Video has been a major buzzword in digital marketing for some time now, but sometimes it's necessary to step back and remember all the factors that make it such a powerful branding tool, and why you focused so much of your ad budget on video in the first place.
With YouTube reaching 1.5 billion visitors each month, it's hard to ignore video's influence on society and culture. Have you considered how a video marketing strategy can help your business? Here are just a few ways that video can bulk up your brand.
Extend Your Reach
The written content on your blog is a great way to get your brand message out there, and with an effective SEO strategy, it can drive potential customers to your site — but it may not be enough. A Cisco study predicts that video will account for 82 percent of all Internet traffic by 2021. Online video is also proving its sway across media: An Interactive Advertising Bureau study reports high growth rates for video ads across digital and mobile, shifting funds away from TV ad spend.
Google owns YouTube, which gives it a particular fondness for returning video at the top of its search engine results pages. So if your SEO is lagging behind the leaders, adding some video content on YouTube and embedding it into your site may give it the bump it needs to get closer to the top.
Support Your Customers
In today's social climate, where you write blogs to position yourself as an expert, being sociable, sounding knowledgeable and offering information to potential customers isn't always enough. People want to know what you can do for them, rather what they (and their wallet) can do for you.
When a customer wants to learn how to bait a hook, write a great cover letter or fix a printer, they look to video. If you can position your brand to be there for people when they need advice — if you can make their day a little easier — they'll associate you with competence and understanding, and will likely be a returning customer.
Encourage Engagement, Build Loyalty
Video is a great way to connect with your fans and followers on social media. Getting your name out there is one thing, but putting a face on your brand will let your audience know that you're open to a relationship. You can keep them informed of what your company is doing and connect viewers to your staff members.
It's a great way to incorporate live events, such as charity fundraisers and seminars, into your online content. It's also a great opportunity to invite a conversation — ending your video with a call-to-action or posing a question in the comments beneath it will reassure your customers that they are in a partnership with your brand.
People also prefer video because they find it more compelling — and they like that it's more shareable. Your marketing strategy has no greater ally than word-of-mouth, and video content has the ability to turn your customers into evangelists.
Strengthen Your Branding
Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research once noted that, based on a famous axiom and basic arithmetic, a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. You know you stand for something good, but showing is better than telling. A video marketing strategy can help you can add depth and dimension to humanize your brand's message.
While a typical "about us" video speaks to viewers' needs and offers answers about services you offer, a video with a storyline and characters — no matter how brief or simplistic — is much more likely to "stick." Think about Super Bowl commercials. Customers tend to make decisions with the emotional part of their brain, and big corporations know this.
If you can take your brand's vision and boil it down to a plain, human moment, you can make yourself memorable. And showing your audience a consistent set of values across different platforms and media (video, blog posts, print ads, etc.) will put your brand's money where its mouth is, so to speak.
Drive More Traffic to Your Site
Online video technology allows you to embed "hot spots" into your content to make certain parts clickable and interactive, and with YouTube's cards and end screens features, you can infuse your videos with calls to action, referral links back to your site and more.
YouTube cards is a midroll ad solution where you can feature a link to your site, showcase a product or lead viewers to another video. YouTube end screens let you feature multiple calls to action at once, encouraging viewers to subscribe to your channel, check out another video or lead them back to your site as well. These two examples are just some of the ways video can engage your audience, while compelling them to take further action.
While the digital marketer's goal to convey information effectively to potential buyers hasn't changed, the means of delivering this message has. Video marketing is not simply a tool that will improve your digital standings. It also supplies you with a window into your customers' needs — and provides them with a means to convey their feelings to you more succinctly.