When you think of the term “content marketing,” what pops into your head? If you’re like most people, you likely think of blog posts. Maybe some ebooks or extended guides. If you’re also like most people, you likely won’t think “video”– but you should.
While video has been used more for other types of marketing in the past, it has a solid place in content marketing. Videos are incredible mediums for storytelling and relationship building, after all, and though those features can enhance an ad, they also speak to the core purpose of content marketing. Copy is meant to sell; content informs and build relationships.
So what exactly is the role of video in content marketing? In this post, we’re going to discuss why video is so vital to content marketing and how you can use it to improve the results you’re already getting in every way.
Why Video Should Be a Vital Part of Your Content Marketing
One thing I want to clear up really quickly is the difference between copy and advertising and content marketing.
Copy and advertising focused on selling something immediately. It’s meant to drive immediate action. It’s brief and to the point.
Content might still encourage you to take certain actions, but it’s more about storytelling, informing, and establishing relationships. You’re providing value and drawing customers in that way instead of going for the hard sales pitch.
A lot of businesses focus on video exclusively in advertising. They create hard-hitting explainer videos meant to drive sales instantly. This is obviously effective, and we write about it a great deal on this blog. But it’s not the only way to use video.
Video is an outstanding medium for content marketing, and I’ve argued in the past that video is so content-oriented that YouTube should be approached as a content marketing platform instead of a social media one. It can be used to provide exceptional value in a quick, digestible way that audiences will be happy to engage with and share.
It helps that video is a compact form of content. Instead of copy/pasting an entire blog post and its supporting images into a Facebook post (which no one would ever do), people can just share your video with a simple click.
How to Improve Content Marketing with Video
Video has a lot of benefits and a lot of diverse use cases. Let’s take a look at the four biggest ways you should be using it to improve your content marketing campaigns across the board.
Create Standalone Video Content
We’re seeing more and more long form content being shared across multiple platforms, to the point where we’ve even seen an emergence of platforms like IGTV.
Video content that’s meant to engage with users, teach them, or offer value to them in some other way is a great way to enhance your content marketing. You’re adding a new medium of content that’s engaging and easy for users to process quickly.
And sometimes, video can capture a subject more efficiently than even the best-written blog post ever could. Instead of writing a blog post about how to fix the engine of the car, for example, it would likely be a lot more effective to watch a video going over the same thing. It’s easier for people to understand, and it can often get the point across much more quickly.
Sometimes video tutorials are more beneficial than text-based how-tos. In this case, you’ll see videos appearing high in the SERPs.
Your standalone video content can truly standalone, existing in separate campaigns from your blog or lead magnets, but it can also work alongside it. Cover similar topics, and then send users back and forth from your videos to your blog and vice versa.
Embed Videos in Blog Posts
Once you’ve got that video content up and running, embed them in relevant blog posts. Are you talking about overall car maintenance? Insert that video showing how to change an engine in the appropriate section, embedding it into the post. This adds value for your readers, it makes your content more engaging, and it even gives you a new type of goal to track in Google Analytics; (you can actually see how many users click to play your videos).
Videos appearing in blog posts do count as additional media, and the more thoroughly you’re able to cover a single subject, the happier your readers will be.
Use .SRT Files to Improve SEO
We already know that captions are important to include on videos, especially with 85% of videos being played on Facebook without any sound. Including closed captions to counteract this trend is important, but they have another great use, too.
When you use .SRT files to create closed captions for your video, you’re also giving your video content a big SEO boost that will help you to attract relevant traffic. Google can’t crawl videos, but they can crawl .SRT files, which are essentially text transcripts that you embed into the video.
This gives you an enormous SEO advantage, because you can hit a lot of keywords you weren’t even targeting directly and show up in more relevant feeds.
If you’re not sure how to create an .SRT file, it’s easier than you think, especially if you use YouTube. You can see how here.
Create Videos to Promote Your Content
Even if you’re most comfortable sticking with blog posts as your primary form of content, you can still use video to send more traffic your way.
The best social media ads go by in the blink of an eye. Video needs to load instantly on every device, and only fast video will keep people’s attention long enough to make a full pitch.
— Shakr Video Maker (@ShakrMedia) October 23, 2018
As a part of Shakr’s content marketing strategy, we create short announcement videos for our blog posts using our high-performing video templates. We feature the blog title in short, 5-second-long videos that we share on social media. Since videos are often favored in feeds and immediately suck you into watching, it’s been an effective strategy that we’re sticking to (at least for now!).
Blog posts are the staple of most brands’ content marketing strategies, but that definitely doesn’t mean they should be the only part. Video can help your marketing efforts by enhancing the content itself, providing new content available to you, helping you connect with your audience, and making it easier to promote the posts you already have. It’s a valuable and flexible asset, and it should be treated as such.