If you find yourself intimidated by the concept of creating video content, you’re not alone.
Every minute of the day, YouTube users alone upload 72 hours of new video content, not to mention uploads to Facebook, Vimeo, Daily Motion or Wistia.
Fortunately, there are tons of great blueprints for creating valuable, meaningful video content.
I’ve taken a closer look at some of these strategies and have condensed the advice here, in a “delightfully short” guide to adding value with your video content. I’ve included the latest research on video content, the best expert tips, and some great examples of video content done right. If you’ve got any more tips or examples of great brand videos, I’d love to hear them in the comments.
The Stats Behind Valuable Video Content
At first glance, taking on the challenge of adding video to your content marketing mix might seem enormous to say the least.
So why would you want to take on such a mammoth task?
- Video generates 3x as many monthly visitors to a website as other content
- Visitors spend 88% more time on a website that includes video
- Organic traffic from search engines increases by 157%
- Consumers are 46% more likely to seek information about a product or service after seeing in an online video
- Consumers are 85% more likely to buy after watching a product video
- 52% more confidence in their online purchase
Online video presents a huge opportunity for you to add tremendous value to your brand, whether you overall goal is increasing conversions, improving brand confidence or simply to show you care.
With the advent of social streaming platforms such as Meerkat and Periscope, and in a world where the majority of marketers already have some way of recording HD video and access to easy-to-use editing software, it’s clear that no matter your budget or ability, you can create valuable video content.
The 5-Step Process to Creating Video Content
I’ve gone through some of the best user guides to making engaging video, and I’ve highlighted a few of the key steps that experts are suggesting you consider when creating video content.
Here is a quick rundown of my five steps toward more valuable video:
- Listen and understand your audience
- Align with your brand goals
- Create the content and make it resonate
- Share. Share. Share again!
- Measure. Analyse. Understand.
1. Listen and understand your audience
First things first, before brainstorming video ideas or choosing the right video tools or thinking about which cameras to buy, you’ll need to find out:
What does your audience want to see?
Making the effort to understand what your audience wants can add a huge amount of value to your video.
Before settling on an idea for your video, spend some time getting to know your audience, looking at what they want to know about your brand and what they are talking about in the industry.
Earlier in the year, Kevan’s post covered some really useful tools that can help you understand and get to know your audience. With that list in mind, here are a few ideas of where to begin with listening:
- Social media conversations, questions, and replies
- Surveys sent to your users, subscribers or followers
- Frequently asked questions from your support inbox
- A Twitter hashtag search of something meaningful to your brand
- Popular question headlines in a BuzzSumo search of your brand’s keywords
2. Align with your brand goals
Once you’ve identified a topic for video content that you think your audience would enjoy, the next consideration is you and your brand.
Does your video idea fit with your brand’s goals?
After you’ve taken time to understand your audience, Katherine Hipwell of Red Bee Media suggests looking toward your brand goals and seeing how these align with the needs of the audience.
What is a brand’s objective? What is the audience interested in? And how can this be done in real time?
Here’s a neat Venn diagram that touches on the intersection of these three key questions. Aim for video content that can answer “Yes” to all three questions.
If it becomes a struggle to align brand objectives with audience wants and needs, consider shelving the idea for the time being.
It is a tough thing to do, but will help you focus on the most valuable ideas for both the brand and audience.
3. Create the content, and make it resonate
Once you’ve figured out what your audience wants and how that fits with your brand’s goals, you can move ahead on creating the video content. The Buffer blog has covered some ways to easily get started here.
I’d love to focus on the end result of your video:
What change in thinking, motivation or behaviour do you want your video to affect?
To make your video more interesting and shareable, there is some really intriguing advice in terms of the psychology and emotions behind video content.
One of my favorite stories on the topic was shared by Christina Desmarais at Inc. Christina wrote about the strategies at Unruly, a marketing company that specializes in viral video.
Unruly determined 18 psychological responses that your video should aim for.
Among these, the positive emotions are the ones that are most effective at driving social shares. Emotions like happiness, exhilaration, and amazement (the first five listed above, in particular) are great indicators of a successful video on social media.
Christina’s post goes on to share 10 main reasons why people share videos with others, a list drawn from Unruly’s experience in viral video. Among the 10 reasons, here are two that stood out to me:
- The sharer believes the product or service could be useful to friends.
- It demonstrates the sharer’s knowledge or authority on a subject.
So when creating a video, keep in mind the emotions you’re creating with your video and the reasons why someone might share it. And in case these ideas seem a bit vague (I know I can sometimes struggle in this area!), here are some helpful resources from Wistia on the topic of emotions and video.
- How to Balance Logic and Emotion in Your Videos
- When Is It Best to Use an Emotional Video?
- How to Choose the Right Music for Your Video
tl;dr – Write a script that captures the emotional voice and tone of your brand, choose music that elicits the right emotion.
4. Share. Share. Share again!
Once you’ve made your awesome and engaging video, you’ll be set to upload and share it, ready to watch the views roll in.
To get the most effective results, approach sharing your video in the same way as any other content and spread your social posts out over a long period of time.
You could be sharing your video and adding value consistently for days!
Think about how often you should post to different networks, and if you’re on the forever free plan at Buffer, you can connect a profile from each network (one from Facebook, one from Twitter, etc.) and schedule ahead 10 posts for each network.
5. Measure and attribute success
One of the most frustrating and confusing parts of making video content is knowing what success is and how to measure ROI.
After you’ve spent hours successfully creating this amazing content that is tailored toward your audience while aligned with your brand objectives, how do you even know if it worked? You might already know you need to set some KPIs, but which metrics even matter?
Carla Marshall of ReelSEO suggests focusing on three key areas:
Audience: Look at the # of views from your target demographic or a video’s % of views from that demographic.
Expression: Look at how much watch time the video has accumulated, both the total amount and the average time each viewer is watching. Look at the # of subscribers your videos are earning, or the % of new subscribers you’re picking up compared to the number of views your videos are getting. You can also measure how many clicks you’re getting through to your website.
Participation: # of shares or the % of shares to views
When it comes to metrics, it’s always seemed that there was a lot of pressure to get ‘views’. In fact experts are now considering ‘view count’ as a secondary metric, with the majority suggesting shares and view time to be more important than views themselves.
My favorite tip for measuring the value and success of your video comes from TheMediaOctopus (from their really interesting infographic):
Key tip: Contrary to popular belief, you should focus on how many times the video has been shared, NOT viewed. The action of sharing is the gold standard in social, a metric in itself which offers a big opportunity to influence brand metrics and performance.
3 Great Examples of Memorable Video Content
There are some excellent examples of brand videos scattered across landing pages, blogs and social channels. You don’t have to look far on YouTube or Facebook to find something valuable and engaging that ticks all the right boxes.
I’ve handpicked three of my favorites. Each one provides great value for their audience and illustrates different ways you might use video, add value and connect with your audience.
The 3 E’s of Valuable Video Content
The brand goal is simple; highlight Wistia’s expertise while educating existing and potential customers, helping improve the video content their audience produce.
Although uploaded in 2012, so in no way new to the video content market, Dollar Shave Club’s viral commercial continues to set a high standard for entertaining and amusing content.
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the goal of the video was to drive awareness of the Dollar Shave Club brand, highlighting the key benefits to their audience, in a fun and entertaining way.
In her recent Emoji post Courtney highlighted the great use of video content from PETA, using Emojis to communicate their powerful message and engage a very specific audience.
With their sights firmly set, PETA took a brave and unconventional approach, engaging the target audience in relatable terms yet still delivering the brand’s disturbing message in a simple yet effective manner.
The three examples are a tiny drop in the ocean of incredible brand video content. Each video indicates that by simply understanding the audience they are targeting, brands can create a more rich, valuable and meaningful content.
If you’ve experienced some engaging and valuable video content, let me know in the comments.
Hopefully this helps show that creating valuable, engaging and meaningful video is well within your grasp. And by taking a step back and aligning your business goals with your audience wants and needs, you can add tremendous value to your brand.
What questions do you have about including video on your content marketing strategy? How do you measure the value of your videos? Have you experienced some great brand videos? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.
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