Get over it – video is here to stay. All you need is to flick the switch in your head, from daunting to possible, as Narrative Content Director Robyn Daly did. Here’s how to make it happen.
There was a time when the big V word was the dreaded V. That’s because it was shrouded in complexities that all got labelled “temooilik” or too expensive. Video was the realm of TV commercials or specialist filming companies with crews wielding expensive equipment and being chased after by a bossy production assistant (anyone seen the series UnReal?).
And just as the old approach to content marketing with expensive print magazines was inaccessible to modest marketing budgets, the old approach to video was only within reach of brands with deep pockets. That was… until social media shook it all up.
I open my Facebook page and see friends’ funny selfie videos, someone else falling off his mountain bike, a how-to on Tip Hero showing me a quick garlic bread recipe, a little dog laughing and a cow jumping (not quite over the moon). You get it? Video has changed. It’s changed because we’ve changed. And so too have our expectations.
Video today is punchy, snackable, quirky, eye-catching and can now be done relatively cheaply by brands looking to supercharge their audience engagement. And they’ve caught onto it with gusto. In a recent survey of B2C marketers in North America, The Content Marketing Institute discovered that 82 percent of marketers are using some form of video content marketing tactic. Across the Atlantic, UK content marketers increased their use of video in the past year by 10 percent – now at 83 percent. See CMI 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends reports .
Here are some pointers to get you started:
- Have a vision
Before you even count your pennies, ask the question, “What role is video going to play in our brand’s story?” You may need a bit of distance to see your way through this – a specialist content marketing agency can do that. Do you want your videos to inspire, inform, energise, educate, or invigorate customers? Pick a verb.
- Know the purpose
What’s it there for? Do you want video to generate leads, raise awareness of services or products, drive engagement with your brand…? This will point to what success looks like.
- Back it
It’s not good enough to just make a video then rely on organic reach – you need to get it into people’s email, on their Facebook pages, into their faces… a good promotion strategy will help maximise engagement and return on investment.
- Keep it simple
Video rookies have the tendency to get bogged down in detail. Don’t do that. You’ll lose viewers quickly. If you need technical terms, have a website link, as in the DIY video series for Builders. Short, inspiring and Instagrammable (new word!) content catches the eye, with step-by-step info online – either in the digital magazine, Love Your Home, or on the website – for those who want it.
- Make it human
If you are going to stick someone in front of the camera, put a real person there, not a company drone. Like this moving video for the Humane Society of Silicone Valley.
- Keep it conversational
Not all videos need voiceovers, but if yours do, keep the tone light and avoid business terms and sales talk. Remember the content marketing mantra – your customers don’t care about you, only what’s in it for them.
- Give them a home
House videos in a popular hosting site, such as YouTube, then embed them in your tactics such as digital magazines, on your website, in newsletters, on social media… so they’re widely accessible.
- Don’t forget SEO
Label and tag your work to ensure it’s picked up in content searches.
- Short is sweet
As a general rule anything longer than 30 to 90 seconds is going to have a sharp attention drop-off. Instagram knows this and only allows videos up to 60 seconds. One exception is niche instructional videos – such as a demonstration on how to operate the latest digital camera. So track your audience’s attention span to ensure your video content is the right length and not losing viewers along the way.
- Make it relevant
Know what is relevant to your audience, then give them video content that they want. RCS is a loans company with thousands of partner retailers. The content marketing channels are social media, website and video, and the strategy is about giving them valuable life skills and entertainment, within the pillars of their retailers, that will enthuse them to go shopping – and use their RCS card while at it. Fashion is one pillar, hence a video on folding a scarf.
Once you’ve ticked all the boxes above… you’re well on your way to video victory.