How do you connect with audiences with video?
Video content is, quite simply, any piece of content that uses video recording to portray a message. Take a quick look at viral content from recent years and you'll notice some common themes.
Popular videos have content that people want to share with others. Consumers look for content that makes them feel a powerful emotion - especially humour, inspiration or happiness. For businesses and professionals, the content will be shared if the information is clear, helpful and shows expertise.
The very best content not only invokes these emotions and has genuinely useful information, but it also has a purpose and is completely original. After all, there are lots of other videos out there to compete with, so having a unique or interesting angle or style can go a long way to making your video stand out.
Genuinely new and interesting videos are the only ones that have a hope of being picked up by larger sites and gaining new viewers and shares.
Of course, some content seems to go viral for odd reasons, such as being laughably bad or offensive. The internet is a fickle thing and can be hard to predict. Even so, the best way to ensure that there is consistent interest and traffic to your content is to provide good quality videos with enthusiasm. Video is one of the most effective and fun ways to find and share information, and so capturing a feeling that resonates with your audience is an almost guaranteed route to success.
Why is video content so important?
Video content is essential for several reasons, the majority of which centre around how users interact with it.
First of all, it’s a very engaging medium. Users tend to share video socially more than any other type of media content and the knock on effect this creates can impact positively on your business. People trust the opinions of their friends more than anything that of any marketer, and this word-of-mouth effect can create a big boost in engagement with your company, expanding your accessible audience.
There are also what we might call ‘emotional benefits’ of employing video. It gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience on that all-important emotional level through visual storytelling.
Video is also an ideal way to access people using their mobiles and tablets. In fact, it’s the one form of online content that doesn’t require any form of optimization to work well on mobile, so your message arrives completely unaltered and undiluted.
It’s also highly visible in search results and there are instances where some of the more successful video-based social media campaigns have an effect on Google search rankings. This offers users another entry point to your website, so there are also significant SEO benefits to populating your website with quality video content.
By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco.
Chris Trimble, The Guardian
What types of video content are there?
There are several popular and effective types of video content:
- Vlog - Simply a video version of a blog – these are personality-driven and very cost effective.
- Behind-the-scenes - An insight into your office culture can help to reinforce your brand qualities and ethos.
- Interview - A good interview guest basically delivers free content in an engaging format.
- Webinar - Live events provide an opportunity for direct engagement, Q&A sessions and multiple participants.
- Short talk - As popularized by TED, these offer authoritative views from an expert speaker.
- Tutorial - Helping consumers is key to good content, and a video tutorial can help build audience trust.
OK, I'm sold. How can we go viral?
The first rule of making your video content go viral is to make sure that if it does, then it looks professional and relevant to your brand. There’s plenty of free video editing software to let you cut out the gaps, mistakes and dull bits. Make your video punchy and concise, and ensure that your audience don’t feel like you’re wasting their time.
Good lighting is important when you record. You can adjust this with software to some extent, but don’t go overboard with filters or the result will look amateurish.
Record in a quiet environment if possible, and use software to filter out any excessive background noise. Add a subtle soundtrack if you like, but don’t let it dominate.
Finally, add some visual branding and text that’s consistent with your corporate image.
Viral video content often needs a strong theme, preferably positive. Studies have suggested an uplifting theme often shares better than negative tones. You’ll also need to ensure your video has a relevant conclusion, i.e. a resolute ending that delivers a message and encourages people to share it if they agree.
Another key part of viral videos is accessibility. Your content needs to be reachable, which is why social media is crucial. This way you’ll be able to embed the video itself directly, spreading it through social shares. Ideally, you should put this on your own social media profile, sharing with followers.