Expert Advice from a Video Marketing Maven

Expand your digital reach with tips from Tracy Timberlake

Expand your digital reach with tips from Tracy Timberlake

By Sheryl Nance-Nash

When it comes to marketing your small business, video can be a game-changer. In fact, potential customers are 200-300 percent more likely to click through emails that include a video. Think of what you could do with that expanded customer reach!

One entrepreneur that knows that lesson well is Tracy Timberlake. The marketing strategist has used video to gain more than 35,000 followers across social media platforms, amass more than 2.4 million video views and grow a six-figure business helping companies like L’Oreal connect with customers online.

Timberlake shows her clients how to package their passions and optimize their outreach so they can share who they are and what they do with as many of their dream clients as possible. We asked her for tips to help you to elevate your video marketing game.

Just how big is video marketing?

In 2014, people started taking notice that YouTube was more than just for showing cute cats. Small business owners began to realize the reach, especially in the last 18 months or so since Facebook developed Facebook Live. Video marketing is the future of every platform because of its reach. Video marketing has a 150 percent conversion rate in sales or opt-ins on a website. There are 8 million people using Facebook video streaming.

Why is it effective?

Video makes you a real person. People see your personality, your quirks. People buy from who they trust. They also see your expertise differently. Video marketing takes your brand to the next level. It’s the next best thing to in-person marketing.

What’s the hallmark of a good video?

It depends on the purpose of the video. Do you want to educate, convert [customers], or launch a new product or service? You have to define the endgame. Your video should also represent your brand well. Your brand should be similar to you. You have to be yourself, authentic. The video should make clear what the culture of your brand is.

What are five rules for making a successful video?

You have to choose your outcome in advance. Be yourself. Have good lighting. Focus on value – why would someone click on it, remember the viewer’s time is precious. Finally, never end your video without a call to action. For example, you can say ‘I have a PDF if you want to know more.’ Offer a free report, a link, or send them to your Facebook or Instagram. The point is to continue the interaction.

On the flip side, share some mistakes that should be avoided?

It’s a big mistake to not interact with your followers. If you do live stream, talk to them. Be sure to go back and respond to comments on YouTube. Remember, no posting and ghosting. Interact. You also want to keep length in mind. With YouTube, you want a video that’s four to six minutes, with Facebook you have more time, so at least 10 minutes. Be aware that Snapchat and Instagram have their time limits.

Many small business owners may say, OK, this sounds great, how do I get started?

Start where you are. You can start just with posting on Facebook and Instagram to friends and clients. But if you want to start on a level where you’re trying to do advertising and build brand awareness, get a professional to help you with a campaign strategy. This can cost you several thousand dollars, but you can also do it yourself. You can use your cell, iPad, and get a tripod, which you can get for $15. What you need most is good lighting, a quiet space.

Once you have the video that you think is going to be the next viral sensation, then what?

Cross promote on all social media. On some platforms, like Facebook, advertising is very sophisticated. You can target people by marital status, where they live, their income, and many other factors.

For small business owners, video represents a huge opportunity that is only going to grow in coming years. “Right now, only 24 percent of businesses are using video,” Timberlake says. “Eighty percent of online content will be video within the next year. Now is the time to get involved.”

Sheryl Nance-Nash is a seasoned journalist who has written about personal finance, small business and career-related topics for more than a decade.

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