Today we're publishing our last post in a series of conversations about starting a video library business. Here we're continuing to talk about marketing a footage library and generating sales, which advertising sources you should be using and putting it all in perspective.
But first read
How much do you need to start a video library - Part 1 - content acquisition costs & video archive management costs.
How much do you need to start a video library - Part 2 - footage platform costs.
How much do you need to start a video library - Part 3 - footage library marketing - who buys footage.
How to Market a footage library
So, how to reach the separate market sectors? Film & documentary producers, marketing story producers and publishers.
First, analyse your content; it may not be relevant to all of them.
Also ensure you budget to participate in industry conferences and trade events like footageMarketplace and MIPCOM. The higher end of the market is quite small and you can introduce yourself and build your brand quickly on a personal level through this kind of relationship marketing.
Having said that, we’ll keep our marketing recommendations mainly to online marketing as we have experience in and access to many footage sites including industry portals; we know what works and what doesn’t.
Simplistically put, you need to be on the goto list of buyers who seek your content profile via remarketing and social media whilst simultaneously reaching out to the majority audience through Search Engines.
Online banner advertising and remarketing may build your brand, and keep your business top of mind, but it probably won’t produce direct sales results with any meaningful ROI.
Google sells advertising, especially pay per click. It is not in Google’s interest to encourage you to work on achieving “organic” results. The more you believe Google’s story that only PPC works the more you, and your competitors, force the bid price up.
"Thank you" says Google.
However, organic SEO still works.
Most businesses get their volume sales from Search Engine Results – you will if you prepare your site architecture and clip metadata properly. You may not get #1 for the term “stock footage library” – but serious buyers are looking for “left to right pan of rosy apple video with blue background”. Serious footage buyers drill down with detailed search terms – the so called "long tail". They’re not searching for “footage library”
Social media works differently; firstly they all demand metadata to be presented in different ways – but make no mistake; they all demand good comprehensive metadata – and different image sizes.
Linked-in has many footage & video interest groups; but they are industry professionals like you and rarely in buying mode. Linked-in is worth monitoring and contributing to build your brand; occasionally someone will ask for specialist footage with which you might help.
Facebook will bring traffic to your site as will Vimeo and Youtube. For all of these mediums it is better to create and focus on categories and collections rather than single clips; but use a single clip to preface a collection. On Facebook build your audience and post a Monday “welcome to the week” cheery type of message with a similar one for the weekend. Midweek post a more sales oriented Collection or Event message.
Youtube has a massive audience that cannot be ignored. Equally, masses of video is uploaded daily so it’s hard to get found in the crowd: but remember you want your content to persuade users to come to your site and buy, not act as a vehicle for Youtube to sell advertising on.
However, anecdotal evidence suggests that only a small percentage of Youtube visitors are actively seeking footage to buy. The majority seek entertainment. Those interested in acquiring footage want to steal it or buy it very cheaply. So the best use of Youtube is to focus on Categories and/or Collections and leverage your Youtube clip into Google search results.
Vimeo is steering a slightly different course and has built a reputation for being a trade version of Youtube. However, anyone anywhere can use cheap screen grab software to record a clip that is playing on screen. So keep the focus on video stories about your Categories & Collections.
Both Youtube and Vimeo rely heavily on properly presented metadata to rank a clip, as well as the amount of user views.
So what works best for direct sales?
With such a diverse audience requiring specific clips for equally diverse projects you have to present exactly what they want at the time they need it.
Searches on Google, Bing whether through PPC or the long tail phrases and Portals like Stockfootageonlin.com are the best online methods.
Timing, and the correct creative is everything….. except…. because of the enormous choice available, buyers and researchers suffer from research fatigue. They’ll eventually compromise with fatigue & choose a clip that is closest to the project brief or creative requirement. Thus timing, and being top of mind, not necessarily the creative, is the biggest factor.
And finally, back it all up with email. Buy a good well targeted list from a company like Bikini Lists and build on it. Few libraries still have newsletter signups... but these are always good for building a regular client list.
Get your business on the goto list of buyers with your content profile. Use email, re-marketing, social media and industry events to achieve this. Message this audience with Category or Collection reminders.
For volume sales use Search Engines and get online video tools to increase customer loyalty.
Finally, recognise that Organic ranking in Search Engines is also contingent on social marketing activity.
Draw up an integrated plan… check and check again on the fine detail of metadata and sales message preparation. Experiment continuously and analyse your results continuously too.
There’s no silver bullet for marketing success anymore; you have to reach customers at exactly the right moment in the place where they spend their time. Nothing changes…
If you’d like to chat about any of these points feel free to call us on +44 208 123 1778 via our website or search social media for Big Easy.