If you’re looking for advice on how to shoot or edit video, this is not the post for you (well, it could be, but not for that reason). If, however, you want to know why you should use video and the various ways you can use it, you’ve come to the right place.
Video today should absolutely be a part of your marketing mix and in some cases, it should be a core part of it.
Let’s dive in.
Guiding a journey
Marketing today is about guiding a journey. People are going out and conducting their own research and deciding whether or not they want to buy from companies. In many cases, companies aren’t even aware that these people are looking at them. Content can help to guide the stages of the customer journey, while also providing insight for the companies themselves. Video can be a great tool for this.
Websites today can no longer just serve as digital brochures. They must serve many roles for your business and should help you:
- Get found online
- Educate and inform visitors
- Nurture visitors to a conversion
On top of all that, your website needs to build trust with your audience, and in my experience, this is where video shines. Short of a live, in-person presentation, I’m going to say video is the most important tool to do just that.
Video is not only effective, it’s practical. Video is:
- Portable (thank you technology)
- Chunkable – For example, you can take a 30-minute presentation and repurpose it into numerous impactful videos.
- Emotional – This is key for getting the attention of your audience.
- Flexible in terms of where you can put it and the various mediums you can publish it on
What I don’t hear people talk about enough though, are the benefits of repurposing video into other forms of content rather than the other way around. You can actually get a ton of leverage out of video that will help your content generation skyrocket.
For example, what if you shot a video and then stripped the audio from it and turn it into a podcast episode? From there, you could get the transcript from it and with very little editing, turn that into a blog post or multiple posts. See how that works? If you come from a video-first standpoint, you’ll find it’s easier to create more content overall.
Benefits of using video
It’s undeniable that videos provide many benefits, but did you know that 80% of online visitors will watch a video? In fact, website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video. A few of the reason behind this include:
- Video is engaging and easy to consume
- It can be highly effective at influencing buying decisions
- It’s easier to grab your audience’s attention with video than a text-based message
Where to use video
Now that I’ve mentioned some of the many benefits, let’s dive into where you can use this form of content, starting with the optimal areas of your website.
- Homepage – An overview video is great for an introduction and helps to keep your audience on your website.
- Product pages/How-tos – Placing videos on these pages provide full transparency for your audience and allows them to better understand what it is that you’re selling.
- Demos – Once you get near the purchase, walking potential prospects through demos via video can really help to build their trust with you.
- Testimonials – You want people to see positive reviews others give you, and using video testimonials is a great way to do it.
- Contact Us page – Placing a video here is great for increasing conversions at a critical point in the customer journey.
- FAQs – Rather than responding to questions with text, use a video!
- Blog posts – Mix up your written posts with video posts to mix up the format and keep your audience engaged.
The value of video in social media
Perhaps the place that we see video the most these days is social media, and this is because:
- It’s visually impactful – Videos stand out much more than a text-based post in your newsfeed
- It’s engaging – People want to watch videos
- It’s low-cost – Video ads are one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise
What’s great about video is that you can use them across the board. You don’t have to create new videos for social. You can repurpose the ones on your site and promote it across various platforms.
Using live video
Something I’m seeing more and more of is the use of live video (especially with Facebook Live), which is great if you use it correctly. Don’t use live video to just take footage of the sky or of you making pancakes. Use it with a purpose to make it valuable. Some of the ways I find it helpful include:
- Training – Live video is great for internal purposes, especially for recordings if people miss the class
- Events – Live video allows people to witness an event even if they can’t make it in person
- Announce – Live video is great for announcements and to generate buzz
YouTube video ads
It’s nearly impossible for people to watch YouTube videos without an ad being played. When it comes to these types of ads, it’s easy to come off as annoying rather than engaging. People just want to watch their videos! But if you are engaging in this space, the rewards can be infinite. It’s a great tool for targeting and expanding your reach. To give you the best chance for success, be engaging and entertaining, and get your point across within the first 3-5 seconds of the video.
Equipment for creating videos
A decade ago, video was kind of hard to come by. Today that is not the case and it doesn’t need to be expensive. You really don’t need a lot to get something off the ground.
- Lav mic – Plugin to the iPhone jack
- Tripod – For stability and more professional looking shows
- YouTube – Great for immediate uploads and search potential
- Wistia – Good player that is:
- Easy to edit
- Provides control of who sees it
- Logitech C920 Webcam – Produces high-quality shots
- Nikkon D3300
- RODE mic
As you can see, it doesn’t take a whole lot to get up and running to create great video content.
Once the footage is shot, you need to be able to edit it to what you want. Consider using the following tools to get this done:
- iMovie (Mac) – Comes with Macs
- Final Cut Pro (PC)
Last but not least, consider these recommendations to get an ideal final product:
- Pay attention to the sound. If the quality is poor, you’ll risk losing your audience.
- Keep videos short to stay in line with the average consumer’s attention span.
- Get to the main point early on in the video in case your audience drops off further in.
The most important point I want to drive home is at the core of every great video is a strategy. Before you do anything, identify the objective of the video and the action you’d like your audience to take by watching it. Knowing the “why” is invaluable.
So there you have it! What tips would you add to this post?