Walk on to any movie set and you’ll likely see a cast and crew of thousands, scurrying around like busy little ants -- makeup artists, cinematographers, producers, screenwriters...not to mention grips and gaffers. Observing all the controlled chaos may lead you to decide to leave film production to the professionals. But creating your own videos is easier than you might think and more rewarding that a gold statuette to gather dust on your mantle. In as little as 30 seconds, you can create something that will have your audience on the edge of their seats with their hands reaching for their pocketbooks.
HOW POPULAR IS ONLINE VIDEO?
Consider this: according to Nielsen, 166.9 million unique U.S. video viewers streamed almost 22 billion videos, in November 2011. [SOURCE: Nielsen Wire] Of even more interest to craft retailers, Nielsen also found that in one month (August 2010), over 25 million American women streamed video via social networks. [SOURCE: Nielsen Wire] So…why marketing with video? Since crafts are a very visual experience, it only makes sense to add a video component to your marketing mix.
Put a face on your business: When your audience watches your videos, they come to relate to you on a more personal level as they experience your personality and overall passion for your topic. If they have become acquainted with your through your videos, they are more likely to feel an instant rapport with you when they enter your store.
Establish yourself as an expert resource: When you show your audience something that interests them, you automatically tap into that place in their brains that says, “Ah, these people can give me what I need, so I can do what I want.” The next time they want to learn more, they think of you and your business as an informational resource.
Appeal to multiple learning types: Online video helps your customers better understand techniques and processes - the how-to. You can make all the handouts you want, but some people just learn better by watching, listening, or doing. Video marketing is the perfect way to communicate with those visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. All those in-store demos you do for new products make great video content and take just a few minutes to record.
BECOME YOUR OWN PRODUCER
While producing a video may sound like an intimidating idea, you probably have the basic skills and are using them already. If you’ve ever recorded a quick video on your smart phone or Flip™ video camera at a family gathering and popped it on to Facebook, you’re all set! Now you just need to approach your videos more strategically.
Begin by becoming more aware of recordable moments in the daily life of your store. Record footage of product demonstrations, classes in session, and impromptu Q&A sessions with customers. All of this content is information your audience already wants - why not record it so they can access it online on their schedule?
Inform your staff about your video marketing plans, and ask them to brainstorm ideas for content. You could also set aside a day for a staff retreat to crowdsource content ideas and record videos. Have each staff person create at least one video a month to add to your archives.
Create a video editorial calendar, so everyone knows what topics have already been posted, and what’s coming up. Upload one new video a week, rotating through different staff or customer “hosts”. For videos with a more polished appearance, take some extra time to set up an in-store “studio” with extra lighting and a variety of camera angles. Hang a neutral sheet up against a classroom wall for a non-distracting background. Consider including a store banner, so your business name and logo is included in every shot.
Conclude your videos with a call to action - educate your audience on the next step to complete this craft (and do business with you). An invitation like, “Come in today to try out our selection of punches at Once Upon a Scrapbook,” or “Join us every Friday night at The Yarn Barn for our Sit’N’Stitch sessions,” will remind your customers of what they probably already want to do.
Share your videos so others can too. Since so many women view their video content on social networks, your videos should be there too, so your audience can share them with their friends. Sites that make it easy to share videos include YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Revver. Don’t forget to embed the videos on your blog and post to your Pinterest account. The whole point of social media is the shareability of content.
Even if you don’t have the wardrobe budget, personal trainer, and makeup team of a Hollywood star, you still have valuable talent to bring to the small screen. It’s time to make your digital debut.
What to Film
- A tour of your store/staff introductions
- Product demos
- Technique tutorials
- Customer testimonials
- Holiday/occasion gift guides
Craft Video Producers to Watch
- RobertsCrafts - check out their “Try It Thursday” series of videos
- CreateForLess offers video tours of their online storefront and crafter videos that highlight how to use the products they carry.
- Northridge Publishing - Add magazine videos to your Favorites list too. Their market research fuels their content choices, which makes you seem saavy and in-the-know as well.
- Find expert retailer tips from industry insiders Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender.
Originally published in Creative Retailer magazine, April 2012
BONUS! Not included in the print article! Video Marketing Resource Links
- How Women Connect, Catch Up and Find Comfort with Online Video | Nielsen.com
- How to Use Video to Market Your Business | Entrepreneur.com
- Definitive Video SEO Guide
- Flip Video For Dummies Cheat Sheet | Dummies.com
- How to Make YouTube Part Of Your Social Media Marketing | Fast Company