Google and Bing have incorporated blended search into their algorithms to bring up results that include videos, news stories, maps, images and tweets. In “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars, and More That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business,” Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman claim that video content is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results than text-only content. That makes marketing strategy video a very valuable form of content to reach customers.
“Video Marketing for Dummies” author Kevin Daum recommends using Channel Pages by FanBridge for businesses that want to collaborate with other businesses on different types of sponsorships.
Here are several things you can do to collaborate and widely distribute your videos with Channel Pages:
- Search for video channels with established video producers
- Find key influencers in your target market
- Offer incluencers incentives to do authentic video reviews of your products or services
- Swap playlists from channels consistent with your brand or industry
Collaboration between channels also can include channels creating videos together, swapping recommended channel listings and promoting each other on social media. As their website explains, “The common goal is to cross-pollinate audiences so that each channel can grow.” This growth and mutual promotion will help to establish and add to your video audience, thus helping your ratings on search engines and the amount of people finding your business on the Web.
Go Behind the Scenes
In her book, Ann Handley presents many great ways to create and use valuable content to engage customers. For example, one way for businesses to use video is to go behind the scenes so you can show customers and visitors an interesting aspect or perspective of your business. You can highlight your products or services or your excellent employees and customer service. This behind-the-scenes footage lets people know your business or industry more intimately and thus connect with the audience on a deeper level.
Chris Trimble, writing for The Guardian, explains that video is naturally engaging. Especially when you add a human interest aspect, video can show rather than tell—just like any decent story teller. Trimble also emphasizes that video helps combat information overload because it is easier to digest. He quotes Forrester’s researchers stating, “If a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million.”
To see it in action, look how a company like LifeLock uses video on its YouTube Page. They are a great example because they show how their business can help protect ordinary people doing ordinary things online like shopping, posting pictures, commenting on social media and banking. The video brings real life and real people to their company, thus making it more engaging for viewers.
Steve Garfield, author of “Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business,” suggests that live video brings an element of excitement, urgency and real-time interest to video that other video formats miss. Plus, the archived versions can always be kept and re-posted so you can continue garnering interest and interaction.
The possibilities for live video are limitless. Use live video at charitable events or at industry conventions where your company is exhibiting new products. With live video, you can show-off your products and capture real customer endorsements, interactions and excitement.
Broadcast live with software like Qik from a cell phone, especially if you’re on the scene of an unfolding newsworthy event. Your business could use this service to stream the announcement of a new product or service, to showcase company events and culture or to even do a live demonstration of how your product works. Even celebrities have started using this type of video marketing. Demi Moore, for instance, uses Qik to show fans what she’s doing.
Additionally, Garfield explains how the Barack Obama campaign used Ustream for live streaming and suggests other software including Livestream, ProCaster, Wirecast and BoinxTV.
The Future of Content Marketing
The Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013-2018, forecasts that video will be almost 70 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2017, a mere three years away. That makes it the future of content marketing, and the near future at that. Small businesses that don’t include video in their marketing strategy will lose out big time. How big? YouTube’s more than one billion unique visitors every month is a huge piece of the pie.
Small businesses should take advantage of the power and economy of video to boost their brands, claims Trimble. He cites a Nielson statistic to emphasize his point, saying that 64 percent of marketers expect video to dominate in the near future.
Furthermore, he says video production costs have fallen and even new entrepreneurs can use apps like Twitter’s Vine to craft effective video messaging, marketing and story telling. However, small businesses must use these less expensive and less time consuming apps and social media effectively. You must always consider your target audience. If your audience does not visit YouTube or Twitter, then you are wasting your time. But, if your audience loves social media, he recommends cross-promoting videos over multiple channels and catering to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This sector holds 41 percent of video consumption and is continuously growing.
If you are looking for inspiration or even to hire a video incluencer, Ford did an entire Vine campaign with influencers like Ian Padgham, Johnny McHone and Daniel Ojanlatva, reports Digiday. Not only do these creators have large social media followings, but they used stop-motion and live video to create something unique for the intended audience. For example, one features a man imagining how cool he would look with a new Mustang, which caters to younger men, and another video with a Ford car pulling two snowmen on skis, to hit the winter trends.
These Ford Vines show that one of the most important aspects of video is imagination. Trimble states that you must be creative during video production and in the campaign strategy surrounding them. Think about how your business is different and creative. What niche are you filling and how are you unique? This is sure to help you create original and helpful video content for your target audience.