There has never been a better time to think about how you can make video a bigger part of your online marketing strategy.
Facebook is advancing aggressively into video (giving YouTube a run for its money as the top platform). Newer live-streaming platforms like Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Meerkat are finding traction, allowing users to effortlessly integrate video into social media. And the video tools and apps on your smartphone allow you to tote what’s practically a full production studio right in your purse or pocket.
So how do you make video a regular part of your marketing program, in a seamless way that feels like it’s not just bolted on but an integral part of your online presence?
1. Use video to promote other content you’ve created.
Say you’ve produced a “pot roast” piece of content—a weighty, meaty asset like an e-book or white paper that you’d like users to download, perhaps in exchange for their email address.
Create a short video to embed on the landing page of Facebook or LinkedIn—or wherever it is that you’re promoting it. The key here is to make the video not just promotional but educational: Feature the author or a subject-matter expert sharing an insight or two; don’t simply implore people to download the content.
It’s hard not to love video-hosting company Vidyard’s cheeky video that promotes its video marketing handbook. (Yes, that’s meta!) Kitchener, Ontario-based Vidyard gets points for making a video that carries off a hat trick: It’s funny; it’s creative, marrying old-school ’80s workout gear with Rocky-style training; and—most important—it’s useful as a tool for those looking to up their video marketing game.
2. Live-stream comments and discussion.
Video live streaming is beginning to gain momentum, with Periscope and Meerkat emerging as the frontrunners. These platforms allow you to broadcast video to anyone in the world. Early adopters are still testing it, and a few have amassed significant followings. (Amanda Oleander, a Los Angeles artist, has been called Periscope’s “breakout star.”)
The options are limitless. You could stream live events or openings or record a podcast live. Even better: Consider using live streaming to share thoughts you have about developments in your industry and to get immediate feedback from your social audience.
For example, entrepreneur and marketing consultant Marcus Sheridan wrote a thoughtful piece on his blog (thesaleslion.com) about the implications of live-streaming video—in particular, how transparency will transform business. Then he took to Periscope to discuss the findings with his followers, sharing the same content with a new audience in a new format, fielding questions and comments and extending the life and reach of his blog post.
3. Use video as the source for other content assets.
Video interviews or web series are fairly commonplace—you might interview an expert or thought leader, then publish the video on YouTube or Vimeo or your own site via a marketing platform like Vidyard or Wistia (to name two). Or you might create a regular series in which people from your company answer questions. Sheridan regularly makes videos answering common questions like “What’s the formula for writing a perfect meta description?” His answers are short (around two minutes) and specific—which makes them useful and easy to consume.
An even better approach is to use that video as source material to create even more content—reimagining it in various ways to reach new audiences. For example, you could syndicate the audio portion on iTunes and transcribe the video (using Rev or CastingWords) and edit it into a Q&A text interview for your blog. That way, your single video will have a bigger footprint that reaches more people in multiple formats.
San Francisco entrepreneur Mitchell Levy publishes a series of interviews with successful business leaders on a microsite called Thought Leader Life. He records each half-hour interview as a live-streamed Google Hangout (which is archived on YouTube). Then, he adapts the interview in four different formats, published on up to 10 platforms. So from a single conversation he can create a video published on YouTube and SlideShare; a blog post; a podcast (published on iTunes); a syndicated podcast (published on a PR network); social messages (posted on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn); a series of tweets (Twitter); and a collection of key points or messages in the form of a curated e-book.
Now, take these tips and apply them to your own business, considering how you might utilize video geared toward your specific market. Perhaps you can use Instagram video to give a sneak peek of a new release or to film answers for your FAQs. (ExpertBail does this.) You may want to use video to breathe life into your products, like gift site The Grommet.
Try something new. Have fun. Explore. Because as marketing strategist and writer Barry Feldman says, “If you’re not experimenting with video, you’re simply sitting on the sidelines watching the big game unfold.”