ADVICE: Why video is the best way to reach your audience right now, and what to do about it

Video marketing is exploding, with consumers now watching an average of 16 hours of online video per week, leading 85% of businesses to invest in video marketing this year.

So, what makes good video content and how can you make it on a budget?

Paige Wilhide, Video Confidence Coach and YouTube Strategist, shares her advice and experiences based on her career in video marketing.

  • For entrepreneurs and business leaders considering video marketing for the first time, where should they start? 

Video marketing can feel overwhelming if you’re just starting to dip your feet into the pool. You’re inundated with choices: live video or produced, what do I want to say, how do I shoot and edit, where should I upload videos. In that sense, the hardest part of the process is quieting all that noise and just getting started with video. But I’ve got great news for you: once you begin, every video you create will get better and easier with time. 

So where do you begin? You begin by eliminating the overwhelm and creating a path of least resistance. That means doing two things:

  1. Pick ONE platform and commit to mastering video on that platform. You don’t have to be everywhere at once — you just have to pick one road and take small steps to learn everything there is about it. Are you selling B2B services? LinkedIn might be a great place to start. If you’re in an industry that’s very visual, try Instagram! Choose a platform that’s aligned with your message, and commit to doing video on that platform for at least 30 days. 
  2. Use what you have. As a video marketing expert, you’d probably think I have this whole elaborate studio setup with lights hanging from the ceiling and an adjacent live editing room. Nope! I shoot most of my videos with my webcam in front of a big window that gives me a ton of natural light. It’s a good quality webcam that anybody can buy and perch on top of their computer. If you have a phone that takes video, great! Use that. You don’t need a film school degree to make great videos these days. 

Just following these two small steps will get you started. Don’t you feel like you can breathe a little easier now?

  • What kind of resourcing should small business owners be putting behind video marketing to get the most out of this channel?

The wonderful thing about video marketing is that you can do it with a very low budget. Like I said, start by using what you have on hand– sunshine and a cell phone. Then you can build your gear from there. That being said, if you are going to invest in anything, buy a good quality microphone. A video with poor audio is pretty much unwatchable, while a viewer will forgive poor video quality as long as they’re getting some kind of value out of it.   

Most importantly, make sure you have a clear strategy with your video marketing. Before you invest all the time and money into building your collection of gear, get clear on the direction you want to go by outlining some measurable goals for yourself. Ask yourself how video is going to be your best salesperson, and take it from there. The best investment you can make at the beginning is in the strategy and accountability piece, like joining a group program or hiring a video consultant or coach. Once you have that clear roadmap, you’re ready to venture out and grow your visibility.

  • What’s the best way to go about testing whether video is the right channel to reach your target audience? 

Without question, video is the best way to reach your audience right now. If you do it right, you will get leads, you will grow your online visibility, and you will increase your bottom line. The question is understanding whether the strategy works best for reaching your audience.

If you have an engaged audience already, do some market research. Ask them how they like to consume content. Ask them what kind of videos they like to watch and how they interact with those videos. Use your audience! They have the information you’re looking for. 

If you don’t have an engaged audience, you’ll have to do a little more trial and error. Coming back to my earlier advice, pick just one platform and commit to uploading consistently on that platform for at least 30 days. You’ll get a TON of information by doing that. If you don’t have any new leads by the end of those 30 days, you need to shift your strategy: maybe the platform, maybe the type of videos you’re uploading, maybe the scripts. Learn from the data and adapt to the needs of your audience.  

  • What’s your biggest video marketing fail to date? What did you learn from it? 

If you watch any of my videos, you’ll see that I actually keep my bloopers or “failures” in them. Messing up is totally human, and I preach that the best video marketing strategy is filled with imperfect videos. I’ve had a lot of what people may call “failures”: YouTube channels that never became anything, videos that totally bombed, some downright cruel comments on videos I’ve made. But that’s all part of the creative process. If you want to be successful with video, you have to be willing to fail and embrace your messiness. 

  • What’s your top prediction for video marketing in 2020?

Given all that’s happening in the world right now, we’re all consuming more video content than ever before. We’re thirsty to learn new things, to be entertained, to feel connected with other humans. This is the year of video, and it’s only just beginning. I predict that we’ll definitely see a HUGE increase in the number of businesses using video to grow their bottom line. In fact, it’s already happening. So I encourage you to jump on that train!

About the expert

Paige is a comedian, entrepreneur, and content creator who is dedicated to helping you get out of your head and in front of the camera so you can learn to make amazing videos that grow your business. She coaches entrepreneurs, influencers, and YouTube creators in everything from content strategy to at-home videos production to on-camera confidence. Currently based in Los Angeles, Paige loves travel, personal development, lazy beach days, and sharing her imperfectly perfect life on social media.

Instagram: @paigemedia