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Ask just about any consumer these days whether they’d rather read something or watch a video, and the latter is almost always the choice. Research and statistics back up this common understanding. For example, Diode Digital found that video promotion is 600 percent more effective than print and direct mail combined. They also found that, before reading any text, 60 percent of site visitors will watch a video if available.

A white paper released by Cisco in May 2015 states that by 2017, video will account for 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic. They also predict that globally, consumer Internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019.

In October 2015, researched showed that 96 percent of B2B organizations are engaged with video content marketing. Wayne Wall, the Web Video Marketing Council, the organization that conducted the survey says, “Clearly, online video has become an important part of content marketing for B2B companies.”

Additionally, these statistics indicate that companies not yet using video are in the minority. In fact, 63 percent of the companies surveyed started using it five years ago.

If you’re wondering how you can incorporate video into your content marketing, here are some insights to consider:

Start with a plan

As with any other aspect of your content marketing, you must take the time to understand your audience and identify where it will make sense in your overall strategy. Remember, you don’t want to invest time, money and resources to create and post videos if they are not going to help you reach your overall goals.

Some videos that are successful in informing as well as entertaining customers include:

  • Product demonstrations
  • Customer testimonials
  • Expert interviews
  • Case studies
  • How-to and step-by-step instructions
  • Live presentations
  • Announcements of company news
  • Videos that convey company expertise

Behind each video should be a concept that:

  • Helps the viewer
  • Solves a customer’s problem
  • Inspires the customer
  • Engages the customer’s passion
  • Educates and helps extend the value of all your written content
  • Humanizes your company

The more evergreen the material, the better. This will provide you with a library you can return to and promote in more than one way on more than one occasion. One thing that many experts suggest not doing is creating videos that are straight-forward ads for the company. This visual content, like all other content marketing, should be relevant and engaging to the user. Such content will have an impact on the bottom line. In fact, 73 percent of the respondents to the Web Video Marketing Council’s survey indicate that not only is online video having a positive impact on their marketing results, 56 percent indicate that sales results have been positively impacted.

Starting the process

Videos don’t need to be a costly or extensive. The Content Marketing Institute says videos over 10 minutes average a 50 percent viewed threshold (compared with over 80 percent for videos less than 30 seconds). Thus, long, complicated and highly produced scripts aren’t necessary. Nor are high-quality cameras and production teams. Many well-done business videos today were shot using mobile phones.

If you’re already using text in your content marketing, leverage the information you gain through your statistics and create video content that targets those customer interests. Consider boiling down successful items into keywords you can focus on. With some research, you can determine if these keywords have high monthly search results. Having the right keywords in your script can greatly impact an organic search in a positive way. (When you post your video, you may want to add a transcript of text to further help with searches.)

Then, before creating, remember that preparation is everything in regards to making the video shoot go well. Plan place, times and participants. Iron out issues such as executive schedules and/or supervisor permission to participate. Determine who will shoot the video, the equipment that will be used and whether the crew needs training on camera or audio. (Especially keep in mind that audio is also vital. If a viewer can see but can’t hear, the video isn’t much use.) Will the video need editing? If so, who will do it and how?

Before beginning, be sure everyone involved is clear on his or her role and your expectations. Unless you are using professional actors, understand that not every business executive or employee has an outstanding on-camera presence. Be flexible and provide enough time for numerous retakes. Always have a Plan B: schedules change and equipment breaks. Knowing what steps you’ll take when something goes astray helps the process go smoothly.

Show and go

If this is your initial foray into using video in your content marketing, before launching your material on your website, Facebook, Twitter, Vine or other social media, consider what many refer to as a “beta test.” Bring employees together for an in-house preview, share the link with colleagues and friends. Get feedback from stakeholders. Have discussions about how the video should be rolled out and encourage sharing by those in the company.

Monitoring the success of your first videos will provide you with vital information as you move forward with steps to enhance your content marketing.

If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.

Michael Marchese is the founder and CEO of Tempesta Media. He is responsible for corporate strategy, executive team leadership and overall business operations across all the company’s segments.

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