There’s no debate that online content is now more important than ever. But marketers are hotly debating just what type of content is best. Really, it depends on the company. However, it can clearly be seen that marketers and businesses overwhelmingly prefer to sell written content. The internet and social media feeds are littered with listicles, how-to articles and personalized promotional content. For a single product, there would be a dozen “top 10” lists competing for attention of the target audience. It’s worthwhile to stop for a moment here and wonder whether this written content is actually reaching the intended audience.
Written Content vs. Video
How many people are actually avid readers in your target audience? Do you think many people would stop and read a 500-word article about your product? As there are a massive number of things competing for our attention online including Facebook advertising, the answer is a very likely no. Don’t get me wrong; some people do read the blog posts and articles posted online about a product or a service. But the number is not as huge as many businesses may believe it to be. It’s difficult to track the effectiveness of written content. You can know how many people have clicked on a link to an article. It’s not so easy to know if the visitors actually stayed on the page and read it to the end.
Most companies rarely consider that in addition to written content, or perhaps in lieu of it, there’s another content form that is absolutely worth considering: video. This content format was never popular in the past. The reason is simple—bad internet connections. It took forever to load a simple one minute video on a dialup connection. Therefore, written content was the preferred form online until faster internet connections became more affordable and widespread. Nowadays, most of us can easily watch quick loading videos on sites like YouTube and even on Facebook. This marks a change in strategy for online content. As most people now have access to video, it’s increasingly becoming a preferred medium.
The Rise of Video Content
Early projections showed that by 2017, that is this year, video content will amount to 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic. In the recent years, traffic to videos alone has tripled, according to data compiled by Cisco. Next year, you might not be reading this article; you could very well be watching it. Such is the popularity of video. It’s quite understandable. People when online, generally have shorter attention spans. Rather than text, it’s the stunning visuals that attract the attention of web users. And videos are full of rapidly moving eye-catching imagery.
It’s quite obvious that video is the future of content. Companies like Facebook and Twitter are racing to acquire video and teleconferencing companies to dominate this moving picture market in the future. Facebook is already quite ahead in incorporating video into the News Feed and Instagram. Other, lesser known social media sites are poised to take the lead. The point is, if any company wants to stay competitive content-wise from here on, it needs video. If video creation is not a priority for your marketing team, it should be without delay. Now that we have established why video content is important, read ahead to find out more about the value proposition of video content and how to create compelling videos for your target audience.
There are several reasons why video content is valuable and highly suitable for delivering messages to consumers. Here are some of those reasons:
Video Content is Extremely Versatile
Videos can be shown as graphic narratives, movies, cartoons, and narration over text, animated infographics and so on. Written content can be versatile to some extent, but it could never have the color or the music of video. This versatility is quite amazing in delivering different types of messages. Direct advertising is the most popular form of video. But video doesn’t have to be limited to that. Informative videos, where a narrator describes the benefits of a product or a service while pictures or graphs are shown in the background, are also a highly effective form of video. These types of videos are cheap to make and quite popular too. There’s also the “review video” format that’s quickly gaining popularity. This is where a consumer or a professional reviews a product or a service on camera. Several companies, like Corporate Business Solutions Reviews, have enjoyed quite the success with these review videos.
Videos Can be Posted Just about Anywhere
Video is also one of the easiest forms of content to incorporate. You can post videos just about anywhere. Videos can accompany written articles, they can be posted on dedicated video sites like YouTube or you can post videos on social media sites as well. Videos can also be integrated into presentations, emails, webinars, blogs or any other content platform. Videos are similarly effective in all these different areas. If you make a single video, it can possibly be used in several different contexts to get the best return for the money invested.
Video is Very Sharable
Perhaps the most celebrated characteristic of video is that the format is so easy to share. Social media users are more likely to share videos among themselves than listicles. Emails with embedded video are known to have a higher number of shares and forwarding. Of course, if someone sees a video they like on a site like YouTube, it will get shared via Facebook or emailed to friends almost immediately. This viral nature of video is a massive win for any company that can create a video that goes viral. The trend may not last long, but people are likely to talk about that video for years afterwards. It might even enter popular culture references, like Old Spice’s I’m-on-a-horse videos. No other type of content has this amount of appeal.
Videos are Reusable
Video can be expensive to make, especially if you are shooting original content from scratch. But the format itself can last for years. Videos can be repurposed and repacked into new content. Thanks to video editing software, this process now only takes a matter of minutes. Old videos can complement new written content. In this sense, videos have a longer shelf life and more use than most other types of content.
Best Ways to Create Video Content
Yes, video is amazing, but how can a brand benefit from video? Unlike written articles, creating a good video takes some time. It may also require a long-term vision and goals on the part of the creator. You are free to make any creative choice with your video. However, it’s important to consider the context first. There’s, indeed, both good and bad videos online. Good videos capture attention and are compelling enough to generate shares. Here are several social media tips for creating one of these compelling videos to promote a brand or a product:
Keep it Short
Videos can be made into short 3-minute infomercials or 120-minute documentaries. When you want to capture the attention of online consumers, you need to present them with short videos. The shorter the video, the faster it will load. Ideally, the video you create should be less than 5 minutes. Otherwise, it will buffer and the viewer will lose interest.
Adopt the Right Tone
Don’t stuff your videos with complex theories and drawn out monologues. Present the video in a very natural manner. Consumers prefer to hear short sentences just as they like to read them. Keep the dialogue and tone of the video conversational, unless specifically needed otherwise. The narration should be very clear and concise. Try to appear friendly to the viewer but not in a forced manner.
Experiment with Different Video Formats
Don’t make all your videos alike, unless they are in a series. Try to make how-to videos, advertisements, animated infographics and short movies to see which type of videos become popular among your target audience. You may want to have different videos to post on different channels. For example, very short movies usually do well on social media sites. On the other hand, animated infographics can be quite popular when embedded in blogs. However, keep in mind that it also depends on your audience demographic.
Write a Solid Script
Videos need high-quality scripts. Otherwise, the end product will be a mess. When writing the script, be careful to avoid jargon terms and marketing branding words that sound too formal if the video is geared towards consumers. You can use technical jargon if the video is aimed at a B2B audience. In any case, keep the script clear of terms that can sound confusing when narrated. The dialogue should never come out as a dry narration of a written passage. It requires vibrancy and lucidity that should first be established in the script.
Add Tags and Include Transcripts
Including a transcript of the video can help with SEO purposes. You should add tags to the video that make it easy for customers to find it on video sites. Write a compelling and attention grabbing headline too. A short description with a keyword or two will make your video more searchable.
Video can be the best performing content you post online. So, it’s very important to master this form of content and know where to post it for the best results.
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