Revealed: Why now is the time for video
As many of you will know I love online video as a way to market your business online and develop sales. And, I’m not the only one! The business appetite for it is now vivacious. By 2013, according to Cisco and YouTube, 90% of all traffic will stem from video. With video consumption jumping 60% in the last year alone (comScore) businesses are clearly waking up to this social media platform and instead of asking, “why use video?” they’re asking “how can I incorporate video into every aspect of my business?”
The huge buzz over video really came about because of Google, who clearly recognised its potential. Having purchased YouTube in 2006, for $1.65bn, it has promoted online video as a search engine tool ever since. In 2012 it has become a critical part in how we all consume information and just to illustrate this point, YouTube receives 4 billion views each day! As I watched my 12-year-old son, engrossed on YouTube, in preference of watching the TV, this message really hit home. I realised that now online video is even at the forefront of traditional media like print and television.
Gone are the days of thinking of online video as a source for “how-to” videos. The anti has been upped and we’re able to view pretty much everything on video – from how-to’s, the world’s sillies pranks/stunts etc. to the latest news, politicians’ speeches and even CEOs’ annual reports. Video truly comes in all shapes and sizes! As a result, marketers, public relations professionals and business owners have to learn even more new skills and thinking. They also have to determine the size of their investment and quality of production based on their target audience and business objectives, as video can now be created to meet the needs of almost any budget.
How to leverage the benefits of online video:
Start using online video now! Remembering the old saying “a picture is worth 1,000 words? Well video is worth 9,000 words more! The best way to leverage off this is by telling a story and engaging your viewer’s emotions. Identify that one thing that will strike a cord with your audience. Think about what interests them and makes them feel connected – to you and your brand. This is where you can get creative too. There are some great cameras and editing tools out there that help you captivate and hold the attention of your audience.
Agree objectives, budget and strategy: Decide how and what your video will be used for and what your goals and objectives are. Whilst objectives for video usually tend to be for traffic, ranking, branding and sales conversion, remember video can be used for so much more. Agreeing your objectives at the start will ensure that you have an adequate budget in place and ample time for production.
If you don’t have a large budget to work from, fear not. Much can still be achieved. The size or budget doesn’t really matter. What does matter though is that now is the time to leverage the power of video to gain a competitive edge!
Once you have your budget, you can then work on your marketing strategy. Considerations include where you will host your videos e.g. on a website, on a social media platform like Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and Pinterest, or on an online video platform – YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler etc.
Know your audience Communicate and engage with your audience in a way that’s appropriate. You can do this through language and style. An unscripted video or one that’s not using an autocue has an authenticity that works well online. Videos that have humour and informality are great too. What you’re aiming for is something that looks professional, but makes you appear approachable. Always remember the golden rule: educate, entertain and inform. Use videos for how-to’s, product demos, testimonials, tours, guides, public relations, FAQs and even research. They can also be used for inductions, for email campaigns – pre-sales and after sales.
Trust the experts – hire professionals: As I said before, online video doesn’t require a large investment for it to be successful, but there are times when you’ll need to spend some money. This can be for high production quality, ranking or sales conversion. This will of course depend on your audience and your goals so develop relationships with video professionals that can help in all three areas. One of the most interesting areas I came across recently was in regards to the psychological aspect of video and conversion. I was intrigued to learn advanced communication methods and principals to get the attention and action of your audience through simple psychological principles. But, I was even more fascinated when I saw the results in action!
Capitalize on social media: Share and promote your video on social media platform – with your social media community (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest and others). I can’t stress how many opportunities exist here for exposure. Engagement is key here so make sure to engage with those who comment and in a timely manner. Like or comment on their content, share their works and participate in discussions. This will encourage them to do the same.
Optimize for search engines: Host your video on YouTube as it’s the #1 place people watch video and the #2 search engine. It will drive traffic, grow your audience, and enhance search results like there’s no tomorrow! Optimize the title and description of your video with the appropriate keywords so that it will appear in the search engine results. Also, link to your website and other blogs, always make sure to include your URL so your audience can find you, and include a transcription.
Measure results: Online videos can be easily measured and should be in order to determine its effectiveness. To do this, you’ll need to use analytics. Both YouTube and Google have free services. Facebook Insights provides good analysis too. See what’s working and what’s not. Then refine and strengthen your message and/or campaign.
In the comments below, tell me how you’re doing with marketing your business or brand online through video and what your biggest frustration or challenge is with it. Let me know if you have any more top tips for online video and what action you’ll take as a result of watching and reading this post too. I’d love to hear.
Thank you, as always for reading and contributing here. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends!
With love and gratitude – as always,
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