What do you think were the fastest growing apps of 2017? Maybe Gmail or Facebook, Instagram or Google Maps? While Facebook still reigns supreme as the most popular app, the biggest movers of 2017 were video-based apps: Snapchat and YouTube were two of the most popular and fastest growing apps of 2017. If that’s shocking to you, you’ve probably never tried Snapping your friends. (Just check out that dog filter - even cats love it!)

Videos shared on Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are shaping the face of social media content. In 2017, the popularity of Facebook Live soared among social media marketers, and Instagram Stories now rival the popularity of Snapchat. Based on current trends, we can expect video sharing to continue to rise in popularity in the future. So why do videos make more of an impact on web users?

Because science says so.

Basically, people just have really short attention spans. In fact, it’s 12 times more likely that you’ll click on the video below this content then finish reading this entire blog post. Reading is just not as visually stimulating as watching videos. We can understand videos faster, and with less mental effort: video is processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. Our bodies were designed to be better at “looking and listening” than “reading and comprehending.”

Think about this way: if you had to give up one of your five senses, which one would you choose? I bet you wouldn’t give up your eyesight. Humans perceive the world primarily with vision, and nothing is better at capturing our attention than a moving image.

Video by RH Rebel Storage of Jamestown, North Dakota.

Because small businesses win at video marketing.

According to recent research by Animoto, over 75% of small business owners who have used video marketing say it had a direct impact on their business’s success. Even more, Cisco projects that video streaming will make up a whopping 80% of all internet traffic as soon as 2019. And believe it or not: YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google!

Video works on almost all platforms your business is already on: your website and social media pages are ideal for sharing videos with your ideal customers. Video marketing is perfect for small business because it’s free and anyone can do it - all you need is a smartphone and an internet connection to create a great video. Plus, the more down to earth, casual, and authentic your video is, the more your customers will relate to you. No need for fancy editing or commercial-style advertising.

With videos, you’ll help your leads build a stronger connection with your brand, and you’ll stand out from the competition. You can easily convey your message and create a strong connection with your audience in just 60 seconds. Your story is much more powerful when told with a video, rather than a blog post. Did I mention that videos can help you show up on social media newsfeeds? It’s true - social media algorithms favor videos over text or image posts. As if you needed another reason to start sharing videos, now you can also save money you would have spent on Facebook Advertising!

Because they’re perfect for self storage.

In fact, video marketing works especially well in self storage. Just like real estate videos help sell houses, your self storage videos can help sell storage units. Don’t believe me? Check out this great video from RH Rebel Storage: in this video, viewers are guided through the entire facility with a full tour of all storage units and amenities. This tour is comprehensive, providing viewers information on everything from how to use the access control keypad and security gate to where to find dollies and handcarts for assistance carrying heavy items.

Video by RH Rebel Storage of Jamestown, North Dakota.

It would take dozens of pictures or a wall of text to explain all of the information covered in that video. By watching it, I can tell that the storage facility is clean, easy to access, well lit, and secure. I can even eyeball the best size unit for my stuff! Videos are a fantastic way to showcase your awesome security features and help your leads choose the right storage unit for their needs.

Because a great video is just a few shots away.

Video shots, that is. You don’t have to be a pro marketer to make a great video. All you’ll need is bright, outdoor lighting, a smartphone, and an internet connection. Check out some of these best practices on how to make a winning marketing video for your storage business.

  • Shoot in landscape. Vertical videos don’t show up well on YouTube! The video will appear with two black vertical bars on either side of it you hold it vertically while recording.

  • Catch great lighting. Video lighting is generally best on a grey or overcast day, or during early morning or evening hours. But if your facility features high-quality nighttime lighting, make sure to show that off with a video, too!

  • Show your best side. Make sure to capture all of your facility’s best features in your video. Whether that’s your friendly facility manager saying hello or your brand-new climate controlled building, be sure to show off what helps you stand out from the competition.

  • Speak clearly. If possible, take the video first, and then edit it for length and add your commentary. Be concise and speak casually. Talk to viewers like you’d talk to a friend.

  • Show the street view. Don’t forget to show viewers the street view of your storage facility so they can easily find you from the road.

Video marketing is easy to do and extremely effective at promoting your self storage business. Give it a try over the holiday season - it just might help your business bring in more leads in 2018.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this blog post, you may also like: DIY or Don't: When to call in the pros for your self storage marketing, Creative ways to use two-way texting, and How to create and maintain your self storage website.