By Jennifer Dawson, Special to California Business Journal.
At the age of 16, Richard Branson started his first successful venture, a magazine called Student. Four years later, Virgin Records was born and its flagship American store loomed large on Sunset Boulevard. Like many businesses starting out, California proves to be a fertile and lucrative place for companies to grow. Virgin, of course, grew up to be the multi-business behemoth that now includes Virgin Airlines and Virgin Hotels. California has a broad support structure for new businesses and is known for its innovation in the tech field. Today the brand building landscape looks a bit different but the roots are the same: the battle for the consumer hearts and minds, along with the struggle for relevance. In the age of Snapchat and Youtube, video presence is a must for any brand builder. Getting likes and views, becoming viral and being Insta-famous is the marketing scheme du jour.
Social media is big business in the U.S. and especially in California.More than 500 million hours of video are watched on a daily basis. With apps and new content taking the attention away from everything else, the space is indeed competitive. Video marketing is a must to score credit either way. To start, think about getting a YouTube channel depending on what your commodity is. Or simply utilize other channels like Facebook Live, Snapchat or Instagram’s stories feature.
Take Venice-based California startup Dollar Shave Club, for example. Dollar Shave Club has been around since 2011 and they frequently post funny and ironic videos to their YouTube channel, which has almost 30 million views. Video marketing has been key in their growth. In fact, one viral video (their launch video) was all it took to take off. The video garnered 22 million views.
Video Marketing for Startups
For small businesses or startups, video marketing can go a long way. There are many types of campaign strategies involving video that will garner different results. The most important factor to consider in using video marketing is to tell the story that you want to be told. Also in the case of Dollar Shave Club, they made a video about a mundane thing (shaving) funny and irreverent, but doing so drew consumers in.
Once you have an idea for your video, make sure that you have the best equipment to record. Quality is key. Amateur hour won’t draw in viewers unless that’s the point of the video. Going live continues to be a popular form of video marketing. It has an edge and a more personal appeal. Viewers want to tune to see what happens (or doesn’t happen). You may even consider taking your video skills to the next level with technology, such as VR and AR.
Video marketing saturates our daily lives. When beginning a new video project, consider your audience and goals. Have fun with it and create what your audiences want and will ultimately love.