The importance of video in a content marketing strategy
Over 80% of marketers believe that video is now one of the most important ways to engage with new audiences according to a recent survey, especially with millennial audiences where over 60% of users reported engaging with a brand after watching a video on social media. The rise of stories on Instagram and Facebook is changing the way brands deliver messages to their audiences to a visual approach away from long text which once dominated content marketing strategies.
Video marketing has been around for a long time, but it feels like it's really reached maturity with all indications suggesting that it’s just going to continue to grow. Certainly our experiences are that video content, both for ourselves and for our clients, generates much more interest and a way higher level of views and shares generally turning hundreds into thousands. And this interest can turn into enquiries and orders; for example we recently posted one of our '30 second short' videos on Linkedin, they're just a series of simple videos about roles within bd2 with this one featuring Jon our new account manager. This led to a direct approach from an old client who we've not worked with for quite a few years. They got in touch via Linkedin to say they want to do something very similar with their staff and have commissioned a series of videos. This re-engagement has quickly led to orders and enquiries for further work too.
As users we increasingly want to be entertained, rather than scroll through lots of text or messages. This is especially relevant with mobile devices where it's often a much better user experience to simply turn the device sideways and watch a video rather than scroll through reams of text. Our mobile devices are becoming increasingly video-oriented enabled by faster connectivity via 4G, soon to be 5G, and virtually ubiquitous wifi plus videos are most popular among younger demographics who can be seen watching their phones on trains, in cafes in fact all over the place.
Recent surveys show that 66% of business owners rank video as the most effective form of content for their marketing strategy and over 50% of consumers are interested in watching videos from brands they support. Video also compares favourably to email marketing which isn't as attention grabbing as it once was with our inboxes full of Mailchimp blasts and endless last minute deals. Email marketing is a classic “push” technique that directly contacts prospects and customers attempting to incentivise repeat sales or push promotions but video content marketing “pulls” new prospects in to engage, attract and generate leads. Although we'd always advise that an effective, diversified digital marketing strategy should include email and video marketing content.
In order to integrate video content into your marketing strategy it's important to plan and think about formats, subject matter and production values.
- Interviews Interviews are one of the easiest formats to produce so make a great place to start and could be with an expert in your field. Ideally these videos should be direct and to the point, so between one to five minutes in length. Devise a list of people who are experts and preferably popular in your market, which could include people within your organisation, and then send them an email requesting an interview. It’s a win-win because the interviewee gets exposure, and you get a video with expert opinion and unique insights.
- Company Culture A 'slice-of-life' introduction video to your company workplace culture and environment, again they need to be to the point so should be half a minute to three minutes in length. These videos can also be used promote careers or your jobs page so applicants can see how great your company culture is.
- Product or Service offering Demonstrate a new product or service and its uses in a 30 to 90 second video, these are ideal for Instagram and YouTube. Make sure these are well produced and aim for perfection when shooting product videos, think about TV ads.
- Webinars A video conference webinars can be great for educating clients or prospects about a new product or service. They can also allow you to answer questions and engage directly with the audience to demonstrate your expertise.
- Production Your planning process should also consider production values and the level appropriate for your business, budgets and target audiences. At the lowest level we obviously we all have video cameras in our pockets these days with our smartphones, however having a paint brush doesn't make you Picasso! Professional production with direction, a couple of cameras, good lighting and slick editing will really add value and lead to video content that is far more likely to gain engagement and to be shared. It's an investment that will pay off handsomely. Of course there is a place for hand-held, amateur mobile footage which can capture a moment, but again a professional videographer will know how to integrate this for best effect.
Increased conversion and engagement rates; superior reach; the ability to personalise; the fact that our mobile devices are becoming increasingly video-oriented; and their booming popularity among younger demographics all make video the key media format especially for tech-savvy brands looking to appeal to a younger audience. The widespread popularity of, and engagement with, video means that video-based content will continue to be a dominant and growing marketing channel.