Nick Lewis explains why video marketing is an important tool for accountants wanting to get ahead
When it comes to marketing, the printed word is in the descendant as more people embrace the audio-visual to get their message across to potential customers and clients. This is something that accountants should consider as they look to find ways to differentiate themselves from their competition.
This is the first of a two-part article exploring the importance of video marketing. The first part will examine the thought and strategy required to undertake successful video marketing; the second will look at the technical considerations.
So why is video marketing important? Done correctly, it is immediately accessible and attractive. People respond to the moving image and sound; it is immediately arresting whereas text is not. In addition, if a video features people in shot and talking, it helps humanise whatever message you’re looking to convey, making the audience more receptive to your messaging.
While it has never been easier to video yourself digitally (even low-end smartphones will have video function of some description), it does not necessarily mean that video marketing is easy to do, or at least well.
Technicalities aside, effective video marketing in 2019 requires an ongoing commitment to produce regular content. You cannot just produce one video and be done with it. Some of this does have a technical consideration involving search engine algorithms, but for the most part this is common sense: who would want to watch your solitary video over and over again?
This is why video marketing needs to be seen in the context of a continuous process and an ongoing campaign. Given this, before you even switch on the video camera on your phone you need to think what you’re going to say, not only the once but on a repeated basis.
This is why a video campaign requires just as much thought as a blog writing campaign. There are technical considerations in terms of the script you use (which I will discuss in the next issue), but also what content you want to feature. In other words, what is the purpose and point of the video, for both the viewer and the person producing it?
A video needs to convey something of interest and worth, otherwise what’s the point? A video that features someone just talking about themselves is somewhat redundant unless there is a relevance to the viewer. How is a video or a series of videos going to be of interest and use to the intended audience?
For accountants, this is an opportunity to record your stock answers to frequently asked questions. If you keep on getting asked the same question over and over again by different clients, there is evidently a need for that question to be answered. Why not record yourself giving your standard explanation? Not only would this be a key and effective marketing tool (partly to do with search engine optimisation – SEO – which I will explain next time), it will also become a resource you can share with clients if they want to have a permanent reminder of anything you’ve told them.
Video marketing can also take many forms. Animations or dynamic slides can be just as effective at getting a point across as having someone in camera. In either situation, the visuals will need be of a sufficient quality to pass muster in 2019. Animation can also be a boon for the camera shy; just because you’re a superb accountant doesn’t necessarily mean you are a brilliant broadcaster in the Graham Norton mould.
There is an art to being in front of the camera, and if you are not prepared to be filmed or unsure of your media presence, you need to ask who will be in shot if not you? This is a key starting point when planning a video campaign. If you are uncomfortable being in shot, you have a couple of options. You could go on media training and/ or practice being filmed. Being filmed is not a natural experience and can be unnerving. The more used you are to being filmed, the better your screen presence and media skills will become. Alternatively, do you have a colleague who would be better suited to be the star of the video campaign? If that is not an option, you can hire a professional presenter although this can expensive and is not ideal (the campaign should feature the accountant it is trying to promote).
You also need to think about length. As a general rule of thumb videos should be no longer than five minutes. Why? Because people will get bored. If you cannot adequately convey a concept within five minutes, think of breaking it down into five-minute episodes.
The frequency with which you produce videos is important in terms of building a regular audience, so figure out how many videos you can realistically produce in any given month and stick with it. Videos, done well, take time. You have to script, record, edit and then publish and promote them online. This is not a five-minute job to be done ad hoc. It is better to be consistent in the rate of your output than erratic so think carefully before you embark on video marketing.
I will discuss the technical considerations when want to record a video in the Summer 2019 issue of Accounting Practice.
• Nick Lewis is the Marketing Manager of Get Seen Now, a marketing & promotions company with exclusive offers for ICPA members. See www.getseennow.co.uk/
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