As many of us know, video consumption has jumped 60% in the last year alone, (comScore). It's no longer a matter of “why use video.” It's a matter of “how can I incorporate video into every aspect of my business.”
Unfortunately, it's easier said than done!
Video requires new thinking and skills – posing a challenge for marketers, public relations professionals and business owners – at a time when everyone is already dealing with learning social media and a host of other tools and technologies.
Online video has become a critical part of how we all consume information. It's even at the forefront of traditional media like print and television. From checking out “how-to” videos (e.g. how to cook pasta) to viewing the latest news footage online, as it's happening.
But videos come in all shapes and sizes – quality and costs range across a large spectrum. As a result, companies have to make choices about the size of their investment and production quality required, based upon their target audience(s) and business objectives. But, high cost doesn't always translate into high quality and vice-versa. Videos can be created to meet the needs of any realistic budget.
How to Leverage the Benefits of Video:
1. Take advantage of the medium
“a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth 10,000 words”
Tell a story and engage your viewer's emotions. Identify that one thing that will strike a cord with your audience. Think about what will interest them and make them feel connected to your brand.
Understand video's special attributes and take advantage of them. Don't mimic what you do in print. Intersperse images, b-roll and/or stock footage, screen capture demos (for technology products) and other elements to captivate and hold the attention of your audience.
2. Know your audience
Communicate and engage with them in a way they would appreciate – language and style. If you can, be spontaneous and use humor and informality, when appropriate. An unscripted video has an authenticity that can work well on the web. Have a camera handy to capture unplanned moments for future opportunities. For example: capture a client that stops by your office or a trade show booth for an impromptu conversation.
3. Add video to all your communications – educate, entertain and inform
From high quality, to medium quality and some very basic video – you can use various types of productions for different purposes. Make sure the content and quality is appropriate. Don't overlook video for how-to's, product demos, testimonials, facility tours, guides, public relations, FAQs and even research.
4. Plan ahead
Decide how and what the video will be used for and what your goals are. This will ensure you have the proper budget in place and ample time for production.
5. Trust the experts – hire professionals
Online video doesn't require a large investment to be successful. But there are times when you'll need high production quality. This of course will depend on your client and your goals. Develop partnerships video production companies that can help with writing, shooting, editing, motion and special effects. As the proliferation of video continues, it's more important than ever to have trusted partners that will make you look good and help you leverage the power of video. Remember, no video is better than a bad video.
6. Capitalize on video's potential with social media
Share your video with your social media community (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others) – increasing publicity and opportunities for exposure. Make sure to engage with commenters and other users. Like or comment on their content, share their works and participate in discussions. This will encourage them to do the same.
7. Optimize your video for search engines
Host your video on YouTube (the #1 place people watch video and the #2 search engine) to drive traffic, grow your audience, and enhance search results. Optimize the title and description of your video with the appropriate keywords so that it will appear in the search engine results. Place your URL first and include a transcription.
8. Measure your success
Online videos can be measured. Based upon your marketing strategy, decide where to host your video, be it be on your website, YouTube or using a third party OVP solution (Online Video Platform). Then learn about your audience with analytics. YouTube Analytics (Free) – for YouTube hosted videos. Google Analytics (Free) for web site stats. For hosting videos on your web site, you can embed your YouTube video or use a paid platform like: Brightcove, Ooyala, Vidyard and Wistia. Facebook Insights provides similar information. Then refine and strengthen your message and/or campaign.
The size or budget of your organization doesn't matter. Now is the time to leverage the power of video to gain a competitive edge!