Small business owners have to wear countless hats throughout the course of a given day. Not only do they have to focus on the core aspects of their businesses, but they have to put time into reaching new customers, cultivating relationships that may not have immediate value and countless other small tasks that seem to fill up the day.
One of the most important hats a small business owner can wear is the hat of the marketer. Video marketing is vitally important along with regularly livestreaming about common topics, issues and interests in your industry.
What is Livestreaming?
You’ve probably heard of livestreaming by now. You may have even watched one or two livestreams (even without knowing it). Yet, do you really know what livestreaming is?
Livestreaming is a technology that allows you to directly broadcast something in real time and push it out to a live, interactive audience. It’s one of the fastest ways for a small business owner to connect to the current or potential target market.
Think about it – livestreaming has been around for decades. Live sporting events, award shows and concerts are all technically livestreaming. However, when we talk about it these days, we’re referring to the new technology that’s interwoven with social media platforms that allows any one – and I mean any one – to broadcast to anyone who wants to watch it.
So, now that you know what it is, why should you spend your valuable time livestreaming? Can’t you just make videos and put them on YouTube at your convenience? Well, yes, you can and should do that. But you should also put some time into livestreaming.
Here are seven reasons why every small business owner should be livestreaming in addition to creating regular video content.
7. Build Your Authority
Sure, publishing an authoritative book is a tried and true method of establishing authority. However, not only can the process be daunting and too time consuming for many business owners, it can also end up falling short.
Instead, publishing regular content online is now considered the best way to build authority in your industry. You know what follows authority? A following, and with that comes profit for your business.
You’ve created a business focused on your core interest and expertise. Create online content, such as videos, livesstreams, infographics and blog posts that highlight your expertise. However, it’s important that you don’t just give lectures. Instead, dive into the pain points that are common in your industry and address those with your content.
Let’s say you’re a law firm that focuses on accident law. There are undoubtedly dozens of pain points that you’ve learned from clients over the years of trying their cases. Off the top of my head, I would imagine handling finances while waiting for a settlement or ruling would be a common pain point. You can create an entire series of videos that address this issue.
Over time, people will perceive you as smarter than others. You’ll become a thought leader. People will be lining up and begging to work with you. Fellow business owners will approach you for partnerships. You’ll even build a legacy.
Start now by doing a regular livestream, perhaps weekly, where you discuss different pain points from your audience. Once the show gains viewers, you can even let viewers directly ask questions.
6. Increase Brand Awareness
It sure is easier to get customers when people know your business exists! Livestreaming and video marketing help people become acquainted with your business in a way that’s not aggressive or sales-y. Instead of traditional ads that are either ignored or dismissed, livestreaming and video marketing team up to spread the word about your brand in a unique way.
People will come across your videos and livestreams in a number of different ways. Some of these you’ll pay for (such as promoting a video on YouTube or Facebook). Others will be more organic, meaning someone shares your video with their follows and friends. Every new view is one new person who now is aware of your brand. The first time they are exposed to you, they might not become a customer. But the second or third time? It’s definitely possible.
5. Showcase Your Personality
Your personality is a unique aspect of your business. That might be news to you, but its true! The way that you interact with people in real life, from employees to partners, is reliant on your personality. Even multi-billion dollar business deals are often the result of two personalities that just click.
Videos and livestreams are the perfect way to highlight your personality on an intimate level. They’ll get to know you through your content. Maybe your casual jokes make them crack up, or your serious demeanor resonates with them. Once they connect with your personality, the rest will line up brilliantly.
4. Builds Trust with Your Business
Nobody wants to do business with someone they don’t trust. Even if you’re just buying a t-shirt with a slogan on it, you want to trust that it will be high quality and will arrive on time. Trust is absolutely essential to any business.
Livestreaming and videos help build that trust with your audience. They start to trust that you know what you’re talking about. They start trusting that you’ll do what’s right if there are any issues.
A wise woman once told me that trust is time plus consistency. If you consistently deliver trustworthy content, services or products, your business is destined for greatness.
3. It’s an Inexpensive Marketing Tool
Marketing your business is a massive money pit. In a perfect world, this money comes back, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes marketing campaigns fail to strike the chord you think they will, or you simply target the wrong keywords.
Livestreaming is almost a free way to build credibility with your business. You’ll have the upfront cost of buying all the necessary equipment, but even that is minimal compared to other investments. You can likely use your existing smartphone, buy a nice external microphone and add on some simple lighting. After that, there’s absolutely no cost to go live and start connecting with people.
Video marketing is also a relatively inexpensive marketing technique. You can use your same livestreaming setup to record the videos. Other than that, there’s the time involved in creating the script, perhaps finding guests and coming up with series. You may decide to pay to promote your videos, which will increase the cost. However, if you’ve done your job right, you’ll experience a tremendous return on your investment as the customers start rolling in.
2. Increase Sales & Revenue
Here’s the big one. The one that most people think is the only benefit of livestreaming and video marketing. Yet, it’s on the number two spot!
Many of the above benefits team up to help you make sales. Whether you’re selling coffee mugs or legal advice, you’ll reach far more people with video and livestreaming at your back. If you are consistently posting quality content that addresses pain points (or entertains people), then you will sell some mugs and land new clients.
It’s worth mentioning that sales and revenue are only one of the metrics that will improve as you invest in livestreaming and video. Your social media accounts will gain new followers. Your newsletter will receive new downloads. Your book will be purchased. Essentially, any business metric that you measure has the potential to be improved with video marketing and livestreaming.
1. Create A Meaningful Connection
I saved the best reason for last. Yes, even more important than sales and revenue. Livestreaming and video content allow you to create a meaningful connection between you and your audience (which consists of current and potential customers).
This meaningful connection will undoubtedly result in more sales for your business, but it might even have a positive impact on the world. When people come together, great things can happen. Social media influencers and YouTubers have long known that creating inspiring and educational content can bring people together. Their communities often number in the millions, and within that community is great capacity for change.
Spend time livestreaming and creating video content for more than just increasing revenue. Aim to make a difference in your industry. I’d be willing to bet you have a specific vision for how your industry should change and grow. Spread that vision and reap the rewards.