A simple guide to getting your message in front of customers by offering the type of content they want to consume

Staff Writer

I recently had a hard time getting my lawn mower to turn over.

I Googled the problem and found a video that provided step-by-step instructions on how to replace the carburetor. I never would have tackled this task had I not seen the video.

More importantly, I ended up following the channel of the guy who made the video. Since he lives locally, I ended up making him my official lawn mower mechanic. A win-win!

Gone are the days when you had to hire an agency to cast a local sports star in a radio or television ad, or buy expensive ads in newspapers and on billboards, or send out thousands of postcards–seldom knowing how much reach each initiative had.

Guerilla marketing is one of my favorite subjects. We live in an amazing time: You can reach a wide audience with marketing assets built on a shoestring budget. You only have to put your material out there for the world to see.

Here are five powerful ways you can use video to propel your business and reach new audiences:

1. Post industry-specific videos

If you have a shoe store, you can post videos about the latest shoe over which everyone is clamoring.

If you have a coffee shop, you can post videos about the amazing Fair Trade coffee beans you just received.

If you have a music studio, you can post video snippets of your latest soundtracks or records.

The important thing is to post authentic content that people want to watch–content that’s fun–and then give viewers an easy way to find your website or otherwise “engage” with your product.

2. Use custom links to track assets into a funnel

You’ve created a channel, posted a few videos and successfully driven people to your site. Congratulations! You’re well on your way to solving one of the hardest challenges facing any business.

Now what?

Well, you can use those videos to push users into a funnel. This means creating a specific page on your website for each video.

Once the videos are on the page, make sure they have a call to action. This can be as upfront as a “Buy Now” button or as laissez-faire as a “Similar Posts.”

Remember to always provide your watchers–and then readers–with a way to part ways with a little money (to receive some of your incredibly valuable product).

3. Let the analytics guide you

If you get really good at making videos, you can sell that skill. If people start asking you for something you don’t offer, you might want to consider adding it.

If you expect people to click on a given page but they don’t, you have some incorrect assumptions. The ability to pivot or add a line of business in the face of what you learn is key.

I’ve seen companies start exclusively creating gated content for other companies, completely shift to a video company or build entire new products based on their analytics.

4. Make sure other people can embed your video into their site

Embedding videos into articles you write can amplify your exposure to a larger audience. Give each video you make as much of a chance to gain traction as possible.

5. Advertise on the videos

Remember that video on how to replace the carburetor on my lawn mower? There were half a million views on it, so Google put an ad on it–meaning the creator of the video gets paid for every new view.

A friend and colleague of mine cried when his wife surprised him with a pregnancy announcement while they were in a photo booth. She recorded his reaction and posted the video online. In the past two years, it’s been viewed more than 20 million times.

Yes, 20 million! Sometimes it can pay to just have fun with something.

Finally, make sure to keep your sales funnel at the top of mind when you’re making videos. If you spend all your time making videos that bring people to your site but don’t actually move product, you’re really only increasing your costs (web traffic and production costs) to feel cool.

Make sure you keep your priorities straight if you want to stay in business.