by Heather Thomas
Using video as a marketing tool on social media is a great way to cement relationships with current customers and build relationships with customers you haven’t even met yet. Video is an opportunity to introduce yourself and your store, and helps people get to know, like and trust you enough to make a purchase from you.
Maybe you’re already creating videos and posting them on social media. Great. But sometimes you may be at a loss about what to create a video about. To give you some inspiration, here is a list of topics you can cover that customers will find relevant and interesting.
Tell your company story
Explain why you sell materials to teachers, parents and schools, and what you love about it. Get viewers to share your enthusiasm for the things you sell – whether its math games, science kits or classroom décor – by showing them how well they work in a home or classroom.
Highlight what makes you unique
If your store features a mural, for instance, or special props like an old-fashioned classroom, a giant chalkboard or a decorated “learning tree,” make sure you tell those stories. By the same token, if you have a laminating machine or offer printing services for teachers, show them the kinds of projects you can take care of for them.
Showcase your location
Provide a tour of the inside of your store or a walking tour of the neighborhood or plaza in which you’re located. Let viewers know what to expect by showing them parking options and the other stores around you. Encourage them to pay you a visit.
Introduce your staff
Name them, and highlight what they specialize in, like “Meet Brian, master LEGO builder,” or “Here’s Evelyn. She knows what resources work best for children with autism.” Show them working, and then interview them about the products your store carries, what customers are asking for this month, and how they can help meet a teacher’s or parent’s needs.
Demo demo demo
There are so many options for you here: playing the latest math game, completing or showing how fun the Pete the Cat flannel board set can be. Explain why you carry each one with suggestions on how to use them.
Present customer testimonials
Let happy shoppers tell viewers in their own words what they love about your store. It’s authentic and powerful.
Unbox new products
Show them what just came in from the trade show you attended last month, and explain why you chose it and how it can help them.
Give a tutorial
Discuss topics that illustrate your expertise; topics that show potential customers why they should trust you as a seller of educational products. Explain how specific products develop specific skills, for instance, or present a series on the stages of child development, complete with age-appropriate toys.
Interview an expert
There are probably many experts within your own customer mix. Ask them to discuss some of the product categories you carry. A school nurse could share tips on hand-washing, or a preschool teacher could offer effective tricks for teaching toddlers the alphabet. The school librarian could discuss this year’s Caldecott and Newbery Award winners.
If you’re running a special promotion or contest, explain the rules in a video. Watching a video is more fun and easier to absorb, compared to reading a full page of text.
Share your success stories
Show how your business has grown. Feature before and after photos of your storefront, or provide a tour of a classroom that features products you sell, from storage and organization items to classroom job charts and student nameplates.
Showcase wildlife or animals around your store
Little moments with animals are great video tidbits to share. Maybe there’s a bird’s nest on top of your sign out front or croaking frogs in the stream out back. Does your store have a mascot? Do you have a customer who comes in regularly with a service dog? Tell those stories in a video!
Answer frequently asked questions
Show the many ways you can be helpful with answers to questions like, “Do you gift wrap?” Do you do special orders?” “Is there a teacher discount here?” A short video answering a common question about your product or service can be very useful to your viewer, and can demonstrate your expertise.
Say “thank you”
A video thank you is a great way to reach people personally. Let them know how much you appreciate their business. If you have customer-appreciation events, film them!
Go “behind the scenes”
Film a visit from a rep, what you do before the store opens each day, or how you create a merchandising display. It’s provides insight what it’s like to do business with you.
Share places of interest in your community and how you support them
If your store helps to raise funds for the local library or YMCA, feature the buildings in your video and explain how you help them. Maybe you help organize an annual downtown festival or other special event – make sure to capture footage from those events and use it to help promote your involvement each year.
Highlight the history of your neighborhood or town
A show-and-tell video is a great way to engage your audience and make them feel connected to you and your business.
Share the videos of others
You don’t have to film every video yourself– look for appropriate videos on teacher blogs, manufacturers’ websites and YouTube that will be relevant to the people who shop in your store.
A writer and marketer, Heather is president of Everfound Marketing in Miramar Beach, Florida. She and her husband Chris own Destin Vacation Boat Rentals, an award-winning boat rental and charter booking company.