What is content marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute, it's "a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action."
Examples of several forms of content marketing are:
Regardless of the route you take, implementing a content marketing campaign into your client's marketing strategy will only benefit them. If they have been stuck in the mindset of traditional advertising--billboards, commercials, magazine ads and the like--it's time for them to expand their horizons. Content marketing has taken over, and it's not hard to see why.
Advertisements and sponsored content are meant only to show off the product. Creating content for a content marketing campaign is about so much more than that. It gives you a chance to create content that offers something to your client's customers, whether it's information, assistance, or simply entertainment. This allows you to build trust, producing a loyal and reliable audience.
2. More bang for your buck.
Sure, traditional advertising is able to get your clients plenty of leads--even with the takeoff of content marketing, advertising isn't going away any time soon. But content marketing costs way less than traditional advertising and it benefits business in many ways. In fact, this infographic says that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, but brings in three times more leads. Although most businesses typically spend about 25% of their marketing budget on content marketing, even a small percentage of that expenditure would benefit your client's business.
3. Give customers a reason to trust.
A content marketing campaign gives you an opportunity to build a trusting and loyal audience. When creating content, it's important not to simply try to sell your client's product. Professional writers can write quality content that is relevant to the product, but that doesn't only focus on promoting it.
For example, if your client sells office supplies, it might be smart to post articles such as "5 Ways to Organize Your Day" or "How to Conquer That To Do List." These types of articles are going to be about something that potential customers truly care about. 61% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that delivers custom content, so by creating content that customers want to read, you are going to create a loyal following of people who are also going to love the product.
4. Increase traffic to your client's website.
In the past, there has been no reason for users to stay on a website unless they are browsing through products and sincerely interested in purchasing some. However, with the addition of a blog with quality blog posts, you're giving users an extra section to look at. Not only will this increase your average visit duration, but website traffic as well. The key is to consistently post quality content that is informative to your client's customers, use relevant keywords, and promote their content onto social media.
5. Do less work.
A content marketing campaign is relatively simple and easy when compared to a traditional advertising campaign. It costs less, it requires less work, it reaches more potential customers, and the rate of return is generally higher. Whereas traditional advertising relies on your client's marketing team researching the best places to promote your product, content marketing relies on readers enjoying and sharing the content for you. As long as you keep up with your client's company blog and always post valuable information, blog visitors will do the rest.
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It all started with advertorials, and then came infomercials. While both of these were clearly seen as advertising masquerading as content, branded content has managed to achieve a different reputation. And with the arrival on the scene of BuzzFeed, it has become the go-to option for marketers, and it’s delivering great ROI for brands.
Reason #1: It’s Still All About Value
In these days of inbound marketing, content that delivers value to the consumer is viewed as the ultimate in successful promotion. Building a following and a reputation through content marketing that results in actual sales is a slow process, however. Branded content has broken through the ranks as a much faster way to deliver the same message. The value is there, inherent in the content the way it always was. The difference is that in the past, marketing-speak in your content was a big no-no, but now brands unashamedly include their products and services by name. And as long as the content still offers value to the reader, it seems to be ok with the consumer.
Reason #2: Designer Labels Are “Hot”
With the constantly-rising popularity of designer labels, it’s no surprise that branded content is moving into the space already occupied by branded clothing and other items. There are few marketing results as satisfying to a brand as getting your customers to promote proudly on your behalf, simply for the privilege of being able to afford to do so. This has paved the way for the use of brand names in marketing content without any backlash from customers.
Reason #3: Storytelling Is In
It’s very difficult to tell a “real” story without mentioning names, and since storytelling is a great tool for explaining concepts and delivering messages, it’s an essential component of content marketing. By mentioning the brand name, you can tell the story in so much more detail that it offers far greater credibility, while still delivering the value your readers expect from objective content. And consumers know this, so they’re accepting of branded content in principle as long as it:
Isn’t blatant advertising.
Displays honesty and transparency
Contains an infusion of personality from the writer
Includes characters the audience can identify with
Has a beginning, a middle and an end
Qualifies as a “page turner” by not giving it all away upfront.
The goal of branded content is to surround your reader with your brand experience so he can decide for himself how he wants to interact with your company.
Reason #4: Social Is The New Search
With 75% of BuzzFeed’s 130 million monthly visitors coming from Facebook and Twitter, it’s clear that social is the new search. Much of the reason for this is that the branded content posted by the company is highly shareable, and 50% of users view it as entertainment rather than advertising. Since social search relies on popularity for ranking, the more sharable something is the more likely it is to get found.
Friskies “Dear Kitten” video is a great case in point. Nowhere in the video is the company name actually mentioned, but it’s clearly in use. The video tells an endearing story, includes the prerequisite compelling characters, has a beginning, a middle and an end and doesn’t give it all away upfront. The result: 14.8 million views since it was published on YouTube. Thanks to social media, where it went viral in no time at all.
In spite of these impressive stats, while branded content has clearly become a leading marketing option, it’s essential for the reader to want it for it to work. The goal of using this remains not whether it will spread on social media, but whether the product is exceptional enough to build consumer loyalty by satisfying expectations.
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Much of the advice currently available for content providers focuses on the content itself. This makes sense when you consider the fact that over 90% of B2B marketers today use some kind of content marketing strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
As a content provider for your clients, you are a vital part of your clients' marketing strategies. Your writers must not only be able to generate quality content in a timely fashion, they also need to be able to interact with their clients in a way that is conducive to the success of both parties. Here are a few important things to keep in mind to help you improve your interactions with companies or individuals that you provide content for.
If you have any significant questions about what your client expects from you, the best thing to do is ask them to clarify. Most clients will be happy to explain what they meant or go into more detail about what they want from you, but they will not think to do so unless you ask them. Keep your clarification requests short and concise: the last thing you want to do is make things even more confusing after you request clarification on an issue.
A big part of content marketing strategy for businesses today revolves around getting content out in a timely fashion, whether it is to be included in a magazine or publication or companies are looking for a gain in search rankings. Most of the time, clients have a reason that they have put their deadline in place: make sure you know what the timeframe is for an assignment and that you feel comfortable with your ability to get it delivered within that timeframe.
Communicate Early And Often
If something happens that prevents you from completing the assignment the way that the client expected, let them know about it as soon as you are aware of a problem. You will find that most clients are willing to be relatively lenient as long as you don’t make a habit of disregarding deadlines and you communicate with them about the situation. Business author Tom Peters says that a good rule to follow when it comes to client communication is to under-promise and over-deliver. This means that you should set reasonable expectations, then do your best to surpass these expectations to impress your client. Promising the moon and failing to deliver will damage your reputation and negatively impact clients’ opinions of you.
Don’t Waste Their Time
While it is important to get clarification from your clients when necessary, you also have to remember that they are busy and usually have a lot of other things they have to deal with. Remember that these clients are contracting you to help take care of this entire portion of their content marketing strategy: their day does not revolve around making sure that you can do your job properly as an editor/reviewer. While the client may respond if you ask questions about things like tone, style, and grammar, you should draw upon your experience as a writer and the assignment description given to you by the client to get your own answers about these types of concerns whenever possible.
Communicating with clients can be tricky, but the more you do it the better you will get. Do everything you can to simplify the lives of your clients and deliver great content to them and you may become situated as an important part of their content marketing strategy.
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Are your clients ready to deliver some really exceptional blog content? It seems simple, right? Click "New Post" and then type away. However, there is a science to the perfect blog post. Do you want your clients' blog posts to be successful? Then you need to make sure that every single one of them has all six of these must-haves.
1. A Killer Headline
This is the first step to get readers to actually read the blog post! This means that the headline is more important than most people think. It's not just the icing on the cake, it is the cake. It is what makes people click over to read the rest of your client's content. Think: "Would I want to read this myself?" If the answer is no, you have some more work to do. In fact, some writers believe that the same amount of time should be spent writing headlines as writing the actual content.
So, what exactly makes a headline killer? If your clients are struggling, the top two go-tos are numbers and trigger words such as "how, why, when, what." Use captivating adjectives to draw the audience in. Persuade readers to read the blog post with the headline.
2. A Compelling Introduction
Once readers decide to click to the post, you need to draw them in. If there's any part of the actual blog content that will get read, it is going to be the introduction. This is what helps readers decide to stay or to move on. And you want them to stay.
Luckily for you, there are many great ways to create an irresistible introduction that will leave your readers looking for more. Before you begin, ask your clients why they want to write about this topic. Suggest topics such as personal stories and customer experiences. Address readers directly. Be conversational.
Whether it's a simple image illustrating the point, a graphic design, or an infographic, it is nothing short of mandatory to add some type of visual element to your blog posts. Not only do visually appealing photos draw readers in to help readership, alt tags added into the HTML can even help with SEO. You can use client photos and images, or you can easily find pictures online that have various attribution licenses.
Although the Internet is the first place people go to find information, it's not exactly the place that they want to read a novel while doing so. Subheadings in your blog post help to break up the information so that readers aren't faced with a daunting wall of text. They also help your readers to find exactly what they're looking for. Subheadings let readers know exactly what you're going to be talking about in each section, helping with skimmability as well as SEO. And you will also benefit from your own subheadings--it keeps the blog content on track!
5. Useful and Relevant Content
Now we've gotten to the actual blog content portion. Although every single one of these items are important in a well thought out blog post, your content is what is really going to sell.
First, you need to make sure that your blog content stays relevant to your topic throughout the post. Although there are many components that make up good content, ProBlogger says that the number one rule is to keep it useful and unique. People are most likely to read something that is going to be helpful to them in some way.
6. A Call to Action
Always end your post with some kind of call to action to the readers. Ask them a question relating to the blog post that you'd like them to answer in the comments. Ask readers to share the post if they liked it and make it easy for them by including share tabs at the bottom of all of your posts. The idea is to generate a response and it's your job to incite that response.
What do you think is important to include in a blog post?
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Branding matters. In fact, it's one of the big keys to your clients' success. They have to set themselves apart from their competitors by establishing their brands as the most authoritative, most helpful, and most with-it option. For a brand to grow, it's got to be recognizable, and content marketing can go a long way when it comes to offering consistent messaging, color schemes, language, and logos.
Let's look at the ways you can enhance your clients' branding through content marketing.
1. Set the brand’s tone through your words and messages. Each post on the company's blog should match the vision established for the brand. Think about what you want people to think of when they hear your client's name. This image should match the industry but have a nuance that is unique to the company. For instance, Whole Foods Market’s blog has a down home feel to it, which is absolutely appropriate for a health food market. Bloggers from the company often write in the first person about their own forays into cooking. This format works well for their brand. What will work for your clients?
2. Build relationships with potential and existing customers. In the past, marketing has been strictly one-way (from marketer to consumer), but blogs and social media give business owners a rich opportunity to converse with their customers. Allow people to comment on the blog, and then respond! If necessary, hire someone or assign an existing employee to monitor the blog and respond to comments. Just make sure that whoever is responding is well-versed in the vision of the company’s brand, and it doesn’t hurt if that person has impeccable grammar and spelling.
3. Show the brand’s savvy through images as well as words. Well-chosen, nicely-put-together words are key to branding, but the overall appearance of the blog is also essential. Choose quality images to go along with your post, and make sure the images all have a similar feel. If most of your images come from a professional photographer and then one day you stick a cheap clipart image in a post, people are going to be confused. Consistency is extremely important while you’re helping to build a brand.
Infographics can be powerful tools for branding. Using your chosen color scheme, font, and style, present interesting statistics about your client's industry, products, or services. When you post an intriguing infographic on social media, your message can end up going viral, reaching potential customers you couldn't have reached any other way.
4. Show up in the right places. Pinterest is not the best place to market your line of custom motorcycles. Why? Because Pinterest is not where you will find your potential customers. On the other hand, Pinterest is perfect for getting exposure for a cupcake brand. Find out where potential customers are and then start joining conversations and representing your client's brand. Hashtags can help you to join relevant conversations. Once you find your sweet spots, post reliably and regularly.
Your content marketing can be one of your best tools for establishing your clients' brands. Remember to first come up with a vision, and then stick to it as you post timely pieces with lovely images. If you respond to comments, you’ll keep customers coming back for more, and you’ll establish your clients as authorities in their industries. Use social media to showcase your content marketing in the right places, the places where potential customers hang out, and people will soon begin to recognize your client's brand and all that it stands for.
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Of all the words you could use to describe content marketing, “underutilized” is not one of them. At The Content Council, Anna Qu reports that on average, content marketing comprises 39% of a company’s overall budget for advertising, marketing, and communications.
Because of the popularity of this form of marketing, a typical consumer will be exposed to a huge amount of content: about 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared online each day, according to a frequently cited study by AOL & Nielsen. To differentiate your client's company from the millions of other marketing messages that your prospects see on a daily basis, it is important to consider ways that you can present innovative content that will grab the attention of people who receive it.
1. Create A Compelling Story
Not everyone wants to read blocks of text about how great your product or service is. Tie the company's offering to a great story, however, and your content marketing becomes much more compelling. Consider Pepsi’s “Uncle Drew” series of commercials, which include NBA phenom Kyrie Irving posing as an old man who joins different pickup games and proceeds to dominate the competition. The focus of the content is not Pepsi itself, but the narrative of “Uncle Drew” and his escapades, broken into several chapters. How has this campaign worked for Pepsi? The first part of the “Uncle Drew” saga has over 34 million views on YouTube.
2. Let Customers Create Your Content Marketing
Testimonials are a powerful form of content marketing when presented the right way. Consider letting a customer write a guest post on your blog or record a video of themselves or their family using or benefiting from your product or services. Showing your clients' prospects how your company helps people is always more powerful than telling them.
3. Involve A Real Event, Or Stage One
Content marketing is more effective when people can relate it to something that has happened or will happen soon in the real world. If there are no local events going on that you can incorporate in your content marketing, create your own event. Toyota successfully executed this strategy in 2012, when they arranged for their Toyota Tundra to haul the Space Shuttle Endeavour across I-405 in Los Angeles to the California Science Center, where the Endeavour was retired after 19 years of space missions for NASA.
4. Use A Different Channel
Think about how many delivery methods you are really using for your content marketing. Also consider what kind of audience you are reaching using the current channels that you are delivering content over. For example, did you know that over 68% of Pinterest users are female? If you are looking to innovate, providing content in a different way can be a great tactic and a springboard from which you can come up with other innovative ideas.
5. Provide Less Content
This idea may seem counterintuitive: with so many other organizations involved in content marketing, how could reducing the amount of content that you put out help you succeed? The answer lies in how effective your marketing is at grabbing attention from prospects. When you produce content that is interesting, people will want more of it: by making them wait, you increase their desire for more content from your organization. Of course, there is a fine line here: wait too long to put out content and you run the risk of losing the attention of the audience you are trying to reach.
Be sure to experiment with these five strategies and other methods to find out what works and what doesn’t work for your client's company. With consistent effort and a willingness to try new things, you can distinguish their organization from competitors by making their marketing content fresh and innovative.
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The competitive world of marketing has brought about a shift in the way that businesses go after the attention of prospective customers. Companies that want to win business from modern consumers have to do more than just talk about themselves: they must build trust with their audience so that they are recognized as an authority in their field.
Content marketing is one of the best tools available for companies looking to gain trust with their prospects by offering them something of value.
Why Content Marketing Builds Trust
By its very definition, content marketing provides its audience with something concrete and desirable: content. Content marketing is not a fancy logo on a mailer or a witty television commercial: it is the opportunity for an organization to introduce themselves and their products, build a connection with prospective customers, and distinguish themselves from their competition.
Good content marketing eschews questionable tactics that appeal to emotion or use pressure to attract customers. Instead, this type of marketing uses statistics and facts to persuade prospective buyers through logic and evidence, which gives the marketer much more credibility in the eyes of potential customers.
How To Build Trust With Your Content Marketing
Now that you know why content marketing gives your client's business a great chance to build trust with your audience, you should understand the most efficient ways to use content marketing to build this trust. Keep the following points in mind when you are creating and distributing content, to ensure that it helps you gain trust with your client's prospects:
- Use ordinary language: Skip the fancy industry jargon and farfetched claims that products or services will totally change the lives of customers. In a Microsoft Business Hub article, marketing director Winter Prosapio advises companies to use terms that are direct and to the point. She also suggests using humorous language to bring down the shield of suspicion that many prospects have when reading marketing materials, which often prevents them from trusting the marketers that publish these materials.
- Let employees do the talking: Your client's employees are extremely important brand ambassadors that can help build trust with prospects. On Adobe’s Digital Marketing Blog, Cory Edwards reports that between 2009 and 2014, the credibility of the average company employee as a spokesperson for the organization increased from 20% to 52%. How do you leverage employees to build trust in your content marketing? Edwards goes on to advise that companies should encourage their employees to create content that is authentic and educational. Consider letting an employee author a blog post or share an update on your company's social media profile.
- Be relevant: A huge part of relevancy is understanding your target audience and their challenges and interests. When creating any kind of content for marketing, remember to be mindful of the problems that your client's readers might be facing and how your products or services offer them a solution to these problems. Accurately recognizing issues that prospects face is an excellent way to build trust before you even introduce the business and its offerings.
Why Your Content Marketing Must Build Trust
The development of technology like the Internet and smartphones means that people are subjected to more marketing than they ever have been before. In a recent Entrepreneur article, Dan Newman points out that there are 347 new blog posts made every 60 seconds and the average Internet user sees about five thousand ads every day. In a modern world so saturated with marketing messages, it is crucial for your client's company to create engaging content that builds trust by offering readers something of value instead of hollow self-promotion.
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According to a recent study from Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers worldwide say they trust "earned media", such as friend and family recommendations and word-of-mouth, more than any other form of advertising. While this likely isn't a jaw dropping statistic for anyone, it does emphasize the importance of switching to content marketing from traditional advertising.
Consumers prefer garnering information about new products and services from peers before traditional marketing materials. And as such, brands seeking to thrive must move from becoming a marketing machine into a peer-like entity that tells stories and shares experiences. Which is exactly what content marketing aims to do.
Great content marketing roots itself in brand storytelling to generate authenticity and create stronger and more lasting customer engagement. How does this differ from traditional advertising? Here are a few key characteristic comparisons between content marketing and traditional advertising:
- Creating a pull. Traditional advertising tools, such as television commercials and radio ads, aim to strategically side-capture consumer attention while they are already engaged with the defined media. In contrast, content marketing aims to be something consumers seek out. It draws on providing valuable information, through resources such as company blogs and social media outlets, that engages the whole of a consumer's attention.
- Consumer-first. Traditional advertising, due to its natural brevity as a short newspaper ad or quick radio clip, must focus directly on the brand to promote a product or service. Content marketing takes a more holistic take to provide desirable information throughout the consumer's buying process. This type of marketing puts consumers first by delivering information not just about the brand itself, but also about brand-relevant and tertiary information designed to improve consumers' lives. Even if it isn't directly related to selling the product or service at hand.
- Owned media. Content marketing is owned and primarily distributed through brand-managed channels such as company blogs, social networks, custom magazines, white papers, newsletters, and more. These channels frequently include share and other social media buttons that allow the consumers themselves to further promote and advertise the brand. In contrast, traditional advertising is more inflexible as it uses paid placement spots in magazines and on radio to get brand information out.
- Telling stories. Traditional advertising is great for making a quick impression. It seeks to wow an audience with a quirky visual and catchy tagline. However, traditional advertising often fails at developing a more meaningful impression. And this is exactly where content marketing thrives.
Content marketing at its best tells an in-depth, engaging story. The consumer audience spends time searching out company blogs to dig into custom content and digest meaningful and relevant information. Content marketers must be a mix of journalist and storyteller - capable of crafting a narrative and providing accurate, thought-provoking ideas and timely information to better help their consumer audience navigate their world.
- Long-term relationships. Again, traditional advertising was specifically designed to capture an audience's immediate intention, make a hard impact, and drive consumers to make an instinctive purchasing decision. Content marketing isn't about quick and easy. This is your long-term relationship marketing. Great content marketers separate their content into different lifecycle stages, tailored to meet consumer needs before, during, and even well after their purchasing decision has been made. This means building a brand and platform that is seen as a valuable information resource as well as a desirable product or service.
The landscape is rapidly changing for marketers. While there will always be a place for traditional advertising, content marketing is quickly becoming the top choice for many companies when it comes to deciding where to put their advertising resources. In order to stay ahead of the competition, businesses will have to devote greater amounts of time to creating valuable information in order to do more than capture the quick attention of the passing consumer, but to also keep that same consumer engaged and seeking the business itself out. In short, this is the era of content marketing--and it works.
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As a marketing agency dealing specifically with content marketing, your mantra for the past couple of years has been “Content is King”, right. Heck, be careful what you wish for. Content has taken off so well that the biggest threat to your well-planned content marketing campaign now is—well, content.
How so, you ask? Because you can have too much of a good thing, that’s why. And right now, we have too much content. Too much noise. Too much competition. Too much fluff. It’s become a deluge, and it’s threatening to scupper the efforts of businesses trying to leverage the concept.
How Did We Get Here?
… when it started out as such a great idea? Firstly, because it worked, content marketing took off like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes. Everyone climbed on the bandwagon, and statistics from Velocity Partners show that 9 out of 10 B2B marketers were expected to produce “much more” content in 2013 than they did in 2012. That trend is showing every sign of continuing and there’s no end in site. Most B2B companies don’t have the resources to produce quality material, though, and that presents the biggest threat to your content marketing campaign.
Avoid Becoming a Casualty
There are ways around the problem, however. Some companies turn to outsourcing, and this has caused agencies ranging from SEO professionals to copywriters to become content farms to satisfy the hungry monster that's rampaging through the marketing world and causing the deluge. To avoid becoming a casualty, you need to build a great content brand rather than an efficient content-producing machine!
- Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes: Everything begins with what your customer needs and wants. His (or her) challenges. His desires. His needs. His concerns. Forget about making it all about you. Make your content marketing campaign about your customer, focus on the benefits instead of the features, highlight what you can do for him to solve his problems.
- Stick to the knitting: Remember the business bible In Search of Excellence? Authors Tom Peters and Robert Waterman came up with this term to illustrate sticking to the line of work you know. These days, we call it becoming a thought leader, and it means being authoritative and knowledgeable about your product or service so you can understand what your customer needs and how best to give it to him.
- Plan the work and work the plan: You need a strategic approach. A one-off content marketing campaign is not going to do it, regardless of how well-executed or how good your quality is. Develop a sound, comprehensive content strategy that builds on itself, review your progress regularly and adjusts the strategy according to the results you’re getting. If you’re chasing customers away, change your track until you get it right.
- Be in it for the long haul: It’s not a short-term thing. Content marketing doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t expect quick results. It’s a long-term process that requires you to attract a following, develop your brand’s personality, build a reputation and generate trust.
- Care!: You want your customers and prospects to care about you? Then care about them. Care about your business. Above all, care about your content. After all, if you don’t, who will? Don’t let inexperienced interns publish material that’s anything less than perfectly crafted. Don’t allow information to go out unless it offers the value to clients that you want them to get. Check your statistics to see how well you’re doing, and make changes if you aren’t. You just have to care.
- When the going gets tough… Sure, we know, the tough get going. It won’t always be plain sailing, but you need to hang in there and keep up the momentum. Don’t be lazy—the one time you forget to respond to a comment could be the time you lose a valuable client.
Create a Great Content Brand
To survive the deluge threatening every content marketing campaign, you really need to create a great brand based on dynamic content that offers real value to the customer. Give him quality information that he can really use that keeps him coming back for more, time after time. That will put you in the top 1 percent of content marketers who don't struggle to get their stuff read. Users will consume it, they'll like it and they'll share it. It'll highlight your products and services. Anything less, and you'll be in deep water before you know it.
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A picture might be worth 1000 words, but Forrester Research says one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. No wonder video content marketing represents the future. Video is irresistible. It’s dynamic, and multi-sensory. Video does everything text and static pictures can do, and then it does more.
And a billion viewers can’t be wrong. YouTube is the #2 search engine, with 1 billion unique visitors every month. Certainly much of what’s posted on YouTube is hardly business-related, and yet there’s no denying the compelling attraction of video.
Many people prefer to watch a short video rather than read text, whether it’s on your client's website or in their blog. And people have different learning styles. Video literally speaks to those who’d rather see it for themselves. It has a kinetic value that helps people get a “feel” for the subject matter.
You can embed them, link to them and share them. You can use them to generate more leads, close more sales, inform customers and prospects and meet your tactical marketing goal of making the broadest and best use of the multiplicity of channels available.
Consider these stats:
- Video on your website boosts your chances of making first-page search results by 50 times.
- 80% of website visitors will watch your video, whereas 20% will read all your website content.
- 90% of one retailer’s online shoppers say video helps them make buying decisions, and almost two-thirds say they purchase after watching a video.
- Including a video in an introductory email can double or even triple your click-through rate.
And video isn’t just for consumer products. A Forbes study revealed that 75% of executives watch business-related videos online at least weekly. Half of them watch business videos on YouTube, and 65% say they’ve visited a website as a result of watching the company’s video. One real estate firm reports their video ads drive four times as many leads as ads without video.
As marvelous as video can be, it’s not the answer to every marketing need. On the other hand, it has genuine possibilities for every type and size of business because you can use video to:
- Demonstrate things. Explain how to use your product, whether that’s assembling a swing set, accessorizing a new outfit or using your proprietary software.
- Repurpose webinars to reach a broader audience.
- Inform people with product reviews and testimonials. Remember that stat about how many more people purchase after watching a video? Testimonials can be about your products or services or the general experience of doing business with your company.
- Reinforce your company’s branding -- short interviews with staff about why they love working for your firm or a video of your employees volunteering for a community project. Style and culture endear your business to buyers and deepen engagement.
- Invite participation. You already collect comments, reviews, photos, etc. from your friends and fans, so solicit videos from them, too.
Use digital signage to bring video right into your store. Or your restaurant. Or your waiting room. Or your treatment room.
Cinéma vérité is fine, but c*** is not.
How glitzy and perfect your videos need to be depends on what type of business and product you’re promoting. Professionally produced videos look more, well, professional. But if you don’t have a big budget, you can produce your own videos using numerous online tools available or even your smartphone. A selfie video, if you will.
If it’s a tad rough around the edges, your client's audience won’t mind – it humanizes the company, makes them more down-to-earth and relatable. But don’t confuse “rough around the edges” with ragged. If the picture or sound quality on your video is lousy, that says you’re sloppy or uncaring. Not someone we want to do business with. No matter how potentially valuable the content, no one will watch it.
As always, study and learn.
Just because video is hot doesn’t mean it’s working for your clients. Study your analytics to ensure you’re reaching the right audience with the right message. You can see how long viewers are watching, and also the point at which they abandon the video.
Video content marketing is the future. Cisco says 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video by 2017. More than half of marketers are using video now, and that’s expected to rise dramatically. Will your clients be in on it?
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