Did you know that 59 percent of executives would rather watch a video than read an article?
This statistic makes plenty of marketers nervous.
The last thing you want to hear after crafting the perfect digital marketing strategy is that people don't read words or look at pictures anymore.
Of course that's an exaggeration. But with video's popularity on the rise, marketers want answers. Should they prioritise video above all else? Or should they ignore it and hope YouTube goes the way of Google+ and Myspace?
I'm not a video expert, and I don't pretend to be one on the internet. So I asked Pete from Video Spartan to share what the rise of video means for content marketing.
Over to Pete...
When it comes to online video, there's no doubt it’s a saturated market.
As internet speeds and download limits increase (at least for those lucky enough to have a fibre to the premises NBN connection) and attention spans shorten, the need for video has become a no-brainer.
But does this spell the end for written copy? Absolutely not. In fact, the fusion of these two media is an unstoppable force in IT, and here’s why…
Content + video = CLARITY
Being clear is perhaps what businesses today fail to do the most.
It is imperative to know your audience when selling anything, and especially when you need to convey complex ideas.
That’s what companies like Mint Content do so well. They write down what nerds can’t express into clear, palatable tranches of text.
Despite what you might think of the state of the world’s literacy levels, people can and still do read. So, your written content needs to be concise, fresh and ‘on-point,’ as the young generation says.
Where does video come in?
If you've spent any time on the internet recently, you've probably noticed video is becoming pretty omnipresent. YouTube is the video emperor, and it helps that Google owns it.
Meanwhile, Facebook (YouTube’s nemesis) and Instagram (owned by Facebook) are both adopting video too. I talk a little about what this means for businesses in my recent blog post, 3 reasons why you need video on your website or social media page.
For marketers, getting on these platforms is just about mandatory - not only for engagement with potential new customers, but to explain what it is you actually do and/or sell.
The great thing about video is that it is getting cheaper and easier to produce, and it takes many forms, like animations and live action.
In my opinion, animation-focused video will reign as king for explaining how software products work.
Why? Animations illustrate abstract or complex ideas in a way that live action video can't. They are great for simplifying concepts and keeping customers engaged. And they're simple to put together - you don't need to wrangle talent, cameras, lighting and a video guy to make things happen.
Here's one I made for mobile app Riinger...
Live action will always have its place to show things like company culture and even tutorials where appropriate. This is something Wistia does really well. Its non-threatening and downright helpful knowledge library clearly explains what it does and how it does it. Perfect.
Aligning copy and video forces you to define your audience
There’s no point having a video and copy about Dell Computers on the Apple front page. That’s lose-lose. Who is the customer? What is the product?
It sounds obvious, but MANY businesses fail to properly optimise their written and video content. This is often because they don’t really know who they want to sell to.
Developing tight written content as well as at least one professional video blasts this problem out of the water. It forces you to take the time and really hone in on who’s going to line up around the block and make your cash register ring (cha-ching!).
One or the other won't do
You’ve got to have both video and written content.
For example, The Crazy Egg case study is widely referred to as the ‘go-to’ for increasing the credibility of video (check it out - it's pretty impressive).
But nowhere in that case study does it say that video should replace text. This is another mistake a lot of businesses make.
Hell, I've made this mistake myself. When I first started Video Spartan, I went easy on the text.
I thought, "Oh well, you’re a video guy. Text should be at a minimum to resonate with whoever is coming to your website”.
WRONG. SO wrong.
As I've discovered, you’ve got to play to the game. The game is Google.
While Google loves videos, it still loves text more. Even the best videos won't help your business rank well in search if your copy is undercooked.
So what should you do to get ultimate success? Get both. Pretty simple.
Video Spartan makes animated explainer and live action videos for IT, software and business services companies. Pete also made Mint Content's excellent About us and What we do videos, so it's safe to say he knows his stuff. Follow Video Spartan on Facebook, or visit the website.