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As a savvy 21st century small business owner, you know that, despite the often upside down seeming ROI, you need to be marketing yourself on social media. 2016 saw a shift in people watching more video content, especially on their mobile devices. And looking back at 2017, it was clear that video as means of marketing was increasing in value.

One of the most interesting parts of writing these posts is seeing the numbers – and then looking at where they actually come from. It’s hard to get accurate counts when sites repeatedly repost data from 3-5 years ago as current, or worse, report the predictions made as far back as 2013 as “facts” today. Facebook isn’t the only site with fake news issues.

Regardless, while Facebook hasn’t made it to the point where it’s mostly video and almost no words, the social media sites themselves are constantly adjusting their algorithm to make video more important and visible. Likewise, since Google bought YouTube, video search results have risen in their rankings.

So, even though the numbers thrown around are a little skewed, video content is a dominating force for marketing. And these days video creation is much more democratized and achievable for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

So What Do I Make?

That’s the question isn’t it? Where do I come up with ideas for these videos? Especially if you’re going to be putting out at least one a week. Yes, one a week. So much like our posts on where do content ideas come from, I’m going to break down several ways to target your videos to get them seen, and, with any luck, shared. (And there’s no reason you can’t repost these videos on your business website as well!)

There are four main ways you can target your videos – to Educate, to Entertain, to Endorse, and to Engage.

To Educate:

Educational videos are the closest videos will come to mimicking or matching your content blogs. If you’ve done your strategic work, you know the questions your ideal customer is asking that brings them to you. This is your chance to let them see you answering their questions, briefly and succinctly.

No, do not just make a video of you reading the blog. That also goes for reading your PowerPoint slides during a presentation. Sorry, at least one of you needed to hear that.

Educational videos can also show your customers how to use an aspect or feature of the product or service you provide. It can be as simple as showing them the hot keys in your program, or the simplest way to set up your product. Make them feel like insiders by peeling back the curtain.

Speaking of that “curtain,” you can create behind the scenes videos to let your customers get a glimpse of the life or business behind the great and powerful Oz you are. These types of videos deepen your customer relationships and build brand trust.

Educational videos can also be an opportunity to share your unique take on things – get personal with wisdom, advice, or a thought-provoking idea, even if it’s not directly connected to your product or service. Let your personality shine – authenticity and transparency are key factors in viewer engagement.

To Entertain:

No, you don’t have to become Tom Cruise, dangling off an airplane or the Burj Kalifa to get your customer’s attention. But remember where video content came from – the best material is the most entertaining.

One way to connect – give the gift of a smile! Think about how you scroll through your social media feeds. There’s a reason GIF’s and Meme’s are exploding right now – they usually make people grin – or even better, literally LOL!

If they’re finding your content amusing, they’re more likely to not only engage with a comment or like, but share it across their social media feeds. A few videos like that will exponentially raise your cache on social media – the more popular any of your videos, the more all of them are exposed to viewers.  

Along the same line, inspiring videos can rapidly build your social engagement. How many times when you were in the doldrums of building your business did you pull out Rudy or Hoosiers, or Miracle or click on a Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar video on YouTube?

Even if you don’t have Will Smith style experiences to share with your audience, it’s likely that your own story is more inspiring viewed from outside. Or you can mine the stories that inspire you and retell them in your videos.

Speaking of Stories… Good storytelling is a vital aspect of your marketing approach in any medium. Sure not everyone is a natural raconteur, but you can learn and improve your storytelling abilities if you focus on it. And, again, feel free to be personal and even show and share your failuresif you dare!

To Endorse*:

Endorsement videos share new products or services being launched, or highlight updated features and upgrades. You could do a trailer for the new launch (it’s actually a publishing trend now), but you can also just sit on camera and show things off without flashy graphics and music.

Promoting sales or one of a kind promotions are also endorsement videos. Let them know about your Black Friday or Cyber Monday specials. The key here is “special.” If you’re running sales every week, or promoting the same special every few days, for a couple of months, like one client I worked with, people will get tired and click off. Urgency and scarcity make these sales work.

*Okay, I’ll admit, my original header for this section was “To Promote,” but I was trying to maintain the alliteration. Sue me.

To Engage:

Of course, this is what we’re hoping all of the videos do. But in particular, asking your viewers a question, posing a poll or requesting direct feedback is a great way to engage your audience. Remember, in the social media ranking, Comments are more important than Likes. Shares are the most valuable social media currency, which means you might want to re-read the “To Entertain” section.

The hardest and the easiest part of creating engaging social media videos is getting started. So why are you still sitting here reading this? Go! Make a video!

What? Oh, yes, of course, Grow the Dream can not only help you with your marketing strategy and drilling down to your ideal customer, but we can also create content for you – both blog posts and videos. If you’d like to learn more, just reach out and we’ll be in contact!