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The use of video for marketing purposes has exploded in past few years and with very good reason. Recent research has found that 45.4% of us view at least one video online per month and 100m of us view videos on the net once a day. Further to this, 90% of online shoppers say that online product videos are helpful when it comes to making purchasing decisions and ecommerce sites that provide them sell more, a lot more in fact.

Video can be used in a variety of ways that can help to market your business. As a part of your content marketing it can help to position company executives as thought leaders within your industry. It can help to sell products, and with a little imagination, services as well. It can be informative, fun, entertaining and educational. Video, as a medium, is flexible and versatile and these days, you don’t even need a fully-fledged studio to help you to produce a video, technology has made it easy for you.

#1: Video Increases Engagement

Whilst it’s true that you need to capture the ‘reader’s’ attention quickly when using video, it’s also true that the medium increases engagement over written pieces. This is especially the case when it comes to social media, especially Facebook, so video should always make up a part of your content marketing strategy.

Video sharing stats

(Image: Distilled)

As you can see from the image, this is true of all of the major social networks. With this in mind, consider experimenting with strategy to see how your engagement is affected when you post pieces with and without video. Listen to your users, looking carefully at the types of video that perform the best and adjust as necessary.

#2: Your Competitors are Using Video

As mentioned above, the use of video as a marketing tool has increased significantly in recent years and it’s now thought that more than half of all online companies use it for marketing. So if you’re not, then be warned: it’s likely that many of your competitors are. Video is used in the majority of industries in both B2C and B2B.

Video technologies have levelled the playing field when it comes to the size of a business too. Since production costs are now a lot lower than they’ve ever been in the past, you don’t have to be a multi-billion dollar concern to create something polished and highly engaging.

#3: Video is Good for SEO

Firstly, you should always use a good mix of media when creating content as this provides more value for the reader. Since Google scaled back Rich Snippets for sites that are not strictly platforms for video only, it’s now really essential to have a YouTube channel if you want to see good results. YouTube is now the only reliable platform that you should use if you want to see good results in the SERPs due to your video efforts. According to Phil Nottingham, writing for Moz:

“Google's favouritism towards their own platform, alongside the continued focus on domain diversity within SERPs means YouTube can now be considered a scalable and easy way to get content ranking for some competitive terms, securing an eye-catching snippet in the process. In terms of owning Google SERP real estate, YouTube has just become one of the most powerful tools in any SEOs arsenal.”

He goes on to say that when it comes to competitive keywords, you should now be using YouTube as a means to optimise “secondary pages which can take up additional spots alongside pages from your own website, thereby expanding your own presence in the search results and lessening the exposure that your competitors get.”

However, he continues, this is something that must be carefully tested as it’s possible that having a page that’s ranking well on YouTube can “cannibalise your organic traffic” as YouTube only refers a certain amount of traffic back to your site – usually less than 1%.

#4: Video Converts

The beauty of video is that it prompts instant discussion and engagement and this means that it’s much more likely to convert a lead further down the buyer's journey, and ultimately into a paying customer. This is especially true for those businesses that sell products - so ensure that if you have an ecommerce site that you create a product video library to inform your potential customers.

Video helps to create trust as well as engagement, so long of course as you craft the message correctly. Ideally, video should grab the attention within around 8 seconds, so it’s important that you tell a story in which you appeal to the emotions instantly. Once you’ve gained the attention that you want, it’s then necessary to retain the reader’s attention with something that’s fun, informative and/or educational. Don’t try to make a corporate video, the like of which used to be seen in companies all over the world used in staff training, these are traditionally pretty dull and won’t engage at all.

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It’s not particularly difficult to integrate video into your marketing plan but it is definitely worth it. If you’re finding that people are not engaging with your posts, then why not try including video for a while to see how much difference it makes – you may very well be extremely surprised.

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