CAROL MEINHARDT COO, CHICAGO WEST PULLMAN
Deciding on an advertising budget and determining how to spend it can be among your most challenging decisions. Advertising options have changed and expanded considerably over the past few years, and updating your strategy definitely means taking advantage of the new, digital marketplace.
So how can you create a dynamic advertising campaign with a limited budget? Video.
Video gives you the opportunity to interact with your customers by allowing them to get to know you and your business, and feel comfortable with you. This is especially important for small, local businesses. Forrester Research Group says “video is 53 times more likely than text pages to appear on the first page of a search engine.” Read: video drives search results. On the OurTown website, articles that include a photo array or a video are more easily searched on the Web and receive three times as many clicks as articles without these features.
Adding video to e-mail marketing boosts customers' interaction—such as opening the email or clicking on any of the content—by as much as 200 percent to 300 percent, says Marc Fleishhacker, managing director at WPP's Ogilvy Consulting.
You can, of course, hire a production company and have them make a video for you. But if that option doesn’t fit into your budget, you can make a very effective video yourself using simple software or an online video service. You should be able to put together a great video for less than $50. Here are some tips to keep in mind when making your advertising video:
Keep it short. Studies show that we have an attention span of about 30 seconds. So if you are making an advertising or branding video, say what you have to say and then save the rest for follow up videos.
Combine video and still images. Mixing videos and stills of your product, employees, location and anything that you believe will interest your potential customers will add variety to your video ad.
Add a personal message. The message can be from you or one of your employees, or it can be a testimonial or recommendation from one of your customers.
A little humor never hurts. Sometimes your own gaffes in making the video make it even more appealing.
Give your videos a call to action. Make it clear what the viewer should do after watching the video. Add a coupon or special offer.
Make sure your customer knows how to find you. Don’t forget to include your phone number, address, website address and e-mail. If you have a brick and mortar location, you might even want to include a map.
Distribute your video in every way possible. Promote your video through an online ad campaign, e-mail, social media, YouTube and even your own website. There are online video services that will provide all of these services for a price if you don't want to do it yourself.
You may think this sounds like a lot of trouble, but you do need video. Video engages your customer and sets you apart from those static ads you see on the Internet. It allows you to tell your customer what differentiates you from your competition. Your videos can help you have a face they can recognize and come to trust. That’s the kind of relationship you want with your customer.
OPEN Cardmember Carol Meinhardt is co-Managing Member of Chicago West Pullman, an investment holding company and the COO of vADz, Inc, a social video advertising platform, and OurTown Media, a hyper-local news network.