As an agency working with local businesses, you know how important fostering community is to your clients. Good neighbors are their bread and butter — their neighbors are their customers, after all. But while they know all the best ways to engage their community with local events and discounts for frequent patrons, creating authentic online engagement through video marketing can seem foreign or even intimidating.
That’s despite all the positive benefits that come from using video marketing to engage customers through local marketing efforts, including improved SEO, engagement, click-through, and purchase conversions. Used in tandem with other local marketing initiatives, video is a great way to support local marketing for your client’s business.
This article will aim to underscore how video helps improve all marketing efforts for your client’s business, how video can help boost local marketing and local SEO specifically (along with some cross-industry examples), and how you can encourage and empower your clients to start using video for their local business right now.
Let’s dive in!
Why should local businesses use video?
When it comes to online marketing, video is one of the best ways to connect with an audience. Why? According to Statista, 85% of all internet users watch video content online on a monthly basis and according to Animoto, video is a customer’s favorite type of content to see from brands they like, while 88% of marketers are satisfied with the ROI they get from their video marketing efforts.
And if you’re not convinced by all that, try sharing a video on social media and see just how much better it performs than your other posts. I bet the results will surprise you.
Regardless, you shouldn’t need obscure statistics to understand video’s appeal for your clients. Think about how video helps a brand feel more personable and authentic by showing a real human face behind a product or service or how video can make you feel more personally connected to a person even if you’ve never met them.
As local businesses, your clients might think video marketing is too cost-prohibitive, but that’s because they’re thinking of the old model of video marketing or don’t understand how technology has advanced, reducing costs and making video production more accessible than ever. These days, video marketing is more than just expensive TV advertisements and videos don’t have to cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to avoid looking cheesy.
In the age where anyone with an iPhone or Android can post a Story to their company’s Instagram page, there is no excuse for missing out on the benefits of video marketing.
Let’s look at a few ways your clients could use video marketing to improve their marketing efforts right now:
- Attracting new customers to a local restaurant. Let’s say your client is trying to get new customers in their area to try out their newly opened Italian restaurant. Create a video ad (like the example below from Kura Sushi) highlighting the food, the atmosphere, or customer reactions and run some ads on Facebook to target locals in their area. Use shorter videos and test multiple options.
- Engaging visitors on your website. Say your client owns an e-bike store and is trying to improve traffic retention and capture more leads to their email capture funnel. By hosting a compelling lifestyle video on their landing page, they could increase their number of conversions by up to 88%.
- Nurturing leads in an email funnel. Emails with the word “video” in their subject line get opened at a higher rate, and including a video in the email itself can increase click rates by up to 300%. If your clients aren’t using video content in their current email marketing efforts, they are losing valuable opportunities to nurture more leads in the all-important decision stage of their sales funnels.
- Delighting followers by updating your Instagram Story. Most of your clients should have an Instagram account for their business, especially if you’re working with restaurants, hotels, bars, florists, or any business reliant on visuals. By posting video updates to Stories, they can stay active to their followers, and if they have fun with it, they will stand out and be top of mind (and top of the Story Feed) for those followers who tune in on a regular basis.
More on that last point: I can’t stress enough how powerful video marketing with Stories on Instagram can be for your clients. Stories are usually the first place Instagram users go when logging on, and if you post consistently, users will watch consistently. The profiles that get watched more often actually show up first, which means consistency is key.
If your clients are sole proprietors, or run their own consulting or service businesses, and are comfortable putting themselves in front of the camera, advise them to try filming throughout their day, or try creating tips and tricks or tutorial-style videos to provide valuable content to their followers to nurture genuine engagement and encourage repeat viewing.
How video supports local marketing
Video marketing can boost local marketing and local SEO efforts dramatically. As any local business owner knows, in order to get and keep repeat business, you’re going to need to get to know (and get along with) the natives. Putting a face to a business before your client’s customers even step through the door is a great way to begin the process.
Think about it: a local is looking up your client’s restaurant for the first time and they come across a video on Google, Yelp or Instagram with your client in it. They could be talking with patrons, being interviewed about the food, or in the kitchen working. Should the local feel so compelled to check out the store and meet your client in person, just as friendly as they are in the video, it will reinforce a positive feeling and endear them to the business as if they already were a regular.
Even just providing video footage of a store’s location can make locals feel more comfortable stepping into your client’s place of business for the first time since they know what to expect.
What about SEO? Using video can boost exposure in the SERPs in a few ways:
Let’s say your client’s video appears as a rich result on the first Google results page. If the first video they watch gives them the information they need, they might not even click through to the full source. In that case, having a video that appears at the top of SERPs might save your client a would-be-lost customer!
Even better, a potential customer might not even need to actually watch the video to get exposed to your client’s brand. Just by having your client’s name and video show up on that page increases brand awareness that they wouldn’t otherwise get from a highly ranked link. Reading a link, the searcher might scan the headline and totally miss the source company’s name, whereas a video thumbnail featuring a big logo for your client’s company on the first page can’t be missed.
The increased exposure from a high SERP ranking isn’t just good for exposure — having a video on your client’s website can increase the click-through rate of organic traffic from a high SERP ranking by 157%. Since web visitors spend over twice as much time on a landing page with a video as a page without one, your client can significantly increase web visitor retention and lower the bounce rate from all that web traffic. It’s what Lemonlight contributor Eric Enge refers to as “unicorn content — content with a high average position ranking and high click-through rate.”
In terms of local SEO, if you opt to use any of the ideas suggested here today in your Google My Business listing, you’ll be putting yourself in a great position to be found in the local pack — but more on that later.
How local businesses can use video marketing
Here are some creative (and specific!) examples of how your clients can use video to improve local marketing and local SEO for their businesses:
Host an event at their restaurant and turn it into a video
Hosting events are great ways to foster local communities, but if your client films it and turn it into an event video, they can create content that lives on past the one-time experience of the event itself. They can then host the event video on their company’s Google My Business, Yelp, or Facebook page. Just take a look at this example from Delray Beach Boxing below:
Create or sponsor a docu-style partnership video
As a small business active in their community, your client probably has local organizations they partner with to throw events or host fundraisers for. Try working with your client to create or sponsor a documentary video about their partner organization and why it’s important to the local community. This both promotes a good cause and builds name recognition for your client.
Use Local SEO keywords in videos and video titles
Your client knows their area better than you do, but it’s an important reminder to use SEO keywords important to their area, like names of specific neighborhoods or local landmarks, and include them in their video titles, video descriptions, and even the videos themselves. Why the video? Because video transcripts on YouTube and Google are now searchable, too!
Create promo videos to promote location-specific promotions
If your client is focusing on local marketing as a larger company with multiple locations, creating promo videos, which are short videos highlighting a specific discount or product, for location-specific deals can be great for sharing on social media or in email marketing.
Find and work with local influencers to create social videos
Micro-influencers with small but heavily engaged social followings have become a popular marketing tactic. Identifying micro-influencers local to your client’s area of business and working with them to create short-form social videos promoting a location or specific product is a great way to expand your local social reach.
Create a customer testimonial video from their regulars
As a local business owner, your client is going to have loyal customers, especially if they run a retail shop like a hardware store or provide a door to door service like a handyman. Find the regulars who are comfortable being on camera and work with your client to create a testimonial video (like AirDuct Clean’s one below) asking the customers why they come to their shop over the big brands. Your client can also solicit customer reviews of their service to post on the company’s website, social media, or public business pages.
Use video to provide exclusive content for local PR
Your clients might work with a separate agency for their PR efforts, but new video content is a great way to provide value to local publications or TV channels when reaching out. When that content gets published, it can be reposted on business profiles on Google or Yelp to boost their local profile and provide third-party credibility.
Last but not least, no matter what type of video your client creates, make sure its high quality and that they share the content on their blog or other owned networks to earn more backlinks!
Promote videos in Google My Business
As you know, Google My Business is one of the most prominent ways a local business can get found online.
Once you and your client have created some winning video content to woo customers with, why not incorporate it into your GMB listing? Adding rich content like photos and videos to your GMB profile is a great way to begin optimizing and boost your chances of appearing in the local pack. Not only that, but customers who find you via GMB will be able to get an immediate sense of your client’s business and personality, too.
Video promotes authenticity, fosters community, and builds positive brand association
Whether you are trying to grow your client’s business, engage their local community in a new location, nurture their recurring patrons, or delight their most ardent supporters, video is a great way to improve local SEO and get more local business.
Not only that, but video promotes authenticity by putting your client and/or their team in front of the camera, which leads to improvements in important metrics like brand exposure through word of mouth and brand loyalty through genuine interactions. Video can also foster community by providing a valuable service to viewers through educational material like tips and tricks, tutorials, or testimonial videos.
Lastly, video can create a positive brand association and improve brand recall — even just by showing up on the SERP with a high rank.
If facts and figures don’t do it for your client and they are still intimidated by the seemingly steep barrier to entry for video marketing, there are a few things you can do to encourage them how to use video right away:
You can show them examples of how to use social videos to create daily content that doesn’t have to be the highest quality. You can pick video types like testimonials that focus more on the story than the production value. And you can show how using short-form videos in any area of their marketing can improve results.
Lastly, you can always recommend they work with an affordable, high quality, third party to help create professional videos on their behalf.
No matter what method you choose to recommend video to your clients, the important thing to remember is how valuable video marketing can be for improving local marketing and local SEO results — and how much they are missing out by not starting right now!