Online video can be one of the most impactful tools of your integrated content marketing strategy. Seventy-five percent of Fortune 500 executives view videos online, a study by Forbes Insights and Google found, and savvy business-to-business marketers know that leveraging video in their marketing strategy can significantly increase engagement. In fact, according to a 2015 survey conducted by the Web Video Marketing Council and Reelseo, 73 percent of B2B marketers believe that video positively impacts return on investment (ROI). In order to get the most out of your investment in video marketing, your marketing team needs to leverage the following best practices:
Consider Your Audience
Producing an interesting video is not enough. It's vital that you understand your audience and its needs, and then choose a topic, format and video host that best meets those needs and answers the question, "How can this make my life easier and impact my bottom line?"
Keep It Short
A survey by Wistia reveals that the length of your video can make all the difference. Videos that are less than 30 seconds long can keep a viewer's attention for more than 80 percent of the duration of the video. Videos that are 30 seconds to a minute long tend to keep a viewer's attention for around 75 percent of its length. The longer the video, the higher the drop-off rate. To achieve the most impact and keep your viewer engaged, it's best to keep your videos shorter than two minutes.
Lead With a Story
Since video engagement drops off the longer your video lasts, start with a story and put the value upfront. Get to the point of your video in the first three to 10 seconds, while the majority of your viewers are still engaged. Don't put your sales pitch or branding at the opening. Your audience has a short attention span, and you need to work at capturing their interest immediately if you want them to make it to the call to action at the end.
Share videos regularly, and make sure they are part of your larger content strategy and consistently reflect your brand. Video is your opportunity to add a personal touch to your brand, and the last thing you want to do is to confuse your viewers by making it seem that every video feels as if it were produced by a different company. Develop your core voice and messaging, and make sure both are embedded into every video—even when you are speaking of different topics.
Demonstrate Your Competency
A majority of consumers say watching product videos makes them feel more confident about making a purchase. Use your video marketing to better demonstrate your products and services in a compelling and personal way. Make your client feel as if he or she is speaking directly to you—the expert. Video is your opportunity, even more so than a blog, to illustrate your thought leadership.
Keep the Conversation Going
Video marketing should be one of many touch points for your customer. You can use video to grab your customer's attention, and then follow up with your fully developed integrated content marketing campaign. The video should use a call to action to draw your clients to your website, your social media or even a subscription to your newsletter. From there, you can further develop the relationship to make a sale.
If you have yet to integrate video into you marketing mix, you may need help taking the first step. Treat video as you would any other marketing tool. Create an editorial calendar that aligns with your overall content strategy. Remember that animation, illustration and still images can be as impactful, if not more so, as talking heads. Choose simple topics that are easy to digest in short bites. Weave in your corporate voice, simplify a complex process and introduce a new product or service. Remember, the most effective videos are part of your overall message and should reinforce your marketing goals while helping to usher your prospects through the sales cycle.