Video has taken over. In January 2016, Facebook released that their users watch 100 million hours of video a day (http://recode.net/2016/01/27/facebook-says-video-is-huge-100-million-hours-per-day-huge/). YouTube has a billion users that upload 300 hours of video every minute (http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/youtube-statistics/). It can be the most compelling and yet most cluttered marketing medium out there. Attention spans are shrinking, especially among the younger demographics. The question becomes, how do I use video in a way that helps my business?
- Be different but relevant
It’s a custom world driven by algorithms. People’s information feeds are customized to show them things they want to see because of the liking, retweeting, pinning, and clicking they have done. You have to make sure your video is different and interesting enough to catch their attention, but also relevant with subject matter and social media placement so you get more traction online. For example, if you are selling a wedding oriented product, it needs to be visually captivating and show extremely high quality, yet also use the terms the user would actually use for search engine marketing purposes. Also consider where you post based off your targets’ preferences. In this example, Pinterest could have more traction than expected as many soon to be brides use it as a way to generate ideas for their wedding.
- Answer a need
Something interesting and relevant that catches your target’s eye is a great start, but to get them to take action that leads to business – answer a need. A new mother might comment on how cute a funny baby video is. If that same funny baby video showed how a certain baby product worked better than others and made that baby’s mom’s life easier at a reasonable cost – now you’re answering a need and helping drive conversion.
- Compelling Call to Action
If you have someone’s attention, take advantage of this small window of time you have to compel them to take action through a clear and specific next step for them to take. Many videos just post the general website and that’s it. For example, many of the video results of YouTube search “how to paint a motorcycle engine cover” can show you how to do it. The most relevant result with the most views was the motorcycle restoration channel video that had a title card intro and a clear call to action at the end asking for the user to support the channel.
- “Insider” Content
Behind the scenes video has been more prevalent and more effective recently. For example, the Pepsi behind the scenes video interviews with Coldplay posted one month before the SuperBowl netted more online views than the half time show itself.
- Video in Email Marketing
Video is certainly being used more in email marketing, with some actually embedding video into the email itself. Unfortunately, most of the email clients haven’t yet caught up and do not yet fully support embedded video. An alternative many use is to link to a landing page with video or utilize a link to open video in a separate browser window. The email clients will catch up sometime soon and video playing within the body of your email will be commonplace.
- Branded Video
With the increased quality, ease of use, and prevalence of free website themes and templates (as well as the lowered cost to produce video) – many more small and independent businesses are able to feature branded video on their home and product pages. Some of the more popular themes allow video to play in the home page background. Others feature video in the header or in a section just below header. The barrier to entry has reduced to the point that no matter how small a business you are, users expect an embedded video to play or at the very least a link to a relevant video on another site from your website.