Pretty much all internet users have watched a video online, many through Youtube, embedding a video onto your website has become quite a simple process and one that you should consider exploring. Way back when, using video on a website would take so long to load that they were impractical to use and most people would give up and leave the website before the video had even loaded.
Today it’s a very different process, by uploading a video to something like Youtube you don’t even have to host the video on your website, you can simply embed it thus having no impact on your download speeds. The reason download speeds are important is not only for user experience but also to help your search engine rankings.
We all have different ways of learning, some prefer to read and others are much more visual, so by introducing video to your website you are able to engage with those that would get bored of reading your web copy in the space of a couple of minutes. One of the other benefits of using video is that you can get a lot more information across in a much shorter space of time.
Video is a great way of demonstrating the personality of a business too, you can really get this across more than you can with a static web page, these tend to be quite cold. Some of the best ways to use video are to:
- Present your business services
- Demonstrate how to use a product/service using video
- Tutorials and how-to videos offering advice
- Present your latest blog
One of the things to bear in mind is that you need to produce a video that gives your potential audience the information they are looking for. If you are presenting a product you need to be talking about how it can help them solve a problem and not just barking on about how fantastic it is. Try not to make your video more than a few minutes, most people won’t stick around for any longer than this and you can end up diluting your message.
If you are a little nervous about putting together your first video, don’t be, you know your business better than anybody and so don’t worry about feeling silly, we all do on the first attempt. Oh and lastly don’t just make one for the sake of it, it has to actually be about something that people are interested in.
This is a question that seems to crop up a lot. It can be overwhelming to manage too many different social media accounts when you’re just getting started with social media marketing, so naturally you want to choose the most effective one.
Unfortunately there is no one right answer for every business. Facebook works wonderfully for some businesses and dismally for others, ditto with Twitter, LinkedIn and all the rest.
Business to business social media marketing tends to work well in LinkedIn, while business to consumer seems to work better in Facebook. This is a generalisation though and there will naturally be exceptions.
Different social media platforms tend to be more important for different industries too. For instance, in the education industry YouTube can be extremely effective, but in the Print and Newspaper industry it is not nearly as useful.
Here are a few examples of the most important social media for various industries*:
- The industries that seem to benefit most from Facebook are Fitness & Wellness, Retail, Travel & Tourism, Real Estate and Non Profit.
- Twitter is the most important social media for Telecoms.
- Businesses in the Development & Construction industry will usually find LinkedIn to be the most effective for them.
- Blogging is most important for those in the Professional Services, Medical Health, Manufacturing, Technology, Marketing Agency, Financial & Mortgage, Government & Politics and Print & Newspaper industries, though it can still be very effective for others.
- YouTube and Flickr can work very well alongside other social media marketing for some industries but are not usually recommended on their own.
*Source: WSI Social Media Experts Think Tank, July 2009
If you’re still not sure where to start, think about your target market and then decide which social media they are most likely to frequent. Of course your own personality and social media knowledge will also affect how effective you are on various platforms, so perhaps the best place to start is where you feel most comfortable.
Whichever social media platform you choose to start with, it’s important to make sure you understand how to use it properly to engage with people. Building relationships is one of the key benefits of social media, so focus on that and you won’t go far wrong.