Marcus, my wife and I are just sitting here watching your PoolSchool videos, and we’re ready to pull the trigger.
Of course, in this case, pull the trigger meant that he and his wife had decided to buy the pool I had quoted them a few days ago. And once again, despite being more expensive than the other quote given by my competitor, they chose us.
But this isn’t the only experience I had along these lines today. At a sales appointment this morning I had a most interesting conversation with an incredibly nice and successful guy in his late 30s who owns a prominent consulting firm. Essentially, as we were discussing his potential pool project, he told me this (and no, I’m not exaggerating):
Dude, I’ve watched all your freaking videos. In fact, I probably hold the record for the customer who has watched the most Marcus Sheridan videos. That’s why I know when you speak you’re not full of bull#%#%. So just go ahead and tell me what I need…..
Literally, all I could do was laugh when he told me this, as I’ll never cease to be amazed by the simple power of video and Youtube marketing for small businesses.
Yes, I’ve talked multiple times regarding video marketing for small businesses on this blog, but the extraordinary influence this simple and cheap medium can have on consumer brand awareness, as well as consumer confidence, may even supersede that of blogging. And as everyone knows, I stinking love blogging for small businesses.
So why is it that so many small businesses are still not leveraging video? Why are they spending thousands on website designs and redesigns but continually falling flat on their faces? The whole phenomenon is an utter mystery to me quite frankly.
Bigger Ain’t Better
Take for example the swimming pool company I beat out in the previous story. The company is the 2nd largest swimming pool installer in the world. They have a huge advertising budget. In 2008 their sales were about $130,000,000. Notwithstanding, their website stinks. Yep, it’s an utter failure. Sure it has nice photos and pretty flash, but they don’t have a blog nor do they utilize video.
That’s right, a company with over $100,000,000 in annual sales of one of the most visually stimulating luxuries in the world (a swimming pool) doesn’t even leverage the power of video on their website. Honestly, I’m dumbfounded.
This, my friends, is why David beats Goliath everyday on the web. And it’s also why you absolutely need to decide right now that video will be your best friend. If you haven’t done so already, go out and buy a $200 camera and start recording everything.
Yes, I mean EVERYTHING.
Just as the curse of knowledge affects regular blogging, it also greatly impacts video production. Don’t assume your customers know anything. Put your mind in theirs and start seeing the world out of their eyes. Just by doing this, and by asking yourself the questions that a consumer will always ask as they start to research your product, will give you a wealth of video subjects and ideas. But for those of you who are still a little confused as to what to show and talk about, here are 4 areas to focus on as you get started.
1. You and Your People
Your business isn’t just about its products, it’s also about you. It’s about your employees. It’s about the people that make your little part of the world go round. Look at Steve Jobs for example. Why do we keep seeing videos of Steve talking about and launching his ‘next great product’ on the internet?
The answer is simple. People like putting faces with products. That’s what we do. We like stories. We think and make decisions on logical, but also emotional, levels. Apple gets this. That’s why Jobs has an incredible cult following. And as Seth Godin would say it, Jobs has created his tribe, and boy does he know how to stay in touch with his tribe.
The same thing could be said for thousands of other great companies, but unfortunately these stellar examples are few and far between. Fact is, whether you’re a CEO or a small business owner like me, the best way consumers can get to know you and like you before they’ve ever even met you is through the power video—which is why you’re nuts if you’re not taking advantage of YouTube right now.
2. Break Down the Product
As you’ll see if you visit my swimming pool video library, everything that has to do with fiberglass pools, as well as every stage of their installation, is broken down into some form of video. Show the intricacies of your product. Show how it comes to life. Demonstrate clearly was it’s capable of.
3. Life as a Product Owner
Once the consumer owns your product, is that it? Or is there more? Just as swimming pools require upkeep and maintenance, so does just about every other tangible item that a store or business sells. With the case of my business, I made the commitment about 1 year ago that every customer should be able to go to our video library and find any answer they are looking for if a question or problem ever arises. And after 12 months, we’ve come very close to completing our goal. Can you imagine the effect this has on a consumer?
4. What Others are Saying
Testimonials are awesome. That’s why they’re in every infomercial on TV even though most of the stuff that’s sold is total crapola. There’s just something magical about hearing an ‘actual customer’ testify of the superiority of a company’s products, people, and services. So if your business’ website does not have a least one video of a customer testimonial, then you’re sadly missing a tremendous opportunity to gain further trust from potential clients and prospects.
So there are my thoughts on this awesome medium. Please believe me when I say the moment you decide to truly embrace consumer education through video and YouTube will likely be one of the top 2 or 3 most important business decisions of your life.
Questions about YouTube or Video? What are your success stories? As always, your comments are invited and very much appreciated.