‘How to’ videos – customer support and marketing in one
What DID we do before YouTube came along? Entertainment, education, marketing… you name it, YouTube does it. Something like 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Small wonder given its viral marketing capabilities – according to a 2011 report by Forrester, 1 minute of video is worth 1.8m words. Here’s the link to a blog about the report (Aug 2011) which would set you back $499 to download).
And here’s some food for thought and an action plan focusing particularly on the use and accessibility of ‘how to’ videos.
I have a couple of clients for whom ‘how to’ videos are the perfect solution. As a medium, video (not just YouTube) is a great platform for answering questions and explaining/demonstrating benefits. So, if you run a business that attracts recurring questions and you’re looking for a cost-effective means of answering them, without losing the personal touch, look no further! Get it right and your ‘how to’ video will solve your customers’ problem quickly and easily, leaving them with a warm and fuzzy feeling towards you, your company or product. Customer support and marketing rolled into one!
Much of my work is in small business PR/ marketing so I’m always conscious of budgets, but getting it right doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t have to aim for anything flashy. YouTube et al are packed with content of hugely variable quality. The corporate stuff is inevitably slick. You’d expect a certain quality of a ‘how to’ video from big brands – Vodafone have a huge library of mostly ‘how to’ videos on YouTube, for example) but there’s loads of what I call ‘skinny video’ that lacks the wizzy production finesse but is equally informative. Obviously it depends what you’re selling and who to (some customers have more sophisticated expectations than others) but at the end of the day, a shaky hand, bit of background noise or poor light may make your video imperfect but by no means ineffectual. Content, after all, is king.
So, if this strikes a chord, here’s some entry level advice and an action plan for small businesses looking for affordable video:
- consider what – or who – you could bring to life with video to help market your product/company or strengthen customer relations (NB – don’t assume everyone will be good with a camera pointed in their direction – it’s not easy, as I discovered myself recently!)
- think about where you could film (somewhere light and quiet)
- put time into planning the content – what are your objectives?
- decide if you want to commission a professional cameraman to shoot your footage or if you have someone in your team who will step up. If you go this route, you’ll need a camera – we find the Kodak Zi8 very user friendly – and whoever is behind the camera needs a steady hand and a good eye for what looks right. It depends what you’re trying to do – DIY is sometimes a false economy.
- keep it short – most of us have the attention span of a gnat these days!
- get a YouTube account (free) and complete the ‘channel information’
- upload your video(s) – all pretty intuitive if you’re using YouTube – but there’s plenty of ‘how to’ advice available!
- make sure the title says exactly what it is/does e.g. ‘How to teach your dog to play dead’ – best way to get this right is to ask yourself what words people will use to pose their question
- use the description and keywords to help with social SEO
- share the links via email, blog posts and social networks
- keep an eye on the analytics
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