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Video – One Essential Tool in Your Content Marketing Toolbox

By Barbara R. Call· Jun 26, 2017

We live in a video-centric world. According to popular stats, consumers and buyers spend 1/3 of their online time watching videos.

It’s no different among technology decision makers, according to IDG Enterprise’s 2017 Customer Engagement Survey:

  • 95% of tech decision-makers watch technology-related videos

Where are they watching?

  • 71% watch on vendor websites
  • 65% watch on YouTube/video channels
  • 64% watch on tech content websites

And video in content marketing has real bottom-line impact, according to these stats compiled by Adelie Studios:

  • Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users. (Source: Aberdeen)
  • Videos on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. (Source: Visually)
  • Companies using video grow company revenue 49% faster year over year than organizations without video (Source: Aberdeen)

So, what does that mean for content marketers? Seems clear: Produce more video.

But not just any video will do. Viewers aren’t typically looking for 5-minute, composed and heavily scripted videos. In our “limited-attention-span world,” we’ve found 15-second animated clips, 30-second snippets, and 45-second compressed storylines work best.

Want to jump in? Here’s how to get ready for producing best-in-class videos to augment your content marketing efforts.

  1. Keep it short and sweet. Less is more. Heavily-produced and -scripted videos are useful – but only in specific cases like how-to videos. In most content marketing, short and effective is best. Think of 15-second video clips like tweets and posts – you need a high volume, with maximum impact at first glance.
  2. Adjust your message for timing. If you really want to understand a 15-second video, try recording yourself on your smartphone for 15 seconds. Shave off 1-2 seconds for an introduction and a call to action, and you’re left with about 12-13 seconds for a message. My point? Focus on 1-2 data points on screen. This isn’t the time for a big value prop conversation.
  3. Consider a range of digital styles. Animated videos, whiteboard videos – I personally like hand-drawn sketches of workers morphing into actual people. Cool stuff. Ask your Content Strategy and Creative teams what’s possible (within your brand guidelines, of course). And my next point…
  4. Keep brand guidelines front of mind. This is essential. Don’t work in a silo and be drawn in by the latest animation style or super-cool digital effect – make sure what you produce fits into your overall brand guidelines, and your overall campaign messaging.
  5. Adjust your messaging for timing. No, this isn’t a mistake. It’s critical, which is why I’m mentioning it again. Many video briefs or scripts have word count limits – our general rule of thumb is less than 25 words for a 15-second clip. Need to boil down a 1,200-word case study into a 45-second clip? Outline the essentials: Problem, solution, ROI.

I’ll close with one disclaimer: there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to video. Some rules are meant to be broken – and thinking outside the box is always encouraged.

Barbara Call is Digital Content Director at IDG Strategic Marketing Services. Find her on Twitter at @BarbaraRCall1.

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