Video marketing for business during COVID-19 can replace trade shows, keep customers engaged, and promote brand transparency.
COVID-19 has spread to all 50 states and to almost every country in the world. Along with the pandemic, governments have curtailed business activities and cautioned citizens to stay home as much as possible. As businesses struggle to adjust to this new reality, they’ve had to rapidly adjust marketing plans to cater to very different consumer behaviors and their own uncertain futures.
Uncertain or not, marketing has to continue or your business may not enjoy much of a future at all. Even if your have to operate with a tighter marketing budget, video marketing for business will provide you with a very useful tool and good potential returns for your brand and bottom line.
How to use video marketing to help your company overcome the pandemic
You may wonder if you have the funds to invest in video marketing for business right now. As your business environment has changed, you will probably find some other marketing items that you have to cut anyway. For instance, typical businesses allocate 30 to 40 percent of their budgets to attend trade shows and conventions. Since most of you won’t have the chance to travel anywhere soon, you might as well redistribute those funds. With that in mind, consider ways to make good use of your video content.
Create a video for business trade shows
In fact, you can work to replace those in-person meetings with virtual meeting via videos. For instance, if missing trade shows means that you also miss opportunities to connect with potential customers, why not host your own version of the event online. You can repurpose keynote speeches as videos, feature other speakers in their own videos, and host webinars to replace the meeting sessions you may have planned.
Invite everybody who had planned to attend the original trade show and put out the word on social media. Try to engage online influencers, and if they’re big and enthusiastic enough, invite them to present their own video too. This is a good time to share resources and develop partnerships. You might actually draw a larger audience online than you could have in person, particularly if you record everything to let your audience either tune in live or later at their convenience.
Keep in touch with customers
During a crisis like this, your customers won’t find your silence golden at all. In fact, you’ll want to do more to ensure you stay on top of your customer’s minds. If like many other businesses, you’re struggling with suppliers and distribution channels, you can produce a video to explain why can’t deliver exactly the same kind of service that you’re customers have come to expect from you.
Some other things that you should let your customers know could include:
- How hard you’re working to ensure employee and customer safety
- Any changes that might impact planned operations or scheduled events
- Details of your more flexible refund or cancellation policy in response to your customer’s needs
In other words, you worked hard in the past to set your customer’s expectations. If you can’t meet those expectations, you can develop a video to explain your situation. In the midst of a global pandemic when over 20 million Americans have had to file for unemployment in just the last month, your customers will understand and appreciate your transparency. Still, since they’re all likely dealing with plenty of their own uncertainty, they won’t appreciate your silence.
Keep customers and prospects engaged
Lots of small businesses have gotten pretty creative with their videos lately. They’ve tried to cater to the needs of customers, most of whom have to stay home themselves. For instance, restaurants have started to produce cooking videos and fitness centers have uploaded at-home workout classes. Lego, the toy manufacturer, has started increasing its like of educational videos to help the millions of parents who are suddenly confronted with the challenge of home schooling. Your videos don’t necessarily have to sell your products or services; however, they should help to sell your brand.
Local video marketing can enhance new distribution models
Most retail stores have been forced to close their doors to customers because of the pandemic. Some of these stores had really not developed an eCommerce presence well before the outbreak. Still, they have creatively adapted online videos that can duplicate customers the experience of browsing around the store. Using these, they can take orders through their hastily developed eCommerce sites, simple forms, or even over the phone.
Is video marketing for business effective?
Zach Basner directs IMPACT’s video marketing strategy. As he put it, video offers the only digital way for people to see, hear, and even get to know you. It gives you an opportunity to make connections even when you cannot meet people in person. He also believes that small businesses should not concern themselves too much if they cannot access high-end video equipment during the crisis.
While it’s important to produce valuable content that’s good enough for people to understand your message, you shouldn’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good-enough. If you need to choose between shooting your video at home on your cell phone or not producing video at home, use what you have. He also says that production companies may have also lost businesses and may be more willing to help edit those videos for a reasonable rate than they might have been in the past.
Do what you can and seek help when you must; however, it’s important to get those videos produced and uploaded, even if they’re not as perfect as you would like. Basner also said that user-generated content tends to perform quite well on some platforms, so your imperfect production might blend in even better than a finely polished piece.
Basner also mentioned that you might enjoy bargains when you’re posting video ads on social networks and search engines. Bids have dropped along with ad volume. If you’re coping with a trimmer marketing budget than usual, you can bet that your competitors have the same limitations. Right when the weaker hands have folded, you can benefit by making some bold moves to retain customers and strengthen your position for the future.
Can video marketing for business strengthen your company?
As HubSpot pointed out, a decade ago, lots of businesses considered video marketing an expensive luxury. Now it’s become accessible and recently, even more affordable. Out of all marketers who employ videos, 92 percent confirmed that it’s a vital part of their marketing strategy in a recent HubSpot survey. Even more, almost 90 percent of these marketers confirm that it provides them with positive returns.
Of course, some video marketing pieces perform better than others. That’s why you should not abandon developing a sensible marketing plan that defines goals, sets metrics, and tests performance. You should also consider the platforms that you plan to use. Most marketers use Facebook and YouTube. Facebook tends to perform better with short, punchy content, while YouTube viewers appear to have a somewhat longer attention span. Lately, TikTok has begun to emerge as a successful platform, and B2B companies have enjoyed success with LinkedIn.
In any case, your efforts to improve your national or local video marketing efforts can serve you well during the current situation. When you can’t meet with people in person, you can give them the next-best thing with online videos. Because you don’t have to meet with everybody, you should even have a chance to expand your reach. Your business can retain the connection with your current customers and attract new attention.
Eventually, businesses will emerge from this global crisis. You will have the chance to open your doors to the public and travel to trade shows and conferences again. Then, you might compare the returns you get from these in-person meetings with your video ads. You might find that your stronger video platform can continue to serve your company well for many years in the future too.