The prospect of rolling out a regular stream of unique video content can be daunting for marketers used to managing campaigns around news, articles and blogs. Still, there are many potential benefits and rewards for those who are willing to make the leap.
First and foremost, video is a content type that people love to watch. In 2020, consumption continues to rise, as evidenced by the fact that 85% of US-based internet users are watching video every month. But what’s in it for brands?
Nine in ten companies say that they have attracted new leads after publishing video content on social media channels and almost two-thirds believe that it offers the best return on investment (ROI) on Facebook, Twitter et al.
By next year, the average person will spend an hour and 40 minutes of each day watching online videos, so it really is worthwhile to address the psychological hurdle that may be holding you back from embracing more visual content.
Video does not have to mean that you need to set up a professional studio and green light expensive original series. Just a simple YouTube account is enough to get you up and running.
Balancing the publication of written blogs and articles on your own website with short clips and videos on YouTube and other social media platforms is the best way to create well-rounded content marketing campaigns that can appeal to a broad audience, at the right moment.
Video marketing is also an excellent tool for boosting important SEO signals such as the amount of time a user spends engaging with a webpage (dwell time) and delivering valuable and relevant content to audiences (page quality).
Video blogs are a great starting point for branded content as they don’t require extensive funding and can help to establish your brand voice and authority as well as a personable image in digital spaces.
You only need a simple smartphone or webcam to shoot a vlog, and it can be quickly edited for distribution on social platforms.
Video blogs are perfect for capturing a sort of grounded, authentic look and feel for your brand. The topics that you can explore are wide ranging and include many of the distinct content types that are central to video; such as how-tos, tutorials and interviews.
If you want to do something a little different to get started, you could make a feature on one of your regular subscribers, talk about an issue that is both closely aligned to your brand and is of interest to your audience, or take part in one of the trending challenges that pop up on social media.
Your customers will want advice and information about products and services to help them make informed decisions, so why not step up and create a series of product reviews?
This sort of video usually works best when you have built a loyal customer base that trusts you as you will be reviewing your own products, answering common questions and highlighting some of the benefits. These reviews need to have value for the consumer and can’t merely be promotions and hard sells.
It can also be beneficial to review products that are not in direct competition with you. These types of referrals for high-quality products can improve the customer experience and keep regular viewers more engaged as they will want a mixture of content that is not always focused on your own offerings.
Company culture videos
Pull back the curtain and offer viewers a unique look into what makes your brand special with a behind-the-scenes series of videos. You can keep things ultra-professional here with clips of talking heads, maybe senior leaders revealing your targets and objectives, or make things a bit more fun with office pranks and days out and events. Make sure to tailor the tone of your videos to your brand image.
Influential videos from expert speakers have become increasingly popular following the success of TED Talks. These presentations, delivered by adept public speakers on intriguing topics, can really keep viewers engaged and lead to an increased sharing on social platforms.
You can leverage this format even in the absence of networking events by filming behind closed doors. Presentations can be very useful when covering topics that are related to wider issues as these will appeal to a wider audience and have a chance of going viral if they hit the right notes.
An extension of product reviews, testimonials put the focus on your customers and act as positive case studies on the products and services you offer. Nine in 10 customers say that they place as much trust in user reviews as recommendations they get from close friends and family members, so lean into this with your own relevant testimonials.
The key is to reach out to customers who are actually really satisfied with your brand rather than hiring any actors or using employees. You could ask a few questions, including what specific feature is their favourite, why the results were better after using your product, and what some of the unexpected benefits were. You can balance out the favourable impressions by talking about some of the reservations a consumer may have had prior to purchase.
The most immediate form of video is a live stream or webinar. SEO expert Neil Patel says that live broadcasts drive a 600% uptick in engagement compared to regular posts. With the value of the streaming industry expected to soar to $70.5bn by next year, now is a great time to explore how it can benefit your business.
You could use live video content for question and answer sessions, product unveilings, behind-the-scenes interviews, and anything else that will keep viewers hooked.
Be wary of empty empathy
The pandemic has prompted many brands to publish video content that is supportive and empathetic to the consumer, but new research suggests that audiences are fatigued by coronavirus-related marketing and desire something that actually addresses specific pain points.
“I think there’s a lot of sentiment going around and people are getting kind of skeptical or cynical about brands just saying things that sound nice, but they’re not actually doing anything,” Fractl marketing director Amanda Milligan explains.
Keep that in mind as you embark on your video content marketing journey. Relevant, entertaining video is a valuable tool that can complement and enhance the power of all your marketing mediums this summer.