According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the year of the rooster. Here at Argyle Public Relationships, we predict it will be the year of the video.
You could fill a book with statistics about the growth of the medium. We’ll keep it brief here, and tell you that Canadians are among the heaviest users of the Internet on earth. And the thing we do the most while we’re there is watch video. Add to that our client Facebook’s metric that people share nearly three times more video today than they did in 2015, and the implication for marketers is clear: Any company wanting to grow its brand online must embrace video. That said, to harness its full potential, creators need to understand why video is so compelling, and how to create videos that compel.
Why video is rising
- It’s appealing and memorable
Compared to photos or print, video has greater power to create an emotional connection between the viewer and the brand. Think of WestJet’s popular holiday series. That kind of personal connection only comes when you see and hear the people in the story. Video has the added advantage of being the most memorable of the media. People retain more of what they see than what they hear or read.
- It’s quick
In a society that’s information rich but attention poor, video can convey in seconds what the printed word takes minutes to do.
- It’s ideal for sharing
Video is inherently shareable because it’s personal and easy to absorb. Engage viewers with a video, and they’ll not only spend more time interacting with your brand, but, if they are moved by what they see, they’ll share it.
- It’s persuasive
Video has the power to change people’s thinking. According to UK digital ad agency Unruly, videos double the level of brand association, which means that people who see your video are more likely to respond to your product or service the next time they bump into it. Its powers of persuasion are not lost on Google either; a variety of studies have shown that embedding YouTube videos in your web site (remember, Google owns YouTube) will push it up in Google’s rankings.
- It’s become affordable
Until a few years ago, video was accessible only to big brands with big budgets. But that’s changed. First, prices for production gear and editing software have fallen, bringing project budgets down with them. Second, most of us carry an HD video camera around in our back pockets. And with a few clicks, we can share our creations on Facebook Live, Instagram, Periscope, and more.
How to make videos that soar
Even in a world of inexpensive gear and live streaming, creating an engaging video takes time, energy and budget. Once you’ve decided to create one, follow these rules to make it popular:
- Give people something useful
You, of course, have your own goals in mind for your video. Know, though, that you’re only going to get people’s attention if you give them something that’s meaningful or useful to them in their busy lives.
- Front end load & keep it short
Grab your viewer’s attention right off the top, as we did in this OPP video created to publicize the Move Over law. You have just seconds to hook people, and a couple of minutes to say your piece. After that, drop-off is steep. This isn’t to say that you should cut a six-minute video down to two minutes — some content warrants more time. But it does suggest that, if in doubt, cut it.
- Get emotional
The most shareable videos evoke strong emotions. Tell a story that’s positive or useful, and shareability rises.
- Think social — and silent
Even if your video is for an internal audience, consider leveraging what you film on social media. Perhaps you’ve recorded behind-the-scenes footage that your audience would like to see. And, while you have a busy expert or thought leader on set, think about other brand messages that would be useful on your social channels. Since there’s a good chance your video will land on Facebook or Instagram, remember your videos will play without sound until a user clicks on it or “thumb-stops” it. Make sure your video has accurate subtitles or captions built in
- Give it lift off
Save some of your muscle, and your budget, to get your new video in front of your audience. Use every social channel at your disposal, maximize SEO, and consider the value of paying for promotion. Once the video is launched, be sure to track performance. The big platforms – YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook – come with built in tools that tell you how people are responding, measuring viewer numbers, play time, where traffic is coming from, and more.
Whoever your audience is, and whatever you want to say to them, video is one of the best tools in the kit. Rounding out our robust suite of video services, Argyle has a new mobile video studio, a one-stop-shop for filming and editing professional quality, quick-turnaround, budget-friendly video content, specifically designed for executives to address the camera. And best of all, we’ll come to you.
It’s clear that video is soaring as a channel to build reputations and brands. And if you follow the simple rules above — with the help of video professionals — your videos can soar, too.
Argyle’s video demo reel.
Tina Gladstone is Argyle’s video producer and director. She loves working closely with clients to create captivating videos that connect with their audiences.