Since the birth of YouTube, video has changed the way people consume content online. Now the second largest search engine in the world (to Google), YouTube boasts over two billion searches per day.
The rapid rise of social networking in the B2B space has also given a boost to the use of video as a marketing channel. Demand for content is clear when 50% of UK business buyers now view videos as part of the purchasing process.
If you know how to get the strategy, content and distribution right – the opportunities for video in business are endless.
Why? Video is perfect for conveying complex information simply. It engages and stimulates different senses whilst it’s versatile nature provides the ability to reach huge audiences. Video can give an organisation personality and credibility, inspire confidence and increase transparency.
As with any other marketing campaign, a clear strategy is essential. Video can achieve multiple objectives – such as brand awareness or direct response sales – however a single minded strategic proposition is required for greatest effect.
Don’t forget to include an objective for campaign measurement that is more than simply ‘number of views’.
Content is king. Start by storyboarding your video – pick the topic, set the scenes and, if required, write the script. Video works best in bite size chunks, usually 2-5 minutes (depending on its purpose).
Time spent ‘pre-production’ will add value and efficiency to the project. This stage should not be under-estimated.
When filming ‘scenes’ consistency is important to maintaining continuity during post-production editing. This might mean hours of waiting for the weather to behave itself and match previous outdoor filming!
For maximum quality, don’t forget audio – remove any background noise – and ensure good lighting at all times. In short – use a professional! Smart phones and cameras may provide the tools, but they certainly don’t provide the best creative skills, especially when it comes to editing.
A key element of the marketing mix – distribution – also needs to be considered and ideally at the planning stage.
Is the video for internal training purposes, is it for customer viewing only or is it for the wider audience? Understanding your target audience is, of course, vital.
Posting a video does not guarantee views – the content needs to be pushed and sharing via social channels encouraged.
As part of a search strategy, video is particularly powerful. The use of keyword tags, metatags and an effective title will ensure your video ranks more highly. Recent Forrester Research found that a well optimized video is 53x more likely than text to appear on the front page of Google.
Now that Google Adwords for video content is out of beta, the analytical power of paid search advertising means that campaigns will now also be able to demographically target users on YouTube.
The ‘embed code’ should also be available for those wishing to add to their own webpage (for this reason, don’t forget to add your own branding to the video!).
So, if your online activity is lacking something that we’re all starting to make much more use of – video – now is the time to embrace the opportunity.
As a marketing channel, there is nothing to fear, the strategic process and creative briefing is the same as for traditional medium. If in doubt, stick to the basics, hire a professional and just KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid).