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MAY 2013 issue of
Rental Management

Video for rental companies: Capturing attention
05/03/2013

Before you shrug off the idea of video for your party or tool rental company, let’s look at some compelling reasons why video is important for your business.

  • 52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchase decisions. (Internet Retailer, 2012)
  • Visitors who view product videos are 85 percent more likely to buy.
  • More than three out of five consumers will spend at least two minutes watching a video that educates them about a product they plan to purchase. (MarketingCharts.com, 2012)
  • Video results appear in about 70 percent of the top 100 listings. (Marketing Week, 2011)
  • Pages with video attracted two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubled time spent on a website and achieved a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from search engines. (MarketingSherpa, December 2011)
  • 76 percent of marketers plan to add video to their sites, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter and blog integration. (Social Media Examiner, April 2012)

It certainly is the right time to add video to your Internet marketing strategy.

♦ Getting started. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. You want your videos to be “professional grade” and that’s the ultimate goal, but even a homemade video is better than no video at all. So grab a video camera or a smartphone and go for it. First, figure out what the video should be about. For example, what’s your most profitable rental? What questions do your customers often ask? What instruction do you find yourself repeating each time you rent a particular item? Now demonstrate the features of the equipment and provide instructions on how to use it. Keep the video simple and to the point, lasting around one to three minutes.

Another option is to take some video of you and your team in your day-to-day operation. Capture an outdoor tent installation or a client using a concrete polisher. How about a video of that excavator in action or even a little footage of that outdoor wedding using your chairs, tables, linens and tent, if the bride approves? This kind of footage is great for your website, but it’s also perfect for social media sharing.

Create an account on YouTube and upload your video. Title the video using your business name and the product name(s). Add a robust description for the search engines. Once the video is uploaded, use the share features to share the video on your social networks and also embed the video on your website. Ideally, every product that you offer would have a video counterpart uploaded on YouTube and embedded on the website near your product description. If that sounds overwhelming, try adding one video a week to start.

Be sure to:

  • Use a tripod. Shaky videos appear unprofessional and annoying.
  • Make sure lighting is good and the video image is clear.
  • Be articulate and speak at a reasonable pace.
  • Cover any safety issues that may be relevant.

♦ Why do this? Besides all the statistics cited above, search engines love video. If your website has textual content, images and video coverage of your products, yours will be considered the more authoritative site and it will have the best opportunity to rank high on a Google search.

Video can capture the attention of your website’s visitors and endear them to you as a person, not just a faceless online business. Don’t underestimate the power of your smile and sincerity. Video can show that to your potential customers.

♦ Considering a professional video. Think about your customer, the potential return on investment and your marketplace, where first impressions are critical. Hiring professionals to capture unique services, products, features and client testimonials is a great idea. It may not make sense to bring in the big guns for just one product/service story, but a professional video production company can shoot many pieces in a couple of hours and help you create effective targeted videos that you’ll be proud of. A professional video can help you tell your story and compel potential clients to want to do business with you. I asked the team at WebRocket Video what a small business should look for when hiring a professional video production company. Here’s what they suggested:

  • Most video packages can be created for less than it costs to create a box of brochures. These videos are dynamic and can be changed seasonally, updated with new products or services, adapted for specific audiences for purposes like trade shows, and customized with partner logos or contact information in an instant — unlike static brochures or flyers.
  • You shouldn’t spend the money to have something created if the margins are too tight. Think of opportunities for growth or new business development. What are the difference makers to your bottom line? Target those products or services instead.
  • Create authentic stories around your products, services and ultimately your people. They are the glue to repeat and referral rentals.
  • As for choosing a video production crew, consider the company’s previous projects, investment and ultimately their ability to relate to your business and market. Anyone can shoot video, but do they understand how to effectively communicate your message? The team you hire should be an extension of your own marketing and creative team’s efforts. Make sure they index and archive everything they shoot, so that they can create custom pieces quickly as the need arises, such as a news article, social media campaign, cable TV spot or whatever you need.

Video is hot. If you’re not doing it yet, you will or should be soon. Video is great for clients, making them feel more confidence in your business and encouraging them to buy. Video is great for search engine optimization. Search engines like them and see your business as the authority.

Remember, videos don’t have to be difficult. Shoot some video with your iPhone or any portable camera and upload it to YouTube, and lastly, a professional video production company can help you take your video strategy to the next level when you’re ready. RM

David McBee, davidmcbee.com, Olathe, Kan., gave a presentation on Internet marketing at The Rental Show 2013 in Las Vegas. An early adopter of Internet technology, he writes the blog, “Let’s Translate — Making Sense Out of Internet Gobbledygook,” where he writes about online marketing strategies. For more information, go to davidmcbee.com.

 

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