Humans have been trying to capture action since the beginning of time. We have been consistently working toward technologies that will allow us to take what we witness, and translate it into something that another person can see and understand.
Our first language attempts were built around actions: hunting wild game, giving birth, traveling to the next life, celebrating seasons.
So it’s really no wonder that we descendants of those early content creators have both a logical and visceral desire for video: we intuitively respond to moving pictures as the ultimate way to communicate and entertain.
With the advent of great video-capture technology literally at our fingertips, and the ability to share that with billions of people, the video content landscape is flooded, and consumers are pickier than ever about what they will give their attention to.
It’s no longer about just creating a pretty good video and publishing it. Dominating in this highly-saturated marketing format involves both careful consideration and some hindbrain instinct.
Note: there’s an infographic at the bottom of this article.
Video Content Is King: 9 Ways to Rule the Video Content Marketing Game
- Value Vigilance
- Get Pithy with It
- Haste Makes Waste
- Embrace the Silence
- Opt to Optimize
- Nail the Thumbnail
- See to the SEO
- Sharing is Caring
- Repurpose with Purpose
[Video] Content Is King
It was way back in 1996 that Bill Gates wrote and published an essay called, “Content is King.”
While he was reiterating a concept first outlined by Sumner Redstone in 1974, the ultimate point was that in this age of unprecedented connectedness, consumers would demand more content, and that to drive the marketing engine, brands and businesses would need to step away from traditional “shotgun marketing” techniques and start providing real value for their audiences.
And this meant that marketing had to develop depth. It had to contain something; and so entered Content Marketing (as we think if it now).
Content marketing isn’t a new concept – not by a long shot. Jello was saved from near-bankruptcy by a stroke of content marketing genius in the form of helpful pamphlets and ads targeting homemakers on ways to use Jello in their homes and meals.
With the advent of widespread, high-speed internet use, people are bombarded from all sides with content vying for their attention (and dollars).
In this deluge of stuff, what has emerged as the supreme format harkens back to our primitive desire for moving pictures: Video is King.
Nothing captures attention, creates fans, or drives revenue like video content. And, with technology improvements, not only can we deliver video content to audiences faster and with better quality, but we can also create that video content for much less than ever before.
9 Ways to Rule the Video Content Marketing Game
Everyone talks about “knowing your audience” but often we see that brands creating content that their audience literally does not care about. The person creating the content might love it, but if the target marketing keeps hitting the snooze button, it’s time to rethink and research.
Video content will only get you the results you want if you create it with your ideal client in mind. What does that person what to see? What does that person value and enjoy? Take time to figure that out, and then the time (and money) you spend creating a video will be more than worth it.
Get Pithy with It
Humans have never been famous for our ability to concentrate for extended periods, and right now we have the shortest attention spans ever. Part of the reason is that there is so much more to choose from: we no longer have just a handful of TV channels to flip through. We have nearly unlimited choices in what media we consume, and that has made us very picky.
As such, keep your video content short and to the point. Long-winded presentations, marathon brand videos, and monotoned live streams are all going to be abandoned for videos that stay on topic, deliver the relevant content with minimal fluff, and reflect the taste of the audience.
Haste Makes Waste
We are a culture of being in a hurry. And as businesses, time is money. However, this mantra should never give you permission to create content and share it without taking some time to edit it.
If your content looks sloppy, that’s what your audience will expect. If you make money being sloppy, then, by all means, proceed.
For the rest of us, we work hard to provide our customers and clients with fantastic products and results, because our reputation (and word-of-mouth) is priceless.
As such, pause before hitting the Share button, and look for opportunities to ensure your content is as awesome as you are. There really isn’t any excuse for misspellings, getting the name of someone wrong, or incorrect capitalizations. There are free tools for helping you write correctly, and many platforms allow you to edit your content – so even if a mistake slips by, you can still fix it.
There are also a ton of online tools to help you create great-looking content, even if you aren’t a trained videographer. Investing some time in learning a few tools (or hiring a great video marketing company *ahem*) will make a world of difference in the results your video content gets.
Relevant content for you: 4 Reasons to Hire a Marketing Videographer for Visual Content
Honestly, there is no reason to screw it up or have it look bad – unless you just don’t care. And, hey, if you don’t care about spelling (or other little details) why would anyone expect you to care about your audience?
Embrace the Silence
According to multiple video hosting platforms, as much as 85% of videos are watched with the sound off.
Viewers cite a variety of reasons for this, including being in a place where sound would be inappropriate, watching in a noisy environment, or simply just being uninterested in hearing the sound until they watch for a moment or two and decide to turn the sound on.
The takeaway is that the hard of hearing aren’t the only audience you are helping when you caption your video content.
In fact, including the text of what’s being said in a video often helps ram the point home to your audience, and anchor the main message even better than if they were to just hear it without also reading it.
In a national research study conducted with Oregon State University, it was reported that 52% of students found captions helpful as a learning aid by improving comprehension.
Fortunately, there are a lot of options for captioning, and in some instances, captions can be done in a fun, lighthearted way such as with the text options built into social sharing platforms like Instagram. You aren’t limited to text appearing at the bottom of the screen. That style just might not be a fit for your brand, and that’s absolutely okay.
Never underestimate the power of the right soundtrack for your video content, though. Many viewers will turn on the sound for a video they find interesting from just reading the captions. Music can move an audience in ways words and images cannot, and it should never be neglected.
Opt to Optimize
This seems to be something that goes without saying, but over and over again, we find video content that just isn’t a fit for the platform we are viewing it on.
It can be frustrating when all the social platforms seem to have different ratios and preferred display sizes, so it’s very tempting to just use the same video across all of them.
That is a temptation you must resist. Remember that audiences have become extremely picky about what they watch, so any video that doesn’t play in the right way is likely to just be ignored and lost in the scroll.
If you spent time and resources creating that video content, don’t condemn it to an early death by trying to use it where it wasn’t intended.
Fortunately, again, the internet has come to the rescue with a plethora of resources available to format video content to fit the platform. It might take a little while longer to take one video and get it fitted for everything, but the investment is worth it. Then, just be sure to load the correct video to the corresponding platform.
Nail the Thumbnail
Your video thumbnail is valuable online real estate, and it should be treated that way.
Don’t let the platform pick the thumbnail for your video for you. On most platforms, you have the option of choosing the thumbnail or even uploading an image to be used as the thumbnail.
This still image is what viewers see and it can capture attention, or beg to be ignored. After all the effort that went into creating your video content, the last thing you want to do is tell people not to watch it.
As just an overview of what to do with your thumbnail:
- Include a short line of text in a contrasting color to ensure its visible
- Include a human face, ideally looking at the camera
- Create it with the idea that it’s going to be displayed very, very small
- Include an image that is relevant to the content
Once again, the internet comes to the rescue with hundreds of tutorials and tools you can use to make great thumbnails that capture attention and reflect your brand.
See to the SEO
Say “SEO” in a room full of marketers and you’ll get a chorus of groans and sighs. We all know this is important, but it’s also tedious and decidedly unsexy.
It’s not dead. It’s very much alive, and anyone who treats it as a non-issue will suffer at the hands of the conscientious marketer. Like flossing, taking just a little extra time to perform this task means everything turns out better.
Spend a few minutes considering your video’s title, and while you want to include a lot of search engine-friendly terms, you also want it to be readable and attractive to the humans who read it.
Remember to include meta descriptions and alt tags in every platform that allows them, and again, don’t jam every keyword you can think of into the box. Think about your audience, and what terms they would type into a search engine when they are looking for the content you’ve created.
Sharing is Caring
First of all, there is no reason to just hit the Share button repeatedly.
Mindlessly sharing content is why we stop following loved ones on Facebook.
Don’t be that person.
Instead, include a few sentences about why you are sharing the video so that the audience can see that you thought about it and that you feel it’s something they would find interesting or enjoyable.
Views really don’t count for much. You don’t make money from just views. It’s about matching the content to the audience, so that they engage and respond. After all, if you get 100,000 views but everyone thought it was a waste of time, it doesn’t do much for your bottom line.
For example, talk about the valuable information it has, or how much fun (or how difficult) it was creating it. People follow people, not products, so your audience really does like to hear the thoughts of the human who is sharing the content. Keep the tone and voice on-brand, and use complete sentences, with all the correct spelling and punctuation.
Finally, (obviously) ensure that sharing is enabled on your video – that way others can share it easily.
Repurpose with Purpose
We know that getting a great video created takes a lot – whether you do it yourself or you hire someone to do it for you, it took time and resources. So, don’t post stick it on your homepage and forget about it.
Get all the bang for your buck that you can. Before creating a video, think about where it can be used beyond the platform you’ll use to first post it. This will give you some insight into parts of the video you can repurpose.
Struggling to think of what to create? Check out 4 Powerful Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity for Visual Content Creation
For example, if you plan to capture some great speech, you can take an awesome soundbite and turn it into a text image, and when you share it include a link to the video.
With transcription tools (or a transcriptionist) you can take a video and turn it into text for a blog post, and embed the video into the page as well.
Consider using a simple video editor to create shorter clips to post on various platforms. Some formats only support very short-form videos, so using a small bit of your longer video in these spaces means you get more mileage from your content.
Video Content is King: 9 Ways to Rule the Video Content Marketing Game
Content marketing has long been a staple of effective and long-lasting brand influence. That will never, ever change.
What does change is how the content is presented and consumed, and the data tells us that video content is by far the most effective way to deliver your message to your masses.
Like our prehistoric ancestors, we love and respond to imagery. Unlike our ancestors, we have more than red clay and black soot to convey our thoughts, ideas, and values. We have video, and we can do spectacular things with it. Record important moments and events, document knowledge, and most importantly for us marketers, reach the people who want to hear what we have to say.