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Why every video tells a story

The dos and don’ts of making the most of this extremely powerful medium.

Jane Cuthbertson

Not so long ago the internet was still a clunky cumbersome beast; anything but visually stimulating. However, it has undertaken a massive journey, with websites today more visually appealing and easily navigable. Indeed, it is now the go to place to find out information on just about anything. In the last few years, thanks to broadband speeds increasing, video has become a main feature of websites and social media across all industries.

Let’s take a look at a few interesting stats from the world of video:

  • YouTube has over one billion users.
  • More than 300 hours of video is loaded onto YouTube every minute.  
  • Millions of hours every day are dedicated to watching videos on YouTube. There is numerous other video hosting sites too.
  • If a website has a video included, it is more likely to appear on page one of Google’s search rankings.
  • Seventeen per cent of people spend less than four seconds on a website but are willing to spend 2.7 minutes watching a video online, according to internet marketing firm Bruce Clay, Inc.
  • Video has been shown to increase conversion rates and return on investment.

The long and short of it is that video is a powerful medium. It has the ability to capture the hearts and minds of your target audience if executed well.

So, can you use video for your business? Absolutely. In fact, it is pretty commonplace across the industry right now. Providers and investment managers will use video to update clients on fund performance, provide market updates and launch products, as well as just general education. Adviser firms are also increasingly making the most of the medium on video channels, as well as on their websites and in email.

The next question is: do you need to use video for your business? The short answer is no. Your business is unlikely to go belly-up just because you do not have it on your website. But it does have the ability to convey your content in an interactive and stimulating way.

Video can bring boring to life. Video can take complex topics and make them easy to understand.  A picture paints a thousand words but a video tells an entire story… sometimes in 30 seconds.

What’s more, video can be produced quickly and does not have to break the bank. A good film production or video marketing agency might sound expensive but needn’t cost the earth. It is amazing, however, what a few hundred pounds can do.

Do you have video as part of your marketing plan? No? Perhaps you should.

Jane Cuthbertson is an associate consultant at Steve Billingham Consulting and a chartered marketer

Ten key tips for using video in your business:

  1. The topic should form part of your content runway: Posting something completely obscure will not do your brand any favours. In fact, it is more likely to put your audience off.
  2. Keep it short: It is very easy to get carried away with video. In a very short space of time you can create 30 minutes worth of content but there is a danger you will lose your audience in the first few minutes.
  3. It does not have to be formal: Light-hearted humour and “cartoon-type” creative can be far more successful than the straightjacket approach. Using video for testimonials is always a winner and provides potential clients with comfort.
  4. Use a transcript or auto-cue: It is great to be able to ad-lib where you know your topic inside out but even the best presenters get in a tangle from time to time.
  5. You do not need fancy equipment: It is amazing some of the results you can get from newer tablets and smartphone video recording tools.
  6. Host video on your website: It will improve your search engine optimisation and your Google rankings.
  7. Use a hosting site for a quality, professional feel: It is easy to use sites like Vimeo to host your video, then embed it into your website.
  8. Embed video in your email campaigns.
  9. Share on your social media.
  10. Make it interactive: Take the opportunity to add a survey at the end, which can help you gain valuable research from viewers, and always include social media sharing buttons.

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