Video has been growing at an increasing pace. It now forms the core of many content strategies and has many apps and sites dedicated to it. 360 video is taking off and video continues to get fantastic usage across so many diverse channels. So how can you take advantage?
Well there are a few ways and I wanted to share some thoughts I’ve been having with you. As always feel free to comment below.
1. New technology
More is possible now. 360 video for example is becoming increasingly popular, especially since Facebook has started to promote the technology quite heavily. If you can find a genuinely authentic use for it then go for it – it still has the wow factor.
2. The emotional-rational scale
Think about the purpose of your video and consider where it should sit on this scale. Emotional brand videos can be beautiful but if you’re trying to get some facts and clear benefits across you can lose the message. Vice versa, simply telling a fact-based story when you’re trying to get consumers to love you is an uphill challenge. Always consider how to connect with people on the message you’re trying to put across. Product launches are very different to customer welcome messages for example.
3. Think about distribution
Use video content to revitalize your email strategy. Email is not dead but it isn’t the core channel it was many years ago. I expect to see a resurgence however as video is integrated better with email. People have shown for many years that they connect better with visuals rather than the written word and that will help to bring email back as a truly engaging channel. Expect some behavioral change here. Distribution, as with many of these points, applies to your broader content strategy too of course. For more on building an effective content strategy you can get my book, Digital Marketing Strategy, here.
4. Production quality is perhaps more important than ever
HD isn’t new technology but you really should be producing your videos in high quality now. There’s no excuse for a poor quality video anymore. The fact that it has to play online is not the restriction it once was. Also videos that tell stories and seem to have been directed rather than shot by an amateur will gain more engagement. That’s not to say everything needs to feel like a Hollywood film. Rough films, hand-held cams, simple angles and cuts can still be powerful but they can also be awful so make sure your videos are put together by someone who understand the medium. Ensure a video expert captures and edits it. Warning: Everyone seems to think they’re a video expert these days but they’re not.
5. Best practise briefing still applies
Whether you’re working with an agency, an in-house team, a contact working solo or just a friend you still need to brief effectively. I cannot stress this enough. Without an effective briefing you will get nowhere. Now this doesn’t apply to news updates or quick, reactive pieces but to proactively produced videos. Ensure your Director / Producer understand your business, your goals, the feel you’re trying to get across, what you want viewers to think, feel, do. Download yourself a video brief from somewhere if you don’t have one. In fact, I’ll find one and add it to my resources page shortly.
6. Take advantage of live video
Another trend at the moment is live video, especially on social media. If you can find an authentic use for it again then I’d recommend you try and ride this wave. Whether it’s getting a launch announcement out, reacting quickly to a news story or creating a beautiful brand experience you should try to find a way to fit live video into your content strategy.
7. Timing is everything
This is not about releasing your videos at the right time. It’s about length. If your videos are being produced for a TV screen then they can be longer. Over ten minutes is fine. If they are a series of how to videos that people will want to invest time in then again longer is fine (but still keep the script to the point). If you’re producing videos however for YouTube or other social channels then they need to be punchy. No more than a few minutes. We know that people will not spend more than 6 minutes watching a video online as a rule so keep that in mind. Advertising has to be even shorter again and keep in mind that video adverts on YouTube may get skipped so you need to appeal to the viewer very quickly. No matter the format, purpose or distribution I would always recommend you keep your videos short and punchy. Get to the point with your message fast.
I’ve mentioned advertising in a couple of places now but this is really taking off now. Video adverts are becoming increasingly common and are incredibly engaging. The data we get back from them is also hugely valuable. This is too big an area to cover off in one point of a broader blog so I will write a more detailed blog on it another time but you must consider video in your digital advertising strategy. It’s no longer just a nice idea.