Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Video marketing - 6 tips for pest control marketing

YouTube started in February of 2005 and -- like so many other stories from the early days of the net -- rose meteorically to become one of the most dominant forces on the web. The site, which is now owned by Google, receives more than a billion unique visitors every month. According to Cisco, by 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic. And that's just YouTube (though admittedly they are by far the most dominant player with over 71% market share in the US, according to Statista) . Don't forget Facebook videos, Netflix, Vimeo, Hulu, Vine, and dozens of other providers.

Aside from you getting your daily kitten video fix, what does this mean for you as a business owner and marketer? 64% of marketers expect video to be a part of their strategies in the near future. If you are not contemplating how to use video in your marketing, you are already falling behind.

Here are a few quick tips for how you can get started, or get ahead, in your video marketing.

1. Develop a unique voice
Just like in traditional marketing, you should have a standard look, feel, and sound in your video marketing. If you have not yet created your own YouTube channel, that is step #1. This is your "store front" for all of your videos and is an easy way for you to showcase your stuff.  One of the cardinal rules of traditional print marketing was always to have your print ads look similar, or at least have a unifying theme, so that your customer could know at an instant what your product or service is. (Think of the brilliant Absolut vodka ads as an example).

Jeff White of BedBug Central does a great job of this on BedBug TV. In his YouTube channel, he delivers instructions in everyday language in a calm, properly-cadenced approach. Jeff has become the "face" of BedBugTV and is featured in every video (at least all the ones I've seen). Plus, their YouTube channel is featured heavily on the BedBugCentral home page, allowing for good cross-promotion. Which gets us to point #2....

2. Link to your videos from your sites
Sounds obvious, right?  And yet some video providers do only that: They create a YouTube video or channel and don't tell anyone it is there. This is akin to shouting in a closed room with only yourself to hear.

YouTube has a simple way for you to embed a video into your website. Don't just add links, it is far better to embed the video as a way to build your traffic and exposure. To embed a video from your channel, click Share, then embed. You'll see an html tag box open up that should look something like this:

Work with your web host to add this to your web site on the appropriate page and your video will be embedded on your site (the video below is embedded). Be sure to include links to your content on all social media platforms as well.

3. Don't be afraid to have fun

ESA is actually pretty good at this. Our video team has filmed a lot of fun videos that -- while conveying a serious message -- do it in a fun way. Our YouTube channel includes parodies of the Dos Equis "world's most interesting man" ads, the TV show Portlandia, and others. Our newest video, just released today, promotes our new ACE Study Guide and the fact that you no longer need to carry around 10+ books to study for your ACE.

4. It doesn't have to be flashy to work
You'll notice a lot of varying quality in the videos online. Take some standard care with your equipment, such as using a tripod, adequate lighting, avoiding ambient/nearby sounds, and ensuring that the subject is in focus, but you don't need to have a $10,000 camera to record effective videos. Many of the ESA videos were recorded on either iPhones or Flip cameras.

5. Consider your audience. And consider their audience
When you record your video, think about for whom you are preparing the files? Is it for restaurant managers who have insect problems? Homeowners who just found bed bugs in their house? Or someone else?  Make sure that your approach is appropriate for the audience. And be mindful that it is incredibly simple for your video to move beyond your intended audience.

6. Think about VSEO
VSEO is video search engine optimization. (If you don't know what SEO is, click here before reading further).  But the basic idea is that you can improve your overall search engine ranking by producing videos and adding the proper tags. It has been reported for years that videos are 50 times more likely than text to get on the first page of a google search.  There are a lot of links to "bed bug removal" on the web. For your page to rise above and get increased traffic, look at VSEO as a way to increase your hits.

7. Edit, edit, edit
Script your video before you start, but don't think that you have to do this all in one take. You can edit the video with some pretty inexpensive software until you're happy with it.