Engaging with Video
How well can you remember life before YouTube?
Launched in 2005, it’s popularity grew so quickly it’s difficult to think back to a time when you couldn’t do a quick online search to find a video about pretty much anything. A recent study pointed to the number of Americans watching video via their mobile devices jumping more than 40% over last year!
The rapid growth in popularity of video-on-demand services like YouTube has fueled the advancement of the technology used to create videos (cameras, editing software, etc) and the technology used to view it (e.g. hand held devices and tablets like the iPad). This has been made possible by greater access to broadband networks.
Simply put, video content has become an essential component of online branding. Not only is it considered one of the more engaging formats to share information, but it's also a means to increase interaction (traffic, follows) from consumers not currently connecting with your brand. Yet how do marketers, already struggling to keep up with the content demands of social media channels and blogs, effectively leverage video in their marketing program?
Look before you leap.
Before calling your agency and commissioning an elaborate video production, consider how your video will be used alongside other marketing and communications tools. What aspect of your business is your video intended to highlight or what myth is it going to clarify? From that point you can collaborate with your marketing team to plan a strategy and move forward with production.
The benefits of having video content are numerous and include being able to enhance your website and add links to your social media updates and press releases, both of which will ultimately boost brand engagement and SEO.
The style of videos you create (or share) should still reflect your brand’s tone and positioning. In the same way the voice of your blog reveals your company culture and brand’s personality, your video will be an extension of these themes, consistently reflecting the style of what you’re all about.
Where do I start?
Creating YouTube and Vimeo profiles consistent with your brand is a key first step. (Read some great tips on getting set up here.) These profile pages are extensions of your brand and, much like your Facebook page, should serve as a portal to understanding your company and products. It’s got to be engaging, so don’t leave out the personality. But realize, too, it’s going to be a work in progress, much like all of your social media channels. And like all of social media, it’s two-way communication, so beyond posting your own videos, you will want to reach out to others, make comments and create some conversation. Think of growing your channel more than launching it, and it won’t be so overwhelming.
Video content can come from various sources and share information about your brand in many different ways. Sure, a professionally produced video that goes viral the day it’s posted would be an impressive start to your foray into video. Realistically, most companies don’t have the time or budget to support an effort like that, and nobody can guarantee the next Blendtec sensation. So how can you cost effectively build your brand with video and connect with your key customers?
Here are three simple ways you can get started:
- Tap into your audience: One way to get video content is to request submissions from your customers. While the content and quality may vary, there is great, ‘shareable’ value in having real people demonstrate how they’re using your product or liking your brand (testimonials) and it provides a great way to start a conversation with your audience.
- Replace some of your written content: If you regularly post blog updates, change it up by sharing via a video instead. It doesn’t have to be flashy; in fact, sometimes simple is even more compelling because there’s nothing to distract from the message itself. The ‘less is more’ approach is often perceived as more genuine too. Remember your brand ‘face’ and be consistent. Think about taking one of your regular blog categories and shifting it to video (still posting to your blog of course!), instantly creating a ‘series’ of video content that can be shared across multiple channels. See a great example of this here: SEOMoz's 'Whiteboard Friday' video series.
- Answer questions: Talk to your Customer Service department about commonly asked questions and take your FAQs to a new level. Sharing relevant how-to demonstrations on product use is also an easy way to share video content you already have. Consider using different members of your team to answer those questions and add credibility to the videos. Who better to talk about how to use a product than the designer herself? She may also be able to add value to the video by telling viewers how previous feedback contributed to this season’s redesign, inviting more input from users. It is important to understand that YouTube is a search engine and create video content that considers what consumers are searching for within your category.
Once you have a basic inventory of videos, you have the opportunity to see how your audience is engaging with them, and then you can decide what is working and whether there are other opportunities for video that you want to pursue.
VentureWeb has helped clients like the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation engage stakeholders and support social media efforts through a simple ‘Community Dialogues’ video series. How can we help launch your video content?
Suggesting reading on this topic:
Leveraging web video to educate and engage consumers. See who’s doing it »