12 Most Timely Truths About Including Video As Part of Your Online Strategy
Shooting and editing video, adding music or a voiceover can mean a lot of work for content creators. Add in some nervousness, especially if you are not used to being in front of the camera, and you may wonder if creating video is worth all the effort. I must admit, it takes time to get comfortable seeing yourself on camera — but nothing can cure those initial fears more than embracing your nervousness and just doing it.
Adding video to your repertoire is a must. Aside from the huge SEO benefits, if you are a blogger, online marketer or social media professional, video needs to be part of your online strategy.
Here are 12 timely truths about video implementation and production that can help you get started or improve your video production game:
1. Having engagement triggers will improve your content’s search ranking
The primary goal for Google and other search engines is to serve relevant search results to their users. Using engagement triggers like images and videos are great way to encourage more people to engage with your content. The more engagement you generate, the more visible your content is in search.
Recent advances in streaming technology and faster internet connections has contributed significantly to the growing popularity of online video. Create great video content and people will tend to share it on their social networks and bloggers will be encouraged to link to your videos and generate some nice backlinks back to your site.
2. Video will allow you to tell your story in a unique way
More and more people are encouraged to create videos to either apply for a job or get into the school of their choice. Video allows prospective employers and school administrators to get a much better idea of who you are. Nowadays, a text-based resume or application may not be enough to convince hiring managers or school admissions staff that you’re the right candidate. Video will allow you to tell your story in a unique way. The only limit will be the limits you set.
3. Video allows you to build trust with your community
Aside from being able to share your unique story in a more visual way, creating videos will help you connect with your audience on a much more personal and deeper level. With videos, people watching can see the way you talk and hear your inflections. They can see and hear your sincerity and passion. Hearing the human voice has an amazing way to convert the information you share into meaningful content.
4. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google
In terms of viewership alone, there are more than 1 billion unique users who visit YouTube each month. There are over 6 billion hours of video watched each month. Probably the most interesting fact is that according to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than cable TV. YouTube is also the second largest search engine — bigger than Yahoo and Bing combined. Just make sure you optimize your videos by adding tags, a relevant description and links to your website so you can funnel traffic back to your primary website.
5. Not a fan of long form video? Short form videos are great too
YouTube videos tend to vary in length and that is great depending on the amount of information you want and need to share; but if you are not a fan of long form videos, there is always Instagram and Vine. Both platforms are a great way to showcase your creativity. Think about it, television commercials tend to either be 15 to 30 seconds on average. If you are able to creatively summarize attributes of your brand or service in a short video, it will go a long way to help you better connect with potential clients and customers in a fun and creative way.
6. Videos generate a lot more shares on social networks
Recently, there have been many changes on most of the popular social sites to help make visual content stand out. Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus have all tweaked their designs to put more focus on video content. Video is a great way to make your content stand out and appear higher on the timeline. According to statistics from Simple Measured, when Facebook launched Timeline, overall user engagement with brands increased 14% when brands shared videos instead of just links.
7. Embed videos on your website rather than hosting on your site
It can be confusing for some bloggers and online marketers on whether to host or embed videos on their websites. “Hosting” a video means that you upload videos to your site directly. “Embedding” a video means that you upload video to a third party site like YouTube and then you embed it in your posts on your blog. I strongly recommend embedding videos whenever you can, rather than hosting them. Embedding will make your videos load faster and not slow your site down.
8. Video is consumed more on mobile devices
According to YouTube, mobile makes up more than 25% of total views on YouTube, more than one billion views a day. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile views and, more importantly, includes content in video form. Imagine if your competitor is using video as a means to promote their product or service and you are not. They will be able to attract more potential customers because they are including video on their websites and giving their audience a much better idea about the benefits of doing business with them.
9. Google Hangouts is a perfect collaborative video tool
Most bloggers we know use Skype to conduct interviews for their videos. Although there is nothing wrong with that, we recommend you check out Google Hangouts instead. It is the perfect tool for collaborative interview style video. You can have up to 10 people simultaneously in a Google Hangout and it is completely free of charge. Aside from the collaborative benefits, you can also broadcast your Google Hangout to a larger audience through Google Hangouts On Air on your YouTube channel. Not only does this allow you to broadcast live on YouTube, but your video is also archived for future viewing for those who were not available to join in during the live show.
10. You don’t need fancy equipment to create great video
The beauty of creating videos is that you don’t really need a lot of fancy equipment to shoot and edit your videos. You can shoot and edit videos using your mobile phone and share easily on your social sites. There are a good selection of mobile video editing apps available that allow you to edit, add graphics and fancy transitions to your videos right on your mobile phone. If you have the budget and want to take your game to another level, there are a lot of great cameras you can purchase along with versatile desktop editing software to produce professional quality results. As you can see, there is really no excuse not to include video in your online strategy.
11. Video will allow you to connect better with your audience
Just like when we write our articles, if it doesn’t bring value to your readers, it will not be read or shared. The same thought applies when you are creating your video; it must either inform or entertain, or better yet — do both. Only when your content is relevant and resonates with your audience will it will be consumed and increase overall engagement.
12. Using video will offer your audience another option when consuming your content
Video is a great way to increase the variety of content-types you can offer your audience. Not everyone gets excited reading blog posts that are all text. Some people respond better to visual stimuli. Everyone has different learning styles and ways of absorbing a message or information. Some people learn and understand an idea better when demonstrated visually rather than just reading or listening.
Using videos to attract, teach and inform people about your product, service or idea is not as difficult as it once was. There are a lot of affordable equipment and software options to shoot and edit your videos. There is also the option of hiring a video production company.
There really isn’t any excuse for not including video in your marketing strategy. Do you use video on your blog? What challenges do you experience?
Share your thoughts with us — we would love to hear from you!
Featured image courtesy of Sun Child licensed via Creative Commons.