The Year of the Video: 5 Ways to Master a New Must-Do
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Time and time again, video has been heralded as the future of marketing itself.
It appears the future finally has arrived, as modern brands can no longer afford to treat the medium as a secondary channel. The data behind video's explosion is rather telling to help understand why video is a must for today's marketers.
In short, the numbers don't lie. According to Hubspot, video represents approximately three-quarters of all web traffic. Despite popular belief, video isn't reserved solely for the tech-savvy, nor is it seen as a requirement only for tech-based companies. Likewise, brands can explore a greater number of customizable channels than ever before.
Whether you're selling physical products or operating in the digital space, your audience expects you to produce visual content. Happily, the time and money you invest in video production will be well spent. A recent State of Content Marketing report from CopyPress revealed that 51.9 percent of professional marketers said video marketing has the strongest ROI of all created content.
So how do you start? Where should you consider pushing your resources if you've floundered with video in the past? From educational content to live video and beyond, take the time to understand which channels represent the best fit for your business, your budget and your expertise. There's no one-size-fits-all approach, so any combination of the following five strategies is fair game to help find your footing and voice.
1. Invest in eye-popping promos.
Video promos are prime opportunities to convey your message to leads in a matter of seconds. Three-quarters of professional marketers report video has a direct impact on the bottom line. That alone speaks to the power of video-based ads.
Many brands believe they lack both the budget and the editing skills to produce video ads that will leave a positive and lasting impression. While it's impossible to overstate the importance of high-quality imagery, you shouldn't let that deter you. One could argue the barrier to entry for video ads is lower than ever.
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Make use of platforms such as Promo (by Slide.ly), which provides a massive repository of high-quality video and licensed music to help you craft ads that pop. Promo saves marketers from having to reinvent the wheel or pay an external agency. It enables users to customize videos to fit their respective brands and messages in a snap. From landing pages to social sites, Promo helps you create pieces that stand out among the competition and grab visitors' attention at a glance. In a marketing sphere that's all about keeping up appearances, Promo produces videos that look like a million bucks -- on a totally reasonable budget.
2. Win with webinars.
When it comes to video, education often is the name of the game. The more you educate your audience, the more you cast yourself in the role of industry expert. As if that weren't enough, educational content also positions your business as a resource rather than just another company making a sales pitch.
Businesses are leveraging educational videos to create buzz and build their contact lists by introducing the element of scarcity. Many webinars are presented as an exclusive event -- available for a limited time or marketed as a "limited room" affair.
Beyond the educational aspect, webinars offer other key benefits:
- They're lead magnets to beef up your opt-in email list (especially if they're free).
- When crafted carefully, videos can serve as evergreen SEO content (transcribed into blog posts or re-uploaded to YouTube).
- Successful past webinars ultimately can be ultimately be sold as their own products.
It's crucial for brands to pick a webinar platform that offers both functionality and flexibility. The easier it is to run your webinars, the more likely you are to engage your audience. ClickMeeting is known for ease of use and a myriad of features including attendee analytics, robust recording capabilities and simple sharing options.
3. Educate your audience with killer courses.
Online courses been on the rise over the past few years. You easily can craft a course from repurposed content such as high-performing blog posts or case studies.
This approach to educational content is a perfect avenue for people who don't do well on the spot and would prefer to plan and prepare content before getting in front of the camera. Conventional wisdom tells us a “less is more” philosophy sometimes is more enticing. We give our students only the best of the best of our content. The upside: There's no need to piece together a comprehensive, 12-hour seminar.
In fact, you need only two things to create a killer online course: knowledge of a topic that others are buzzing about and a distribution platform. Kajabi certainly is worth a look to provide the latter. It offers a simplified, straightforward platform, without many of the bells and whistles you'll find on over-saturated services. Kajabi makes it easy for DIYers to create and distribute video courses that build their lists or turn their knowledge into dollars and cents.
4. Harness the power of live video.
No matter what you're selling, you can be sure your audience is spending significant time on social media. Leading sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram all have helped advance a new age of live video. Facebook, in particular, has been pushing hard for brands and everyday users alike to embrace the idea of sharing real-time videos to engage followers.
Live video takes a much less formal approach than webinars or courses. Most live video doesn't even attempt to take on long-form content. Instead, it's presented as a sort of bite-sized, behind-the-scenes look at brands and leaders.
Live video especially suits natural storytellers who can speak “off the cuff.” If you're comfortable without reading from a script, you can send a broadcast directly via smartphone. This format puts less pressure on marketers to achieve perfection in quality and setting, too. Those all could be reasons that live video is popular in the influencer marketing space, where vlog-style videos have become the norm. The piece might not be particularly polished, but that has its own benefit of making your brand seem more human and relatable.
5. Don't neglect 'traditional' channels.
Last but not least, you can't afford to ignore YouTube. Building a successful YouTube channel is easier said than done, but it's absolutely worth the effort. The platform is free, and its current viewership is through the roof.
Cornerstones of a strong YouTube presence include consistency and quality. If your business already is producing plenty of video, there's no reason not to invest in a channel. After all, YouTube is the ideal place to house any of your business' videos. That includes all the aforementioned video options -- previous webinars, snippets of courses and recordings of live Facebook broadcasts. Even better, the platform can be a potential SEO gold mine if you optimize your video titles and funnel visitors back to your site.