This article is part of SWOT Team, a new series on Mashable that features insights from leaders in marketing, brand-building and public relations.
In an age of ubiquitous viral photos and videos, 2015 is the veritable heyday of self-promotion.
Generation Y has become so adept at personal marketing — managing their personal brands everywhere from Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and YouTube — that they have turned the field into a form of entertainment and even surpassed small businesses in their ability to create a personal brand.
Despite brands’ ability to connect directly with consumers on Twitter or other social media platforms, only 22% of companies see the value of creating a personality for their brand marketing.
So why are young people so much better than brands and businesses at connecting with people online? The answer is simple: Individuals have learned to live and breathe their personal brands, whereas many professional marketers still view growing a brand as, well, a job.
Injecting personality into a company’s online presence is what sets that organization apart from the crowd. Video is the perfect venue to showcase the “you” of your company.
Video marketing is exploding in popularity, and with good reason: According to a report fromVidyard, more than 70% of marketers say that video produces conversions better than any other type of content. Additionally, an Animoto survey last year showed that 73% of U.S. adults are more likely to make a purchase after watching an online video explaining a product or service.
Your video marketing endeavors will never be successful if you think of them as a task to perform, delegate or measure according to metrics. You need to start thinking about video as a channel for making personal connections.
1. Personality is the key
To take advantage of video’s potential, you have to know how to use it. The most important way to achieve video marketing success is to make a personal connection on camera.
This point may sound obvious, but the majority of marketing videos miss it. Impersonal shots of landscapes or assembly lines aren’t going to grab a viewer’s attention in the way a real person speaking to the camera will.
Take, for instance, Michael Dubin’sDollar Shave Club. The company’s chief executive officer played up his outgoing personality and impressive grasp of Internet memes, and made himself the star of this video. In other words, Dubin used his personality and sense of humor to convey product messaging in a way that supported the brand.
As the Dollar Shave Club example represents, you don’t need loads of experience and a TV promo to amplify your on-camera personality and connect with viewers. Adding a human element to your video can be as simple as you (or someone at your company) facing the camera and saying, “Hi, I’m [Your Name Here] and I want to tell you about our business.” Authenticity is the key factor. Whether you’re selling web design or razors, focus on how your company stands out.
Don’t have the production skills and resources available that Dollar Shave club had access to? Effective small business videos can be much easier to execute and conceptualize than you might think.
A good example is a bootstrapped video featuring the owner of Paulie Gee’s pizzeria in Brooklyn. Coal oven pizza isn’t necessarily unique, but Paulie Gee lives for it and his video demonstrates how deeply he cares for this delicious pizza.
Paulie’s video highlights not only his personality, but also the process by which his product is created. Watching it makes you realize that you’re hungry and also appreciate the product as a reflection of its creator’s values. And apps like Snapchat and even newer players Meerkat and Periscope make it easier than ever to create video content for your brand.
2. Give your product a personality
While Paulie Gee’s Pizza and Dollar Shave Club use direct-to-camera shots to demonstrate personality, you don’t always need a representative from your company to showcase your brand’s personality on video.
“This can be really helpful in your videos if you want to keep people engaged in listening to the message,” he says.
Sometimes, however, a video with a talking head can be so engaging that customers become distracted from the calls-to-action outside the video on your website. In these instances, using video to give personality to a product or space is a great alternative.
Espaço Cultural 512, a restaurant and performance space in Rio, produced this video showcasing their venue and vibe. As the music picks up with quick shots of carefully crafted cocktails and dancers, the atmosphere becomes fast and vibrant. There isn’t anyone speaking to the viewer — rather, the story is told through music and dance. You get a vibrant sense of the place — and what makes it special — all in under a minute of video.
3. Why small businesses need video
While video may seem like an expensive trend that is out of the grasp of many small businesses, it can be an inexpensive and effective marketing tool for even the smallest business.
Today, if you have a smartphone, you can make a great marketing video. A one-minute video highlighting the things that make your company unique could become your best customer acquisition tool.
According to entrepreneur and author Seth Godin, “Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.”
Today, individuals are competing with businesses in the race to get the public’s attention — and the individuals are winning. If you put the personality that drives your business front and center, you have the opportunity to get people as excited about your business as you are.
“The original article can be found at http://mashable.com/2015/04/02/video-marketing-small-business/#qbX26ivZCuqn