How to Easily and Cost Effectively Add Video to Your Marketing Arsenal

Note from Jim: I originally was going to have this be the last installment of the “you lost me there” series, but I seem to have gotten sidetracked.  At any rate, video is in my opinion the next big opportunity in social and direct marketing if harnessed correctly.

How to Easily and Cost Effectively Add Video to Your Marketing Arsenal

I recently conducted a testimonial contest for a client. I asked for all types of submissions, from written to video. Of course I was hoping for video, and boy was I rewarded. The contest winner’s video was slick, well-written, modestly well-acted and, with some tweaking and a call to action, could’ve actually been put on TV. All this came from a customer who was in love with my client’s services, had a video camera and some editing software (like Apple’s iMovie, which comes standard with all Macs), and a couple of cue cards.

Just by putting the video up on YouTube, the company’s blog, Facebook and tweeting it on twitter, it’s gotten almost 300 views. This client isn’t a large company, so while 300 views doesn’t seem like a lot, it still counts. Lots of clients and prospects have commented on the video, too.

This week, the contest-winning video is going to be promoted in the company’s email newsletter. Doing so should increase exposure and net the company some new clients.

So while this may not be a mainstream example of viral video going to millions of people like the “United Breaks Guitars” video, which had 5.5 million viewers, it is a great example of the creative use of video as part of a company’s marketing strategy.

What Can Video Do for You?
Video is a perfect social media marketing channel for engagement. Here are some tips on WHAT to shoot:

  1. Beyond holding contests for testimonials, directly contact your best customers and ask them for video testimonials. If some of your best customers are located near your offices, then by all means go to the places of their choice and shoot some video testimonials.
  2. I love the notion of behind-the-scenes content. Before social media, a prospect’s or customer’s interaction and experience with a given company were either on its website, though its call center or in a retail store. But for the most part, corporations remained pretty much anonymous. Social media presents an enormous opportunity to humanize companies and allow customers “behind the veil” to see their personalities and corporate cultures. Shooting behind-the-scenes videos helps build companies’ personalities. One multichannel retailer I know of posts videos of its photo shoots on YouTube and Facebook. It gets tons of feedback on Facebook about this. Other behind-the-scenes action works well, too, from interviews with staff to candid videos of people doing their jobs. Even seeing staff cutting up and mugging for the camera can add value if done right.
  3. Does your product/service lend itself to demonstration? If so, video it and put in on your website. If you have a product that needs to be set up, heck, video is better than an instruction manual, right? What a great customer service opportunity using video.

I’ll continue my examination of how video can be successfully added to your marketing mix next week with part 2 of this multipart series. In particular, I’ll offer some more ideas for ways that video can be used at your company.

Request: If you’re an expert at video search optimization, contact me at I have some questions that I’d like to include in part 2 of this series.

Don’t listen to us – A primer for direct marketers on how TESTIMONIALS can be YOUR sales force

There’s an old adage that says, “The more you tell, the more you sell.” Let’s put a 21st century twist on this. Providing your prospects and customers with solid testimonials from present customers can be a powerful selling force for your business.

Get Psychological
From a psychological perspective, consumers much prefer to hear what their peers are saying. As we get deeper into the age of social media, peer recommendations are becoming the norm as part of a prospect’s evaluation process. No longer are you able to push out messages and have customers buy on impulse. Today’s consumers are extremely sophisticated. They seek out information from many sources beyond a company’s marketing materials before buying decisions are made.

Therefore, companies who provide their customer stories up front are giving themselves an edge over the competition.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to get testimonials from your customers. Here are four tips to help you get started with the process:

  1. In most cases, all you have to do is ask. Have your customer service reps ask everybody they’re on the phone with when they hear a good story. (Believe me, they hear all sorts of stories. The question is: Do they filter up to you?) Have your reps say something like, “Wow, what a great story! Would it be OK to share that with our other customers?” Simple, right?
  2. Scan your database and pick customers from your top RFM cell. Give them a call, send them a letter (of course thanking them for their patronage) and see what happens.
  3. It’s a little trickier to get video and pictures from your customers. But it may be worth adding some sort of incentive for video or pictures. A contest is always a good draw.
  4. Engage your customers on social media sites. Monitor what people are saying about you on your sites. Contact the ones who say great things. Of course, the ones who say not-so-nice things are customer service OPPORTUNITIES waiting to happen when you resolve their issues.

Where to Feature Your Testimonials?

  • On your blog, front and center.
  • Your homepage and all throughout your website.
  • In your emails and email newsletters.
  • How about in your fulfillment packages? People perceive the package they receive from you as a happy thing — a gift even. Psychologically, the payment is forgotten in most cases, leaving just the Christmas morning joy of opening the package. Stick a piece of collateral in there with some testimonials, and it reinforces the sale even further.
  • On your social media sites. Tweet them out. Post them to Facebook. Better yet, ask and your customers will post to Facebook themselves. Many times you’ll receive kudos on Facebook and Twitter you never expected.
  • And of course, in your catalogs.