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Sharing secrets is good for business

Studies show an increasing number of people are turning to online videos in search of information. IAN SPENCER reports retailers who embrace this behaviour will go a long way towards securing extra business.

Before the rise of Google, if one wanted to know how to complete a task or where to locate the best place for particular goods and services there were fewer options – use the phone book, hit the library, ask parents, friends or family or visit a professional who could offer words of wisdom or perform the necessary job.

Fast forward to 2015 and gone are the days of phoning mum and asking her how to wash that favourite pair of jeans or hunting around a bookcase trying to find that book on car maintenance.

According to a report by the Google-operated online platform Think With Google, 91 per cent of smartphone users turn to their devices for ideas, guidance and help while completing a task. This is a US statistic but such behaviour is now pretty much consistent across all of the world’s developed countries.

The same article also stated that online searches relating to ‘how to’ on YouTube were increasing 70 per cent year-on-year.
YouTube recently published its top 10 ‘How to’ educational searches between 2012 and 2015. The results included making a cake and kissing a future partner, indicating that people have no qualms using YouTube to find out information regardless of how personal, crazy or strange it may be.

Impact on retailers

So what does this mean for businesses? It means business owners must embrace the way people are searching for information online – particularly when it comes to video.

While it can be tempting for organisations to hold all of their cards close to their chests, one needs to think differently in this digital age by releasing information.

There’s no need to worry about giving away ‘secrets’ when developing a video.

Like a well-written business blog or website, businesses willing to share what they know will establish themselves as industry experts and market leaders.

Take, for example, a local garage. Pete works at the local garage and he releases a series of videos about general car maintenance. He covers everything from how to change a bulb in the headlight through to how to remove a scratch from a rear bumper.

His competitors refuse to give this information away as they think it will lose them business but, in Pete’s mind, it’s going to gain him and his garage work in the long run.

Why? Because people might try it and succeed but when something really big goes wrong, like the engine blowing up or the door falling off, this is something they cannot fix for themselves.

At this point they will remember Pete as the mechanic who showed them how to change a tyre back in February, find his contact details online and ask him to do the real work.

By giving some of the smaller secrets and information away and showing people how to do things, Pete and his garage become the authority.

It’s a similar scenario for a jewellery store. While retailers may feel that releasing a series of videos about how to care for a new diamond ring or how to change the battery in a trusty Casio watch means losing out on small business opportunities, the opposite is true – showing people how to complete these tasks will actually help to ensure more sales in the long run.

If someone needs a battery changed in their watch, for example, then they are probably not going to be talked into buying a new one but the fact that a jeweller has taken the time to record a video that shows their customers how to do this themselves will place that jeweller front of mind when the time comes to make a watch purchase.

It’s possible to create videos using a smartphone but it might be worth investing a little bit of time and money in learning how to capture and edit the films semi-professionally. One wants to portray a high level of quality after all.

An added bonus to doing things properly is that the same video can be used on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and even a business website.

The moral of this story is do not be afraid to give away information. Offering advice on a particular topic undoubtedly puts a business one step ahead when that viewer is required to visit a store for goods and services.

At the end of the day, being an authority in one’s industry is worth far more than a one-off watch battery replacement sale.

Ian Spencer

Contributor • IS Digital Marketing

Ian Spencer runs IS Digital Marketing and specialises in SEO, Google Adwords and online marketing strategies. Learn more:

Bharat Diamond Bourse

Sunday, 22 September, 2019 11:27am
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