Video content is one of the most engaging forms of media in our history. According to ComScore 1.2 billion online videos are watched every single day, the majority of which are uploaded onto YouTube. To nobody's surprise, this trend is predicted to continue well into the future, with Cisco estimating that by 2016, 55% of all consumer internet traffic will be online video content.
This brings up the question, how can my business embrace this existing, and ever growing norm for content consumption? The answer is quite simple. If you aren't producing video, start! And if you already are, keep at it!
Create Tutorial & How-to Videos
How-to videos are all over YouTube, providing advice on various DIY applications. There are videos that walk people through plumbing installation, construction best practices, automotive repair, painting tips, computer tech tricks - you name it, there's most likely a how-to guide about it. My personal favourite is "How to Tie a Tie" by the company MyNiceTie.com.
As a young guy, I struggle to get a tie knotted properly and fitting just right. And apparently I'm not the only one, as over 16,000,000 people have viewed this video. The production value is really nothing special, there's no expensive camerawork or graphics, and it was probably shot with a point and shoot camera then cut together with simple editing software. But that didn't matter to me, or to the millions of others seeking help, as this video explained tying a tie better than any text or image ever did.
What this company knew, and what others need to understand, is that you don't need the fanciest and most expensive of equipment to shoot great, informative videos. Consumer grade cameras are excellent for this sort of thing, and as long as you're producing video content that speaks to your audience and their needs, you're ahead of the game. At the same time, you want your videos to look as professional as possible, and to achieve that goal why not start watching some how-to videos?
MyNiceTie.com also followed the cardinal rule for video content. Don't just post it on YouTube and forget about it! This video was embedded into a related blog post on their website, with textual content designed to harness web traffic back towards their site through keyword rich content. Essentially, by following this method they are making both the consumer and search engines happy.
Add Video To Your Product Pages
Creating video content for your company's product pages is a great idea. For example, if you're a used car dealer, embed a video of a full walk around of each car for sale, showcase its interior components and accessories, show the engine running, its extensive trunk space and so on. The same thing goes for any online retailer. Include videos on your product pages that showcase your product, its uses and its unique benefits.
Anybody can write a product description, but let's face it, it's boring. A 2012 study by Invodo found that 52% of consumers felt that watching product videos made them more confident in their purchasing decisions. One of the best examples of this improvement in conversions and sales is from Zappos, the popular California based online clothing retailer. By incorporating videos into their product pages, they were able to boost sales anywhere between 6 and 30% depending on the product.
Their product pages are excellent, they incorporate great textual descriptions, include many pictures, customer reviews and of course, embed product videos outlining defining aspects of their items.
One great example of this, is the product video for the Asics GT-2000 running shoe. April presents a brief one minute video analysis of the shoe, goes over its key features, shows how it looks when worn, and shows all angles of the shoe itself. The video is produced in a much more professional manner compared to the how to tie a tie video shown earlier, but it's not to say that the production itself is overly expensive. A consumer grade point and shoot camera, a green screen and some basic lighting combined with traditional editing software was all that was needed to create this highly effective video.
In the case of a small or medium sized business, you may not have the resources nor have the expertise to create a video with a green screen. That's not a problem, to mimic this effect you could easily shoot against a white wall in your office, or film your product videos in an area of your business that would look great as a background. Remember, the fact that you are doing video in the first place is already putting you above and beyond your competition, and with a little bit of research you can easily create the effect you're looking for!
Showcase Your Corporate Culture
Another great form of video content revolves around showcasing your corporate culture. Traditionally, these videos are seen as excellent employee recruitment materials, but at the same time they are great at showcasing the human side of your business to the public. Essentially it's a way of putting human faces behind your brand, making customers and companies more likely to do business with you in the future. Check out the "Inside HubSpot" example below:
Although the video in this example was most likely produced by professional videographers, with the proper know-how, using expensive equipment. Yet as always, there are ways of making corporate culture videos that create a similar effect without breaking the bank.
Many companies are producing simple and funny video content that relates to their industry, and aligns with current popular culture. Think back a year ago at this time, the Harlem Shake was a massive viral trend across the internet. Some staff here at Search Engine People decided to create their own version of it and posted it onto YouTube for all to see.
All you need is a little creativity, and you and your company can make something really memorable and fun to watch. These kinds of videos probably won't relate into direct conversions, but will definitely add to the likeability of your company, and brand as a whole.
Share It On Social Media!
One final step businesses often neglect is promoting their video content throughout their social media networks. Considering that video is one of the most consumed types of content on the web, you should definitely be sharing and promoting this content on the most frequented social networks. Whether you upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo, it should be shared on facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and even Instagram (if the video's short enough).
If you're thinking of hosting the video on your own website and share that page, you had better make sure your site has enough power and storage to handle it. If the video won't load as fast as it could on YouTube or Vimeo, you're wasting your time. Studies have shown that if a video fails to load within two seconds, users give up and move on - not to mention, a slow website is going to hurt you on an SEO standpoint.
As well, make sure that these videos are optimized for mobile platforms! 92% of mobile video viewers share this type of content with others, which can drastically improve your videos reach! In the end, your best bet is to upload to YouTube or Vimeo and embed the video content into a blog post about that topic, and share that unique page across all social media platforms.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Whether you're a Plumber, a Real Estate agent, Mechanic, or online retailer, online video content can truly put you ahead of your competition. How-to videos, product videos, and fun corporate culture videos are all going to help your business in multiple ways. They are fun to watch and informative, and they add an element of trust and likeability to your corporate image. Most importantly, video content creates the opportunity for higher conversions and increased sales! So what are you waiting for? 2014 is still young, why not make this year the one you finally decide to incorporate video into your inbound marketing strategy!
Matt's a Content Coordinator at Search Engine People and a graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University in Communications & Business Management. He's interested in all things marketing, advertising, politics, new media and loves technology in general.