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How to Boost Your Sales With Social Video

Rieva Lesonsky

Do you wish there were a way for your small business to reach even more potential customers than an ad on the Super Bowl? There is — and better yet, you can do it for free. The secret is online video, which reaches more 18-to-49-year-olds than any single broadcast TV channel, according to YouTube statistics.

Online video’s reach is on the rise. In a recent study reported by MediaPost, 6 percent of respondents say they’re watching more video on social media than they did one year ago, and 60 percent expect the amount of video they watch to keep increasing.

Not only does online video get customers’ attention, it can also persuade them to purchase. Almost half (46 percent) of consumers say they’ve bought something as a result of watching a company’s video on social media, while one-third have considered making a purchase as a result of viewing an online video.

Before you shout, “Lights, camera, action!” here are three tips that can help you get better results from sharing your videos on social media.

Create a YouTube channel for your business. Fully half of all social video viewing occurs on YouTube, and this channel is especially popular with Millennial consumers. It’s free to set up a YouTube channel. Use relevant keywords in your videos description, and be sure to include a link back to your website to drive additional traffic.

Next, focus on Facebook. Facebook is the second most popular spot for online video viewing: 36 percent of social video views take place there. It's also the social network where users are most likely to like (51 percent), share (44 percent) or comment on (32 percent) online videos. That means you have the opportunity to spread your message to a wider audience.

Encourage word-of-mouth. Three-fourths of consumers say they are more apt to watch a social video if a friend or family recommends it, and 45 percent of people say when they enjoy a video a business posts on social media, they’re more likely to tell their friends and family about the business.

To get those recommendations, make your videos relevant to your target customers’ interests and engaging to watch: These are the two most important attributes people look for in brands’ online videos. Viewers also like videos that are positive, surprising and entertaining.

Need ideas for your online videos? Here are a few to get you started:

  • Make a how-to video. People tend to share useful information, so think about how you could help your target audience do something better. For instance, a hair salon could demonstrate how to do fishtail braids. A gourmet food market could create cooking videos (featuring ingredients sold in the store, of course). A website that sells auto parts could post videos on how to replace a car headlight or air filter.
  • Take customers behind the scenes. Would people enjoy getting a look at how your product is made? Then give them the inside scoop. How about a video of employees baking your restaurant’s signature dessert or your shipping department beautifully packaging an online order for a customer?
  • Share a special event. Share live video of a conference, tradeshow or other industry event in real time on social media, so those who couldn’t attend can get a taste of the event. Is your business participating in a community fair or holding a contest? Use video of the event to encourage other customers to come on down and join the fun.