How to use Video Marketing to Grow Your Business

How to use Video Marketing to Grow Your Business


In 2017, 63% of businesses were using video
as a marketing tool. In 2018 that number rose to 81%. And in 2019, 87%. This is part of the reason why we jumped on
the bandwagon in 2018 and started publishing videos consistently. And it’s led to over 100,000 YouTube subscribers, millions of views, and thousands of new
paying customers. So today, I’m going to show you how to use
video marketing to grow your business, even if you’re in a so-called “boring” industry like SEO. Stay tuned. [music] Video marketing is powerful no doubt. And a lot of it has to do with accessibility. We watch videos on our computers,
mobile devices, and TVs. In fact, go to a metropolitan area like New
York, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, or wherever, and you’ll likely see videos playing on billboards. And the numbers speak for themselves. In a 2018 study, it was reported that 85%
of US internet users watched online video content every month. So with such high demand for video content,
how do we use it as business owners and marketers to actually drive revenue? To answer that, let’s first define video marketing. Video marketing is using videos to promote
and educate your target audience. It’s also used to increase brand awareness
and social engagement, allowing you to reach new and bigger audiences. Now, video marketing doesn’t mean you have
to create shows or be a personality that people fall head over heels for. A report from Hubspot Research shows that 54%
of consumers want to see videos from brands, which was higher than any other content type. Video is powerful for a few reasons. First, it allows you to demonstrate concepts
faster and more clearly. For example, as you’re watching this video, you’re
using your sense of hearing and your sense of sight together, creating a rich learning experience. Whereas text-based content limits you to just sight. For example, if you wanted to learn how to
do the reverse overlap putting grip, you might read this blog post. There’s an image showing the grip and it says… “Apply your left hand to the putter grip and then,
just beneath, rest your hand around the putter grip. Link both your hands by lifting the index
finger of your left hand and wrapping it over the fingers of your right hand.” Good luck doing that and getting it right. But watch this video for 30-seconds and you’ll
master the technique in no time. Second, video allows you to create
a personal connection with viewers, which shouldn’t be undermined. For example, I was creating videos for Ahrefs’
YouTube channel for around 6 months and then went to visit head office in Singapore for the first time. And when I walked into the office, the first
thing someone said to me was… “I feel like I already know you.” A few of the other people around us laughed
and agreed. Now, creating that effect through a blog post
is much more challenging. Third, you can reach audiences in places like YouTube, where video is the only way to play the game. Now, as powerful as video can be you’ll
need to create them so they a) resonate with your target audience; and b) ideally feature your products and services. So unless you’re making money through ad
revenues, views alone won’t pay the bills. So let’s go through four steps to create great
video marketing campaigns. Step one is to define your audience. And to do that, start by thinking of who your
product or services serve. Knowing who your audience is in terms of gender,
age, profession, interests, or whatever information you can dig up, can help you shape
the format and content of your videos. So if you have an existing list of customers, start there. Define who they are, what kind of problems they
face, how they found you, and why they chose you. You can do simple customer surveys or one-to-one
calls and ask them those specific questions. Get to know their business and the problems they face. If you don’t have any customers yet, you can use audience research tools like Facebook
Audience Insights. You’ll need a Facebook Ads account for this,
but this tool is completely free. Just fill out the information in the sidebar
of who you think your audience is. For example, let’s say I’m starting a new
tabletop games reviews channel. I’ll set the Country to United States
assuming that’s my target audience, and I’ll set the Interests to tabletop games. And now you can see some insightful things
like the majority of people being between 25-44. And if we go to the Page Likes tab, you’ll see some interests like electronics,
collectibles and video games. Below that are specific pages they like, which can
give you a good place to start for reviews to create. The next step is to define a primary objective. And there are three main categories for objectives. These are brand awareness, education, and
entertainment, aka. BEE. Brand awareness videos are usually short, and the purpose is to just make
people aware that you exist. Think of commercials you see on TV. It can be anything from McDonalds promoting
$2 Big Mac week or something like Slack’s Animals commercial, where they show a team using their
software to create a flying umbrella. The main point is that the viewer should know the
brand name and have an idea of what they provide. Educational videos are like the ones we create
on YouTube. Most of our videos are tutorials on SEO and
marketing strategies. And as a software company, we show how our tools
make these processes easier and more effective. And entertainment is self-explanatory. Think of shows or series. They’re often created as stories. For example, Red Bull does a really good job of this. They create series and videos around extreme
sports, which draws in their target customers. Now, just because you want to entertain, it
doesn’t mean you can’t educate or vice versa. But in my opinion, you should choose a primary
objective based on what you want to achieve. After you’ve defined your objective, it’s
time to create the content. While I can’t tell you exactly what to create
or how to create it, we can talk about a few sub-categories under the umbrella of video creation. So let’s talk about optimal lengths, formats,
breaking through common struggles, and how you’ll get these videos in front of the right people. So let’s talk about how long your videos should be first. Content length will usually be determined
by your primary objective. For example, a brand awareness campaign can
be as short as 15 seconds, and usually won’t exceed a couple of minutes. Again, think of commercials or those ads that
play before you watch certain YouTube videos. Educational content will be anywhere from
5 to 120 minutes. Our videos are usually 7 to 20 minutes, while
something like a webinar can easily go over an hour. As for entertainment, this will also vary
in duration. But I like to think of these kinds of videos as shows. This can range from 10 to 180 minutes depending
on the format. Speaking of format, this is where you’ll see
quite a bit of variance as it depends on your audience, objective, industry, and
the message you want to get across. Meaning, there are no set rules. But there is one format that I’ve seen work for
all audiences, all objectives, and all industries. And it looks something like this. Problem, teaser, and solution or story. Whether it’s a commercial, tutorial, or blockbuster
film, there’s always a problem. Problems make content interesting and it’s
something I recommend leading with. Next is the teaser. The point of this is to show that there’s a solution
to the problem, without giving it away. Finally is story or solution. And this will often depend on your objective again. For example, educational videos will usually
have a clear-cut solution. Whereas videos that go the entertainment
route will likely have stories that lead to the solution or conclusion. Let’s go through some examples. In the 2019 Super Bowl, Bud Light aired this
famous commercial. The problem starts when a giant barrel
of corn syrup is delivered to their factory. But since Bud Light doesn’t use corn syrup
in their beer, they tease the answer that it must be one of their competitors’ shipments,
like Miller Lite. The story goes on to show the journey of
delivering corn syrup to their competitor. Once they arrive at the castle, Miller Lite
says they already received their corn syrup, and suggests to deliver the barrel
to another competitor, Coors light. Bud Light gang heads over to the Coors’ castle,
and they gladly accept the corn syrup. As for educational videos, it’s easiest if
I use our tutorials as an example. With this video I started off by sharing how
important video marketing is. I then go onto tease the solution by showing how
we’ve used video to get over 100,000 subscribers, millions of views, and thousands of
new paying customers. Right now, we’re in the solution stage where
I’m sharing what we’ve done and a step-by-step way to use video marketing for your company. Finally is the entertainment route. Just think of your favorite sitcom. There’s always a problem, they often tease
what could be if the problem were solved, it leads into the story which is the bulk of the show, and ends with some kind of solution or conclusion. Now, I’m not saying that this formula is what
all successful videos follow. But if you’re struggling to find your own
unique format, try it because it works. Alright, let’s talk about some very real struggles
that come with the territory of being a video creator. Even though some of these roadblocks might
seem like huge problems in the moment, I promise that you can overcome them. So let’s break down the problems and solutions. Struggle #1: I’m not good in front of the camera. This was and still is one of my greatest struggles. I don’t feel natural standing here talking to
a lens, knowing that thousands of people are going to watch it. But the beauty of video is in editing. As you’ve seen from this video as well as
others, we use B-roll like screencasts, animations and text screens to take the attention off me
while creating better educational material. Another way to combat the jitters is to use
a teleprompter. This is what I use because it helps me deliver
as much information as possible in a short period of time rather than going off on tangents. Struggle #2: I don’t have equipment or
the budget to buy it. Listen…video production quality is overrated. Yea, we spend a lot of time trying to produce
quality stuff, but at the same time, it’s not a necessity to create impactful videos. You probably have a camera in your pocket
everywhere you go. It’s called a smartphone. In fact, when Tim started Ahrefs’ YouTube
channel in 2015, he created all his tutorials on a GoPro which is far from Hollywood equipment. But those videos took our channel from 0 to
2,600 subscribers in 5 months. No fancy cameras, microphones or backdrops. This brings us to the last common struggle. Struggle #3 is that English is not my first language. Tim is originally from Ukraine. And if you’ve watched any of his videos, you might
have noticed that English isn’t his first language. Being a child of immigrant parents myself,
I know there are personal struggles in terms of how you think others might perceive you. So I thought it’d be best to have Tim share
his experiences on how he was able to power through and overcome this challenge. Hey guys! So Sam asked me to share
my experience of creating video content while not being a native English speaker. Should I also say, not being even a fluent
English speaker? So yeah, I did have my hesitations to
start recording videos or audio content because of my strong Ukrainian accent. So much so that I even recorded a video-question
to Gary Vee Show asking him if my heavy accent would be a problem and if it would make people
jump to conclusions and not listening to my content. Well, what Gary said was that it is true
that some people would hate my accent and choose not to watch my content because of it. But on the other hand, there are tons and tons of smart,
intelligent people all around the globe for whom English is not their first language So my accent is absolutely of no problem
for them as long as the content is good. So here’s my advice for you. If you want to start creating video content
but you have an accent, don’t bother about it, just start doing it. If your content is good, you’ll find your audience and there will be many people who will appreciate
what you’re doing despite your accent. And one last thing. Please, tell Sam that this t-shirt looks
much better on me than on him. Type it in the comments, please. Thanks! The final part to this video marketing puzzle
is likely the most important. And that’s how you’re going to get views
to your videos. And I’m not going to talk about things like TV, but
I will focus on three online marketing strategies that I’ve used to get more views. First is through organic reach. And this means ranking your videos on YouTube
and Google as well as being recommended through other YouTube features like suggested
views and browse features. To prove that we’ve done this, here’s a graph
of our YouTube organic search traffic. We’ve invested a lot of effort into YouTube SEO, which has given us free and consistent
growth over time. And here’s the fruit of our labor from our
video SEO efforts. This graph shows free and consistent views
that we get from Google search. YouTube SEO works particularly well if your
main objective is education. Naturally, people are and will always be searching
for helpful tutorials on various topics. Rather than going deep into how to do YouTube SEO, we have an actionable tutorial on how
you can rank your videos in YouTube, which I’ll link up in the description. Another way to get views is to embed videos
on your blog or landing pages. If you have a website where you’re already
getting consistent traffic, it’s worth embedding your videos in relevant places. This is something we do regularly at Ahrefs and it’s probably one of the lowest-hanging
tactics you can do. From what I’ve seen, embedding our videos on
relevant posts have helped us rank these videos in Google’s video carousels, suggested clips,
and video search tab. Next is through other social media platforms. If you already have a following on Facebook,
Twitter, or LinkedIn, I’m sure you’re already posting videos there. Now, if your goal is simply to get people
to consume your content, you can try uploading the entire video to
the social platform and see how they perform. But if your goal is to get people to your
YouTube channel, then I recommend creating short teaser clips and uploading them to
the social platform. And within the description, add a link to
your YouTube video. Every industry is different and every audience
is different too. Try both of these tactics and don’t be afraid
to throw a bit of money into social ads. A little can go a long way. Speaking of ads, that’s the final strategy I recommend. With video ads, I’ve only tried them on Facebook
and YouTube. And from what I’ve seen, Facebook tends to work well
for brand awareness and lead generation videos. Lead generation videos are ones where you
ask people to opt-in for a webinar or something else that’s free. From there, you nurture the lead and then
try to sell your product. Facebook has arguably the best
audience-targeting features. So if you know your audience really well,
it can help you get engaged views fast. As for YouTube, we regularly use discovery
ads for full-length tutorials. These are ads that appear at the top of YouTube’s
search results as well as in the suggested sidebar. You can target audiences or topics much like
Facebook’s interest targeting and layer in demographic profiles. You can also do keyword targeting, where your
ads will appear when a user searches for specific words or phrases. Since our videos are mostly created to solve specific
problems, I’ve found keyword targeting to work really well to get engaged views, meaning long ones. Finally are in-stream ads, which are those
videos that play before a video. These work well if brand awareness is your objective. It’s important to take note of the format of these ads. For example, people aren’t able to skip the
first five seconds of the video. So two things you’ll want to do in the first
five seconds are a) grab their attention enough so they’ll
continue to watch; and b) make the focus on your brand. The second thing to note is that YouTube only
considers it a “view” if the user watches at least 30 seconds of your ad. Or the full video if it’s shorter than 30
seconds. This means, if your video is 31 seconds, and
someone watches 29 seconds of that video, you won’t be charged. So take that into account, too. At the end of the day, successful advertising
will come down to your targeting, the quality of the video, and how relevant it is to your
business and audience. I highly recommend trying out video ads. Even if you spend just $10 per day, you can get
hundreds of views. So by now, I’m hoping you feel an urgency
to start marketing with video. It’s insanely powerful and the fact that you’re
still here is a testament to its effectiveness. Now, if you enjoyed this video, make sure
to like, share and subscribe for more actionable marketing tutorials. And we’ve got a bunch of helpful tutorials on video
marketing so be sure to check out that playlist. I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

26 Comments

  1. You should also make a video on … How to create whiteboard animation video which gives you high authority backlinks……. Because animation is the Future and interesting to understand..

  2. Fantastic video, Sam. There's a ton that folks can learn from this channel (not just how to do SEO but how to make a great YouTube channel).

  3. Great video! We use ahrefs on a daily basis to grow our business and have seen amazing results! It's really streamlined our keyword research and how we track our results

  4. Just watched this with one of my employees and his first words after it ended were, "That was value." Great work Sam and the rest of the Ahrefs team! 👍

  5. How are you guys tracking ROI from your youtube channel? Is it viewable from the assisted conversions report in GA or how are you doing this?

  6. Great video! I also use Ahrefs regularly. Oh, and before I forget: the shirt looks better on Tim. 🙂 😀 Sorry, Sam, but anyway, I like your videos… 😛 Greetings from Hungary…

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