Imagine two local laundromats.
One places advertisements in the newspaper once a week; the other publishes a video on Youtube once a week. Who do you think gets more business? Well, that depends...
Is the second business driving a steady stream of traffic toward those videos? If so, we would say, "No contest, business number two!" By combing their local video marketing with SEO + social media best practices, there would be nothing stopping them from becoming the most popular laundromat in town.
That is assuming they know how to authentically speak to what matters most to their customers in a fun, interesting and compelling way (more on that in a moment).
Recent studies show consumers prefer video when making purchases:
- 4 in 5 consumers believe demo videos are helpful.
- 4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.
- Nearly 50 percent of internet users search for product/service related videos before visiting a store.
Considering the average American spends more than 6 hours a day online, and newspapers are arguably dying, it's no wonder the demand for video is growing.
The key to local video marketing success is making videos that are:
a). Easy to find and
b). Interesting enough to hold someone's attention.
For the remainder of this article, we'll outline X tips to help you dominate video marketing in your local scene.
Let's get started:
10 Essential Local Video Marketing Tactics to Acquire More Customers
1. Enhance Local SEO
Before you do anything video-related, it's important to recognize one thing: You can have the best videos in the world, but that won't matter if no one knows they exist. Thus, following local SEO best practices is the first step to laying a strong foundation.
Here are three local SEO steps to take:
1. Claim Local Directory Listings:
Register your business in local directories like Google My Business, YP.com | The Real Yellow Pages and Yelp.com (with Google's being the most important). This will make your business eligible to appear at the top of search page results.
2. Streamline Contact Information:
Double-check ALL of your contact listings online to ensure they are exactly the same. Your business name, address and phone number should be identical in terms of capitalization, punctuation and spacing. This is to prevent search engines from confusing non-identical listings as separate businesses.
3. Optimize Site Code:
Make your business' contact information consistent across all site pages and consider putting a local map in the footer (the meta tag option will allow you to aim for more keywords).
Despite the modern ability to do business without borders, many people still prefer to partner locally. According to a Google sponsored study, 72 percent of customers visited a store within 5 miles of them after conducting a local search. Translation: Businesses who don't take the time to register their businesses are missing out on an easy local SEO opportunity.
2. Utilize Facebook Ads
While it's no secret that we're huge proponents of organic search traffic building at Lean Labs, we also understand local businesses sometimes need "quick wins" to justify marketing efforts. In these cases, we recommend Facebook's advertising platform.
With minimal investment, you can proactively place your local marketing videos in front of your ideal customers. Just select your budget, choose your target audience parameters and track your results. Just make sure your Facebook advertisements have a clear Call-to-Action that drives customers to a strategic landing page (preferably one that captures information so you can follow-up with leads). Here's a great resource provided by Facebook for getting started.
3. Utilize YouTube Ads
Another advertising platform worth experimenting with is YouTube. Like Facebook, YouTube allows users to target geographically relevant audiences with small budgets. While we haven't personally done much YouTube advertising, we have heard some great things about it.
Here are your options for advertising with YouTube:
Pre-Roll Videos: These are the mini-commercials that sometimes air before user-selected videos are viewed. The upside? Local businesses can contextually target videos being watched in their geographic area. The downside? The user can opt-out after 5 seconds.
Suggested Videos: These are the video options that pop-up when someone has finished watching their video. We don't consider this a reliable option as you are banking on the person actually finishing that video!
Promoted Search: This platform works similarly to Google Adwords: Just choose your keywords, set a eaily budget and select which one of your videos you want to be shown to potential customers.
4. Create a YouTube Video Channel
Did you know YouTube is the second most popular search platform on the planet? Publish your business' videos here and you will tap into the site's 30 million daily viewers. As an added bonus, Google now pulls from YouTube to include relevant videos in SERPs.
With a little video keyword research, your videos could rise to the top of search results in a matter of weeks--something that would normally takes months with good old fashioned SEO. Finally, ensure you cross-link your YouTube channel with your company website so Google knows what's up.
5. Transcribe Your Videos
The folks at The Content Marketing Institute recommend transcribing your videos to make them more search friendly. Google will read the accompanying metadata, index the text and include it in SERPs.
Video transcriptions can be placed in both your YouTube "About Section" and alongside embedded videos on your site. If transcribing videos sounds like a chore, consider utilizing automatic speech-recognition software like Dragon, Dictation, and Camtasia.
6. Write Good Titles
Take the time to craft a good video title that both a). Makes them want to click and b). Is keyword rich. Marketers tend to make a big deal out of titles--whether they be writing them for blog articles, landing pages or Facebook advertisements. That's because they are highly aware of one thing: If their title doesn't peek a prospect's interest, the whole project was for naught.
For most, writing titles is somewhat of a balancing act. You want to both please search engines and people. When it comes to video titles, the key is to keep them super direct. When possible, place your video keyword toward the front of the title and place some company information (i.e. brand name, phone number, location) within the title. This will help boost local SEO.
7. Localize Video Descriptions
When posting videos on YouTube, it's important to cite your local business information in the description box of every post. Include your local business name, address, website URL and phone number in the exact same format you have written it in other online locations.
Once you do this, Google will treat your Youtube videos as backlinks. As you know, quality backlinks are one of the most signifiant factors when it comes to organic search. Additionally, linking to a landing page, created especially for your incoming video watchers, can be a great way to capture fresh leads.
8. Set Video Location in YouTube
YouTube now has an option that allows account holders to set their "Video Location." You can find this option in the "Advanced Settings" section, under "Info and Settings" in the Video Manager. Input your local business address to give Google yet another heads up that you're a business people should know about.
9. Backlink Videos
Much like the pages on your website, videos gain SEO power from backlinks. A backlink is when someone on the internet links to your content. Though they can come from many sources--social media shares, blog article mentions, forum mentions--not all backlinks are treated equally by Google.
Backlinks from higher authority domains will always boost SERP rankings higher and faster. With that said, we have seen great results on behalf of our clients by creating internal backlinks within their own blog content. This is a strategy you can replicate by self-hosting your videos in addition to posting them on YouTube.
10. Combine Research With Brand Voice
Finally, one of the most important (and most challenging) factors for achieving local video marketing success: Creating content people actually care about. The businesses who achieve the most success with video marketing have found a way to answer the questions their customers are already searching for in a compelling way. The first step is conducting video keyword research.
You can do this by using Google's Keyword Planner to identify common, long-tail (5 to 9 words) keyword search terms. You can also simply imagine your target viewer conducting a YouTube search: What do they want to learn more about? What words are they using to find it?
Once you have successfully identified what your target audience cares about, it all comes down to brand voice. Your company brand voice is the overall experience consumers have anytime they interact with your business; it's aesthetic, tone, style and subject matter all rolled into a unique point of view. Without voice consistency, your message will undoubtedly fall flat.
Create Your Own Brand Voice
For most businesses, conducting video keyword research is a lot easier than developing an original brand voice. And that's because it's not something you can hire out. Sure, an experienced brand advisor can help you hone in on your company's unique niche in the marketplace.
However, no one but your team can answer questions like:
- What sort of things routinely get discussed around the office?
- What would you like your company to be most known for?
- What do customers repeatedly compliment you for?
- Why was this company started in the first place?
These are just some of the elements that must be combined with smart research to develop brand voice. Once you have a clear voice and style, creating local marketing videos becomes a lot more fun.
Want to get started created your unique brand voice?