More and more businesses are discovering the power of online video marketing. Video is proving to be an essential tool for capturing the user’s attention and delivering brand messaging in a memorable, compelling and meaningful way.
Years ago, implementing video into digital marketing campaigns was difficult at best. Low-bandwidth connections meant using alternative distribution methods, like CD-ROM. Even then, videos had were highly compressed to fit onto the physical media. Fortunately, the days of grainy, choppy video are over. With today’s higher speed connections, it’s even possible to stream 4k video with stunning results. Thus, digital marketers are finally able to take full advantage of this powerful communication tool.
Lights, Camera, Action!
A strong content strategy and well-written copy will always remain hugely important with regards to your overall messaging strategy, but video can add a level of engagement that text just can’t. Video has the power to catch a viewer’s attention and convey your marketing message in a memorable fashion. Video has proven to be effective in driving brand awareness, improving lead generation and increasing online engagement.
At this time, video marketing is still gaining steam, along with social media. Many businesses know about it but few are using video and using it well (other than big brands). This represents an opportunity to gain a competitive edge over your competition. Even better, combining video and social media can pack a powerful punch. Video is quickly becoming the go-to choice for marketers, and according to some studies, has surpassed more traditional forms of content marketing like white papers and blog posts for its ability to concisely deliver compelling stories with an emotional resonance to your target audience.
In addition to making your brand more personable and authentic, video is also great for explaining complex subjects. Would you rather read through paragraphs of plain text or watch a short tutorial video? Video is a no brainer.
Now that we discussed the importance of video, let’s explore some tips and tricks to get started and maximize the effectiveness of video marketing.
As with all components of your content strategy, quality matters. Sure, people like watching videos. But we should point out that users will be much more likely to engage if your video is delivering quality information. Effective videos solve problems, provide valuable information, entertain the user and compel them to take action. For added SEO benefit, consider creating written transcripts, complete with descriptive keywords.
Each day, we are bombarded with an avalanche of content. Content fatigue isn’t just a buzzword – it’s real. Recent studies have been quick to point out the dwindling attention span of most users. As most users will click away within 2 minutes, your video should be short and to the point. And remember, if your video contains high-quality, well-edited content, users are more likely to stick around until the end credits roll.
Your videos will be worthless without viewers, so a solid distribution strategy is the key to any successful video marketing campaign. YouTube is still a powerhouse, but it is giving up some ground to Facebook. Many are opting to post videos directly to Facebook rather than upload to YouTube and link to Facebook. Vimeo, Instagram and newer, trendy video distribution sites are still viable options, but only receive a small fraction of the traffic when compared to YouTube and Facebook. Perhaps you’ve noticed how many YouTube videos are showing up in Google search results. As such, having an active YouTube channel represents a fantastic opportunity to boost your search engine rankings.
Additionally, new, trendy platforms like Periscope and Vine continue to grow, with some brands directing major marketing dollars towards capturing their younger, tech-savvy audiences. These, too, are a clear reflection of the market’s desire for fresh, engaging video content.
In some instances, it makes sense to host video directly on your website. The once-popular rotating banner images on homepages have proven to be ineffective and are thus slowly being put out to pasture. Large “hero banners” have taken their place. However, hero banners don’t need to be static images. This all-important area of the homepage represents a fantastic opportunity to feature a looping video showcasing your products, services and/or team. Typically, these videos are in the background and may even have text overlays. Thus, hero banner videos are often silent and may be darkened or blurred to increase the legibility of the type overlay. This treatment can make for a dynamic and expressive experience that draws your users in right from the get-go.
Although video is much more likely to go viral than any other type of content, we don’t recommend solely shooting for that coveted viral video. The phrase “trying to capture lightning in a bottle” is used to express the impossibility of creating magic on demand. Spinning your wheels to force corny ideas and push them on your audience usually comes off as inauthentic and can likely do more harm than good.
As with all forms of digital marketing, video is not a silver bullet and you can’t expect to be an overnight YouTube star. But with a well-considered video marketing strategy and tight integration within your overall marketing plan, video can be invaluable in bringing your brand messaging to the masses and taking your business to the next level.
What else goes into the recipe for successful digital marketing??
Check out step 6 of our Seven Steps to Digital Marketing Success series, Effective Email Marketing.