By Neil King
As online marketing continues to grow in prominence and importance, we look at how you can get value from your online videos
According to research by Cisco, by 2017 video will account for 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic and video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled.
Online videos are becoming increasingly important for small business’s internet marketing strategies, giving customers – potential or existing – a different avenue through which to understand and become engaged with your offering.
Growing numbers of companies are waking up to their benefit, with those ignoring its importance putting themselves at risk of serious disadvantage.
The successes of viral videos has grown exponentially. Single videos can be watched by millions of people around the world – whether they be on YouTube, Facebook, or any other channel. The potential audience is enormous – but you have to get the content of the video right, otherwise you’re not going to reap the rewards.
There are a few simple ways you can make your video more effective, more engaging, and more beneficial to your business.
Consider the audience you are trying to reach
Don’t try to reach everybody out there. Not only is this virtually impossible, but it will also damage the quality of your video. Like any marketing tool, it should target a specific group of people – those who you believe are most likely to be drawn to your company. Make your videos appropriate to them – use themes and references that are important to them, or aspirational for them. Before putting something together though, you should consider whether videos are right for your target audience at all. For some people, they are not the most appropriate or effective way of getting your message across, so do the research first.
Easy to digest
You’ll obviously want to create something memorable, but you’re not producing a complex art-house movie here. Remember you have to hit home your key marketing points, so creating something that is easy for people to understand and recall is paramount. Don’t make it so short that you can’t get your message across fully, and don’t make it so long that you’re losing people’s interest. With so many other things to do – let alone videos to watch – people will happily move along if they don’t connect with your content.
Be creative – be different
One of the huge benefits of videos is that you can let your creativity run free. You’re not trying to get people to put a lot of brainpower into reading an article, or hoping that they notice an advert in a magazine or on TV. All you need is their attention, and the rest is up to you. You can tell a story, give basic information, use visual, music, spoken word… anything! The more creative, the more talked about your video will be. The more interesting, the more likely people are to be directed to it by others. But be warned: Your video still has to make sense. Don’t be too abstract, and don’t risk seeming too pretentious. Videos can give you great freedom, but be careful not to abuse this.
Use good production software
You don’t have to be a technical whizz to create a film these days. Production costs have fallen massively in the past decade, and have become incredibly user-friendly. If you’re serious about putting together something worthwhile yourself, make the financial commitment and learn how to use the software. You can, of course, outsource the job and get others to make it, but you have to make sure anybody else involved in the project shares your creative vision and knows your marketing strategy. If you want to use videos filmed on smartphones, and so on, then that’s another avenue to take, but don’t use anything so amateurish that it will damage the reputation of your business.
When you’ve got a video you’re happy with, don’t be too shy to shout about it. Make sure people know about it. Use word of mouth, your website, social media, and just about any other method you can think up. Social media is, of course, the best way to get your video as far and wide as possible – good content travels fast, especially given the constant connectivity mobile and tablet technology offers. Market your marketing – be creative on that front too. Build a strategy for and around your videos and you could reap huge rewards. The marketing of the video probably even trumps the quality of the video – get that bit right and you could have a viral success on your hands and – as a consequence – positives results for your business.