Millennials are now in their prime spending years and despite the fact that they're cutting cable TV at unprecedented rates, two things remain true: they love video and they're willing to shell out for quality products and services.
The numbers are staggering: 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and billions of views are being racked up every day. This isn't all high quality branded content, mind you, but as we drift further into an automated economy, there are fewer salespeople who can get customers excited about buying things.
There's a huge opportunity for your small business when it come to video, but also a number of challenges – including how to stand out in a sea of distractions. Here are a few key thing to consider:
1. Know your audience. Much like going on a first date, if you only know your audience's age and gender, you're probably not going to get a second chance to make a good impression.
Many people seem to think this involves something outrageous or 'never been done before.' But don't be fooled. When it comes to video, it's not the 'be all end all' of creating video. To create good video, you need to understand your target market and make a connection. If you can get down to the core problem, then you can then present your solution in a compelling, visual way. If you present the solution in a way your audience understands, then you'll stand out to them in a meaningful way, and that should be all that matters.
2. Know your brand. Understanding your audience is imperative, but knowing who you are as a brand is just as critical. Using the dating analogy, if you're not yourself, chances are what you say and do will come across as disingenuous. Millennials have been exposed to advertising their entire lives and, as a result, have an uncanny filter for phoneys. This doesn't mean you can't make a wacky video. However, if you decide to go down that path make sure it works with your brand, stays true to your core values and simply outlines how you add value to their lives.
3. Know your strategy and expectations. With a clear understanding of your target and your brand, you must make sure it's aligned with your strategy and expectations as an organization. Are you going out with someone because you could see yourself dating or marrying the person? The expectations need to be determined at the onset – otherwise one side will not be satisfied.
For example, with Blade & Skillet our goal wasn't to have millions of recipes in video format, rather we understood that these existed in the marketplace, but the target market wasn't pleased with it. As a result, we curated a recipe list that appealed to our audience's lifestyle, stayed true to our video quality and design standards and emphasized the ease in making a simple, delicious dish. We're not chefs, but that's fine because our customers know that. They're not chefs either (otherwise they probably wouldn't need us.) We formed a strategy around what the target wanted, what we were providing, and set reasonable expectations around what the videos would help them achieve.
At the end of the day, creating video is about appealing to your current and potential customers and showing them how you can bring value to their lives. Launching a new business without quality, meaningful video content in today's day is akin to opening the doors of your storefront without sales associates. Sure, if you build it they may come, but if you film it, they will always come back.
Dorian Burns-Coyne is the owner and founder of Blade & Skillet, a video based recipe website.