The Importance of Video
Remember the good old days, when we only had a TV in the living room and maybe a computer upstairs, hidden in a study because it was an ugly machine you didn’t want to see? Remember when the central place in any household was that TV? Remember when videos on the internet looked like a mosaic pattern of colored squares? Know that those days are definitely over…
In today’s world no day goes by with having seen a least one video. On the internet. On your phone. In an app. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or maybe even Snapchat. But very unlikely on your TV.
Research from Nielsen shows that especially the so called “millennials” and generation after them watch 23-32% less TV, than they did six years ago. At the same time online video is growing rapidly. Cisco Systems predicts that 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2020. That’s less than three years from now.
Around the time YouTube was founded, the argument to use video was that it communicates more information in a shorter period of time. Our brain processes a combination of images and sounds easier and faster than it processes text. And the information communicated is better stored in our memory, so we remember more of the information for a longer period of time.
That all still stands today, but the rapid growth of online video makes it hard to stand out of the crowd. So more important is to know what you can do to benefit from it. Let me try to give you some insights and tips to help you.
The most important question to keep in mind is: who do I target and what can I tell them that would interest them?
Have a reason
Make sure you have a reason for the need of video. Don’t just do it “because everybody is doing it.” Creating a good video takes more time than you’d expect, so it would be a waste of time if it disappears in the vast ocean of videos that the internet is today. So first think of “why.” What stories can you tell, or information can you provide? Who is your audience and what are they interested in? Does your subject better fit a so called live-action video (the filmed content you mostly see) or would animation work better?
These are important questions to find answers to before you start even planning a video. More on that below.
When you start planning one or more videos, the following questions are also import to answer for yourself: What budget can you spend on one or maybe more videos? And what would that budget get you? Are you going to do it all by yourself, or are would you rather hire a production company to create it?
When you’ve answered these questions, don’t start just yet, but create a strategy first. You could think of a strategy just for video or a one for all of your (online) content. By creating this, you combine the questions you’ve answered for yourself above.
For example, if you have a computer repair business, instead of trying to get people in the door with small problems and easy fixes, create video’s on how people can fix those problems themselves. This will make you an expert in your field and people will come to you with more interesting and harder problems to solve. That also brings in more money.
If you want to create a strategy for this, you need to figure out where your audience is, what type of video fits that audience and channels, also in terms of length and style, and figure out how many videos you need to create, to get the attention you’re looking for.
But if you want a broad content strategy, you could also think of other content you can create around the same subject, such as a blog post, a photo, or (info)graphic. This way you can spread the same information in different ways on different channels and platforms. So with a bit of extra effort, you get a ton more content to spread!
When your strategy is in place, it’s time to make a plan. Think of how much content you have and on how many moments you can spread this during the week. And don’t be afraid of paid content. Start a campaign on Facebook or Instagram for example to make your videos visible to your (highly) target(ed) audience. But always keep in mind that only good content, a good video, will be viewed by people.
What to create
This is the million-dollar question. Really, it is. It’s great that people watch more video, but that also means that there is a lot out there. How do you stand out of that crowded and make sure your video is not just a drop in a bucket. After you’ve answered the questions above and you’ve figured out what to create for what audience, find a form that makes your videos stand out. And this is really the hard part.
A good strategy for content creation is the 3 E’s: Entertainment, Education, Engagement. A great example is the TruTV show (that started online) Adam Ruins Everything. In every episode show host Adam Conover debunks urban myths. For example, why guys give diamond rings to their loved ones when they propose, not knowing diamonds are completely worthless minerals. The format of the show is a comedy, which makes it entertaining. It educates the viewer about urban myths. And it engages viewers by telling stories that completely go against their nature and the things they know.
There are countless examples of videos online that worked and helped businesses get a bigger audience, engage with their followers and grow their revenue. The most important question to keep in mind is: who do I target and what can I tell them that would interest them?
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