Content is the cornerstone of most online marketing strategies. It has always been a critical aspect of ranking, conversion, and outreach, which, unfortunately has led to a whole lot of people producing a whole lot of content.
And when that happens, we end up with an internet full of clickbait titles, shallow discussions, and over-optimized web pages.
It’s the kind of content we, as an industry, have inoculated our readers against. We’ve trained them to skim over this kind of content and not really pay attention to what it says because chances are they’ve seen something like it somewhere else.
On top of that, while the search engines are rewarding longer, in-depth content, the average internet user doesn’t want to take the time – or doesn’t have the time – to really delve into something that long.
So, what’s the answer?
Video is very quickly becoming an intrinsic part of content marketing because it is so much more consumable than a long text post. It also offers a number of other benefits for a content marketing campaign that will augment and streamline your efforts.
In an interview over on Wistia, Ann Handley put it this way:
“Any brand or company that isn't using video in some way is missing out on a tremendous opportunity to bring its brand to life. Video adds a pulse to your content. It makes your story tangible and real. So why wouldn't we all embrace it?”
What Does Video Do that Text Alone Can’t?
The first and most obvious thing a video can do that other forms of content can’t is put a face on your message.
This is how content marketers can really start to build trust. We’re far more willing to listen to someone and consider their message when we can see who it is that is speaking to us.
Video creates a connection. It's really that simple.
It’s one thing to tell your customers how something works, but it’s something else entirely to show them exactly what the benefits are.
When your content creates these great stories – when it shows how beneficial a product or service is – you’ll start to see more engagement and higher returns.
SEO Benefits from Video Marketing
Video has become one of the most important types of content for lead generation and user engagement. When it’s used correctly, it can also provide number of direct SEO benefits, too.
You can, for example, earn some solid backlinks by employing videos on your site. When you provide a succinct, fun, and engaging answer to an important question, people will naturally link to it.
Video also encourages people to spend more time on your website. Time on site is one of those elements that we know impacts your rankings, but it can be difficult to say exactly how much.
What we can say for sure is that the longer people stay on your site, the more likely you’ll see better rankings. Incorporating video is a great way to encourage them to spend a little more time on the site.
We should also note that you can include links from YouTube video pages to specific product or service pages on your site. It’s safe to assume that these links don’t carry a lot of ranking juice, but they can send more people to your site.
And as more people visit your site, the more likely you can get them to engage with the content there, which also indirectly impacts your SEO.
More importantly, if these people watched a video and then visited your site, it’s a pretty good indicator that they’re interested in your products. So they're going to be more likely to convert.
How to Increase Conversions with Video
Just like any other content, your videos should be created with a very specific purpose in mind. You can’t just create a video without a purpose and put it out there and expect great things to happen automatically.
If you’re looking for ways to increase conversion with video, consider some of the following types of videos:
- Explainer videos – Are there difficult concepts in your industry? Is your product something completely new and unique? A simple video that educates your audience can be very helpful.
- Customer testimonials – If you can get real people on video talking about their real experiences, it can build a lot of trust.
- Demonstration videos – Sometimes they need to see your product in action to understand how it really benefits them.
- Personalized videos – A video email message that is created for a specific prospect can do a lot to get them engaged with your brand.
How to Use Video with Social
We’ve talked about the potential of using video on your social platforms, but we’re going to look at it again right now.
When we talk about video marketing, the immediate assumption is that it will involve YouTube videos. While this is normal and expected (what with it being the second largest search engine and all), it may be time to start thinking outside that little red box.
Facebook video is on a very upward trend, and it is currently serving nearly 4 billion daily video streams.
Just like any other search engine, there will be a lot of competition to appear at the top of the results in YouTube. And it can be a real challenge with so many people fighting for that top spot.
Hosting your videos natively in Facebook, however, is a little different.
People who view a video in Facebook probably aren’t there looking for a specific video to relax and watch for a few minutes watching. They’re simply watching because they’re in the mood to consume some kind of content.
When they see a video on Facebook, it’s because it showed up in their newsfeed.
And right now, Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm is placing a lot of weight on videos so, as a company, you’re likely to see a lot more “reach” with a video than just another link and quick update. (Just to reiterate, this means that you have to host the video natively on Facebook. If you’re just linking to a video outside the platform, it will get the same treatment all your other shared links do.)
Anyone Can Do Video
At the SLC|SEM Digital Marketing Conference this year, there was a great presentation by Amy Schmittauer called: Produce Your Authority: How to Create Video that Builds Brand Influence.
Amy Schmittauer is a video authority, coach, and host of Savvy Sexy Social, and she, of course, spoke on the importance of video, but she also was determined to make it clear that anyone with a smartphone and a personality can start making and sharing video content. (And you can probably fake the personality part of that equation.)
Eventually, if you really pursue this content marketing strategy, you will want some better gear, but you shouldn’t let the fear of gear keep you from getting started. It’s more important that you understand the message you want to deliver than it is to understand the ins and outs of lighting/DSLR/audio/etc.
Integration with Your Content Strategy
Video works best when it's integrated into the rest of your content marketing strategy. All of your blogs, infographics, social media posts and video productions should work together to develop your audience and provide the answers they need.
For example, we recently had a lot of great engagement with our blog, titled: “How to Choose an SEO Company (And Feel Great About it)”. It quickly started to rank for the term: “How to choose an SEO company” which is a question we have a lot of interest in answering.
So why leave it at that? Why not augment it with a quick and fun video that answers the same questions, but in an audio/visual way?
It was simple to do, and it looks like this:
Don’t just create videos because “everyone is doing it.” Create video because you know how it can contribute to your overall marketing goals.
There are a lot of great opportunities with this medium, and you can really show of your creative side and turn your normal, skimmable content into deep and engaging assets.
If you'd like to see how content marketing and video marketing fit into a wider approach to online marketing, be sure to download this free ebook: