Yes, I love cat videos. No, the surprised kitty is not relevant to this post. But, the video is.

 
Why? Because video rules!

video-rules-why-you-need-it-in-your-content-marketingWhile you probably don’t need me to tell you, businesses and consumers alike are feverishly pursuing video. Report after report is saying how much we all love it, especially those millennials. (Myself included.) In fact, Econsultancy’s May 2013 Internet Statistics Compendium states that US 18-34 olds watch more video on digital channels than any other age group. The consumption and attraction to video, then, seems to be on track for continual growth.

As marketers, we know that content is vital to generating leads, and because of video’s superstardom, it is a special piece of content that can really ramp up lead generation.

To break it down, here are five reasons why your business needs to be doing video marketing:

  1. Video humanizes your brand. It gives the consumer a chance to see the people of the brand talk, laugh, move and interact with each other. Seeing this builds trust and credibility for your brand among the consumer.
  2. It makes your website more interesting. Videos add another layer to your site, along with the text and visual elements. It provides texture and variety that keeps your visitors exploring.
  3. Video increases interaction time on the site. Like said in #2, the variety of content – text, visual and now video – stimulates the visitor and keeps them on your site. This increased time on your site exposes the visitor to your brand message longer, which creates a longer lasting impression of your brand.
  4. Videos are shareable.  49% of mobile phone users, according to Econsultancy’s May 2013 Internet Statistics Compendium, share video content daily/weekly. The more shares on a video, the more reach your brand has.
  5. Videos allow for conversation. Not only do videos provide a great space for your company to have a conversation, but it also allows your brand to invite your visitor into the conversation. Asking them their thoughts on screen is a much friendlier approach than a sentence at the bottom of a post. And, of course, the more a visitor engages with your brand online, the more potential they have to becoming a customer.

So grab your million-dollar smile and get filming, right? Wait. What’s this hesitation? I still haven’t convinced you?

Ah right. You’ve got this idea of viral video in your head. Maybe you’re thinking of Kmart:

(Did you EVER think you’d be envious of them?)

Or maybe Jeff Gordon going for a “Test Drive” with Pepsi Max:

And then there’s, of course, Dove, who always gets people talking:
(Just under Dove’s YouTube account, this video has 54 million views since its upload in mid-April.)

Yes, these videos have all gone viral and created significant buzz for their brands, but effective video content doesn’t have to be viral. In fact, most of it isn’t. According to YouTube, 72 hours of video is uploaded every minute.

Think about that for a second.

That’s an unbelievably staggering amount. So, the key here is this: don’t set out to make a viral video. It probably won’t work. I heard some great advice from Craig Key, an Associate Media Director over at Space150, back in February at the Student Ad Summit:

#viralsucks.

Don’t try and be viral. That’s like trying to start a forest fire when all you need to do is stay warm. A small fire will do just fine, you little over-achiever. (I can’t claim this metaphor as mine – it’s all Craig.) Video’s purpose in content marketing is to better connect you to the people that find value in your brand. Your biggest goal with video is not to go viral – it is to be relevant to YOUR audience. Those are the people that matter; focus on them.

The Takeaway

Just because your business won’t make the next buzzed-about, swagged-out viral video does not mean you shouldn’t be doing it. Understanding the value in video comes from understanding something about human nature: people crave human connection. They trust a human face and voice more than words on a screen, and video gives you that. Video generates credibility and a chance to connect and interact with your audience across the digital space.

So go ahead, grab the camera and start connecting.

Note: Hair and make-up tips included in the next post.