Here’s a short guide to help you implement video marketing this year.

In the custom install biz, we typically all share a love of video. Only it’s usually 4K video projected onto a huge UHD screen in a built environment with immersive surround sound, killer acoustics, and super-cushy seating. YouTube and Vimeo? Not so much. However, the time has come for brands and businesses to embrace video from a marketing perspective.

Video Marketing
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Creating video as part of your marketing strategy takes a lot of time, energy, scripting, shooting, editing, optimizing, uploading, and so forth. Sometimes, the life cycle of a video is short — the ephemeral nature of a tradeshow booth video, for example — making it hard for the small business owner to see the benefit of investing in video.

However, video is how most people on the internet prefer to consume content. In fact, YouTube is now the second-most-popular social media platform behind Facebook, with 2.52 billion active users. Instagram, with 1.39 billion active users, is making more and more video-forward adjustments to its platform, and then, of course, you have TikTok, which personally, I’m not a fan of for brands in our channel unless budgets are such that this can be added and not taken from another platform’s allocated budget. YouTube Shorts are coming in H-O-T, and their connection to Google from an SEO perspective cannot be ignored. You’ve heard me say this before: “Feed the beast,” which is to suggest that using all the tools a platform like Google offers will increase your results.

Most Popular Social Media Platforms chart

So, “to video or not to video” is not the question. Because there is no question that video should be part of your marketing plan. The question now is how to produce these videos. This month, we’ll talk about getting started with the types of videos and the various phases of the customer’s so-called “journey” with your brand. Next month, we’ll dig into how to get it done.

Videos That Attract Customers

Some brands do this with a video that plays automatically as soon as you land on the home page (be careful with sound here, as you don’t want to annoy your visitors, either). Your website is the spot for videos like an intro to your company or service, a how-to, or a testimonial. These intro-type videos should only be visually appealing, entertaining, and limited to one to no more than two minutes long. Videos should be produced in a square format for use on Instagram and Facebook.

Heads up: Social media platforms, which include YouTube and Vimeo, frequently change sizing parameters so it’s always best to check each platform’s sizing guidelines before uploading your videos. Once you publish a video to YouTube you cannot replace it without losing all the analytics that go along with that content. OUCH! Ask me about some painful and expensive lessons clients have learned by not heeding this warning.

Videos That Engage Customers

Once you’ve attracted the customers to your website and they’ve learned a little bit about your brand, now is your opportunity to engage them more deeply and get them into a sales funnel. This is where social media comes into play in a more robust way. With your intro videos on your website, social media presents the opportunity to do a bit more selling, without being to sales-y. At KMB, we always recommend approaching each video, no matter how hard the sell, with a healthy dose of authenticity. Engaging videos include things like webinars that give your customers further info while allowing you to be the authority on a particular topic. Q&A videos allow the audience to engage with you directly or watch later (make sure live Q&A sessions are archived!). Tutorials/how-tos/behind-the-scenes, and unboxing videos are also extremely popular and helpful, offering the customer a learning opportunity, something far beyond a pitch. You can even experiment with user-generated content, such as a new homeowner showing off his motorized shades or new high-end soundbar.

User-generated content is usually easy to find if you have an active social media following. Make a request that people tag you on social when they post a video (or photo), and you’ll be able to reshare this content or ask the user privately via DM for the raw file, which you can then add your own branding to, edit for length, and so on, depending on permission from the user.

Finally, consider video content that is simply part of great customer relations, such as a thank you video, a funny holiday greeting, a new customer welcome email, a walk-through of a project, a new brand introduction video, providing a quick “hack,” or fun way to use a product — things like that.

Of course, once you have converted someone into a customer, you must continue to please them or you run the risk of either losing them to another provider or them forgetting you exist. Stay in it to win it!

Stay tuned for next month’s column, where we will cover what it takes to properly plan and produce video. KMB has a lot of experience in this regard, having shot videos for clients for years. Give us a shout if you’d like to learn more at [email protected].

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A 25+ veteran of the residential tech & AV integration industries, Katye McGregor Bennett is the CEO of KMB Communications, a boutique communications firm that anchors the intersection of technology + design by connecting brands, buyers, and prospective audiences through creating compelling content and conversation that elevates and amplifies. In addition to co-hosting Design Uncut with Veronika Miller, Katye hosts two popular podcasts, Connecting Tech+ Design and AV Trade Talk. She is part of the DesignHounds influencer group and also serves on the NAHB Custom Technology Work Group, is a strategic advisor in the CEDIAHTA, and AVIXA communities, a frequent contributor to Residential SystemsConnected Design and founder of the AV Yoga group.