2020 has been a fascinating year for entrepreneurs. The COVID-19 pandemic has been utterly miserable overall, yet it has led to some positive changes. Consider the widespread acceptance of remote working and the growing acceptance that starting your own business, while risky, isn’t that much riskier than working for someone else. At a minimum, you can’t be fired or furloughed.
In recent months, people disillusioned with conventional employment (or simply finding themselves with a lot of free time in isolation) have decided to go into business for themselves, leaving the digital industry abuzz with activity.
While that’s a great thing in general, it’s actually making life harder for any given entrepreneur: the level of competition is so much higher.
Invest in Marketing
This means that it’s more important than ever before to invest in marketing with a focus on the online world. There are many different ways to approach digital marketing, though, and many forms of content that can be produced.
What’s the best way to handle business promotion?
Well, video marketing is reliably effective, yielding the kind of impact that other content forms can’t rival. In this post, we’re going to succinctly explain how you can get started with business video marketing in general, then look at five specific ways in which you can use video to expand your business marketing. Let’s get going.
How You can Create a Business Video
Many people avoid video marketing for their businesses because they believe it’ll be too complicated or expensive to attempt, but that isn’t the case. There are two viable approaches that can work very well: using animation, and using live-action footage.
Animation allows an incredible amount of creative freedom: anything you can imagine, you can include in your video. You can also choose any style you prefer. What’s more, there’s no need to do any actual recording, so you don’t need to have access to camera hardware, find locations, or go through a lengthy shoot. Good animation is also very eye-catching, so it’s very popular.
How can you create an animated business video? Well, the best way is to work with a video production company (like Creamy Animation, of course) that can help you with the ideation process, provide storyboards, and get results far beyond anything you could achieve in-house.
Live Action Videos
Live-action video has distinct pros and cons. What’s good about it is the authenticity of having a real person in the video: this makes it very useful if you want to just talk to the camera. It’s far more variable, though: it can be easier than animation or much harder depending on what you’re recording. It’s also harder to stand out with live-action video.
How can you create a live-action business video?
You can create a basic video by setting up a smartphone on a tripod, standing in front of a beige backdrop, and running through the points you want to make. It’s best to write a script ahead of time so it goes smoothly.
If you want to do something more sophisticated, you’ll need to work with a production company — and possibly even bring in a scriptwriter to make your script as good as it can be.
How You Can Grow Your Business with Video
Now that we’ve been through what it takes to create a business video (less than most people think), we can look at the specific approaches you can take. Here are five worth considering:
Effectively Showcase Your Products
Many of today’s entrepreneurs are operating in the e-commerce sector. It has a low barrier to entry, fits neatly with the remote-working model, and is something that anyone can pick up as they go along (regardless of their background). And when a given store doesn’t pan out, it’s unlikely to be devastating to the owner.
Those entrepreneurs can use video to smoothly showcase the products they’re trying to sell. Seeing is believing, as they say, and the trust gap inherent to online retail — shoppers don’t get to see the items in person before they order them — means that anything you can do to make people more familiar with a product will serve to mitigate their concerns.
Create Comprehensive Expert Tutorials
Much of content marketing is about providing value, then asking for value in return. If you can get someone to view you favourably, they’ll be more inclined to help you with whatever you ask of them: you can encourage them to consider your products, mention you to their friends, share your content, or support you in some other way.
This can generally be achieved through entertainment and education — and while it’s decidedly tricky to be consistently entertaining, today’s entrepreneurs can gain a lot of ground by creating long-form expert tutorials on relevant topics.
While it’s true that product tutorials are very popular, the advice can concern anything that the desired audience is likely to care about: for example, an entrepreneur in the wellness industry could release a video tutorial going through the process of meditation, or showing people how to prepare healthy meals.
Provide Updates on Events in Your Industry
Another way for an entrepreneur to demonstrate their expertise is to comment on news items from within their industry.
Even something as simple as running through the latest updates can work well, showing that they’re professional enough to care about what happens in their field, but they can go beyond that by offering their thoughts through commentary videos.
What do they make of what’s happening? Do they approve or disapprove of particular changes? How would they do things differently if they had control? An entrepreneur in the digital marketing field could not only detail Google’s updates but also comment on where they fall short.
In addition to impressing prospective customers, it would introduce them to other brands (and generate significant networking opportunities in the process).
Fully Establish Your Brand Identity
It isn’t enough to have great products or services these days. To win a lot of support and custom, a modern entrepreneur must have a clear brand identity: something that makes them laudable and worthy of loyalty.
For instance, they could communicate in a very relaxed and welcoming way, and prioritize the wellbeing of their employees and community over profit.
Brand identity elements can be mentioned in text pieces, of course, but not with anything that rivals the impact of video. Talking directly to the camera and explaining what they do allows a level of emotional vulnerability that can make a business owner infinitely more empathetic.
Earn side Income Through Monetization
Lastly, in addition to using video to develop their brands and move people towards general support through buying products or services, entrepreneurs can use the videos they produce to generate money directly through monetization.
Through a platform like YouTube, this typically involves allowing video ads to be displayed (and ensuring adherence to strict requirements).
That isn’t the only way to monetize video content, though. There’s also the option of arranging sponsorship deals: an option that opens up once you have enough followers to make it worthwhile.
If an entrepreneur can build up enough viewers for their video content, they can use video sponsorships to supplement their income and help their business grow.
To sum it up
Video content lies at the core of modern content marketing, offering creative freedom and a potential for meaningful impact surpassing that of any other content type. By using the methods we’ve looked at here, any entrepreneur can start to take advantage of it.
Larry Mutenda is the Founder and Creative Director at Creamy Animation. Larry is a multi-talented designer with over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing, and has a passion for fine art and design.