Trying to keep up with marketing your business online can feel like a full time job. You might already be writing blog posts + newsletters, creating content + scheduling social media-- and on top of all of that, carving out time to actually run your business.
And now I have the audacity to ask you to think about adding video?!
I get it. I do. It can be A HELLUVA' LOT.
However, I recently sat down with content strategist + coach, Trena Little, to discuss WHY video is so important to businesses these days, as well as how you can easily add it into your marketing strategy, without adding a million more to-do's to your list...
Tell us a little about how you got started with your business; what’s your background and why the focus on teaching video strategy to business owners?
I learned how to edit videos in high school. I took an elective course where we learned everything from storyboarding, to producing, to filming and editing. I never thought I would actually go to Hollywood so I studied Marketing and Public Relations in college. When I got out the “right thing” to do was to find a stable, good paying job so that's exactly what I did.
During this time I got back into filming and editing. My husband and I were traveling to visit friends and we captured everything on camera. Each year I would make a Best Of video for all the best times we had and shared it on Youtube for all our friends to watch. I even started filming friend’s weddings as a behind the scenes type video, not their professional videographer. During this time I also went back to school and got my Master’s in Business.
When I got pregnant I become sucked into the Youtube world and beauty gurus and mom videos and made a channel to share my pregnancy and new mom story. I loved the community Youtube had. I know a lot of people are afraid of posting to Youtube and getting mean comments but I’ve been on Youtube for almost 2 years now and have only received kind comments!
So being the marketing major and business minded I really started to see how amazing video is for businesses. The know, like and trust it builds with an audience is amazing. I began to see how brands were partnering up with larger Youtube stars to sell their products and thought that was simply genius!
Long story short, I decided to quit the job I hated for 7 years (even though the pay and benefits were what everyone dreams of) and follow my dream to start my own business In January 2016.
We have a mortgage, car payment and 1 year old and no back up plan but I decided it’s now or never and I’m not spending my life living with the "what if's."
Do you believe all businesses these days need to incorporate some sort of video into their marketing strategy? Why/Why not?
Yes Yes Yes! As people start to spend more and more time online, they also become more skeptical of people and businesses online. If you can build a relationship with you audience first, they are much more likely to buy whatever it is you are selling. People need to be able to know, like and trust you before they buy, especially with online business. With a brick and mortar store they can actually walk into it, meet the sale’s person and know it’s probably going to be there if they have a problem with a product. Online business could disappear overnight and that’s what scares people from buying
Video is also great to build that relationship because if people like you, they are going to buy whatever you are selling! You will have a loyal customer for life if they are connected to you and feel like they have a relationship with you.
Is there a WRONG way to do video for business? Can you explain a few mistakes business owners might make when they get started? Or, do you have any “rookie mistakes” that you’ve lived through to tell?
Yes! Bad lighting, bad audio, not paying attention to your background! I tell clients you don’t need the top of the line fancy equipment to create quality, effective video, your cell phone will work. But what I see a lot of people doing is basically selfie videos. I mean how many videos have you seen of just a talking head all over Facebook?
It’s taken me a while to figure out how to light my videos so that they look professional. I’m only using daylight balanced light bulbs that cost me less than $20 and they fit into any lamp you have. My suggestion is to have a filming set up, and it doesn’t need to be fancy either. I use a plain blank purple wall in my house to film all my business videos. Then for my “mom videos” I add an end table, lamp and flowers to make it look more inviting, like you are sitting down to chat with me.
If you have a filming set up, you'll know where your lights go every time, how loud you need to speak, (to make sure you don’t sound too soft on the video), and have a tripod or a stack of books to keep your camera steady.
What are some of your “quick tips” for people who are interested in getting started with video?
Know what you are going to say before you hit the record button. I still write scripts for all of my videos so I know what I’m saying, I stay on task and, don’t ramble. The most effective videos are less than 3 minutes. So plan to keep them short and very informative.
Work with the equipment you have and make it look as professional as possible. Video will provide your business with a tremendous amount of benefits, but doing a video wrong can hurt your brand’s credibility and reputation.
Youtube or Vimeo? Do you have a preference for platform, or is there a reason why one is better than the other?
Youtube for sure. The plain and simple reason why is because it’s the second largest search engine in the world. I love the fact that people who might not have ever found your content before can find it on Youtube and it's there forever, unlike Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What’s the video you’ve made that you’re most proud of, and why?
I’m really proud of videos that I get to spend a lot of time editing. I love the editing process. With my "business tips" videos, I keep the process very simple and keep the videos very short. Those videos are for a specific type of audience that wants the content now and they don’t need any fancy editing to watch it.
Where as with my mom and lifestyle channel, I get to be a little more creative. Two of my most watched videos on that channel are my morning routine and my evening routine. I get to share with my audience a little bit of my personal life and how I handle being a mom and wife!
What do you think about sharing video on social media like Instagram, Facebook live, Periscope and Snapchat? And, do we need to be using all of them? How do we know which is best for our business?
Excellent, fantastic, do it! Snapchat is amazing, and a great place for video newbies to start. It allows them to start to get comfortable with being on camera, and they don’t have to worry about someone watching their videos if they don’t want them to watch.
Facebook live and Periscope are also amazing. The growth of live stream has been huge, and a major benefit for a lot of brands and businesses. One thing I do suggest is, once you have a live broadcast save it or download it somewhere then upload it to Youtube. Repurpose your content and allow it to be accessible to a whole new set of eyes that probably wouldn’t have found you on Periscope.
What’s your number one tip for those who are terrified of being on video?!
Honestly, just do it. The more you do it, the more you get used to seeing yourself on camera and hearing yourself, because that’s the number one fear holding people back. The problem is we perceive the way we sound in our mind, then when we hear ourselves and it’s not what we imagine; there is a disconnect which turns to fear.
That’s why you hate the way you sound. The fear is being caused by what you thought you sounded like and what you actually sound like. The only way to battle this fear is to just keep listening to your voice over and over! I’ve been there, I hated my voice. But the more I've done video and watched myself, I now no longer have that disconnect.
What else do we need to know about you? And, what’s next for your business?
I'm currently accepting clients, if you want to work on a video strategy for your business and get over your fear of being on camera.
I also have a 6 week group coaching program called Brand Building Video Academy that begins September 5th. During this Academy we are going to work through your fears of being on camera, build a video strategy that works for your business and lifestyle, and teach you how to effectively use Youtube as a 24/7 promotion machine to help you convert more leads to sales! This program is going to be kept very small so I can provide everyone individual attention so if you want in on this, now’s the time to save your spot.
I’m hoping to offer this 6 week program again before the end of the year, but I’m not sure if it will happen again until 2017 since I am due with baby number two at the end of the year! <<<< (woohoo CONGRATS Trena! 👶🏼)
So, what do you think? Ready to start adding in video to your current marketing strategy? Are you already on YouTube? If so, how do you think video is impacting your business? Let me know in the comments below!
Trena Little is a video content strategist and coach at TrenaLittle.com She specializes in making video content less overwhelming and stressful for bloggers, online entrepreneurs and businesses who want to optimize video content on YouTube to drive traffic to their website and convert more leads to sales.