‘Content is king’ is a mantra that is repeated religiously in the world of content marketing. Behind this lies the belief that quality content is crucial to a successful digital marketing campaign.
Going forward, I propose a more focused and fresh spin on this phase. A motto with a 2017 slant.
Simply repeat after me: ‘video is valuable’.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, it’s not that regular blogging, podcasts and other forms of content are no longer important. That’s certainly not my suggestion. All content, in one way or another, is beneficial to an overall online marketing strategy. However, there’s no denying the juggernaut that is video content. It’s surge in popularity, especially in the past year, is only set to continue (and at full throttle pace).
Whether you work in marketing or not, you won’t have failed to notice that videos are appearing here there and everywhere; in your emails, on your social feeds and as you generally browse the web. Marketers have cottoned on to the power of video as an immediate, engaging and easily shareable content medium.
In this post, we’re going to look at why you, too, should be using video marketing (if you’re not already) and 6 ways to make your video marketing more effective.
Why You Should Use Video Marketing
Let’s face it, the success of any marketing campaign is measured by numbers and we’ve got some pretty impressive one’s for you.
The following statistics from HubSpot should be enough to convince you to get on board with video marketing:
- Cisco predicts that videos will account for more than 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.
- Four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it.
- Inserting the term ‘video’ into an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent and click through rate by 65 percent.
- Videos have higher retention rates compared to text based content.
- When presented with information, people are likely to remember only 10 percent of that information 3 days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with the same information, retention is significantly increased to 65 percent.
- Audiences are 10 times more likely to engage, embed, share and comment on video content than they are blogs.
- Search engines love video. Web pages that contain video are significantly more likely than traditional web pages to rank on the first page of Google.
Quite simply, the crux of it is this – people prefer to watch than to read and that isn’t expected to change anytime soon!
How to Make Your Video Marketing Effective
The statistics say it all – video marketing is no longer an option but an increasingly necessary part of your content strategy. As more brands are realising this, and more consumers are expecting it, the video marketing landscape will become saturated. It’s essential your video marketing doesn’t sink in the vast sea of video content that’s out there. Fear not, though, we’re here to throw you a lifeline and talk you through our top tips for effective video marketing.
1. Quality Over Quantity
To out shine competitors, you’ll need to up your game in terms of the quality of your videos. Churning out various low-quality videos simply for the sake of it won’t be of value. This will merely see visitors arrive at your website or social channel and immediately bounce back out as they quickly recognise the content is of poor quality.
Low-quality videos will hinder the success of your online marketing efforts.
If you’re going to invest in video, you need to do it well. Ultimately, in taking the time to produce better quality videos, you will reap the rewards of higher engagement and drive better results to your website. Plus, videos are likely to prove a better investment in the long haul and an asset you can rely on in future years.
2. A/B Testing Your Videos
A/B testing is a method of comparing two versions of a webpage to determine which performs better. It’s an excellent way to better understand your audience and the content they respond best to. You could test the effectiveness of your video marketing with this method. There are several ways you might do this:
- Alter the video length – long/short
- Change the introduction or hook
- Include different calls-to-action
- Use a variation of animation vs. real life interviews
Once you find those winning formulas you’ll soon be able to produce the videos that work for your audience.
3. Produce Engaging Videos
For those of us who work in content marketing, the word ‘engaging’ can produce an involuntary groan. It’s a buzzword thrown about so often you can be certain it’s lost its buzz. Having said that, there is something in it and there’s a reason why it’s said so often.
Without making your video content engaging, no one is going to watch it – it’s as simple as that!
An engaging video, ideally, will utilise humour, evoke emotions or spark curiosity. It will also captivate your audience’s attention, which is crucial if you want them to follow through with a call to action, whether it’s ‘leave a comment’, ‘share this video’, ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ or ‘contact us today’.
Example: John Lewis
Year after year, John Lewis bring out the big guns and get everyone talking with their Christmas ads. Whilst not everyone can stretch to such a massive marketing budget, there’s a common theme present that any video marketer can replicate.
That common theme is this: their adverts always tell a story. For the past two years, their December advert has featured Buster the boxer (humour: tick) and Monty the penguin (cute animals: another big tick). Prior to this was the man on the moon advert which told the story of a lonely, elderly man at Christmas time (emotive story: tick, tick, tick). Buster the boxer has since become the retailers most shared video of all time.
4. Create A Coordinated Content Strategy
Be strategic when it comes to your video marketing. Don’t just create random videos and expect them to produce a large return or go viral. Consider how your video marketing will translate across all platforms and devices and ensure it is in sync with the rest of your content marketing.
Take social platforms, for example. Each one is unique and the way your Snapchat community prefers their content will differ from your Facebook audience. Also, thanks to mobile, a large percentage of videos are played without sound. Consider designing your video so that it performs well with and without sound by including subtitles.
Example: Tasty on BuzzFeed
Tasty on BuzzFeed is a great example of this. Their recipe videos are always a hit. They can be played with or without sound as the ingredients are listed on the video. Tasty uses strong, appealing and mouth-watering visuals that play well on all devices and get impressive social shares.
Last year they created 2,000 recipe videos that reached a total of 500 million people a month!
5. Utilise Live Video
Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Twitter Live Video – all the major social platforms are at it. Facebook even recently launched 360-degree live video.
It wouldn’t be surprising if you’ve already experimented with live video. Most businesses, big and small, have jumped on the bandwagon at some stage as it’s affordable and accessible. Why not get creative with your audience? Some ideas to get you started include:
- Showing your followers what goes on behind the scenes at your business
- Live competitions or giveaways
- Q&A’s with your staff
Example: Benefit Cosmetics – Tipsy
A host and a guest will discuss a beauty topic, offer advice and answer questions all the while drinking wine. It’s bold, it’s fun, it’s tongue in cheek and it’s a great way to promote a brand that relies strongly on demonstrating their products.
6. Budget For Video Marketing
As the demand for video grows, brands will need to allocate a larger part of their content budget to video. If you don’t have the budget to be producing high quality, large scale video productions then live video (as mentioned above) is an easily accessible and cheap alternative. Live video is giving brands an extensive reach on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Example: Deliciously Ella
She consistently uses Instagram stories to post photos and videos of healthy meals, as well as a means to promote her cookbooks, apps, branded snacks and delis. Typically, followers of her Instagram stories are prioritised in terms of special discounts or events.
Why is Video Marketing So Effective?
Ultimately, we live in a day and age where consumers demand immediacy and simplicity. Video content is instant, easy to digest and caters to short attention spans. This, combined with the fact video can boost a websites SEO, performs well on all devices and has the potential to go viral makes video content a smart approach to your digital marketing in 2017 and onwards. No longer should video be an afterthought but, instead, it should be at the forefront of your content strategy.
If you’ve got any questions or would like some advice regarding your video marketing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on Twitter: @SiteVisibility