May 14, 2013 - Welcome to the first in our new series of guest posts! Nathan Delack, owner of Delack Media Group, graciously answered some of our burning questions about videos for businesses. Thanks, Nathan!
What companies are known for great videos? (who should I be looking for on YouTube for examples)?
If you're looking for social media marketing inspiration, check out The North Face. They're constantly evolving their social platforms, which includes a huge presence on YouTube. Their channel (http://www.youtube.com/thenorthface) has over 1.6 million views with unique content that viewers want to share. Their videos not only include product specs but the brand also uploads lifestyle-related videos; featuring outdoor enthusiasts using their products in beautiful settings. They are creating a dedicated following by providing information the consumer wants without throwing a direct sales pitch.
University of Phoenix doesn't have a huge number of views or subscribers to their channel. However, that isn't important to their online marketing objectives. What's important to them is that they have at least one video that connects with a prospective student who searches for an online school or visits their channel.
The Home Depot (http://www.youtube.com/user/HomeDepot) is a perfect example of how brands can use YouTube to educate their consumer base without being over-the-top in promoting specific products sold. By posting educational how to videos, The Home Depot is: establishing themselves as a trusted expert, indirectly promoting products/tools sold, and giving a personal face to a huge corporation.
Etsy (http://www.youtube.com/user/etsy), the online marketplace for handcrafted items, runs regular profile videos of its members on their YouTube channel. The message portrayed to the viewer through their "Handmade Portraits" series is that they care about their sellers. They also run "How to Tuesdays", where members share their advice frequently via video with other users.
What kind of equipment/software do you recommend for those just getting started with video marketing (and on a budget)?
It is possible to create online video content with a shoestring budget. The question to ask yourself is...will the videos I create match my company's current image and branding? You can easily create an online video with your iPhone on a tripod, iMovie, and a lavalier microphone. Video gear can also reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. So, it's important to set a budget and work within that budget for equipment purchases.
How can small businesses promote their videos, in addition to YouTube and their websites?
Definitely post your videos on your website. A video on your website makes your website look great. It's an instant eye-catcher and has been proven to improve user interaction on your site. If you already have social media fans, that's the perfect way to distribute your video content quickly and to the largest number of people. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ are all recommended avenues for onilne distribution. The video might catch one of your fan's eyes and they might share it with people you could never imagine reaching. Those people can share it with others and so on. This is all free advertising! If you have a blog, email campaigns or e-newsletters, embed your video in those as well. Industry blogs are always looking for content. Contact blogs specific to your industry and ask about their guidelines for submission. You can also put your YouTube URL on business cards, letterhead, and print/direct mail. If you want to get real creative, you can have your video looping on an in-store display, at a trade show/conference, or on a mobile billboard. The possibilities are endless and are completely up to your creativity!
What influences of ever-changing technology do you see in your field?
Technology is always changing. There's a new piece of equipment coming out every week. The way to distribute content is always changing. Vine, which is Twitter's video app, was just released about 100 days ago. I always encourage people not to get caught up in the gear. Focus on the content. Identify your audience and define how video can best serve them. Create meaningful content viewers will want to share. Develop an online video marketing strategy that best fits your industry and then ask yourself...what can I do to take this one step further?
Nathan Delack has over 20 years of video production experience and is an award-winning broadcast photojournalist and accomplished video producer, director, speaker, & instructor. Nathan has worked for various broadcast television stations within the top 70 DMA and has been responsible for creating thousands of television and internet videos. He’s received 7 Emmy and numerous industry awards for his broadcast television work. In 2009, he created Delack Media Group (www.DelackMediaGroup.com), which is based in Barrington, Illinois. Under his leadership, Delack Media Group has helped produce videos for clients ranging in size from small non-profits to large Fortune 500s.