out on the great results that video can bring for your business.
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.