Business Technology

Video marketing advice from YPlan and other UK startups

6 min read

05 March 2015

As you will have no doubt noticed when scrolling down your personal Facebook news feed, the number of videos being shared on social media is increasing. This is because video provides the perfect medium for quick, accessible, informative, and most importantly, sharable content.

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If you’re a startup or small business looking to integrate video content to your marketing strategies, we have spoken with successful UK startups who have effectively used video content marketing to both engage with and grow their customer following. We have asked these organisations to share their experience and learnings with us.

Rytis Vitkauskas, CEO and co-founder of YPlan, which focuses on promoting events that could well be taking place in your city, gave us his insight and said: “YPlan is all about spontaneous inspiration around events you may not have heard about before, or at least you weren’t considering going to. We’ve learned over time that video – in addition to event photos and factual description – is one of the best ways to convey the excitement and energy of a particular event.

“What we’ve found is that a user who’d watched an event video is significantly more likely to continue and make an action of attending the event, a finding that helped define our in-app content strategy. Video also drives significantly higher engagement on social so we’re beginning to look as ways in which we can create exclusive video content for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to grow our community on those networks.”

As well as being a highly consumable content medium, video also provides an effective way of creating an emotional connection with your audience. If you are creating video content that will be shared on your social media profiles, ensure that your video is relevant your target audience. As many of these users will be engaging with videos content from their mobile devices, ensure that your videos are optimised for mobile.

We also spoke to John Peebles, CEO of Administrate, a developer of software that assists training companies and training departments to manage and deliver e-learning courses.

He said: “Video is a core part of our marketing strategy here at Administrate. Since 2012, we’ve used a range of videos to help promote our products and brand, including how-to videos, tours of our product, and customer stories filmed on location. Thousands of prospects have seen these assets and we consider them to be the most effective marketing tool in our arsenal. There are a variety of lessons we have learned through the process of video content marketing.

“Firstly, videos need to be shot, produced, and edited by a professional using professional gear. There’s no substitute for quality. Secondly, it’s important to be professional, but not overly formal if your brand doesn’t reflect that. Make sure you’re projecting the brand you have. 

“Finally, different audiences and video types will require different preparation and execution. The same process won’t work for everything. Videos really do help interest and convert prospects – we’ve been amazed at how effective they are.”

This is a prime example of the range of ways video content can be used to promote your brand as well as your products. Before you start making videos it’s important to know why you making them and what you want to intend to accomplish. If like Administrate you want to increase conversions, make sure you track these goals in Google Analytics in order to measure the success of your strategies. 

Finally, we have observations from Neil Phillips, founder of Sail and Trail, which is a family company that specialises in outdoor leisure activity products. According to Phillips: “Buying products online may be convenient, but there are times you want to see or test a product before committing to buy it. Our videos aren’t fancy, but they allow the customer to see the product and how to use it before they decide to buy it.

“We do this as it’s far more useful for a potential customer than reading a product description online. These types of product videos can be valuable tools for helping customers make the final decision to purchase. As our videos provide customers with guidance on how to operate the products they buy from us, they also act as a great resource for others who are having problems with their products. Sometimes it’s easier to show someone how to do something than to explain it.”

If you are looking to create video content aimed at your customers, make something useful. The more useful your video is, the higher the likelihood is that it will be shared and found by others who are searching for solutions to the same problem. 

Video content should be seen as an additional resource to be added to your content marketing tool belt. No matter what way you want to engage with your audience, you can’t afford to ignore video any more.

Garth Haley is director of Hyperfine Media.