Modern Marketing: The Magic of Business Video
Evanne Schmarder is the creator of the RV industry’s first Digital Marketing Workshop: www.DigitalMarketingWorkshop.info. She also owns Roadabode Productions, outdoor hospitality communication consultants specializing in social media consultation, seminar facilitation and educational presentations, SEO copywriting, business writing services, newsletter production and public relations. In her spare time, she’s producer and host of the RV Cooking Show. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 460-9863 or visit her online at her B2B site: www.Roadabode.com or her B2C site: www.RVCookingShow.com.
What is it about video that makes it such a modern marketing powerhouse?
It’s “sticky content” – meaning that it “sticks” in your viewers’ mind, engages them, inspires them to take action, creating an emotional connection by mentally placing them “in” the picture that – ultimately – keeps them coming back.
While the idea of creating a video may seem daunting to many of us, the short learning curve in reality is well worth the benefits you’ll reap. Keep in mind that in June, the total U.S. Internet audience engaged in more than 6.2 billion viewing sessions and that 178 million U.S. Internet users viewed online video content during the same month.
Moreover, according to some authorities, you are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google results if you have a video that’s on YouTube – the world’s No. 2 search engine – on your website. Also keep in mind that Facebook is second only to Google in driving video views.
Creating sticky video content, meanwhile, is much easier than it sounds. In fact, it can be done in eight easy steps:
- Identify your video goals
- Identify your audience/players
- Develop ideas/concepts
- Review and purchase equipment – hardware/software
- Post to YouTube
- Promote everywhere
In this installment of Modern Marketing, we’ll explore steps one through three, take a look at eight and review some video content ideas that can help bring your operation to life, help you with search engine rankings, and entertain and beckon your customers and prospects… all with sticky content.
Begin at the Beginning
As you begin to develop your video marketing program, you'll want to think through a few planning points. For example:
- Identify your video goals: What are some of your business’s goals? Attract prospects? Build brand awareness? Provide information? Encourage visitors to book a stay with you? Encourage repeat business? Grow loyalty?
Online video – both on your website and on YouTube – is one way to help you reach your website (and business) goals.
- Identify your audience: Sure, video viewership has been a hallmark of the "younger" generation but that's changing at a rapid pace.
When developing video content for your business, certainly keep your primary video viewers in mind but skew your presentation toward the family decision maker – typically mom. The same rule applies even if you cater to retirees or another sub-set of RVers or campers.
- Develop your video team: Ask around at your staff meetings or in casual conversation, and chances are you have tech-savvy employees who would relish the opportunity to be your “media maven.”
They will need videography, editing and Internet skills to be successful with this project. Be clear about what you want to capture on film and your vision for the finished piece. Regardless of whom you’ve tasked with creating the video, assign a business leader to approve the final version before allowing it to be viewed by the public.
You’ll also need to engage your webmaster to add the YouTube embed code to your park’s website and/or blog or teach you (or your staff) how to put the video on your site and blog.
- Think in short snippets: Video viewers are an antsy bunch. While it's true that YouTube will allow users to upload a 15-minute clip, when considering content and editing footage for your businesses’ purposes, you want your videos to be no longer than three minutes. If you have more in mind on a particular topic, you may want to create a video series.
Develop Story Lines
While there are many concepts and content topics you can play upon with video marketing, I’ve identified five tried-and-true video series ideas for your consideration.
Idea 1 – Tour Series: Showcase your park’s amenities, facilities, activities, etc.
Use a themed series of two- to three-minute max videos to show off the many aspects of your park: clubhouse, check-in area, pool/spa/water park, café/snack stand, camp store, site variations, park models/rental units, activities, recreation rentals (boats, bikes, etc.)
Dealers and manufacturers can take advantage of a tour series as well. Simply think of it as a customer visit broken into short bursts or areas of interest.
Idea 2 – How-To's: Offer tips and tidbits that are of interest to your customer and that are likely to be shared.
There’s no end to the subjects/topics that lend themselves to RV and camping how-to videos, including building a campfire, setting up a tent, parking a unit, camping with pets, camp cooking, hiking tips/trails, making the most of the area, activity-driven how-to’s, sun/pool safety.
Idea 3 – Testimonials: Ask satisfied customers to share their positive experiences in the RV/camping lifestyle, preferably in front of your businesses’ signage.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. Customer testimonials tend to be influential, encouraging loyalty and adding credibility to your message. Make sure they’re no longer than 1.5 minutes. Film at your business if possible, and get signed permission to use that footage.
Idea 4 – Interaction: Capture fun in action by filming activities and events.
Create an emotional tug by putting your audience into the action. Film them, taking delivery of their new camper, going through a PDI, driving off the “lot,” checking in, participating in activities, attending an event, making a campfire, laughing, having fun, making memories.
Idea 5 – Video Blog (vLog): Have a video conversation with your customers, letting them into your world.
It’s been proven that when a customer is on a first name basis with the business owner or manager, their opinion of the business is significantly improved – even if there have been no actual changes. Create that connection with a peek behind the scenes, a “day in the life,” a park/department update, a success story or a staff update
The Plot Thickens
Like all digital marketing tools you are using, video should integrate with your overall online strategy. Your video should have a presence on video-sharing sites including YouTube and Vimeo, your website (use the YouTube embed code), blog (use the YouTube embed code), Facebook page, Google Local Place Page, e-newsletters/blasts and tweets. You can also create a QR code campaign with URLs.
In summary, making mini-movies is just like everything else you do in your business, meaning that the more you practice, the better you get. Video is an ideal match for the outdoor hospitality industry. Take advantage of this synergy. Utilize these concepts and ideas to bring about added interest and excitement to your park. Create compelling content, have fun, make it an adventure and make your park, and especially your customers, superstars.