My last column covered ways to increase your HVAC company's awareness and visibility. One of the top marketing trends in 2014 is, simply put, video. Do you know the value of video? Are you using video in your business? What can video do for your business? Why should you publish one video per month?
Video is one of the most popular methods to drive traffic to your website and it is another way to help you build both awareness and visibility. Don’t think high quality professionally produced video, think high res webcam video. Think info video, think a video showing your new furnace, heat pump, condensing unit, air handler, humidifier, electronic air cleaner, or programmable thermostat. Think about the questions that customers ask and that could be a video as well. Become the expert on video so that people visit your website for answers. Your videos don’t have to be long; they just have to be informative.
The public is hungry for live video.
- People upload videos to YouTube at the rate of 100 hours of video per minute.
- People watch over 6 billion hours of video each month on YouTube. YouTube gets over 1 billion unique visitors every month.
- Eighty percent of those come from outside the United States. You might think that’s bad, but the good news is 20% is over 200 million people or two thirds of the population of the United States watch YouTube vides every month. Do you think you could find customers from that group?
When you make your videos, you don’t have to appear on camera if you don’t want to; however, if you do, it will make you synonymous with your company. On the other hand, you can just make a video of the piece of equipment and then add a voice over to it. If you are comfortable doing it, you can narrate your video as you shoot it, otherwise just go back, and add an audio track.
Getting Started With Video
So how do you create a video that you can share online? There are many camera options these days that work well for shooting online video. The simplest is to use your smart phone video camera, or you can buy a decent high res webcam for $99 - $200 depending on the features that you want or need.
You have your camera, and you can shoot a video, but how do you edit the mistakes? One school of thought is to leave them in. Mistakes, gaffs, and other problems actually endear your video to your audience. However, if you don’t subscribe to that school of thought, you can take your raw video and use a free video editor such as Microsoft Movie Maker (MMM). You can download it here. MMM is easy to use and anybody can make decent videos with just a few hours of tinkering. You can find many articles online how to edit video using MMM. Click this link to see a list of articles in Google.
Common Best Practices
When you edit your video, do things that you see on every TV show or movie you have ever watched. Create a title screen that introduces the video and create end credits that tell viewers what to do after they finish watching the video. This includes giving them your phone number, email address, and website address. If appropriate, provide a call to action; hint, it is always appropriate to provide a call to action. A call to action is an action statement telling the viewer what to do next.
Create a YouTube business account in your business name and then setup your YouTube Channel. This article provides great easy-to-follow instructions for setting up and using your own YouTube Channel. Once you have setup and verified your account you are ready to begin uploading videos to YouTube.
Be Consistent, Have Fun, Drive Traffic
Try to shoot for one video per month to upload to your YouTube Channel. You can shoot and edit multiple videos at one time and then edit and release one per month. You can also shoot special videos and upload them more often as needed. Like a blog, you want to post videos consistently to your page so that you gain subscribers and they become used to visiting your channel. The most important thing is to have fun doing it. Be funny if that matches your personality, but above all be genuine, and people will watch your videos.
The secret here is to first use YouTube to drive traffic to your website, second to create awareness for your company and third, to increase visibility. Since Google owns YouTube any video that you post there is highly visible and searchable. Embed links in your video and tell viewers to visit your website for more information. Create reciprocal links on your website to your YouTube video library so that visitors to your site can see all of your videos. Link your videos to all of your social media sites so that you increase the opportunity to gain viewers and customers.
Besides you website, create a Google+ account and post messages which will help point traffic to your website, also consider a facebook business page, and while it will not have people lining up at your door it will help make your business more visible. Consider running some facebook ads that just point people to your website. You can also consider offering discounts through these ads to help generate some business. Like Google Adwords, you can control your monthly spend and pay per click budgets on facebook ads.
My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. My book Navigating the Marketing Maze is now available in eBook format on Amazon.com for $4.99.Andy Fracicais the author of Navigating the Marketing Maze, he is, a
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