If you’ve got a small business—let’s say a startup or one that’s taking its first cautious steps—it’s normal to worry about your odds of success. After all, most new businesses don’t make it out of the starting gates—in fact (according to Medium), about 90% fail. That applies to all kinds of businesses—from small ones to large enterprise organizations, local ones, and national ones—businesses straddling virtually every industry sector.
That so many new businesses can’t get traction is an unfortunate fact of life. But the operative issue for your business isn’t how many fledgling companies don’t make it—it’s what you can learn from those that fail—and from those that succeed.
Did Someone Say The “M” Word?
Those that don’t make it to their second year hit the skids for all sorts of reasons. For some, it’s poor leadership and an unwillingness to delegate authority. For others, it’s the lack of a solid business plan, and others still simply run out of cash. But for many, the problem is anemic marketing.
That’s understandable. Getting a grasp on the complexities of all the marketing channels available to them—everything from social media to search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, branding strategy, website audits, and review generation—might not be rocket science, but it can seem just as challenging, especially if this is your first go at digital marketing.
How About a Game Changer?
The fact is, there’s no silver bullet when it comes to creating a solid digital marketing strategy (though for newbies, partnering with an experienced digital agency is about as close as you’ll get to one). But there are some strategies that, when properly leveraged, are so effective they can take prospective customers by surprise, create an enduring, emotional bond with them, build trust, and take your business to the next level. Those strategies are game changers—and one of them is video marketing.
They Said it Couldn’t be Done
Simply stated, video marketing is so powerful it can take you from questioning the longevity of your business to wondering how high to set the bar for success. Sound impossible? Then it’s time for a story (spoiler alert—it’s a true one).
Imagine you’re a guy with a great idea for a new business—meaning you’ve found a gap in the marketplace no one else has filled. It’s a simple idea—like, guys hate shaving, and they hate constantly having to replenish shaving supplies and paying through the nose for the privilege. So, you’ll deliver those supplies right to their front door—and you’ll do it on the cheap.
The year is 2011, the guy with the idea is Michael Dubin, and the business at issue is Dollar Shave Club (DSC). Dubin’s sitting in his office thinking about ways to show other guys how great his idea is when a couple of cocky marketing types burst through the door. They tell him they can take his initial $100,000 investment and triple it in a couple of short years. Dubin is, let’s say, less than bowled over. That’s when they show him the video (you owe it to yourself—and your business—to check it out).
It surprised him. He didn’t expect the edgy humor. He certainly didn’t expect the tagline (“Our blades are f**king great”). But what he really didn’t expect was how perfectly that video captured his attention—and his brand promise—in just over 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Well, cut to the chase—the marketing guys were wrong. They didn’t triple his investment. They turned his $100,000 into $1 billion just 5 years later.
OK, But That’s Just One Company
Now, it wouldn’t be fair to say that their video marketing campaign was the only reason DSC took off like a rocket—but it is fair to say that video was the fuel that got it off the ground.
And here’s the thing: Dollar Shave Club, although an outlier in the extent of their success, isn’t alone in leveraging the power of video marketing. Consider, for example, these video marketing metrics from WordStream:
- More than half of marketers around the globe say video marketing creates the highest return on investment (ROI)
- The marketers who leverage video increase revenues by almost 50% faster than those who don’t
- Video, on average, pushes website traffic from organic search results almost 160% higher
- When you include video on a customized landing page, you increase conversions by 80% or more
- Embedding a video into an email increases click-through rate by almost 100%
This is how HubSpot (no slouch when it comes to succeeding with inbound marketing) talks about the power of video—and why it needs to be a central component of your digital marketing mix:
“Brands need a video marketing strategy — this idea isn’t new. What has changed is how important video has become on every platform and channel. Video is no longer just one piece of your overall marketing plan. It’s central to your outreach and campaign efforts …Why is this important? If you aren’t creating video, you’re likely falling behind. But don’t fret. For most videos, the more simple and raw it is, the more authentic the content seems … and that’s what really matters to your audience. Better yet, video production is more cost-effective than ever — you can shoot in high-quality, 4K video with your smartphone.”
Getting Video Marketing Right
So, what’s the bottom line? It’s this: video marketing is powerful. It’s powerful because there’s no more effective way to polish your brand, create an immediate and palpable emotional connection with your target audience, highlight the quality of your products (whether they’re luxury homes or inexpensive blades), capture and hold the attention of prospective customers, conserve precious marketing dollars—and take your business to the next level.
Now, here’s the rub—not every video is that game-changer your business needs. The eye-popping metrics above reflect average performance, meaning some businesses don’t do nearly so well—and some do a whole lot better.
It all comes down to execution—putting the right video in front of the right audience at just the right time. Equally important, the videos you produce don’t exist in isolation—they’re part of a larger, unified digital marketing strategy, the whole of which is greater than the sum of its parts.
Creating that unified digital strategy can be challenging—but the stakes couldn’t be higher. It might just spell the difference between taking your business to new heights and watching it join the ranks of the failed.
And that’s where we can help.