Why read an article or blog post when you can just watch a video? Not everyone thinks that way, of course. If you thought that, you might not be reading this right now. But a lot of people do prefer to get all kinds of information through video. That’s why video marketing is such a powerful tool.
Video has a lot of advantages. First and foremost, videos allow for easy sharing of visual information. For instance, a written product review can describe an item and it can include pictures. But a video can show the product from all angles, and it can show it in operation. That’s powerful stuff.
Even when there is no product to demonstrate, video allows for levels of communication that just aren’t available in writing. A video lets you see the speaker. There is, in some sense, a more intimate connection. When you can hear a person’s voice and get a feel for his or her personality, the message tends to hit home in new and different ways.
And of course, there’s an entire subset of the population that just prefers video over written forms of communication. If your entire marketing strategy revolves around the written word, you might be missing this group altogether. All other advantages of video aside, video marketing allows you to expand your reach to those who would rather not read if they can avoid it.
Not Convinced? Consider the Numbers.
There are some powerful statistics that show how significant video is for many, many people. If you are a reader by nature, you might not realize just how much time people spend watching videos. Think about this:
- 4 times more consumers prefer watching a video about a topic to reading about the same topic (eMarketer)
- Video generates a 157 percent increase in organic search engine traffic (Brightcove)
- Companies that use video see 41 percent more traffic from search than non-users (Aberdeen)
- Video on a landing page can increase traffic by over 80 percent (Visually)
- Year-over-year, “how to” searches on YouTube show 70 percent increase. (Google)
- An average internet user spends 88 percent more time on a website with video (Mist Media)
Shocked? A lot of marketing professionals are. The truth is that when many marketers think content marketing they think about written content – blogs, articles, social media posts, website content, etc. However, no matter what industry you’re in, you should consider adding video marketing to your toolkit.
If you’re not sure where to start with video marketing, here are a few tips that might be useful.
Make It Personable
Any video you make – whether it uses your face and voice or someone else’s – should be comfortable for any viewer to watch. “Personable” can mean different things to different people. Keep in mind that personable doesn’t always mean casual. On the contrary, how casual or formal your video should depend largely on your industry and on your own brand identity.
But even the most formal of videos doesn’t have to be distant. And it shouldn’t be. After watching your video, members of your audience should feel a real connection with the person on camera.
The video should reflect your own unique tone, and/or that of your business. There’s an obvious difficulty here – not everyone feels comfortable on camera. Lots of people don’t feel like themselves when they get in front of a camera. Fortunately (most) videos aren’t a one-take deal. You get the opportunity to review, revise, and edit as much as you want. In that way video (as long as it isn’t live – and we’ll be getting to live video shortly) is a lot like writing.
So if you don’t feel that you’re cut out for the little screen (the computer screen, that is), give it a shot anyway. What’s the worst that could happen? You try to film the video twenty times, and all twenty are terrible. Well, you’ve wasted some time perhaps, but not really, because you’ve learned something about yourself and your video marketing strategy.
Here’s a secret though – most people are able to work on camera with poise. Most people can convey their own personality and humanness via video. It may take some practice – sometimes quite a bit – but it usually can be done. If you’re struggling, keep trying. Because there’s a good chance you can get through it and come out the other side with some great content.
Where to Post Videos
First, you probably shouldn’t make a video before you know where it’s going and what audience it is made for. These factors will determine a lot about the video, including length, formality, setting, and more. Many videos can be cross-posted, but you should have a primary platform and audience in mind from the outset.
Your own research and knowledge about your industry will give you the information you need about your audience. You’ll want to know how they search and what sites they spend the most time on.
Obviously, YouTube is king when it comes to video, and most videos you create will go to YouTube, even if they’re going somewhere else as well.
You might also create videos specifically for your website. If you do opt to make a website-specific video, ensure that it is of the highest quality. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure that it presents your brand exactly as you want it to be seen by your audience. A video is powerful, but it also has the power to turn people away. Don’t let consumers get the wrong impression. Anything that goes onto your site should be golden.
The New Realm of Video
These days, you also have live video as an option. Facebook Live is the biggest player right now, and there are a ton of uses for this format. A live feed lets you talk to your audience in real time. That might be intimidating, but it’s also a huge opportunity. For one thing. a live video comes across as less canned than a recorded one. It gives your audience a chance to see you in your natural environment.
For another, live video gives you the opportunity to take questions and requests from viewers in real time. With Facebook Live, your followers can comment, and you can respond to comments as you receive them.
For example, let’s say you’re showing off a new product. One of your followers asks if it has X function. Only one person asked, but lots of people might be wondering about it. Here’s your opportunity. Read the question aloud. Then demonstrate the function for your whole audience to see. Or, if your product doesn’t have that particular feature, explain why. Maybe it’s not practical. Maybe most products with that feature don’t work well. Or maybe adding that function would be sacrificing value in the name of bells and whistles.
Here’s your opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and passion to your audience. There is any number of ways this scenario could play out, but the live video gives you unique opportunities you won’t get anywhere else.
And that’s the real power of video marketing. Even if you aren’t live, you get a chance to show your audience just how responsive you are. After all, just the act of being on camera is responsive. It isn’t easy, is it? It’s simpler to sit behind a keyboard. But putting your business, your face, and/or your product in front of the world is an act of bravery and confidence that will be recognized.