Video has become more important than ever in getting your brand noticed.
Social media provides prime examples of how video has come to dominate the attention spans of internet users. Facebook has started favoring longer video content to keep its users logged in. Facebook’s algorithm update not only takes into account the likes, comments, and shares that a piece of content attracted, but also the time spent looking at the content.
Video is now the future of all media. Consider that YouTube is drawing nearly 1.8 billion users every month. That’s not far behind Facebook’s 2 billion monthly users, and YouTube could quickly surpass that number by the end of this year. No other type of content is rising so astronomically as video, and the primary drivers of this rise are mobile phones.
The beauty of video is it’s naturally engaging and, in an age of information overload, it's vital for small businesses to offer easily digestible content. If not, consumers will simply move on.
Video does this very well. If a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million, so say Forrester's researchers. Little wonder, then, that Axonn Research found seven in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them.
But is video really possible for small brands? Of course! Production costs have fallen significantly in recent years, and you no longer need to be a technical whiz to work out how to use it.
Video is the future of content marketing, and it is critical for a brand to have a video presence in today’s ever-expanding market. Let’s take a look at five tips on how to incorporate video into your current marketing.
- Understand the Purpose of Creating the Video
First of all, ask yourself why you are making a video in the first place. A deliberate approach and stellar preparation will be your greatest assets in bringing video to your content marketing strategy. Unless your content is brand-friendly, well-thought-out, and encompasses a larger message, your video may not be as effective as you had hoped.
When you only have about ten seconds to grab the viewer’s attention with a video, it’s important to understand your audience’s goals. What issue are they trying to solve, or are they even aware of the issue? The purpose of your video should be to connect to their needs and ask emotional questions that set up your brand as the solution to those needs.
- Where’s Your Target Market?
Consider your target market before ever starting your first video. Do the majority of your target customers dwell on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter? Do they primarily use Instagram or YouTube? Where will they engage with your video content?
The key is to evaluate your previously made content and see where you can position it to succeed. If your entire audience lives on Instagram, then a video marketing campaign on Facebook won’t get the ROI you expected.
Try using vertical video in your marketing if you plan on utilizing social media platforms. Vertical video, which accommodates the natural way most people hold their mobile devices while scrolling, is transforming brand advertising.
With the shift to mobile video, your target market will most likely be watching your brand’s video on a mobile device. Planning accordingly can provide big dividends down the road.
Why is vertical video important? No other format gives you the ability to draw the consumer into your brand more than vertical video.
Start with Instagram, since brands are flocking to the platform, and it natively supports the vertical video format. You can read more on Buffer about the rise of Instagram engagement and vertical video.
- Smaller is Better
When first starting out, it is better to work videos into existing content to test their appeal. Sending your customers five videos a day and 25 a week may seem like you are sticking in customers’ minds, but unfortunately, it won’t be for the right reasons.
Instead, try adding one video to a high-performing blog post or page on your website. Then promote these new pages on your chosen social media platform and gauge how it compares to the page’s performance without video.
In terms of video length, long-form content is starting to reign supreme on social media platforms. Facebook has started favoring long-form content because it tends to lengthen engagement by almost ninety seconds and receives nearly 79 percent more shares.
This means that social media is starting to mimic the patterns of TV ads. Go with one video with a decent length to boost engagement with your brand.
- Tell a Story
The best way to get your message across about your brand in any video is to tell an affecting personal story. You don’t have to have an amazing tale about how you overcame a dire medical condition, biked across the country, and hiked Mt. Everest. While stories like that can be inspirational, all you have to do is show how your clients’ and current customers’ lives have been affected by your brand’s products.
Short testimonials from customers can be a super effective way to promote interest and trust in your brand. People want to hear from other people, so showing how other people used your brand to solve their problems can boost your sales.
Taking viewers behind the scenes is a powerful tool for engaging the consumer as well. Aftermarq’s recent #LifeAt campaign took viewers behind the scenes at SAP and showed the human side of their business. The series was nominated for several Shorty awards due to its stellar storytelling, excellent hosts, and the interesting view behind the curtain of an esoteric business like SAP.
Whatever story you choose to tell, make sure it has a human element. This is especially true for B2B marketing—in the end, it’s all about people selling to other people.
- Engage, Don’t Sell
Adding video to your content strategy is an important aspect of involving your audience. You’ve selected the social media platform, you’ve identified your audience, and you have a stellar video idea that ties directly into your brand’s message. Now all you need is an interesting question or call-to-action that leaves the viewers with something to think about.
Your challenge as a brand is that you are not only competing with other brands, but also with the consumer’s family and friends. Arby’s found their place on social media by engaging niche markets that were highly engaged with internet culture. Wendy’s leveraged their social media presence on Twitter into $64 million in profits last year.
Storytelling can be your biggest asset when engaging your consumers, and video is the single most engaging way to accomplish that task. Test things out! There’s no harm in trying.
Video is here to stay—the average person watching 1.5 hours of video per day. Finding your brand’s niche could mean the difference between sinking or swimming in today’s ocean of content.