The rise of video content best exemplifies how quickly consumer behavior can radically shift online. What was once an oft-ignored content medium is now preferred content medium for consumers across the world (according to CISCO, 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2020). Studies show that if both video and text are present on your website, then some 72% of consumers would prefer to watch your video to learn about your products or service.
So whether you run a multinational company or a small business, your brand needs to incorporate video content in your marketing strategies. But making videos isn’t a guaranteed route to success. Those videos need to be watched if you are to capitalise on them and this means creating genuinely engaging content that audiences will actively seek out.
The Value of Video To Your Business
Videos are able to present information in a more immediately consumable and emotionally-compelling format compared to a wall of text and the limited capabilities of an images and infographics.
When well conceived and well produced, video content can promote your business and its products and services as well as help you build a lasting brand image. Take a look at these numbers:
- One third of a consumers’ internet time is spent watching videos.
- Landing pages with videos will increase your conversions by 80%.
- After watching a social media video, 64% of consumers are more likely to purchase.
- 81% of business owners use videos as a marketing tool in 2018 (an increase from 63% in 2017).
- Businesses that use videos as a marketing tool see a 49% year-on-year growth.
These statistics point to the importance of video in your online content strategy. The challenge now lies in knowing how to leverage that power and produce a regular stream of videos that your audience will consume.
How To Create Engaging Video Content
The future of marketing is in videos; it’s not a matter of “when”— as it’s already here — but a question of “how.”
The longer a growing brand or business takes to embrace video content the higher they risk falling behind the curve and losing a good chunk of their target market to competitors with an established online video presence. The best way to make headway quickly in this increasingly competitive area is to simply make videos that are just better and more original than your competitors.
Easier said than done, I know.
Considering the amount of resources needed to produce videos, you need to get smart with what you’re producing. Who are you producing your videos for? Why will they love it? How will it help you promote your brand and your products/services? How do you engage your audience from start to finish?
Let’s look at some key areas in creating gripping video content.
1. Define your Goals
In any marketing campaign, the first step is to identify your objective. Your video should be part of your entire content marketing strategy; not a one-off feature to promote your brand.
Take some time to recognize what role your video will play in your overall strategy, and the results you want. Your videos can help you to:
- Generate leads – Produce content that will educate your prospects, establishing your authority in the field and earning their trust.
- Promote company culture – Videos that show employee testimonials or how your office functions every day will help promote your business as an attractive place to work at.
- Establish yourself as a thought leader – Similar to long-form written content like editorial, whitepapers or opinion pieces, you can discuss the latest trends and share your insights on video. Video content like this can easily be broken down into a modular format, making it easy for your audience to consume in bite-sized chunks.
- Build brand awareness – Videos can help you easily explain how your product works. Keep in mind that potential customers who view demo videos are 1.81 times more likely to purchase.
- Engage prospects – Thanks to how videos trigger the sense of sight and sound, this medium can be effective in launching your new product or inviting them to a webinar—all in an enjoyable way.
Take note that video success is not based on the number of views; rather by the action your audience takes after watching it. Include a call-to-action so that your audience continues to engage with your brand after the video ends.
2. Know your Audience
Before developing any kind of video content strategy, you first need to build your customer personas. By understanding your target demographic; your ideal customer’s wants, needs, and socio-economic status, you will be able to create videos that better reflect their day to day challenges, desires and buying behaviour. What do they share on Facebook with their friends or on LinkedIn, with their business contacts?
Plenty of business owners make the mistake of assuming they know their market inside out. More often than not, this is hubris and it can be very costly. It’s not worth risk time and resources producing a video that your desired audience just isn’t into.
3. Apply Psychology to your Video Strategy
Grabbing someone’s attention is different from holding their attention. This is an important distinction to make. You can use an eye-catching thumbnail as clickbait and a grand opening gambit, but if your video lacks substance over its duration, you will ultimately lose the viewer’s attention and (perhaps more importantly) respect.
To know the emotional triggers of your market — and subsequently apply that data in your videos — it’s important that you also look at the psychology behind their buying behaviour. For your video content to be engaging and compelling, you should be doing all of the below:
- Stimulate curiosity – According to the information gap theory of curiosity, an audience is compelled to take action if they sense there is a gap between what they currently know and what they want to know.
Stimulate their curiosity by using thought-provoking titles like “The State of Written Content in the Age of Video.” This triggers a slew of other questions like “Should I still be investing in written content?” or “How much resources should I devote to writing and producing videos?” The more curiosity you can generate, the more likely people are to watch your video.
- Hook the audience in the first few seconds – a study by Twitter and Omnicom Media Group shows that the best performing videos on social media are shorter than 15 seconds.
Considering that human attention spans are now as low as 8 seconds, you only have a few seconds to hook your viewers. The first three or four seconds are absolutely vital to getting casual viewers to commit to your video for its duration.
- Trigger the visual senses – According to MIT, human beings can process an image they saw for as little as 13 milliseconds. This makes visual storytelling the most proficient way for viewers to learn about your product, service or brand. If you’re producing a thought leadership video, for example, provide visual representation when explaining concepts or abstract ideas. If you’re producing a brand video, then think carefully about how style, tone and colour pallet play into your desired brand image.
- Create a strong narrative – Stories are often easier to remember than logical information such as statistics and product features. Unlike logical information, stories can evoke memories which are far more powerful triggers of memory and empathy. When creating brand films, find the balance between presenting facts and telling an engaging story. Studies have shown that human decision making is influenced far more by emotional triggers than logical deduction (despite our brain’s telling us otherwise). By creating emotional responses through video, a customer may not only choose your brand when it comes to making a purchasing decision, but remain loyal and champion you to others.
- Earn their trust – Regardless of how established your brand is, trust remains to be a tricky thing to earn. Study shows the fast decline of mistrust in brands, as 42% of consumers do not trust a brand and 69% distrust advertising.
Before you present any fact on your video, make sure that you can back it up either through statistics and case studies or by involving an industry expert to validate your claims.
During the creative stage of the production process, when writing your video script, make sure that you use the language that your audience can relate to. Use a conversational tone and short, concise sentences when possible.
Anyone who will be on camera should show passion and energy, as audiences are more inclined to respond to that. Be mindful of your body language as well.
4. Optimise your video
Videos may well be created for your target audience but this does not preclude the need for you to optimise them for search engines and social media.
Search engines are less adept at indexing videos than they are with text and images. To help your audiences find you and increase your search engine rankings, you should:
- Add captions to your videos, so it would be accessible even to those who do not speak your language
- Upload the full transcript, so search engines will pick up vital keywords and analyse the content of your video
- Mind the metadata of your videos, including tags, titles, and descriptions
- Use relevant keywords in titles and descriptions
5. Understand that different video platforms require different promotional strategies
There are a number of social media platforms that you can use to promote your video. However, take note that what works well for Facebook may not work with Snapchat, and so forth.
- Facebook – The social media giant has 500 million people watching videos every day. To stand out in this platform, put the most engaging part on the first few seconds of your video. Also, add subtitles as 85% of their users view videos without sound. Lastly, post directly on your business page as that would rank you higher than, for instance, sharing the link to the same video that was uploaded on YouTube.
- Instagram – Instagram users are more inclined to engage with aesthetically-pleasing content, so feel free to be creative with your video. Keep in mind that the platform’s live video last for an hour, Instagram stories can last for 15 seconds, and videos on your profile can last up to 60 seconds. You should also conduct split testing of the square and horizontal formats, and see which one works best for your brand.
- Twitter – Maximum video length for Twitter is 2 minutes and 20 seconds with the optimal viewing time being between around 45 seconds long. Focus on providing short, real-time updates, as the micro-blogging platform is known for live tweeting influencers and brands. Soundless videos also work well on this platform.
- Snapchat – Snapchat allows 60-second videos to be uploaded on the platform. With 10 billion video views per day, its users are more inclined to engage if you spark their curiosity. As such, be more action-oriented with your video content, rather than focusing on the process of shooting it. According to Snapchat, vertical video ads are nine times more likely to be viewed than horizontal ones.
To help increase the reach of your videos, you can work with influencers and tap on their networks. Make sure that you strike a mutually-beneficial deal with them (i.e. give them incentives), and allow them to have creative control over their content. The more organic their posts are, the more their followers would believe in your product/service.
Make Your Video Content Stand Out
In a highly-saturated content world, it’s important for brands to invest in strategies that would help them stand out. Video content is the most powerful format currently, but only if it’s compelling. When done right, this medium can help promote your brand, increase engagement, and grow your revenue.
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