When it comes to content marketing, video is vital. Your customers and potential customers are watching and sharing more video than ever. The recent Vineapp and Instagram video battle demonstrates technology is making it easier to both produce and consume. Viewers are watching it everywhere: at work, at home and on the go. And according to Internet Retailer, consumers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video.
I recently spoke with Butch Stearns, Chief Content Officer at The Pulse Network, a New England-based authority on video marketing, to get more insight on the importance of video in the modern marketing mix. These guys know video, and they know content marketing. Pulse provides a cloud-based platform focused on content marketing and event solutions, helping clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to SMBs boost awareness, drive lead generation and client engagement. In the event space, the company is host to the Inbound Marketing Summit that takes place each year in San Francisco, Boston, and New York.
ANDRE: Why video?
PULSE: When it comes to your content marketing strategy we believe it should start with being "video -centric". Not video exclusively, but video first. If you think of creating video messaging and great video content first the corresponding narrative and copy are easier to create than doing it the other way around.
Our methodology when it comes to creating video in your content marketing efforts is to strive to create three forms of video:
- Short form: Video is less than 1 minute long. Purpose is to tease the longer form pieces of content and leave the viewer wanting more. Optimal for distributing on social channels.
- Standard form: Video is 3:00 or less. Similar purpose and functionality to the short form video but this has a "little more meat on the bone". Think of this as one chapter from a book.
- Long form: Video can be varying lengths but ideally the long form is a comprehensive presentation, interview, webisode or white paper brought to life. Our V-Books are a good example of this.
ANDRE: What video form have you found to be particularly effective?
PULSE: We have had a great deal of success with our "My 5" features. They are easy to create and execute and more likely to be watched and shared. The premise is simple. Everyone loves lists. Top 5, top 10, best practices etc. Lists are easy to remember and presented in a bullet point form that make it easy for the viewer to digest and ideally want to share. We don't necessarily go five minutes with the "My 5", we actually strive to keep them 3:00 or less. Again, when we think about are customer persona's and profiles the shorter the video the more likely they are to watch and share. You can always say more with less.
ANDRE: What essential points do you recommend brands convey in their video marketing?
PULSE: "Benefits vs Features". A feature is something that YOU do well, a benefit is why it should matter to ME (the viewer). How does it help me solve business problems? We believe this is the fundamental premise in creating great content versus just ordinary content.
The best way to create great content is to give people something of value, not to necessarily talk about all the wonderful things that your products, platforms and solutions can do but more of what they can do for them and their customers. With our Inbound Marketing Summit (IMS) events we strive for our content to really be focused on bringing value to our audience by having experts and thought leaders provide content and information that helps our audience solve business problems.
ANDRE: How do you go about distributing your video content?
PULSE: In trying to reach the right audience we break up our outreach strategy into two different categories: distribution and syndication. Distribution are the channels that you own, e.g., your website, blog, social channels, email blasts, newsletters. Syndication is about distributions through the channels you don't own but either earn or buy, like paid media, partnerships, conferences and events.
We distribute this content everywhere. A big part of our distribution strategy for IMS content and for the My 5's also involves the authors or content creators. We encourage them to distribute this content on their own channels. And one of the best ways to encourage them to do that is to work with them to create great content. Again, back to the benefits vs features. If they are distributing great content, that we helped them create it works all around for all of us.
ANDRE: Is search indexing for video important, and how has it changed with YouTube, Vimeo, and others?
PULSE: Yes, search indexing for video is important and yes it is constantly changing with different platforms and search engines. To help ensure that your video content is going to be searched and watched by more of the right people you need to use the same SEO principles with video as you do with your website and any written content. And this should be focused on keywords.
Have a comprehensive list of keywords for all video content just like you would for any written content. Video descriptions, tagging, metadata and more are all important in getting your video content searched and found. And make sure that you focus on your keywords in all written descriptions. With Youtube being the #2 search engine in the world it is easier than ever to help get your videos found by the right audience. And wether it's Vimeo or any other platform, those same principles apply. Give your video the best chance of being found by indexing it on all levels: by subject, by audience, by industry.
More on the importance of video in this Pulse Network piece: