As more businesses embrace content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, it's become critical for brands to distinguish themselves through newer, more innovative means.
Video has long been a favorite among online giants like Google and SEOMoz, and it's no surprise why; according to YouTube.com, there are more than 4billion hours of video watched each month.
With an active audience, it's no wonder many businesses have begun to embrace the medium.
Related: Get your online marketing on track before moving onto video -- talk with one of our vendors
Video provides three important benefits generally lacking from text-only content:
- Video search results have been previously reported to be 50 times more likely to earn clicks than text-only links.
- Video can be consumed quickly, and does not require a watcher's singular focus in the way text-only content might.
- Video encourages watchers to connect to the content, as well as to the subject or presenter, on a more human level. Whether crafting a narrative or online tutorial, video captures inflection, tone and many other human subtleties that text-only content generally does not.
Adapt Video to New Media
In order to successfully use video online, brands must be sure to tailor their videos to the unique online medium. Following are 5 tips for getting started.
1. Focus on Results-Based Narratives
Traditional executive two-person interview-style videos remain relevant, but a more compelling option is to produce short, high-quality narratives that focus on consumer results.
Filmmaker and StoryFirst Media Co-Founder, Michael Neelsen, suggests that brands take a planned approach to crafting video if they decide that the narrative format gels with their overall marketing goals. He says:
"It can be easy for inexperienced videographers to think you can just go out and shoot a bunch of footage and see how it fits together later. However, visualizing what the final product should look like beforehand and being deliberate about what you film will make for a far more efficient production and a more considerate end result."
With carefully planned and executed narrative-style video, brands can convey the benefits of their products and services by featuring real-life, human subjects -- a highly-effective maneuver for making the message hit home.
2: Know Your Medium
Among the many new challenges marketers now face is the need to create content that's optimized for smaller devices and platforms. This is especially true of online video -- a medium increasingly viewed on smaller screens.
"Hollywood has begun to adapt their filming style to smaller screens by including more close-ups than before," says Neelsen. "They recognize that, over time, more viewers are likely to watch films on laptops and tablets than in the theaters." This same principle applies to corporate video. Reviewing website analytics should provide insights about which devices visitors use to consume your content.
3: Integrate Video into Your Existing Content Marketing Strategy
If your brand has already embraced content marketing, video can be an effective way to add variety to the ongoing strategy.
CloudTactix Social Media Manager, Sam Zastrow, suggests integrating video content into corporate blog publishing and social media campaigns.
"The best part about video is its versatility," says Zastrow. "Video blogs are great for getting busy decision-makers involved in content marketing without eating into their schedules more than once per quarter or so."
4: Err on the Side of Shorter
Video analytics are proving just how short our online attention spans really are. It was found in a 2009 study conducted by online video hosting service, Wistia, that video completion rates drop significantly after the first 30 seconds: The average 30-second video was viewed 85% of the way through, while the average 2-minute video was viewed on average 50% of the way through.
5: It Doesn't Matter What You Shoot On
Although first-time filmmakers tend to believe they need the highest quality hardware to create something worth watching, this is rarely the case.
"It really doesn't matter what you shoot on," says Neelsen. "We've had cinematographers shoot brilliant footage using just an iPhone. Audiences are engaged by compelling content."
When adding video to your corporate content marketing strategy, don't become overly preoccupied with less-than-stellar screen resolution -- create something remarkable and viewers will be too engaged to notice.
Photo credit: reddochmediagroup.com
Bio: Jake Penner is a freelance business writer and blogger based in Madison, WI.