Happy April's Fool! I'm not one to fool around, so we are getting straight to the point. New week, new month, new blog topic. In April we are focusing on the biggest content trend for the last couple of years - video. Surprisingly, despite all the evidence of video content effectiveness and all marketing experts swearing by it, a lot of small businesses still feel reluctant to use video in their content arsenal. Why is that? Probably because they don't have enough information on the right types of video for their brand and don't know how to create a video content strategy or plan. And what am I here for if not to shed light on a topic like that? Let's find solutions for the most common "excuses" people use for not including enough video in their digital marketing activities.
"My Audience May Not Like Videos"
Really? In today's busy world you think that most people on the Internet have time and patience to read long blog posts? And how much real value can you get from just an image? I mean, infographics are great, but it still takes more effort to get what you need from them than a 30 or 60-second video, which will give you the same information. Videos play really well with people's emotions and everyone, I repeat, everyone on the internet is most easily engaged when a piece of content touches their emotions. You can make them laugh, make them angry, happy, amazed, gushed... As long as they feel something, they are likely to stop scrolling and start paying attention.
"Videos Take a Lot of Time or Money to Get Done"
Depends on the video type. I've come to understand that a lot of people think of video content as just one specific type of video and don't really see all the other options. And they are so many! Let's quickly list 8 types of video you can use for your business:
how to video
"a day in the life of" video
company presentation video
"behind the scenes" or "in action" video
Best thing is, there are many more types and you can surely think of some once you put your mind to it. So, since we cleared that, we should mention that not all types of video actually take that much time to create. It would take you 15 minutes or less to create a fun and engaging slideshow for your brand. There are so many apps you can use for that for free - MoShow, VivaVideo, iMovie, PhotoGrid and the list is really endless.
You can easily arrange interviews with interesting people your audience cares about or have a video talk with another expert in your niche, providing double value to your followers and fans. Most times these are free (except you want to interview a celebrity). You will only have to get good video recording equipment, but let's just say, in your early days, even that is not mandatory, as long as you are a little creative. Either way, video equipment is a one time investment that will help you a lot in the long run.
And guess what, the cheapest and least time consuming type of video is LIVE VIDEO. It also happen to be the most engaging video content with highest reach and even conversion rates!
"I am camera shy"
You knew this one is coming, didn't you? Or maybe you are one of the people who uses that excuse. Well, stop it. Right now. It's ok to use, slideshows, how tos, animations and presentation and storytelling videos, but at some point you will have to show your face to your audience. The reason is really simple - trust and relationship building. Gone are the days when brands were just corporate names with lots of history behind them and that was enough for people to get hooked. Chances are, you aren't even that kind of popular brand yet. So, the only thing that will work for you and your business is making your potential customer relate to you. Emotional, experiential marketing is the way forward. And video with you inside is a huge part of it. Having a business and succeeding in it will make you go out of your comfort zone a thousand times to achieve your goals. You are camera shy? It almost sounds like you are success shy to me.
Now that we established a solution for the most common excuses people use to dodge video in their marketing activities, let's look at how best to create a video content strategy or plan.
1. Choose the Platform
Who do you want to see your video? Are you targeting a younger generation, professional people or just the general public. Once you have the answer, do your research and find out which channel is most preferred by your target audience. Also, different platforms, allow different video formats and lengths. Speaking of...
2. Decide on the Length of the Video
There are two main types of videos - short form 3 sec to 3 min and anything longer up to an hour. Generally, social media allows only short form videos because they capture the attention better and have a much higher engagement rate. Facebook and LinkedIn allow long form videos, but they don't recommend the use of such on their platforms for the reason I just explain in the previous sentence. Twitter's maximum video length is 140 seconds (2 min 20 sec), while Instagram allows videos up to 1 minute in posts. Story videos are usually 15 sec long, but you have the option of keep recording for longer. Your video will then be posted as several clips, each with up to 15 sec length. YouTube allows much longer videos and that's why it is a preferred platform for brands who really invest in their video marketing. Alternative to YouTube and a great place to keep it all in one place if you have a lot of followers on Instagram is IGTV. You can posts videos up to 10 minutes (some accounts 15 minutes) long. If you are a social influencer or a celebrity with over 100k followers, IGTV will allow you to post even longer videos. Instagram promised last year on the IGTV launch that in the future, the 10-minute limit will be lifted for all accounts. We are still waiting on this.
3. Decide on the Topics
The more diverse you are the better. But this doesn't mean just make any video and hope that it will bring you results. The topics you choose will have to be related to what you do. Occasionally, you can throw in a few funny videos, just to amuse your audience, but you still have to make sure they are not completely alien to what your business is about. Remember, you must always evoke emotions in your viewers. Inspire them, educate them, entertain them. If you are short of ideas for your video content calendar, check the list of video types above and you will come up with at least 8. Maybe much more.
4. Study the Right Time to Post
It's almost certain you won't get it right from the first try. I mean, you can follow statistics and post your videos at the best time the general stats of digital marketers point to, but you must know your audience is unique. The stats may say the best time for posting on Facebook is Wednesday 3pm GMT, because that's when posts get the most engagement. But you have to ask yourself are my followers and fans online at that time, and are they even awake? You will have to go through the trial-error method until you find the true best posting times for your brand on the platforms you use. If you posted a video and it only got 3 likes and 20 views in an hour, delete it and post it again later. Regularly check the data insights of your accounts and make changes to your posting schedule.
5. Don't be Boring!
What do I mean by that? Two things. Your videos do have to be interesting and have a lot of motion in the first 3 seconds. The other thing is diversity in the types of video content you offer to your audience. Use at least 6 of the video types I listed above and if possible, all of them. Stay consistent and keep your viewers on their toes. This way, they will always expect something new from you and come back for more.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions about creating your video content strategy, reach out to me. I'll be happy to give you some guidance. And if you want to know all about video content marketing, subscribe to the MBC blog below, so you don't miss an update in April.