More than six billion hours of video are streamed on YouTube each and every month. Picture that; an hour’s worth of video for everyone on earth, being watched month-in, month-out. A hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Video elicits an emotional response in a way that no other media can. YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the UK, and the second most popular social network after Facebook and above Twitter (according to Experian Hitwise figures of July 2011).
Whilst we can be absorbed by written or audio content, or get drawn in by an image, video combines the longevity of written content with the immediacy and approachability of video, to provide a medium which can really resonate with viewers.
What can video do for me?
In short, video allows you to give the ultimate preview of your brand. Video allows your content or product to sit in the closest proximity to your audience – captivating, stimulating, interactive and engaging them without actually going out and handling your product – all whilst sat on the train in their commute.
What’s more, video is great for Search Engine Optimisation. Video Production and Marketing can help you sit higher up Google’s pages, just because your offering has suddenly diversified. A website is actually fifty times more likely to appear on the first page of Google results pages if it contains a video. The rich content offered by an additional video can help you keep eyes on your page for longer and refer traffic deeper into your site. Indeed, employing a brand video has been said to increase the intent to purchase by 97%, and increase brand association by 139%!
Is video content more engaging than written content?
Content on the web can be mesmerising, but it is much harder to capture your audience’s attention online, as online patience levels are so much lower than if we physically read a magazine or book. Online, your audience will read in an F-shape pattern – they will take in headings and subheadings, and pick out a few horizontal sentences of content, skipping over prepositions and adjectives and identifying nouns relevant to their search query, or interests. According to Forrester Research, only 20% of your web traffic will read the majority of your onsite text, where 80% will watch this same content, if it’s delivered in video format.
How can I make sure my video works for my brand?
But how can you create a successful video? Afterall, even if your video is in front of thousands of eyes, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have a captured audience for the duration of your video. Many viewers will decide within the first few, crucial seconds whether they’ll keep watching your video or click off. You need to hook viewers in, therefore, to keep their attention from the first shot. Making this first shot fascinating, and immediately addressing your audience are great ways to ensure you keep their attention.
If you engage with your audience by asking a question, and let out some teasers about the end of the video at the beginning too, you can avoid being abandoned after only seconds. Also, a key point to remember – keep your branding to a minimum – less than five seconds per video, unless you’ve come up with something objectively hilarious. Remember that people are generally unlikely to be excited about your new product or offering if you don’t explain how its features will benefit them – instead of “look at our new product and how great our company is”, think “look at this time-saving innovation in our new product line which will allow you more time to do this”.
Some key takeaways to making your video work as marketing:
• Always include a call to action in your video – The end of your video is the perfect place to include a subscription button and links to all of your social streams.
• Content – However well you employ sharing tactics and intense marketing knowledge, if your content isn’t there it isn’t going to take off. It’s the core message and idea at the centre of your video which is going to entice viewers. This is often the hardest (and least prescriptive) step in your campaign – that’s why companies so often hire professionals to generate quality content and creative ideas.
• SEO – Equally, even with your now awesome content, if you don’t put it in front of anyone it’s unlikely to be the next viral hit! In terms of SEO, as mentioned above, search engines regularly recognise and favour rich (video) content, but a video posted on YouTube or Vimeo needs the SEO essentials which you might now be familiar with from writing and sharing text content – you should employ a strategic title, relevant keywords in the right places and links back to your homepage. Make sure to use a clear and concise description of the video before the fifth line “show more” cut-off point.
In short, video marketing which ticks all the boxes is likely to give you the propulsion you need to target new, key demographics and spread your work more naturally and more successfully in a more captivating medium.