Do You Engage Your Audience With Online Video?

Last month I had a chance to sit down with Jesse Card who is the owner of House Edge Media, a video production studio here in Ottawa, and we had a great chat all about the implications of video and marketing for businesses both large and small. The general conclusion of the conversation: Video is extremely important and has already become much more of a requirement for businesses. Websites went from ‘nice to have’ in the mid 2000’s to ‘absolutely necessary’ by 2010, and now video has also become a ‘must have’ medium.

The popularity of video has been made easier by the fact that expensive high-end equipment is no longer a necessity. More than half of the population of Canada has a smartphone, allowing them to easily record and share videos. In 2015, 68% of Canadians owned a smartphone, up from 55% the year before. Many of us already do this – sharing videos on Facebook and Instagram of that concert we attended or our child climbing up in a doorway, and yet many businesses do not use video in their marketing at all. The most common reasons are money, time, and a lack of understanding of the impact that video has as part of their marketing strategy.

“Everyone has a pretty capable camera and you have to find a way to adapt. Certainly I see House Edge Media empowering and guiding people to do their own stuff but then also providing infrastructure and guidance that makes our services valuable.”
Jesse Card, House Edge Media

 

Creating video content for your company that is relevant and socially engaging may be easier than you think. Since you no longer need a bulky camera to take videos, your organization can encourage staff to record candid videos which can be shared with a production company to finesse into a marketing tool.

The Benefits of Video:

Let’s start with the implications of using Video as part of your marketing strategy. The benefits of video can be seen across the board in both B2B and B2C markets. Whether you are selling a product or a service, video content can have tremendous implications in generating interest, increasing lead generation, and pulling people in to learn more about your company.

There are many different ways an organization can share their videos online including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, and Snapchat. In addition there are ways to leverage video with ads across Google properties, using videos at events or shows and embedding them on your company website such as the homepage or landing page. There is no silver bullet, so what works for one company may not work as well for another, it all comes down to your audience and their media preferences. A single video can have several variations, each tailored to specific mediums to help entice engagement.

With Facebook’s big push into video, they have become a strong competitor in terms of video marketing budgets. Videos on Facebook tend to receive more views compared to YouTube, however viewers on YouTube are more likely to watch the whole video. So if you’re looking for exposure, Facebook is likely your best bet, but if you want to educate or inform, YouTube is the better option. This doesn’t even include Instagram or using these videos on your website to drive interest and leads. It comes down to the KPIs established for your company campaign.

The Cost of Exposure

The cost of video production has gone down over the last 10 years but is has been replaced with marketing the video content itself. This is because you can no longer depend on people finding your videos online by chance. There is a great deal of video content being created and uploaded every day which means that effective targeting and marketing are required to get in front of your customers.

Your video needs to stand out so that people don’t simply skip over it and move on with their day. This is where understanding your audience coupled with a knowledgable of video production is crucial. There are always unique elements to the people that your company is trying to reach which needs to be addressed, but there are also many underlying visual and audio elements which an experienced professional will have insights into. These little elements can make or break your video. As an example, people are willing to tolerate a lower quality video (although that is changing) as long as the audio quality is good.

The Idea Vs Execution

Taking an idea from concept through to execution of the end product can be one of the most challenging elements and is the point where planning is crucial. Everyone has their opinions about what the video should look like, what it should include, and the tone it should take. Sometimes the final product can be very different from the initial idea, especially once the logistics of making that idea happen are laid out in front of you. Sometimes making that idea possible is what makes it too costly, however coupling your goals with audience research may provide an equal opportunity at lower cost to execute.

“I really feel that sometimes people come with ideas, and they’re great ideas, but I know that logistically they will not be successful with it – it’s just too big of an idea and it’s too hard to execute. The most value is the time you spend in talking with them and figure out what they are trying to accomplish. You have to reverse engineer it. I think most of the skill is in that part.”
Jesse Card, House Edge Media

This is where the value of a professional video provider really becomes apparent. I have created several simple 5 minute how-to videos for clients where I simply record my screen and voice. Even something as simple as short videos like that would take me over an hour to create, between planning out the important steps to cover, recording it, missing a step or tripping over my own tongue and subsequently needing to start all over again multiple times.

With so many tools and resources at our disposal, I’m looking forward to seeing how companies continue to innovate and take advantage of this powerful medium. Video is the strongest way of sharing your story.

References:

https://moz.com/blog/facebook-vs-youtube
http://catalyst.ca/2015-canadian-smartphone-market/
http://www.insivia.com/50-must-know-stats-about-video-marketing-2016/