By now you know that people consume content much differently than they did even just a few years ago. A look at the popularity of social media and the growing trends toward mobile and interactive content reveals a strong bias towards brief image and word pairings that evoke powerful reactions and leave lasting impressions. Enter video. The digital audience has a voracious appetite for video. Over 100 million Internet users watch online video daily.
No wonder it’s become a critical component of many a content marketing strategy. In fact, a recent study by Outbrain shows that 87% of the marketers surveyed identified video as their most common form of content and consider it one of the most effective tactics used for building brand awareness alongside social media and content marketing in general. Without a doubt, an increasing number of BtoB publishers are also using video as a means to launch products, educate, entertain and engage their audience.
Best Practices for Video
1) What’s the first step? Know your goals. Like other publishers, your videos should be aimed at building brand awareness, introducing products, sharing expertise and humanizing your company.
2) With goals in hand, you guessed it, the next step is: create quality content. As anyone who has spent a chunk of time trolling YouTube knows, there is a lot of video out there that leaves you starving, not hungry for more. Of course you want to shoot for the latter, so follow the golden rule and create relevant, timely and engaging content. Appearance isn’t everything; if a video is well produced and eye-catching, but lacks the substance to feed your audience’s appetite, it’s not worth the resources you invested in creating it.
3) Honor quantity and diversity. If you are going with video, the same principles you would use with social media apply. Posting frequently and creating a body of content, while varying approach and style (within your brand parameters) will likely create greater engagement.
- Consider a balance between professionally produced and viewer-generated content.
- Ask your audience what they want and produce it for them.
4) Keep it short and sweet (or at least interesting). With today’s collectively short attention span, 1-3 minutes is the ideal length for any video. It might help to think of a video as a movie trailer: you want to draw your viewer in so that they are enticed to look for something more from you. Break your video into these four manageable segments:
- Dedicate the first 5-10 seconds to a strong opener. This should be something unusual that catches viewer attention.
- Use the next minute or so to make your introduction—include branding activities and be clear about whoyou are and the value you are offering in the video.
- Then fill the main body of the video with quality, concise and engaging content.
- Close with a powerful call to action. Make it clear what you want the viewer to do and make it easy for them to do it.
5) Optimize. Use keyword rich descriptions for your video and link them back to related pages on your site. Use a link shortener and make that link a call to action that takes viewers directly to a page where the offer exists (subscribe pages, for example).
6) Look for stories to help you tell the stories. As a publisher, you know what makes a good story. You might just need a little help with how you tell a story with this medium. There are ample examples of how people are engaging their audience via video story telling. Explore YouTube, Vimeo and Pinterest to see what’s working and why.
7) Utilize your suite of tools and tactics to integrate video into your community.
- Having multimedia capabilities on your own website is key to success. When you have a SaaS CMS that enables you to present content with image and video galleries, you have ultimate control over how you brand your videos; you increase time spent on your site, and you enable viewers to engage with you content in multiple ways.
- Encourage commenting and sharing across social platforms.
- Share your videos on your social media platforms, to drive viewers back to your site.
- Don’t forget to embed videos on your blog and article pages and use your site analytics and track activity around your video, to see what is working best.
- Keep mobile capabilities in the mix, as the mobile audience is steadily increasing video consumption.
- Consider how some of ePublishing’s clients utilize these features:
Post webinars, created and paid for by a sponsor, with content that is useful and relevant to your audience. MDM.com offers examples of many.
Create product videosin Buyers Guide listings. This feature can bring your directories and buyer’s guides to life. Microwave Journal provides a strong example.
Both of these examples let your audience generate content, which can ease the challenge of getting started.
Create your own media channel. IBJ.com has created a media page, modeled after social media channels to present related and most viewed video, to showcase event activities as well as rising stars, and to encourage more views for advertisers.
Apply these tips and you might not only entertain and engage your audience, you might find yourself also entertained.