Video isn’t just a useful tool to help your marketing campaign gain traction, create buzz, and generate leads — it’s also a vital educational resource. Whether it’s providing thought leadership, running visual demos in chat, or providing real-time commentary, video-based content provides immediacy and a level of rich visual stimulation unequaled by other media.
It’s also one of the quickest ways to get your message out there. With today’s technology, shooting and editing video is a snap, and deploying content through many channels simultaneously is easier than ever. Because it allows for quick responses to events in the news or your business community, video can help position your brand as alive, relevant, and modern in the eyes of viewers.
For these reasons, visual content is a card that many of today’s marketing teams should be ready to play. Let’s take a look at a few best practices to keep in mind as you begin incorporating compelling video into your operations:
1. Shorter is sweeter
According to a Koeppel Direct study, Millennials use much of the five hours a day they spend on social media poring over video content. So it stands to reason that informative, brief, “snackable” videos are a compelling way to maximize brand recognition.
In addition to releasing them on various marketing channels, housing these bite-sized clips on a YouTube channel can also help create awareness. Creating a YouTube page — as our London-based partner TechQuarters did — is an excellent way to use video to your brand’s advantage. TechQuarters also promotes its channel, TechQuartersTV, via LinkedIn and Twitter to widen its scope of possible viewers and to increase the impact of its video clips.
So how long should your videos be? It all depends on the purpose. For example, minute-long videos work well for product promos, but a clip can last up to three minutes if it’s more of a tutorial or instructional video. Whatever purpose your short video serves, allow it enough time to complete its objective.
2. Don’t disregard quality
Videos’ “snackable” length doesn’t excuse sloppy work. First impressions are everything when it comes to online visuals, and business videos are judged more critically than amateur or personal fare. Your finished product should look and sound crisp and beautiful.
Fortunately, with current video creation and editing options, that’s not difficult to accomplish. Even smartphones now have cameras capable of delivering images that can go a long way toward creating some of your offerings, especially more casual clips.
For a more professional look, you can acquire a dedicated camera, microphone, and related equipment such as tripods, lamps, and windscreens. The investment is worthwhile because high-quality video can be a difference maker in your company’s sales and viral promotion.
3. Connect with your audience
With your video content, you’re not aiming for “slick, yet out of touch with customers.” Professional-looking work is important, but engagement with your audience is paramount.
So consider the basics of psychology when creating your video. Start with an intriguing hook, something that, given people’s short attention spans, will immediately grab their attention. Use stories, exciting images, emotions, and other factors that enhance engagement with video content. When a snowstorm hit London, for example, TechQuarters capitalized on the occasion to release a clip about how cloud technology simplifies remote work. The company leveraged common emotions around a current event — in this case, an increasingly rare snowfall — to make its video message feel more vital to its viewers.
Video is one of the most powerful ways to market your brand, so take advantage of all it offers. Provide creative, high-quality content that engages and educates your audience, and finish with a call to action that will drive viewers to your homepage to increase brand awareness and leads. With the proliferation of inexpensive, easy-to-use video equipment, it’s simpler than ever to use the visual medium to educate your audience and bolster your brand.
Jennifer Tomlinson is Senior Manager of Channel Marketing at Microsoft. She leads partner marketing efforts to help companies manage their current customers and grow their customer base. Jennifer has more than 20 years of experience in implementing successful, scalable marketing strategies for product, audience, and channel marketing in enterprise and small- and medium-sized businesses.