I had a hunch so I ran an informal, very unscientific experiment.
I entered “top female business coaches” into the search bar of Google. Can you imagine how hard it must be to get first page SEO ranking for that search term?
Why would I do that? I was thinking the other day about lost opportunities. No, I don't aspire to be a top female business coach. Let me explain.
“We were actually on the phone with the airlines and decided not book.”
“We didn’t buy that car, but the test drive sure was nice.”
“Oh, we looked in that neighborhood but decided against it.”
An older aunt of mine mentioned several times over the years how she and her husband had considered one plan but decided on another. The trip to Hawaii turned into a week at the Texas coast, the test drive in a new Caddy became a nice Buick in the driveway, the real estate they almost bought but didn’t - and was worth a fortune years later.
It’s hard to place bets on choices in the moment when there is always a way to play it safe, right? Especially when time and money are involved.
How often have you thought, “If only I had known then what I know now”. Little twinges of regret over opportunities that danced right in front of us (and right out the door) seem so obvious after the fact, don’t they?
I was thinking about this in a business context in December. I ran some promotions on Facebook that coincided perfectly with their ad policy changes, and not in my favor. It had the effect of doubling the cost of what I had planned, for far less reach. Bah humbug.
I follow some successful entrepreneurs with large online audiences. They built those relationships over the last few years by leveraging a window in time on Facebook, when you could still get free reach and paid ads were dirt cheap.
After that I thought, helloooo.
Where is the window of opportunity wide open right now, something that we will wish we had noticed in a couple of years? One nice thing about the supersonic pace of change online is that you don’t have to look too far back to learn some lessons.
You do have to take action, though.
So: here is my hunch. Given basic sound business practices, the solopreneurs and small businesses that implement video now will gain competitive advantage, if not completely bypass, their non-videofied competition by 2020.
I’m making that prediction based on the exponential increase in adoption and engagement rates for video over the past few years. I show you some charts at the end of the post, but I’m not starting with them.
You know why?
I bet that, if you aren’t doing video yet, it’s not your left brain holding you back. You have heard the stats, seen the charts.
I know the reason most entrepreneurs, especially women, are not implementing marketing video is a tough combination of overwhelm, confusion, thinking you can’t afford it, and just plain old camera anxiety.
You may be wishfully thinking that video is just for the big guys and you can grow your business with a static website and email marketing. You may be thinking, “Video is for extroverts. My model is one on one clients, I get all my leads from meetings, so just get me in the room”.
That may be true for some businesses. But its possible that by 2019 you will end up working twice as hard for the same leads. You may not be interested in online video, but your potential clients are.
Here is today’s reality, again, backed up by the statistics we may like to pretend are too broad to apply to us:
If the success of your business depends upon you connecting, engaging and influencing an online audience to reinforce how you are different from the rest of a very crowded field, you should be prioritizing a video strategy now. Like, right now.
Solopreneurs, I’m looking at you; coaches, consultants, realtors, designers, advisors, experts, e-commerce products, authors, artists and more. Who am I missing? Come on down.
It is a fabulous opportunity! Here is more good news.
Look around in your space. How much of your competition is implementing a video strategy? Heck, who even has a welcome video on their homepage or maybe is dabbling with Facebook Live?
If the answer is not many, YOU are standing in front of a golden window of opportunity, wide open and breezy.
(If the answer is lots of them, don’t despair, because it is very likely you can catch up and even pull ahead if you do smart video.)
Which leads me to my experiment:
I entered “top female business coaches” into the search bar of Google.
Guess how many coaches on the coveted first page results had a business video on their homepage?
Two. One was a copy of an interview done by a local TV news, the other was a voice-over slideshow. Better than nothing, but not exactly a super high bar. Not one had a personal welcome video.
What that result is telling us is that not nearly enough coaches with otherwise healthy SEO have a video strategy. You see, Google tends to rank websites with relevant video higher than those without video.
I saw some coaches with gorgeous homepages, but very static and looking very 2010ish.
If you are a coach you might say, "Well, see, Kala, that just proves that video isn’t important in my space. If they aren’t doing it, I sure don’t need to".
Wrong. That’s shortsighted. See the inconvenient truth in the charts at the end of the post.
This means a big opportunity for you.
First, many factors come into play with SEO, but you could say that the first page ranking for that search term is kind of up for grabs.
It means that the top coaches (according to Google that day) are not integrating marketing video into their websites, and likely not into social media, either.
In other words, they have no strategy around video, the most powerful format to connect, engage and influence an online audience. The most powerful way to build trust, other than to be in person.
I’m not picking on them. I’m planning on contacting them, in fact!
I’m simply using this as an example to encourage you to see this window in time opportunity for your business. The kind of thing you will look back in a year and say, wow, that was such a smart move to get started on my video strategy.
I am hearing this from clients right now. Roberta Ryan (Ryan Business Design) forwarded an article to me that included info on the necessity of marketing video, saying "Boy, I am sure glad I am moving toward understanding and using video".
And if you aren’t doing any video, you are missing out not only on the potential for improving your SEO rankings, but also a golden opportunity to improve your positioning and connect with your followers at a deeper level. How do I know? Because statistics also show that consumers want to see more video from brands.
The reasons go on and on, but I’m not writing this post to convince anyone with numbers. If you need more convincing that video is the killer app for marketing, than maybe it really isn’t for your business.
I’m reaching out to the entrepreneurs that are frustrated because they are fired up get on this now, but don’t know where to start. Believe me, it’s not your fault.
A ton of advice online about “how to do video” is piecemeal - either marketing gurus who don’t know about video production as a SYSTEM, or video pros who want to be helpful but have legitimate overhead that keeps their fees out of reach for most small businesses. Some advice is even from folks with a YouTube channel who don’t have a background in either marketing or video production! Well meaning, perhaps, but not the complete expertise you need.
I have a unique vantage point because I have experience in both marketing and video production.
Here are some charts to get your left brain’s attention.
Big brands with big budgets tend to lead in marketing. Here is a graphic from the Content Marketing Institute for stats through 2012, so you can see the trend from way back when, in internet time -
And here is a wonky chart with petabytes on the y axis. I don’t know what a petabyte is but it must be a whole lotta gigs. See the blue bar? That’s video traffic. See how the shape is departing from linear to exponential curve? That is where my sense of urgency is coming from for you.
Or, if you are ready to take action and make fabulous progress in the next 6 months, and you would like a lot more support than a freebie download, check out our program options. Registration is currently open for a limited time.
Kala is the Founder and Executive Producer of the Ultimate System for Fab Videos, Finally Done