Video. It's the must-have marketing tool. It engages the viewer, it instantly puts across key messages and the search engines love it. So what is it and how does it work?
Before the advent of the web, the most effective news medium was television. If you wanted your story to get out, you put it on TV. Yes, radio and the newspapers also did that to a certain degree, but to reach those who couldn't summon the enthusiasm or patience to listen or read, TV was the way. Now video is widely available online, it performs that same function, instantly engaging the viewer with a three-pronged strike consisting of a moving image, sound and story. It is now the TV.
A study conducted at the University of Texas found that people remember; 10% of what they read, 20 percent of what they hear, 30 percent of what they see but 50 percent of what they see and hear.Full Impact.
But why, exactly, does video manage to engage an audience where text, sound and still images individually fail? In a nutshell, it's because this medium offers little chance for viewers to ignore it. Readers may skip text or concentrate on the pictures to make their own interpretation. Audio will build pictures in the listeners' minds which may not be the picture you want them to build. Viewers can be bombarded with the images you want them to see and the message you want to give. Video makes an instant impression. And if done right, it can compel the viewer to carry on watching and hear your message through to the end.
But here's the rub, those first few seconds are vital. Just as a headline needs to grab its reader, the opening shots, words and music need to grab the viewer before they lose interest and seek the next shiny object. Get it right and that engagement will stay, trust and confidence will be built and that could convert to a sale.Let Me Entertain You.
So, how do you keep your viewers watching? As with a good book, a good video needs a story, a point, an opening statement, relevant information and a strong conclusion. And it needs to do it quickly enough to keep the viewer.
Video production is a skill which requires a professional team. A poor quality video is worse than no video at all, and could lose you business and damage your brand. The story doesn't necessarily require a well-known TV star to present it - however, it must be clever - using choice words, pictures and ambient sound to tell the story, along with graphics, if appropriate, and a shrewd use of music. A professional video director is also a must, as they're able to ensure quality of sound and lighting, ensure steady footage and also bring a sharp editorial judgement to bear on proceedings - a range of skills, your friend with a video camera probably doesn't have.The Future of Content.
Videos can take many forms. Some work as part of a series, leaving the viewer waiting for the next instalment. Others may be used to offer professional advice, giving an air of authority in the form of a web tutorial. Or they might simply showcase what you do in a creative and engaging manner, serving to to reinforce your brand.
Videos are amongst the most shared pieces of content on the web, effectively driving up your website traffic and helping you to climb the rankings in the Search Engines. If you host your film on a video Search Engine such as YouTube and Vimeo, this is an incredibly effective way to grow your audience.
We are also seeing the emergence of 360 VR Video that places the user in the actual location so they can interact with the view and feel like they are actually there.
And video isn’t standing still. We’re now seeing the emergence of 360 VR Video that ‘virtually’ drops the user into a location – allowing them to interact with their environment, as though they’re actually there.
So, is web video a no-brainer? Yes, for the right product. And yes if the right video is produced. But as with any marketing campaign, careful thought is needed about what it is trying to do, who it's trying to reach and how it is ultimately promoted - as the best content in the world is useless unless someone is there to consume it.
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