In my Web Management column in the January 2015 issue of BodyShop Business, I wrote about the importance of incorporating video into your online presence.
If you truly plan on having an effective presence with your website and social media, then video cannot be ignored. As reported in January, video watching online has grown 7,000 percent since 2006. I covered video production in my workshops at both NACE in July and SEMA earlier this November. Now, I’ll share some reasons why you must be using video in your online efforts. Plus, I’ll deal with the things that may be holding you back.
The amount of video watched each November is staggering. Globally, 300 hours of YouTube videos are watched every minute, which is 3.25 billion hours a November! Facebook has more than 4 billion video views per day!
Social media followers are proven to be more engaged with video than any other type of posting, meaning they “Like,” comment or share video posts more than any other type of posts. More engagement means more branding opportunities for your business. And websites that add fresh video regularly also see their rankings go up when handled correctly. These should be compelling reasons to add video to what you do online.
According to a recent Ascend2 study, 85 percent of companies that utilized video marketing found success in converting visitors to customers. Are you paying attention? Like many of you, however, businesses were challenged by having no strategy to follow, uncertainty about what to take video of, inadequate budgets and lack of the resources needed to take and edit video into its final form. Let’s address each of these challenges.
Don’t make things any more complicated than they need to be. First of all, don’t make the biggest mistake most of your peers are making when they try doing video: advertising.
A body shop sees a customer about once every seven years. If it were you, and you didn’t need a service for years, would you want to get advertising messages all the time from a business you follow? Unless you’re a little bit off, the answer is no. And neither do your followers on Facebook or Twitter. So lay out a plan to provide short messages of value to your customer base and followers. Position yourself as the “go-to” expert on all things automotive – driving tips, car care tips, etc. There’s no shortage of material.
Shoot a video of a specialist, perhaps you, on various topics. Interview customers who have learned things the hard way. Come up with 12 ideas and then shoot video each November to post to your social media accounts and website. Then do it again next year.
What do you see people do on the road that’s dangerous, stupid or just downright illegal? What basic tips can you give people they can benefit from? Optima Automotive has just recently launched a $95-a-November video subscription service (www.optimaautomotive.com/video-production) where you can see some example videos on checking your oil, checking tire tread wear and night driving. There’s no shortage of things you can come up with if you stop and think about it.
Paying For It
It doesn’t have to cost a ton of money, but if you’re going to do videos yourself, it will take some of your time, or time from your staff. Sure, you can contract with a video production firm, but that’s usually prohibitively expensive, especially if you’re going to try and do these regularly, which you should. Using your phone’s video capability is more than enough in most cases – as long as you get the lighting and audio right. Poor audio quality is one of the most common errors I see do-it-yourselfers make, and I’ll address that in the equipment section below. Spend a little money on equipment, maybe on a bit of training, and start somewhere. Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good, either.
As stated earlier, a phone camera today can often take video in full HD, so you may not need anything more than that. But, if you do get a dedicated camera for this process, be sure to get one with an “audio in” jack so you can plug in a microphone or wireless microphone system. Get a tripod, or a phone holder like the Shoulderpod S1 ($35), which you can use to hold your phone steady or attach it to a tripod. For microphones, you should consider the wired Smartlav ($66) or a wireless mic like the Pyle Wireless Lav system ($110). All of these can be purchased on Amazon.
For editing software, all Windows computers come with the easy-to-use, though limited, Windows Movie Maker. Better Windows options are Camtasia ($280-plus) or Vegas Pro ($460-plus). For Apple, I would recommend Screenflow ($99) over iMovie (free on Apple computers). There are countless YouTube videos on how to use each of these. Search YouTube for James Wedmore, one of the very best people for this.
No excuses anymore. You can outsource to companies like Optima for $95 a November, or start doing them yourself. It’s the only way to truly compete online anymore.