I’d love to start with a bold exclamation: JUST USE VIDEO.
But I get it. You’re already busy juggling 5 social networks, a blog, email marketing, maybe some Facebook ads, and of course serving your clients and creating amazing results in your zone of genius. Not to mention trying to have a life outside of your work.
So I thought I’d share some compelling proof that in 2015 video went mainstream for marketers and switched from “nice to have” to an absolute must for businesses to grow and thrive online.
Want some real numbers? OK, let’s geek out.
According to Adelie Studios’ compilation of video marketing statistics for 2016:
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and video combined.
- Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users.
- Video drives 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines [including Yahoo, Bing, and Google].
- Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more; while homepage videos increase conversions by at least 20%.
- Native video uploads to Facebook have 10x higher reach compared to those shared via YouTube links.
Enough with the stats. I’m sure you’re convinced. Now you’re thinking “How can I do this?”
The explosion of video-based social networks not only proves there is a demand, but the speed at which those networks are catching on is faster than the growth of Facebook or Twitter.
Periscope, for example, started as an idea created by XXX to “share your journey with the world” and with in One year later periscope was acquired byTwitter for a cool $12 million. 4 months after being alive, there were already XXX million accounts, and every online influencer was talking about this exciting new kid on the block.
9 easy steps to add video marketing to your freelancing business.
FYI: You can even do this if you’re a camera shy introvert, or if you don’t have a million dollar equipment budget.
Step 1: What can you talk about?
Brainstorm 20 things you could easily talk about. Think about the questions you get asked all the time by clients or potential customers, or the explanations you have to make over and over again.
Now look back at your list, and think of how you could visually present these.
Are there questions you can answer in a 2-5 minute video? Do you need to demonstrate how to do something on your computer screen? Is it something where other people could join the conversation?
Step 2: Consider your comfort level.
What is your comfort level with technology and with being “on camera”? Are you OK with doing a live, unscripted presentation, or would you prefer to be able to edit out to your mistakes?
If you’re an introvert, you can avoid being in front of the camera by sharing a “screencast” video (a recording of everything on your computer screen, using software like Screenflow for Macs or Camtasia for PCs).
Prefer to have the spotlight on you? Then you can definitely record video with your camera or Smartphone, or even broadcast live online for an authentic, unscripted tone.
Step 3: Choose your video marketing medium.
This will be relevant to step one and two above. Both the content to share and your technical ability or way of teaching will impact which video marketing platform you choose.
There is an ever-growing list of video marketing options, but I’ll share an overview of three popular video platforms in next month’s blog post to help you choose.
Step 4: Study the big guys.
Research or “listen” first, before jumping in. Social media strategist Kim Garst spent an entire month devouring and studying Periscope broadcasts before she aired the first one of her own.
Watch people not only from your industry, but check out online marketers who are successful in that video medium to learn how they turn video into an asset for their business. Wherever possible, participate. Join the conversation.
How are they using their method a video? How are they integrating that with other social media and online marketing strategy?
Step 5: Take the plunge.
If you look back at early videos by even the most successful people, the first videos probably looked awkward and unpolished too.
Use whatever tools you have at your disposal right now, and get started.
This could as easy as using your iPhone, webcam, or digital camera to record. Then sharing the videos on YouTube or Facebook, or using your Smartphone to record and broadcast directly using Periscope.
The only way you will actually get better, is by doing it.
Step 6: Practice.
As with anything in life and business, practice makes perfect. Or at the very least “good enough”. Consistently put out video content for a month and you will soon see improvement.
Back to the earlier example, Kim Garst committed to 30 days of “scopes”. Before long she had her first 1000 followers, then quickly reached 1 million. After that Kim shared her personal tips as well as case studies of influential users, revealed how she had quickly grown her following and engagement, and created an online course dedicated to teaching others how to use Periscope effectively for business.
And guess what? She uses Periscope and video to promote her products and services.
The key is to take imperfect action, and stick with it. Try out one video marketing platform for a month, and see what happens. Really stick with it instead of jumping on board with the next shiny object.
Step 7: Analyze your results.
Once you’ve produced some videos, take a look at the videos you’ve created as well as the statistics and comments.
What did you do well? What can you impprove? What were your biggest successes? Are there any surprises (such as new traffic coming from somewhere you didn’t expect?)
Step 8: Rinse and repeat.
Now that you know how your first efforts fared, keep going.
Didn’t like the platform you chose? Try a new video format, and go back to step 1.
Step 9: Join a Facebook group
This is really a bonus step – it’s not necessary, and it could also fit under doing research in Step 4.
There are dozens of Facebook groups about every video marketing medium from Periscope to Blab to general video marketing. It’s a great way to learn, get feedback, ask questions, get support, test your videos, and get known.
Now that you’ve seen the whole process, I want you to you take a few moments to actually DO steps 1 and 2.
Go ahead, make your list. Think about your personality and communication style. Pop over and “stalk” some of your business crushes on Periscope, YouTube, or Facebook.
If you’re ready to roll, set yourself a goal or challenge to record at least 5 videos this month (or better yet, this week!). Share your plans in the comments below for added accountability.
If you’re still doing research, that’s ok. Stay tuned for part 2 where I’ll give an overview of three of the most popular video marketing platforms, and how they might fit into your freelancing business.