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How to Get Started Connecting With Customers Through Video

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How to Get Started Connecting With Customers Through Video

n the dynamic landscape of digital marketing, YouTube emerges as a powerhouse, with over 70% of buyers making purchases after encountering a brand on the platform. Unsurprisingly, 78% of marketers recognize YouTube as the most effective channel for achieving their business objectives via video content. Whether you’re a decorator or distributor, the key to success lies in crafting compelling video content tailored to your audience’s preferences so they’re inspired to follow your channel and then become a customer.

“When I post content anywhere on social media, whether it’s long-form content like YouTube or Facebook live videos, or short-form content, like YouTube Shorts, Reels for Facebook or Instagram, or even the occasional TikTok video, I keep in mind that we’re a visual society and people can be fickle, with short attention spans,” says Sheila Ryan, owner of Designs by Babymoon, a shop that sells digitized embroidery designs. “I want my viewers to stick around for more than a couple seconds, and like, comment or even better, subscribe and follow me to learn more.”

Keeping viewers engaged, selecting the right platforms, and using feedback to refine your content, is all important when it comes to content creation, so we’ve got seven effective tips from industry content creators to help you out.

1. Keep your audience coming back with relevant and interesting video content.

Staying relevant means tapping into what’s current and weaving that into your content. “Keep it real and ask, ‘What would I find interesting or useful?’” says Nicky Adamkiewicz, owner of The Sassy Subber. “It's about finding the sweet spot between my audience’s needs and trending topics. I let their questions guide my videos so I can be part of the buzz."

That’s why when sublimated wind spinners were just emerging on the scene, Adamkiewicz posted a popular video on her @TheSassySubber YouTube channel about “the pocket method” for decorating the spinners. “Not a lot of people knew about this technique, so it became an a-ha moment for many of my viewers,” she says. “I showed how to efficiently press both sides of the metal simultaneously, saving valuable time.”

You can hang out where your customers do to learn more about what’s got them buzzing and what problems they’re trying to solve. “Listening to my customers’ interests by participating in their communities, tips me off to what kinds of design work they’re interested in,” Ryan says, “and gives me great ideas to provide quality content and aligned products that they want.”

2. Change up your video formats to catch people’s attention.

All of your videos shouldn’t be the same length and style, so try these ideas to keep your content fresh.

Get to the point: Adamkiewicz likes to keep her videos snappy. “No one wants to watch a snooze fest, so I get to the point without losing the fun,” she says. Similarly, Ryan uses Shorts to tease new digitized embroidery designs her customers can buy, and Milano shows off quick collages of logoed products her customers might like to use in a campaign.

Tell stories: "Embrace the human side of content creation by throwing in a bit of personality – be it through quirky themes, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business or simply sharing a snippet from your day,” Adamkiewicz says. “It adds that genuine human touch to the content, making it relatable and enjoyable.” Incorporating her decorating experiences, from success stories to lessons learned, her audience connects with her anecdotes.

Spice things up with visuals: Adamkiewicz uses graphics and hands-on demos, from how to press a neoprene tote to sublimating branded socks right in her decorating workspace, to keep her audience engaged.

Put your face in the frame, with good lighting and sound: “I consistently place myself front and center because building a genuine connection with customers is mutually beneficial,” Ryan says. “When customers know and trust me, that trust extends to their design work. I aspire to be their go-to for top-notch embroidery digitizing. If they don’t make a personal connection, the interaction remains transactional. Putting a face to my brand accelerates trust-building.”

Switch up the content format: Adamkiewicz and Ryan diversify their content format, ranging from informative how-to guides to short stories, interactive Q&A sessions, and a mix of engaging video formats such as vlogs, tutorials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses.

Keep things interactive: Adamkiewicz throws in questions, polls or shoutouts to get the audience involved. “It's not just me talking,” she says. “It’s a conversation.”

Be authentic: “I keep it real by sharing the good, the bad and the funny,” Adamkiewicz says. “It’s not about being perfect, it's about being relatable.

3. Choose the best platforms to share your video content.

Ryan spent a considerable amount of time deciding where to primarily post her video content, settling on a private Facebook group for her large and active community.

“Since they’re a primarily older demographic who tends to be distrustful of social media, I work hard to keep that community a safe place for them,” she says. “They know they can find my content and interact with me there.”

Then, Ryan created a YouTube channel to offer an easy, alternate way for her audience to consume content. “YouTube’s video cataloging and ease of searching a content creator’s library make it much more accessible to everyone, so when I do livestreaming, I use a Streamyard, so my content goes to multiple platforms simultaneously,” she says. Later, Ryan can edit the YouTube version, adding eye-catching title cards, links and other edits that make a YouTube video useful.  

For Adamkiewicz, sharing video content was a similar growth journey: She started by building her foundation on Facebook, expanded with YouTube, and then embraced the TikTok wave. “As my following grew on Facebook, I needed more room to spread my wings,” she says. “The move to YouTube made my content more accessible, and attracted a different, larger audience. Posting on TikTok kept me relevant and meeting my audience where they hang out.”

Ultimately, it’s about playing the platform game strategically. “The goal is simple: Keep evolving, keep growing, and always have my brand in the spotlight where my audience is at,” Adamkiewicz says. “If I want my brand to stay in the game, I’ve got to be present on the platforms where I can catch the most eyeballs.”

4. Use client and viewer feedback to smartly inform your video content creation process.

Adamkiewicz describes her approach to refining videos as a collaborative dance with her audience. “If they’ve got suggestions, I’m all ears,” she says. “It’s like having a compass that steers me in the right direction.” However, it can be challenging to balance client expectations with her creative mojo. “I take the essence of what resonates with them and what they want more of so they feel seen and heard,” she says. “The goal is to make them feel involved in the process while ensuring I deliver that distinctive touch. In the end, it’s a win-win – clients get what they need, and I get to keep my creative flair going strong.”

Ryan reads comments on her videos with one eye open, for both the accolades and inevitable criticisms. “It’s nice to hear that a piece of content was helpful, or even instructive and instrumental for a customer, but with the growth of comments from trolls and bots, negative comments have the potential to derail even the most skilled videographer,” she says.  

The goal of Milano’s videos are to spark conversations and lead to creative solutions to marketing, employee recognition and recruiting, customer and employee appreciation, training, wellness campaigns and so much more. “Our viewers appreciate seeing the actual products in the video,” she says “Many have responded with a statement like, ‘I didn't know you could do that’ or ‘our vibrant logo will look good on that.’”  

5. Don’t wait to produce videos until you have the “perfect” setup.

Ryan loves introducing her customers to new embroidery techniques and knew videos were the quickest and easiest way to get her information out there. However, as a small business with a limited budget for video production, she decided that learning to use the tools immediately available to her made more sense than investing in the latest and greatest equipment.

“Many creators produce incredible content with their phones and tablet cameras,” says Ryan, who currently uses her iPhone, iPad, a mid-range webcam and her MacBook to create video content.

6. Set your own metrics for video success.

For Adamkiewicz, the number of views on her videos isn’t as important as the subscriber demographics, watch time, likes, comments and shares. “Who is my target audience, and who’s actually watching the videos?” she says. “How long are they watching, and where does it seem like I’m losing them when they drop off? I adjust based on those details for my next video. It’s really about the long game, so I’m always changing and improving my content.”

Ryan shifted her thinking of videos as primarily a revenue source, to a means to serve her customers by showing them new embroidery techniques.

“In this industry, the number of views or subscribers we get may not even come close to what professional YouTubers attain,” she says. “We do have to consider the time, energy and investment in creating video content for our communities, while doing our best to offer the best we have of ourselves and our knowledge and expertise to our customers.”

Start Crushing It With Video

Ryan has seen the benefit of becoming accessible to her community of clients and prospects through video, and that benefit has manifested in a high level of trust with her customers and prospects. “Video can be a strategic way to connect with your community and supporters,” she says.  

The reciprocal benefits extend to content creators as well. “The product-focused videos have been educational for me, along with my customers,” Milano says. “I get to see new products and decoration options and this always gets my creative wheels spinning and how I can help potential clients.”

Feb 18, 2024