Tips for integrating video as part of content marketing
"The next big thing in content marketing is video,"
...so said, nearly everyone in 2013.
Rather than attempt to convince you of this as a consumer of brands or a business, in this article I'd like to show and advise as to how as part of integrated content strategy, video content can work hard for you and deliver results.
The growing popularity of online video
Online video is big business and it's visibility and the demand for it is statistically astounding. The Content Marketing Institute report the following stats to help paint a picture:
- On-line video has increased eightfold in five years.
- In 2016 the gigabyte equivalent of all the movies ever made in the history of film will move across networks every 3 minutes.
- It will take 6million years to watch all the video that will uploaded in one month, in 2016.
- Video will be 55% of all internet traffic by 2016.
- Video on demand will triple by 2016.
- Mobile video traffic will increase by eighteen times by 2016 (from 2011).
The key drivers encouraging video content marketing
Video is a great way to narrate stories, persuade prospects, impress your audience, and take your business to the next level. From a business perspective, it's often difficult for companies and individuals to grasp the starting point of a strategy for using video within their own business. It helps to start with the purpose and look at the key drivers for using online video for business, as part of a multi - dimensional content marketing strategy. The main reasons to use video from your businesses perspective are:
- Customers buyers are becoming increasingly influenced by video.
- Marketers need more feedback about their content.
- The pressure to show content ROI is increasing.
With these reasons a very clear reality in 2013, it's vital that businesses find the right video content to produce and distribute as part of a wider integrated content marketing strategy.
Video as a Marketing Tool
Simply put, videos are generally quicker and easier to digest than text-heavy content. Video also enables your brand’s content to stand out from the online clutter of text. The data backs this theory up: ROI Research reports user interactivity with content that incorporates video at twice the rate of other forms of content. Video content marketing is all about creating a memorable visual representation of your brand either through you or your customers, advocates or peers. To work well, you need to learn how to use this storytelling medium to be a key part of your content strategy. Here are some key tips to ensure success in video content marketing as part of your other tactics.
Key Video Tips:
Tip 1: Align with your brand
Branding involves clearly communicating your product or service offering and showing distinct differentiation across all customer touch-points. It is important to ensure your videos both clearly use your brand identity and key messages but perhaps more importantly support and build the brand through style, pace and quality. The best brand videos understand how the brand needs to communicate through video to match the essence of what the brand stands for. You only need to look at Nike and Red Bull for example to see how the videos match the brand proposition and position; perfectly. Another fantastic example of branded video content comes from B&Q who not only have on their video channel their excellent TV advertising, but cleverly used videos for DIY, providing tips and instructions. Real value that matches their customer - centric brand.
Tip 2: Use Video to Display or Demo Product
Content marketing often works best when it provides a window into the inner workings of a product or company. Traditional forms of marketing in the past would have shown product photographed alongside advertising led narrative to seduce the customer. Of course this still needs to happen to deliver an initial emotional response to a brand, product or service, but in age of heightened competition real differentiation can be heightened by product video and demonstration. When considering the best way to demonstrate your difference, think about how video can really help your audiences to see your product in action and ensure you plug it in to your product display on your web and social channels as part of your integrated content strategy. Ikea, do this really well and in the context of real environments their product videos feel very connected to real life.
Tip 3: Be Human
I a world of online shopping and many services being handled online or via the phone, there is often a disconnect between customer and consumer, and as humans we all crave that interaction. Even though technology has made our roles less face to face, video has an opportunity to allow people to see and understand the personalities within a business at a small or on a large scale. Steve Jobs and his apple keynote videos and guest presentations were a perfect example of how he, as a leader, and often rebellious, controversial character helped strengthen the apple brand and customer's affinity for the head of the company.
Tip 4: Leverage Audience Generated Content
User generated content is a great way to deliver brand or product oriented content for your business. The quality, control and nature of these videos can be pain points for a brand but on the plus side, if done positively this authentic video content from fans and audiences can add significant value and indeed proof points of quality or the life enhancing nature of a product. Perhaps though, the key advantage of user generated video content for your brand is it's vitality. Creators of content are much more likely to share their own content and their peers are more likely to then engage and re-share due to common friendships and online behaviours. This snowball effect often means that the success of the video can outreach company created brand videos. In order to encourage this an in incentive is often required; think creatively about what this could be. Finally, make sure you then use this user generated content to create a video or series of videos from this to show your true connection to your audiences or to help support the wider campaign.
One of the best examples of effective user generated content can be found from Coca Cola, and it's decision to give its marketing creative brief to consumers in North America, Asia, and Latin America instead of a high-powered ad agency, as is the norm. An incredible quantity of content was created with more than 3,600 submissions including animation, illustration, film, and print advertising. Out of those 3,600, 10 of the highest quality were chosen and shown to creative directors and other ad professionals from around the world with one winning ad eventually shown. Surprisingly, the winning ad, "Happiness is in the Air," was ranked in the top 10 percent of ads shown globally after its debut on Valentine's Day during "American Idol," proving that user-generated content can test very, very well.
Tip 5: Try Short Form Videos
Vine and Instagram video have proved increasingly popular from a brand perspective over the past year. These short videos stretch creative minds and the popularity of the platforms should be leveraged where possible if your audiences live there and you can encourage a folliowing. Companies such as GAP and Samsung have developed loyal followings on Vine and the nature of the videos allows the brands to be more creative and less "salesy" with their message, which in this day and age connects well with the majority of savvy audiences in 2013. Brands also account for 40 per cent of the 1,000 most-shared Instagram videos, according to data compiled by marketing technology company Unruly.
Integrating Video for Effective Content Marketing
On its own, video can deliver interest and engagement, but when not appropriately connected to your brand's online content and marketing activities it has the danger of being isolated, not supportive of your brand and campaigns. Here are some key tactics to ensure you make video connected to and an important aspect of your content marketing activities.
- Create a branded YouTube or Vimeo Channel and cross promote through website, email signatures, business cards, other social channels
- Embed click through on your youtube video to deliver the user to a key landing page where action can be taken
- Ensue video sharing is encouraged and use incentives where appropriate to encourage shares across all of your brand's other social channels
- Integrate video into all social channels available to your brand
- Widen your scope and awareness by investing in pre-roll video online to key demographics
- Make sure to create or reference already established hash tags # on your videos, to help gain campaign discussion and aggregation
- Use video in email marketing (that will link through to a website landing page). Simply having the indication of a video via email will drive up click through rates.
- Ensure your video titles and descriptions are SEO friendly and that any inbound likes use keyword rich link anchors.
Finally, it's worth noting that not all video needs to be expensive. It has already been discussed how short form videos can show authenticity and differentiation and also how user generated videos have the power to be highly effective.
It is worth though, making sure that your content marketing budget is appropriately proportioned as if video has the power to work for you, then you should make sure that it has the appropriate proportion of your budget as there can be no doubt that video has more power to differentiate, connect, visualize and share than any other online content form.