Since starting to work with businesses and brands using online marketing techniques, I’ve learned a lot about the various video platforms available to businesses like yours. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work, and I have learned that sometimes it depends on what you’re selling, the service you’re offering, or the target demographic you have in mind.
Not every platform out there is right for every video you’re going to create. Highly technical services directed at computer programmers, for instance, probably aren’t going to benefit much from using Instagram as a video platform. It’s just not a type of thing Instagram users look for while scrolling through their feeds.
Videos are a great way to show customers what you have to offer. You can make videos with product demonstrations, talk about the value of your service, or even step-by-step instructions on how to use your product. The key is to make sure each video is tailored to your specific business and shows customers that you’ve put effort into what you’re creating for them.
There are a few platforms to choose from when you’re deciding where to get the best results from your video. You’ll want to think both in terms of impressions (how many times your video is served in a social media feed), engagement (how many times people like or share your video), and how those two things are converting into sales for you.
The more your video comes across as a helpful informative product or service demonstration instead of a flat out advertisement, the more people are going to watch the video in its entirety. This is a key factor in converting views to sales. If someone clicks out of your video after deeming it to be click bait, you’ve just lost a potential sale.
Through a lot of effort and building up my understanding of analytics of video in different locations, I’ve found there are 4 great options to utilize. Since deciding where you should post your video can be a big decision, having a narrowed down list based on experience is extremely helpful.
Where to Use Those Business Videos You Just Created
Here are the four places I recommend small businesses post their videos. These places are not one size fits all, so stick around and read the suggestions. You’re sure to find at least one or two platforms that will be a great fit for what your business is trying to accomplish.
1. Your Own Website
This might seem obvious but it’s one I’ve seen a lot of brands neglect to use. When people come to your site, they should be able to see your videos easily. If you’re offering things like step by step instructions, tips on how to use your product, or explaining what your business does in video format, you’ll want all of these to be available to your direct site traffic.
You can put one video (whatever you think is most important) on your home/splash page, but creating a second section for the rest of your videos is the best idea after that. You don’t want your homepage to be overloaded with videos. Customers don’t always like to wait for a bunch of videos to load, especially if they’re ready to shop.
Consider disabling your auto-play feature as well. Offer the video to your customer on the homepage but don’t be the site that bursts their eardrums when they weren’t expecting a video to play. Just make sure it’s highly visible and then allow them to click play if they choose to.
YouTube is the biggest platform you have available at your disposal. I’ve seen videos for small businesses do very well in the YouTube environment when they’re done correctly. YouTube audiences are the most finicky when it comes to not wanting to watch a video that is just straight up advertising. Those are best saved for other platforms.
The types of videos I’ve seen do best on YouTube pertain to tips and tricks surrounding your product’s use. YouTube viewers love great DIY tips, high-quality instructional videos, and even personal videos directly from you, the business owner. Basically, your audience on YouTube is going to want to see your personality shine.
If you’re prepared to do some regular videos updating your viewers on new business developments, new product offerings, or new DIY tips this is a great platform for you. If you aren’t planning to make more than one or two videos, you’ll probably find this platform isn’t the best option.
Viewers want interaction from the creators and brands they are watching. Be ready to engage, respond to comments, and give new videos to your followers on at least a semi-regular basis to make YouTube work for your business.
Instagram offers you the chance to make a 60-second video for your product. If your product is something that’s high-end and looks great in pictures/videos then this is the perfect platform. Focus on short video clips that show off your product. This isn’t the place to post in-depth instructional videos. This is where you should be focusing on videos that are attention-grabbing.
Keep in mind with Instagram a combination of pictures and videos is your best asset. It requires less time and interaction than YouTube, and in my experience products that cost more tend to do better on Instagram than other social media options.
If either of those things appeals to you, consider using Instagram to post your most attention-grabbing videos, the ones that will really wow people. It’s okay if your Instagram videos are more advertisement than instructional. People want to see your product and why they should love it. That’s the biggest way brands succeed on Instagram when it comes to videos.
A lot of small business I’ve worked with already have a Facebook page even if they haven’t made the jump to using videos yet. Facebook takes a few of the key features from both YouTube and Instagram when it comes to video marketing.
While you won’t have to focus on keeping your videos to a 60-second clip like you would on Instagram, you’re still going to want to keep your videos more in the attention-grabbing vein than anything else. You can post some instructional or DIY type videos on Facebook, but remember that often times Facebook is where people go to scroll.
If your video doesn’t look interesting it probably will just get passed by for something else on their homepage feed. To grab attention on Facebook with your videos I highly suggest making your titles and thumbnails (the still video image) high quality and attention grabbing.
Much like YouTube, people will stop if it looks interesting. Just make sure you aren’t using flat out untrue click bait, which isn’t going to win anyone over. When you’re posting videos to your Facebook page make sure you’re using them as a way to interact with your customers. Include video descriptions in your post so they know why you are choosing to post the video.
One of the biggest ways people will start to view your page as nothing more than spam is if you just continuously slap a bunch of videos up there with no description or interaction. It’s best to use a mix of interaction/real posts and video posts to make sure you aren’t losing followers and potential sales.
If you’re feeling a little frustrated and you think your business has grown stagnant, the right use of videos for your business type can breathe some fresh life into your business (and sales). The tips I’ve suggested here are based on things I’ve learned over the years helping small businesses in various sectors.
Although they aren’t hard and fast rules, they are based on real experience and are techniques I personally have seen help businesses soar to success. Using the right video on the right platform can make all the difference.
Make sure you’re focused on making your videos as high quality as possible no matter the platform. Once you’ve put in the work to make the videos, and get them to the right platforms for you, take a few moments to relax. You’ve worked hard and you’re about to see some huge results. Enjoy.
Ashley Coblentz is a lifestyle blogger for Onefloorup and a political journalist. After college, she worked as a Registered Nurse at one of the largest hospitals in South Dakota until deciding to be a full-time mom. She remains passionate about the nursing profession and often volunteers in her extra time to teach community education classes on first aid and other related topics. Find her on Twitter at @coblentz_ashley.