Video killed the radio star in 1979 and it continues to increase its dominance today. Global consumer internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2014 according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index. Luckily the explosion of internet applications in recent years has made the technology necessary for hosting and displaying video widespread and affordable.
Marketers have recognised video as a useful tool and it is now commonly used in campaigns to:
- Increase conversions and sales
- Promote viral exposure via social sharing
- Increase potential lifespan: How to videos and other educational or instructional videos can be valid for an extended period of time and become ‘evergreen’ content
Vidyard have gone so far as to claim that marketers who use video outperform their peers, and they have the stats to prove that video drives better results and can also increase the marketing budget.
Whether video is right for a particular campaign depends on a variety of factors, including:
Who is your target audience?
- 80 percent of millennials consider video content when researching a purchase decision
- 7 out of 10 millennials are likely to watch a company video when shopping online
- 76 percent of millennials follow brands on YouTube
- 60 percent of millennials prefer to watch a company video over reading a company newsletter
The success of video is much farther reaching than millennials though, it has been shown to improve click through rates across the board. Everything from adventure sports to cooking and DIY communicate well on video. Products with strong visual appeal are ideal for video marketing but if your products aren’t attractive visually video campaigns can still work well if the footage focuses on things other than the product itself such as the results the product achieves or lifestyle benefits. When your audience is active on social media shareable video is a great way to engage them.
Consider who your viewers are likely to be so you can tailor your video content to a relevant audience, taking into account the following groups:
Customers: Your customers already know you but should be kept engaged. They will often be interested in staying in touch after purchasing, with information about company developments such as new products and sales.
Prospects: Those who are considering doing business with your company need encouragement to make the leap from a prospective customer to repeat customer.
Industry Influencers: The power of social media to spread the word about your products is amplified when an authority figure or influential individual in your industry gets behind your products.
The general public: A well made video that accurately displays the benefits of your company’s products and services can be an effective means of attracting interest from the general public.
How to get your video seen
Having created a video you need a relevant audience to view, and hopefully share, it. There are a variety of ways to get your video seen including:
- Embed the video in banner ads or other content being used in your marketing campaign.
- Use the video in a television advertisement
- Post the video on YouTube and let your audience know it is there through social media, your website and other outreach methods
- Post the video on your website if it has the bandwidth to do so
- Use social media: Using social media offers the chance for viral spreading of your video as some of your followers share the video with some of their followers and so on. The ease with which content can be shared through social media means that even if only a small portion of your audience shares the material it can still spread widely through multiple networks of contacts
- Make a shorter version of the video for use on video sharing sites such as Vine
- Use a title designed to attract viewers
- Send out an email to your contacts linking to the video
In addition to getting the word out about your video, it’s also important to make sure the quality of the video is as high as possible to maximize your views and because poor quality video can damage your brand, Brightcove found that 62% of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor quality video. Internet viewers don’t expect broadcast level quality from your videos, but they do expect competence and value. Whether you hire an expert or make the video yourself, take some time to ensure that your video has clarity and sound quality. The goal should be to produce a video with technical quality high enough that it doesn’t distract viewers from paying attention to the message or lesson your video is designed to deliver.
Tips for designing your video to attract viewers include:
- Include valuable content
- Pick a title that stands out
- Create a video series: Design a video campaign that motivates your viewers to keep coming back to your website for more
- An appealing splash screen that acts like a preview to the video, not just a logo or title
- Consider the time of day that you post and promote your video
- Keyword strategies:
- Place keywords in the titles, descriptions and tags of your videos
- Target search phrases rather than simply keywords to increase the chances your videos will be found in searches
What type of video is best?
When choosing a type of video, consider first what it is that your relevant audience is most likely to want to see. Unlike a television advertisement, video outreach usually works best by providing something of value to your audience as opposed to simply delivering a sales pitch.
Following are some video types to consider when selecting a topic for your video:
Produce a “how to” video: The video can demonstrate how to use your product or it can explain how to perform a task or procedure that you feel would be useful to your audience. If the video demonstration is effective it can benefit your company by earning the gratitude and good opinion of your audience. Videos such as this are ideal for distribution via social media.
Debut new products: When your company is ready to announce a new product to the world, video is a great way to show and tell your audience about it. Unlike a simple press release, a video announcement allows you to show potential customers the product as well as inform them about its features and benefits. Product videos continue to add value long term, invodo found that 52% of shoppers will leave a site if videos are not present for product research.
Answer questions: Video is a great medium to answer questions about your products and services. It allows you to cover topics most likely to be of interest to your audience and to demonstrate how your products meet their needs by answering questions.
Customer testimonials and demonstrations: A powerful way to show your product’s appeal is to produce a video featuring your customers talking about or using your product. Such videos provide powerful social proof for your products.
Take a look behind the scenes: A video that emphasizes the human side of your company – the people behind the products – is a good way to attract viewer interest. You can show how your products are made, or interview some of the people at the company to put a human face on your business.
Screen captures or slideshows and existing images: Instead of filming yourself, use screen captures, slideshows or great catalogue pictures to tell a story. This way you can create a video quickly and on a budget . For the former, ScreenFlow is a popular Mac solution and Camtasia is commonly used for PCs. For the latter, Keynote or PowerPoint slides are common choices.
Webinars: Videos of this type can serve as instructional classes to educate users and prospects about your products and their usage. They allow for interactive feedback, helping to establish a rapport with your audience that can help drive conversions and sales and promote audience engagement.
Microvideos: Using services such as Vine, which features short looping videos, or Instagram and its 15-second video service, you can engage with your audience by providing visually compelling content. Short videos of this type can be a great way to promote your brand on social media.
How to set up your own studio at home or the office
The rapid spread of Internet connectivity and the development of inexpensive video creation technology have made it feasible to set up a recording studio without great expense. You can certainly spend a significant amount of money to do so if you like, but it is by no means necessary.
To set up your own studio you’ll need equipment including:
- Cameras that shoot HD video are reasonably priced. Unless you intend to produce an extremely high quality video there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on a high-end camera.
- Camera accessories such as batteries and cords
- A separate microphone if you don’t intend to rely on the in-camera microphone
- A microphone boom may be necessary to ensure that your vocal volumes are sufficient
- Video editing software
- A computer powerful enough to handle video editing
- Lighting equipment
If your studio will be a converted office or other space for temporary shooting you may want to acquire partitions to block off the space and keep out unwanted light. Proper lighting is key to producing a high quality video. To this end, investing in lighting for your home or office studio can be a worthwhile investment. Ideally, in addition to being quiet, your studio should be echo free to ensure that your videos have quality sound clarity.
A variety of self-build video platforms allow you to produce high quality videos without hiring a production team to do it for you. They can provide substantial cost savings over hiring a production company or individual, especially if you produce multiple videos.
DIY and self-build platforms include:
YouTube Creator Hub – Resources for YouTube
Prezi – Animation software
Sparkol – Videoscribe animated software
Treepodia – Ecommerce video solution
ScreenFlow – Mac screen capture tool
Camtasia – PC screen capture tool
Jing – PC screen capture tool (free)
Video editing tools include:
PowerPoint (PC or Mac)
Do I need to use a professional?
There are times when using an expert in the field may be advisable including:
- If professional actors are involved: A video featuring yourself or your employees can generally be created without the involvement of professional talent management personnel such as agents, producers and directors. However, when professional actors are involved in making a video, using experts who understand the intricacies involved in the hiring and video creation process may be advisable.
- When using special effects or animation: While there are DIY solutions that allow you to create animated videos, if you are aiming for anything beyond what a basic solution can offer using an expert may be necessary.
- When filming at multiple off-site locations: A video which involves filming at multiple locations, or any location outside of your office, may involve acquiring various permits allowing the filming to proceed. To acquire these and manage the shoot expert assistance may be necessary.
- When writing the script: A good video usually requires a good script; if you do not have a skilled writer on your team it may be advantageous to hire a professional for best results.
Where to host video
YouTube: The dominant player in video hosting, YouTube provides an excellent resource for hosting your video where it can easily be viewed by a wide variety of consumers. Using the service’s free hosting can significantly cut the costs of your overall video marketing by saving on bandwidth costs that would otherwise apply if you hosted the video elsewhere. Now it is owned by Google is makes
While YouTube is an inexpensive way to host videos, it does have some drawbacks as compared to hosting a video on your own website. It doesn’t allow for SEO optimization or control of the ads being displayed with your video. The platform doesn’t allow for complete control of the branding experience by the company that created the video. Also, no SEO credits are booked for directing viewers from your video to your website.
Your Website: While extra bandwidth charges may apply, hosting the video on your own website is the best way to make sure that your audience has a chance to view it. If the cost of doing so would exceed your marketing budget, you may want to consider hosting a snippet of the video on your site and linking to YouTube or some other video hosting site for those who wish to view the complete video.
Vimeo: This paid hosting service provides advanced analytics and customization options for a fee.
Online Video Platform (OVP): One way to efficiently host videos on your website is to use an OVP. These sites can also publish your videos to YouTube, so you benefit from exposure on that platform while being able to more completely control the user experience on your own site. Some benefits of using an OVP include:
- The ability integrate content management
- Specifically oriented for ecommerce video creation
- More efficient workflow
- Functionality supporting client testimonials
- Retains social activity on the company’s site
With all this information you are ready to create a video marketing strategy to keep your audience informed, engaged and amused.