Blogs are well-established as an effective means of content marketing, particularly if they are shared using other mechanisms. They provide a range of advantages to organizations who wish to provide more information about their products and services, or their approach to corporate culture or social responsibility. But multimedia capabilities of smartphones and simplifying of non-linear digital video editing has seen an explosion in the use of video. Video can show rather than tell and if the producer has access to good imagery, can be far more vibrant than a text-based blog offering. YouTube is now the #2 search engine and organizations need to develop a plan for integrating video into their content marketing.
There are disadvantages to video content marketing that should be taken into account. As sexy as a video may be, if it isn't found, it's irrelevant, and if its distribution isn't maximized, the cost/minute ROI ratio is high.
With some attention to production planning, integration and workflow, the disadvantages of video can be eliminated and its strengths enhanced for marketing.
Advantages and disadvantages
Blogs are text-based and lend themselves well to search-engine optimization (SEO) and being found through traditional search. Videos depend almost entirely on their metadata for search returns. This can eliminate many of the search terms for which a particular video could have been found if it were text-based. There are ways to improve video search results, but attention to workflow and best practices are needed if consistent good SEO results for video are to be obtained.
Blogs are cheap
By comparison, video is relatively expensive. Smart organizations are able to tap into the knowledge base of the organization and use subject matter experts to generate copy that can be converted into effective blog content. (See my post on Doing Content Marketing Cost Effectively.) This can drive visitors to the website, particularly around long-tail search terms, and be remarkably effective. Webcam-based video blogs is one way to reduce the cost of video, but for it to be effective, it must still have good production values and an effective presenter. There are some well followed video blogs of this kind but one of the primary strengths of video is lost with this approach - that of being able to show something rather than talk about it.
An advantage of text is that it is easy to scan for what you're looking for and extract just that piece. If the content is well written or on target, reading is remains a very fast way for visitors to consume information before proceeding to the call to action. On the other hand, video is a real-time media type. If the video is eight minutes long, it takes eight minutes to consume, and how many people want to spend that amount of time? It is also far more likely to create frustration in viewers if all they are looking for is one part of the information being presented, because skipping ahead is a less than satisfactory way to find content.
So how do we use video more effectively for content marketing?
Integrated Media Strategies helps organizations develop plans for integrating video into their communications and here are some of the approaches we've adopted that have worked well. If your organization needs assistance with planning and integrating video into your marketing communications, contact us.
Video is expensive as media goes. You're paying for a range of skills that often are not resident in one person - scripting, setting up a shoot, the equipment, shooting , audio, editing and in some instances, additional post production. It can be possible to find accomplished videographers that can shoot and edit their own material, but usually they have a number of years of experience, and you'll pay for that. So making sure your video supports and complements your content marketing goals is important; and for that a content marketing plan needs to be in place before you add video to the mix. Additionally, once you begin adding video, make sure you have all of the distribution infrastructure set up for multimedia content distribution.
Video should be delivered to audiences via as many channels as possible - even if the audience is a relatively narrow one. With the opportunities to consume media growing, you want to make it as easy as possible for your targeted audiences to consume your materials instead of your competitors. This means that organizations should have the infrastructure and workflows to process and distribute video effectively.
Video is media rich, so make sure your organization is able to extract as much from the video as possible to support other marketing communications channels, including presentations, print, audio, the web, conferences and displays, signage and social media.
By presenting video alongside other media, search adavantages can be leveraged in favor of video and the visual advantages provided by video obtained.
Where is your video stored and is it accessible by all parts of your organization, even after the immediate first use of the video has passed? If not, you are probably not going to extract the maximum value from the video you already have in house. Consider too what will happen if you lose your organizational memory of the video you have in-house already - for example, if your in-house videography team members leave for greener pastures.
Don't discount your blog
You can integrated video into your blog. Don't neglect your blog because you have shiny new toy syndrome.
Making video work for your organization
Unless you have a plan in place to address all of these processes within your organizations, you will not extract the maximum value from your video and reduce the ratio of the cost per minute relative to its impact . Simultaneously, by ensuring your plan uses workflows designed to maximize the reach of the video the total ROI of integrated content marketing can also be maximized. Video is a growing share of marketing communications, but it isn't necessary to have a steep learning curve.
For better results for your integrated multimedia content marketing, contact us.