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How to Leverage Video Content for Your Marketing Strategy

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 22/02/2016 Young Entrepreneur Council

2016-02-18-1455809124-8902025-ZachBinder.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-02-18-1455809124-8902025-ZachBinder.png Zach Binder is Director of Marketing Operations at American Addiction Centers; he was previously Partner/Chief Operating Officer for RankLab.
When produced and utilized effectively, video content can quickly become the MVP of your marketing strategy. As the COO of an agency that builds engaging digital experiences, I've learned effective ways to give your audience something that's not only valuable to watch, but that conveys the important messages your business wants to communicate to a diverse audience. Whether your goal is product advertisement, building trust, delivering information, or pure entertainment, deploying a proper video strategy can invariably improve your conversion rates and engagement.

Use Short Videos to Inform


Businesses with easy-to-watch branded videos leave an excellent first impression on target audiences and outsiders. You wouldn't expect your audience to read pages and pages of writing, so why put it in your marketing? Condensing your information into a short and fun video gives viewers enough of what they need to know - and if that's not enough, give them a "Learn More" destination to visit. Whether your video is a tutorial or an overview of a company's mission, the best content is short and easy to digest. Ideally, you can consolidate what you need to say in less than a minute and include a good hook. Don't forget, you only have about 10 seconds to grab the attention of viewers. Think about how many favors you need to ask a person who has never heard of your business before.

Establish Trust With Testimonials


Video testimonials add a human touch to your business and support what you are telling your community about yourself. Ask real customers to make an appearance by telling their stories. Putting a human face to your brand will build a deeper connection with existing and new audiences. Include people who represent your target demographic. Your content will be relatable on a much larger scale and will show off the best parts of your business to the people you want to reach. Make every effort to validate the authenticity of your testimonials, lest you want to appear as if you've fabricated these stories. Viewers are more intuitive than you think, and spotting a bad actor has become second nature to anyone who has ever been awake at 3 a.m., mesmerized by an infomercial.

Collaborate With Influencers in Interviews


A topical interview or special appearance by a like-minded influencer is a great way to start discussions with your audience. Identify who your customers would want to hear from most. If your business has a food app, consider the popular bloggers and chefs you could speak with and ask questions that will give your customers new information to walk away with, associating your brand with a popular face your audience knows and loves.

Use a Call-to-Action


Videos are a great way to tell people about a new feature of your business that requires their participation, whether it's visiting a new website or asking them to vote for you in a competition. It can be short, sweet and simple with an "ask" at the end. You can use a video to explain why you need your audience's support. Check out Kickstarter or Indiegogo to watch examples of how a short video can sway an opinion and bring outsiders to rally for your business. One of the most well-funded campaigns on Kickstarter, with over $13 million pledges, leads with a 3-minute video about coolers. Do you believe in the power of video yet?

Transcribe the Dialogue


First, give your video a title that is both exciting and summarizes what you're sharing. A mysterious title can set up false expectations or be overlooked. Next, transcribe the contents of your video into useful content that can be used for other non-video platforms. Just as a listicle can easily be made into a video, transcribing the script or conversations from your video can extend the life of your content and provide added value in search engines. A video with consolidated information can also be added to and turned into a great article or quote.
The point here is to squeeze as much value out of the content. For example, if you were witness to a hilarious prank would you not retell it many different ways? Would you talk about it on social media, email the encounter to a friend, text someone about it, etc.? Don't let the content die with the final seconds of your video.

Plan Ahead


There is always an official holiday or special event to tie in with your video content and messaging. If you're patient and wait to release a special promotion, this pays off immensely. You'll have an easy time finding people who are already engaging in discussions relevant to your video. Look for special dates that align with your business and goals so that your content is a part of a bigger conversation happening at that time. Use hashtags, reach out to influencers and ask people to share your video for a maximum effect. Holiday and event-related hashtags may vary year to year, so be sure to check what's trending in real time when you are promoting your video.

Content First, Quality Next


The story and execution of your video are a top priority, but it's important to keep the quality consistent with your brand. If you're publishing a video blog, you don't need much in terms of budgeting or production. If your video is featured on the front of your website or has a call-to-action, don't let something like sound or graphics make or break the success of your message. A great background song or animation can make your video much more fun to watch. Holding the quality of your video to a higher standard will improve the viewing experience and help make a lasting impression.

Don't Limit Your Platforms


Publishing your video separately to platforms with analytics will help to show where your traffic is coming from. By separately uploading your video to Facebook, you can view clear metrics of views and engagement without letting those numbers get lost in a sea of shares. On YouTube, create an official channel for your business so that your community members can become subscribers and vice versa. If you must, geek out on platform solutions depending on the nature of your web presence.

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