If you’ve crafted your content marketing strategy for 2017 and it doesn’t include video, you might want to reconsider.
Video ruled the web last year. And by all indications, it won’t surrender the throne any time soon.
In fact, experts believe video content will account for 74 percent of Internet traffic this year. (That’s not much of a surprise considering 60 percent of marketers and small business owners plan to invest more in video marketing in 2017.)
So if you want your content marketing to make an impression, you should sprinkle in a little video. For ideas on how, keep reading.
1. Repurpose text content.
Do you spend hours researching and writing blog posts to attract traffic to your website? If so, make the most of your invested time: Repurpose that compelling content in video form.
When you do, you may reach an audience that you might not have otherwise — four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product that read about it. (Plus, repurposing your articles allows you to create videos faster and easier since you’re not starting from scratch.)
When reusing text content for video, you can take two approaches:
- Share the full content in “talking head” or monologue format. This is what I often do. It requires little in the way of video production skills — just turn on your camera and talk about what you wrote.
- Create short, animated text videos that highlight key points. This is a good option if you’re camera shy or don’t have the equipment you need to capture quality footage.
2. Film your podcast episodes.
Next to video, podcasting is arguably the hottest medium in the content marketing space right now. If you have a podcast, why not film yourself as you record the episode?
(Noticing a theme here? I believe smart content marketing is all about repurposing creative assets to achieve maximum results with minimum effort.)
This technique can add a layer of depth and intimacy, especially for interview-style podcasts.
The reverse of this tactic — filming interviews and repurposing that content in your podcast — can work well, too. For example, independent maker Justin Jackson did a live video interview and then later used the audio from it in his podcast.
3. Feature customer testimonials.
In psychology, the rule of social proof states that we’re more likely to do something if we see other people doing it.
Social proof is the reason customer testimonials are so powerful. And though simply quoting your happy customers can be effective, telling a story with video is usually much more compelling.
When they see people praise your brand or product, your potential customers will be more likely believe and relate to the message.
The video will resonate most when the customers you choose to feature are similar to your target audience (e.g., if your primary audience is middle-aged soccer moms, film a testimonial from a middle-aged soccer mom).
To get you started, Laci Texter at SproutVideo has six handy tips for shooting great customer testimonials.
4. Record product demos and walkthroughs.
One of the best ways to build trust around your product — especially in the software-as-a-service, or SaaS, industry — is to show how it works.
By reducing anxiety and fear, a simple product demo could be what finally convinces a fence-straddler to buy.
If your product is digital, use a screen recording tool (Loom is a great one) to showcase major features and talk through benefits.
5. Include video in your emails.
As a communication channel, email can sometimes feel a bit old school and sterile. But including video adds a touch of personality. (For example, I use a goofy GIF to welcome new email subscribers.)
Not only that, video can increase email engagement (e.g., clicks, reading time, shares, forwards) by 50 percent!
And according Experian, simply including the word “video” in your subject line may boost open rates.
For more ideas and examples, check out these five ways you can use video to enhance your emails from Meryl Ayers at Wistia. And if you want to take it up a notch, this enterprise email service specializes in embedded video.
6. Offer a video course.
If you know a lot about a particular topic, consider sharing your expertise through a video course. Since it’s perceived as a high value type of content, a course can help you build authority, capture leads, and even directly generate revenue.
There are a number of ways you can create and host your own video course. But if you’d prefer to borrow the audience of an established online learning platform, you have several to choose from, including:
7. Broadcast live.
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope… there are a number of platforms you can use to easily share real-time videos with your audience. And you should — it seems people get a little mesmerized by live video.
On Facebook, for example, viewers watch live videos three times longer than normal videos. (This is likely, in part, due to what’s known as the the fear of missing out, or FOMO.)
What should you broadcast live?
Events, such as conferences and major announcements, make for live video gold. Another common type of live video (or, usually, live video presentation) is the webinar.
Depending on what industry you’re in, webinars can be an effective tool for collecting — and converting — qualified leads.
Want a few pointers on best practices for live video? Social Media Examiner covers the topic often.
8. Advertise with video.
Admittedly, this is my least inspired idea. After all, videos have been a successful advertising medium since the ’40s!
But thanks to social media, getting your videos in front of your ideal customers is easier than ever before.
Not sure where to start? Learn how to make video ads that win customers here. And if you’re not the most talented in the video production department, you may find these free online video editors quite useful.
9. Supercharge your customer service.
Few people consider customer service a part of content marketing. But when performed creatively, it can be.
Take Dell and Warby Parker, for example. Both brands received free coverage by major publishers simply because they responded to customer questions on social media with short, helpful videos. What a novel idea!
Beyond the potential public relations benefits, you’ll likely get a few likes and shares out of sheer surprise since so few brands are responding with video.
10. Share your company culture.
An old sales truism says that before people will buy from you, they must know, trust, and like you. Behind-the-scenes videos of you and your team can accomplish all of these goals by humanizing your brand.
Try sharing funny moments on Snapchat or posting about the latest office shenanigans with Instagram Stories.
Bonus: If you’re recruiting, providing a peek at your company’s culture may also attract potential employees.
How will you use video in your marketing?
Do you plan to incorporate video into your content marketing strategy for 2017? If so, I’d love to hear about it.
Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below!