Small businesses are the very backbone of the American economy, employing just over half of the country’s private workforce. Marketing to an increasingly diverse consumer is one of the greatest challenges small businesses face today.
With so many products and services coming into the market place all the time, consumers are faced with more options than ever before. How can a small business break out and get noticed by consumers who are time constrained and cash-strapped? Social media and video, of course. Such content is a great way to differentiate your business from the competition.
Many large companies are looking to social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter to reach customers and build their brands but, according to an October 2009 survey conducted by Citibank, most small businesses don’t use social media at all. Citing time constraints and lack of man power, many of these small businesses are missing out on what might be one of the best ways to grow their companies. Since this form of marketing is the new reality, small businesses would do well to take the time to get up the learning curve.
One form of social media that can benefit small business right away is the use of video content via sites like YouTube. YouTube is a video sharing website on which videos can be uploaded and shared. It is a simple way for a small business to stick its toe into video marketing.
One of the biggest advantages that YouTube offers small businesses is the easy set up, also it’s relatively inexpensive. Uploading video content is free and camcorders and video equipment are not too costly. In fact, you can get a good quality high definition camcorder for less than $500.
Each month Americans watch more than three million YouTube videos, so there’s a high degree of interest in quality video content. The trick for small businesses is figuring out how to produce video content that’s worthwhile for their existing customers as well as their potential customers. Standing out with the exponential growth in video content will take creativity and thought, however.
Here are eight very simple, basic ideas that you can use to help market your small business.
1. Building your brand
Rather than trying to sell individual products, you might simply focus on building your overall brand. For example, you should try to focus on selling the Nike brand name rather than attempting to sell the AirMax+ men’s running shoe.
2. Product advertising
You may choose, however, to focus on a specific product in your brand. For instance, push the specific product Monster Energy Drinks, rather than the general brand that produces it Hansen’s natural soda.
3. Retail promotion
A tour of the company’s retail store highlighting some of the best-selling or most important company products is a great way to drive traffic both online and off at the retail level for your store.
4. Direct sales
Record a tutorial of how to use the company product. Many customers need to see a product in action before purchasing on the website.
5. Product support
Create a product support FAQ video for your customers. Providing product support online is a much more attractive alternative for customers than waiting on hold for a customer service representative and much easier than trying to dig through a site’s “knowledge base” for the answer.
6. Product training
Gone are the days of flying across the country for sales training and seminars. Save money by uploading training videos that are easily accessible to all employees.
7. Employee communication
Another way to save time and boost productivity is to hold company-wide meetings through a private YouTube channel. It is more convenient and far more efficient for your employees.
Attract talented and potential new employees who might not otherwise notice the company with a YouTube video highlighting the benefits of working for the company.
YouTube is an easy and affordable way for small businesses to jump into social media and grow their businesses using simple, easy to produce video content.