In only a few short years, 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic will be video-based, according to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index. While plenty of that video will be streaming television and movies, a substantial chunk will also come from advertisers looking to catch eyeballs and the proverbial share of wallet.
Today, 79 percent of content marketers are using video. Another study — the Demand Gen Report’s 2017 Lead Nurturing & Acceleration Survey — found that 66 percent of marketers are using video in nurture campaigns. And eMarketer reported that 79 percent of marketers are using video on their websites. These statistics make it clear: If video isn’t part of your marketing strategy, it should be — or your organization risks being left behind. “Everyone is staring at their mobile phones and everyone has extreme ADD and wants to be constantly entertained,” explains Chip Arndt, Jr., senior vice president of Flimp Media1, who is also a board member of the Web Video Marketing Council. “Video is critical, he adds”
Getting started may seem daunting, but if you’ve already got a marketing program in place it doesn’t take very much time, effort, or investment to augment it with video, according toDavid Meerman Scott, a marketing strategist and author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR. “Everybody has an excellent video camera within their smartphone. For most videos, that's all you need, “says Meerman Scott.
Recording device aside, marketers will need to understand how people like to view video. The hard sell, with plenty of lead in and product detail, isn’t going to work in most cases. Instead, you’ll want to create videos that are relatively short – no longer than 30 seconds to a minute or two – that address the problems your customers are looking to solve. “Always consider who you are trying to reach. Once you have your target audience, speak to them directly, creating a video that’s pleasing to the eye and pulls them in during the first five seconds,” says Flimp Media’s Arndt.
Meerman Scott agrees, “When a company, hospital, educational institution, government agency, or other outfit comes across as friendly and engaging because of the way it communicates with people online, the content will be better received.”
The best video content is funny, engaging, interesting, and shareable, and has a call to action. From a content perspective, think of video much like any other type of content advertising, says Arndt. Storyboard or write a script and, if you don’t want to use actors, find someone in your office who is comfortable talking into a camera. It’s okay if the person in your videos doesn't speak like someone with an Ivy League MBA — in fact, it’s probably preferable. You can demonstrate your product or service, but do it in a way that focuses more on the business problem it solves and less on your company.
Posting video is easy, too. In the past, users had one option: YouTube. Today, while YouTube is still the gold standard with its 1.5 billion usersand ownership by Google, there are other options. Video can be posted to Vimeo, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Instagram, which now allows users to upload 60-second video clips. “Most businesses will want to post videos on either YouTube or Vimeo and then use those services’ embed features to host their videos on either the company website or blog – or both,” explains Meerman Scott. “The native video platforms as part of the social networks are worth exploring if your buyers frequent those sites.” End game: Don’t bother posting a video to LinkedIn if your target audience isn’t there.
Creating video is something that is going to help your organization’s bottom line, says Arndt. “The goal is to get someone to click to buy. Make a video that’s visual-heavy and give them a way to click through early enough so they don’t get frustrated and stop watching.”
Karen J. Bannan is a freelance writer and editor who has written for a variety of publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time and CIO.
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Carly Johnson is a content marketing account manager, who combines her SEO knowledge with her passion for creative writing.
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