If a picture tells a thousand words, then is video at 30 frames per second a no brainer? Well it's not quite as simple as that, but 2017 is the year that brands will devote some serious attention to their content strategy for video.
Statistics (Hubspot 2016) suggest that this year, video generated 55% of global internet traffic. That figure is set to climb to a staggering 74% in 2017. Today, 55% of internet users will watch a video online. 78% will watch one this week.
That's a pretty compelling case to use video as part of your Content Marketing Strategy.
We're going take a quick look at the "What" and the "Where" of video in a content strategy. Firstly, there is no single, one-size-fits-all strategy that will work for all brands. This begins with your audience or the audience you intend to build. The brand values and the audience influenced the style and choice of content. The first choice is Edited or Live?
Live Video is taking off in a big way. Apps such as Periscope enable the user to broadcast a live video stream from an event using their smart phone as the camera. Advantages include immediacy and low cost disadvantages include low production values and the inability to edit, meaning the content is only as good as it is. Facebook has introduced Facebook Live, Instagram Stories feature live video and Twitter is rolling out live video (using Periscope) as I write! Live video is not for everyone, but it certainly has a place in a content marketing strategy where the audience is likely to respond to the immediacy and/or the exclusivity of the content.
Editing gives you the chance to offer stylish, more deliberate content with all the mistakes taken out! Although editing will add to the cost, it is still possible to make good video content relatively cheaply. Uses include advertising, web site content, social content. The only limit on the content is your creativity. Short form videos that have worked really well for people include recipe videos, how-to video and commercials. These types of video cost more, but in the right hands will give you engaging, vibrant material that gets your message across in the way that suits your brand.
Content Strategy for Video
Social platforms supporting video include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google +, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Periscope. The challenge is to work out which ones to use. I would apply the same logic here as I apply to any content strategy. Use the channels that suit you the most. The ones where you and your audience are comfortable. Attempting to cover all of these options is time consuming and expensive.
In terms of content, as with all social media, aim to provide engaging, interesting content that connects. Production levels on edited content need to be high. Everyone watches television so everyone is an expert. I would recommend hiring a production company to deliver edited content because they will know how to make the content sing.
Incidentally, there is a difference between a content marketing strategy and a content strategy. The first is the high level process that defines the content and the target platforms. The second is getting it done! Content strategy is about the creation and management of content for all platforms.
A strategy without metrics is a danger to itself! It is essential to measure the effectiveness of your efforts in social media. A tweet costs nothing, but a video represents a substantial investment of time and money. You can use the stats provided by Facebook to see how much engagement your videos are getting. The important measurements are:
- How well the video does compared to other types of post
- Retention. Do people watch the video (as opposed to skipping past it in their timeline)
- Repeat views. The higher this number is the better your content is being received.
The platform that is hosting your vide will generally show you your repeat view data, engagement rate, play rate and trends over time. One thing to bear in mind here is that there may be an advantage to hosting your video on multiple platforms. Although this goes against conventional IT strategy, the fact is that the available platforms are in competition. Will Facebook favour a video that is hosted on YouTube? You are likely to get greater reach by hosting on both platforms.
Call to Action
One final thing. If you don't put a call to action at the end of your video, you are missing a trick - the CTA can be as subtle as a web address or as explicit as an annotation in YouTube (clickable text appended to the video).
Here at Helter Skelter Studios, we specialise in video and photography. We have 20 years of broadcast television experience in the team and we know how to make engaging content. If you want to know more about how we can help you shape and deliver your content, do get in touch. We'd love to talk!
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