The key to success of any business is the ability to consistently tell their story in a brief, accurate, compelling way and get that message in front of as many prospective customers as possible.
The best way to tell a consistent, repeatable, entertaining story is with video. And the best way to get the video in front of the most people is through online video sharing.
In an effective online video, you have about two or three minutes at the most to get your point across. The video needs to grab the viewers attention, keep the content flowing in a smooth, logical way and maintain an energetic pace by changing the visual every 4-5 seconds.
For people to share a video, it needs to be relevant, entertaining and add value.
Video can help your business in many ways: by educating prospects, increasing brand awareness, demonstrating expertise in your field, illustrating key differentiators, etc. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what the research says:
- Visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not. (Internet Retailer, April 2010)
- Retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average and are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors. (Comscore, August 2010)
- Video results appear in about 70% of the top 100 listings, the type of content most often displayed in universal or blended search results. (Marketingweek, 2011)
- Zappos reports a 6% to 30% increase in sales for products with video. (ReelSEO, December 2009)
- With proper optimization, video increases the chance of a front-page Google result by 53x. (Forrester, January 2010)
- Affluent consumers prefer video and search to other digital advertising formats, as 41% of affluent online shoppers reported to eMarketer that they took an action after seeing one of these two ad formats. (eMarketer, August 2011)
- 46% of frequent online shoppers prefer shopping on sites with video, compared with 30% of infrequent online shoppers. (Internet Retailer, November 2010)
- Video and other multi-media product viewing options were rated more effective than any other site initiatives in an Adobe survey of almost 2,000 interactive marketers. (Adobe, May 2011)
The bottom line? If you’re not using video, you’re missing opportunities to create more compelling messages, more customers and more conversion.
Social media has really received all the attention from marketers for some time now, and rightly so. But video actually trumps social media in a number of important ways:
- First, more internet users watch online videos – 62 percent –than use social media networking sites – 46 percent according to research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
- Also, YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google. That tells you how most people prefer to receive information – through a visual story. And online video is much more likely to be discovered via search engines than social media posts.
- Video provides more analytical data on who is watching and how long. Social media sites provide very little data on who is reading posts and how long they are engaged.
- Video is a passive, visceral experience, so people are more likely to view ads or be motivated to do something. When they are engaged in social media, they are immersed in social dialogue so advertising is an interruption.
- And finally, with video, you can more easily control your message.
These are just a few reasons video trumps social media for marketing.
Many organizations are discovering marketing success and developing a thought leadership position through content marketing with video. While it doesn’t make sense for all businesses, it can be an integral part of a successful marketing strategy.
Content marketing is creating and delivering content that provides value to your prospects. This content can come in many forms, like blogs, email marketing, article marketing, white papers, case studies, micro-sites and mobile apps, but my personal favorite and the hottest trend lately is video, sometimes called video blogs or podcasts. These are short educational pieces that can be rolled out in e-newsletters, social media and of course, your web site. It’s rich content that can be used in many channels for your marketing purposes.
Here’s how it works: Create 8-10 two or three minute videos in one shooting session to maximize efficiency. We recommend using a teleprompter to simplify the delivery. These videos are then edited with simple graphics and a brief intro/outro. Once approved, upload the videos to dozens of video sharing sites with relevant keywords and an accurate description for search engine optimization. We also include a web address where the viewer can go for more information and sign up to receive more. The videos should ultimately live on a landing page from your web site, specific to a particular topic. Your web visitors—and search engines—favor rich content and video with relevant, useful information.
So where do you get your topics? Easy. Take the top ten questions your clients and prospects ask you on a regular basis and answer them in two or three minute pieces. Show, don’t just tell. Use case studies or client narratives. Be brief, accurate and relevant. Provide attribution for your sources. Think like a journalist, and publish meaningful content that anyone can understand. Avoid jargon and keep it conversational.
It’s important to keep in mind that for content marketing to be effective, it needs to be more educational than promotional, to share information and solve problems, not shill products. Avoid propaganda and invite participation instead.
Once you have a content marketing system in place, you can expand on it and drive new visitors by posting links in relevant forums, discussions, blogs and Linkedin groups. You can re-purpose existing content into different forms. For example, the videos could be re-purposed into podcasts, articles into video blogs, etc.
By doing content marketing through video blogs, you’re adding value and building relationships that will eventually lead to sales. You are also creating content that can be rolled out in many different ways. Content marketing using video differentiates your business and distinguishes you as an expert in your industry, builds trust and burnishes your online reputation. It makes you look genuine, approachable and real. It’s a powerful, 24-7 envoy for your business, stirring conversations, creating further engagement and inviting a connection.
Every business has information for the marketplace of ideas. Provide the marketplace with your ideas on solving their problems and you’ll find customers for life.