According to eMarketer, the digital video advertising industry raked in almost $5.8 billion in 2013, up 40 percent from the previous year. What’s the cause behind this massive increase?
The best websites appeal to the major senses – sight (photos, text) and sound (music, dialogue) – while telling a story that can erase the constraints of time and space. Unlike other forms of content, video incorporates all of these elements into an artistic statement that attracts even the most hard to reach Internet user. As a business, you have the ability to increase sales and customer retention on a global scale.
Video is not merely another form of content, it is a culmination of image, text, and music intended to function together for a common goal. Keep in mind that video isn’t always the best format for every story your business wants to tell. But, if used properly, video can both entertain and inform the audience.
Video Increases Visibility & Improves Search Engine Results
A recent post from Distilled, notes a 2009 SEOmoz survey found videos had an average time on site of 5 minutes 29 seconds, while posts without videos saw an average time on site of 4 minutes 46 seconds. For the last five years, numerous organizations have continued research about user engagement related to video content. The average length of an online video clocked in just shy of six-and-a-half minutes in 2012 according to a ComScore study, compared with 5 minutes 12 seconds in 2011. The length of your video will be determined by a whole host of variables including audience, approach, and viewing environment.
Video posts also tend to perform better on social media channels than more traditional articles, most notably on Facebook. Video will increase your brand awareness, improve consumer engagement and boost your search engine optimization efforts. Maintaining a presence on the major video search platforms accentuates your visibility just as a Facebook page or Twitter profile.
Ease of Information Lifts Video Above Other Content Formats
Video is a much different method of attracting and engaging audiences than text and image. Compared with printed material, video is a less flexible medium for the user. It’s simple to scan text and select which sections to read based on their relevance to your interests. Not to mention that viewing a video is a submissive experience. Instead of sorting through the content themselves, they are presented messaging that must be consumed in a passive manner. With video, comprehension is made easier through the various storytelling elements. Video also allows your business to draw an instant emotional reaction from the viewer, helping you to create brand ambassadors.
In Google search engine results pages, thumbnail images are regularly attached to the results to tell the user that the web pages features video. These results generally experience higher click-through rates than text-only results. By including video on your website, you can increase traffic and drive conversions. Product videos in particular have become an increasingly popular tool in the e-commerce world, designed as a method of improving the number of users who click “add to cart” and complete a purchase.
Video is an incredibly valuable resource for SEO. Referring links are viewed as “votes” for the worthiness of these various pieces of content. Search result rankings, after all, are a combination of authority and relevancy. Pages with a variety of media formats, most notably those containing video, generate more inbound links and retain visitors for longer periods of time. Plus, the video markup data is a signal to the search engines that your page provides rich media compared to pages with text and images only.
YouTube is the second most visited search engine in the world – ranking just behind Google. The only way to establish a presence on YouTube – or Vimeo, its nearest video-centric competitor – is to have a video channel and content to fill it. These channels will rank in YouTube search and Google search, which will drive traffic, referrals, and sales. To understand content needs, search a selection of keywords with “broad match” and explore the ideas that appear. Look for popular content in other verticals that you can replicate.
But don’t stick to just YouTube. It is important to host video on your site in addition to the major video sharing platforms. It gives you another opportunity to rank and also serves as a signal to the search engines that your site is more authoritative in your niche because you’re not simply embedding video content, but hosting it yourself. It’s a sign that you’re the creator of the video content, not someone else.
In order to garner links, video content must be relevant to your fans and followers and have the potential of reaching a wider audience. It must engage with people in an emotional way so they will feel motivated to promote it on their websites or social-media accounts. People won’t share mediocre content- so you need to create excellent content.
Be Vigilant About Brand Awareness for Maximum Results
Video offers an opportunity to be more personal than text, image, or audio. For your business, it offers a fantastic opportunity to show your softer side and truly connect with your audience. Given the relative lack of online video from today’s businesses, it demonstrates quality and dedication to actually create one of these prime digital assets. If your business has the money, time, and know-how to create a high-quality video, then you probably have a handle on your daily operations. The audience will perceive your business as having a deep and abiding commitment to the public and your products and services.
The Vimeo and YouTube communities value a wide range of content, from instructional pieces to dog pictures to pictures of cute cats. Your video doesn’t necessarily have to be flashy or action-packed. Users will link to helpful resources just as often as they will ones with compelling imagery.
As you develop your video content, keep a couple of tips in mind. In order to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, choose a spokesperson in your business that will make an immediate connection with the audience. Also, create an attention grabbing title to attract the attention of your audience, and enhance the ranking of your video.
Marketing Your Video
It should go without saying that the rules of online marketing are continually changing. For businesses that are considering video marketing as the next plan of attack, it’s best to tread lightly at first. Avoid discussing topics that might be viewed as controversial. Understand that the benefits of video marketing – global audience, emotional connection, text, and image intertwined – can sometimes work against you if the wrong message is delivered.
When planning video content, don’t produce a piece specifically to go viral. Start by addressing the basics of your business and reaching out to your key demographic. After creating video content, distribute it broadly through your online profiles, video channels, blogs, and websites. Uploading videos to all of your digital properties generate more listings and backlinks, thus helping your video content rank stronger.
Does your business have a video marketing strategy? What practice have you found to be useful?
Image Credits: http://www.sxc.hu. Used under creative commons licensed.