By Ken Turley
Every self-storage owner wants to find that next tip or trick that will help his business gain an edge over the competition. That edge often comes in the form of advertising or marketing. Over the last decade or so, marketing has taken a completely different path for most businesses. Instead of phonebook listings, newspaper ads, fliers, etc., companies are now focusing energy on online marketing techniques to drive consumers to their websites. These techniques commonly include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing and blogging, just to name a few.
Another strategy that’s become effective is video marketing, in which the simple goal is to engage the viewer and create a feeling that will influence him to act, whether that’s filling out a form to learn more, renting online, sharing the video on social media, or many other positive actions beneficial to your business. Many companies now have dedicated YouTube channels to market their products, offer tutorials or answer frequently asked questions. They also share these videos across their various social media channels, which allows them to promote their business to a wider audience.
If you need convincing that video has become a major marketing tool, consider these key statistics from “29 Big Video Marketing Statistics for Media Brands,” published by ReelSEO.com:
- 68 percent of marketers believe original, digital-video content will be as important as original television programming in the next three years.
- In the United States, YouTube reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any broadcast or cable TV network through mobile devices alone.
- During prime time in the U.S., more 18- to 49-year-olds tune in to YouTube than the top 10 TV shows combined.
- In 2016, more video content will be uploaded in 30 days than all three major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years combined.
- It’s estimated that mobile video will account for 75 percent of total mobile data traffic by 2020.
- Users are watching 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day.
- 55 percent of people in the U.S. watch videos every day.
- Google Preferred, YouTube’s premium content offering, reaches more people in the U.S. on mobile devices than all full-episode players, like Hulu or Netflix, combined.
- In 2020, video will account for 23.2 percent of marketing spend, compared with 17.7 percent in 2015.
- The average Internet user spends more than 16 minutes watching online video ads every month.
- The average click-through rate of video ads is 1.84 percent higher than any other digital format.
Short Attention Spans
As you can see, video content is a major draw in our society today, but why? Well, for starters, while society is filled with many innovative and brilliant people, the average attention span of a human is only eight seconds thanks to mobile devices, social media and other channels. To put that into perspective, goldfish have an attention span of nine seconds. Today’s marketers need to cater to an impatient and somewhat dull society. The best way to do that is by using video as a main source of content on your website. Here are three reasons why it works:
1. Videos convey your message quickly. Videos can get right to the point better than any other media or content structure. There’s no reading bullet points or boring articles like this one—just key information on demand.
2. Videos keep viewer’s attention. High-quality videos connect with viewers and keep their attention using audio and visual effects. This reduces other distractions and enables the viewer to pay attention to a video’s core message. This is pretty much the same idea as turning on cartoons for a child or using a laser or something shiny to distract a cat.
3. Google loves videos. In today’s Internet world, Google is king, and to be successful, we need to follow its rules. Google has come out with numerous articles and updates urging people to utilize “media-rich content” to enhance the viewer’s experience. Websites that demonstrate good video practices usually rank higher in Google searches and receive more relevant traffic as a result.
Videos not only enhance the user experience, they draw more viewers. This isn’t a new trend by any means; but if leveraged correctly, it can boost your company’s marketing efforts and make your customers’ experience more satisfying and effective.
Keys to Success
Let’s say you want to incorporate video into your marketing strategy; where do you begin? How do you know which videos to use or even how to make a video? Should you hire a professional? Where do you post them when ready? These are all valid questions. Here are three more tips that will provide a better understand of the how, why and where that lead to video-marketing success:
1. Videos need to be high quality. Whether you hire a professional or choose to make your own video, make sure the camera can produce high-definition (HD) quality video that will upload effectively. Some smartphones today shoot extremely high-quality video, so you may not have to spend a bunch of money on a high-end camera.
Don’t think you can stumble your way through or “wing it” and still create high-quality content. You need an idea and a basic script to help make the video come across as professional. Have a specific idea and a script that’s built and worded correctly to ensure you get your point across easily. If you lack the confidence or capability to make a professional-quality video, then hire someone who can help. The most effective videos are usually created by professional companies who specialize in this industry.
2. Focus on your value. If you’ve watched videos online, you’ve provably noticed people will post videos of just about anything; and for the most part, there’s a lot of pointless content out there. Because of this, set yourself apart by providing videos that show value and relevant content. For example, post tips and tricks about how to effectively pack a storage unit, or make a video that highlights key features of your facility.
Above all else, always think about the customer. What would a prospective tenant want to see? What would make his experience more pleasant or effective? Make videos that show your facility in a good light and highlight your strong points.
3. Post videos in all the right place. Once you have a high-quality video containing useful content, it needs to be viewed by the public. For SEO purposes, you’ll obviously want to upload it to your website, whether in a blog post or a dedicated area such as the homepage or online-rental page. Videos should be viewable in areas that promote your company and push viewers with a call to action. To help drive traffic to your website, take advantage of social media channels. Post videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or wherever you have followers. Make sure these channels display correct business information and link back to your website.
I’m hopeful these tips will enable you to use video more effectively and give you a foundation on which to build a video-marketing plan. Video content is the way of the future in online advertising and marketing. Whether you jump on the train and ride it to success or simply wait for the next trend to come and pass you by, the choice is yours; but the result has already been decided. Video marketing is effective and cost-efficient. If done properly, it’ll allow you to reach new heights for your self-storage business.
Ken Turley is CEO and co-owner of RIZE Marketing Agency, which helps self-storage companies and other businesses increase online visibility and meet marketing and operational goals. Ken has several years of experience in SEO and online marketing, and he’s helped hundreds of companies working directly with Easy Storage Solutions, a self-storage software provider. For more information visit www.selfstoragemarketing.net.