How-To Win Your Customers’ Attention with Video and Interactive Content
When’s the last time you shared a hilarious video or watched an emotionally charged clip? It was probably just today. Video is the number one type of content that is shared daily.
Now more than ever, consumers are spending more time online watching videos.
In 2021, it is estimated that the average person spends 100 minutes a day watching online videos.
Not only is video versatile, engaging and easy to share across multiple platforms, it is the preferred way consumers want to connect with your brand. In today’s hyperactive online environment, attention spans are short. Consumers are much more likely to watch videos than read a blog post. Afterall, video is appealing and easy to digest, providing an escape from the overload and monotony of reading text online.
For businesses, video speeds up the sales cycle, delivering a huge return on investment (ROI) by bringing your brand to life and capturing your customers’ attention like no other medium. Perhaps the best thing about video marketing is that creating videos is easy and cost-effective. With a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, video can address all stages of a buyer’s journey by creating a funnel effect that informs, educates and converts viewers into fans, subscribers, prospects, leads and customers.
Video has proven to be an invaluable medium from a conversion aspect, having the ability to influence and persuade visitors to move through the buyer’s journey. In fact, more and more companies are using video to showcase their products and services—and there’s scientific research to back this. It’s all about psychology. According to Forbes, videos incorporate four elements that we are wired to pay attention to—faces, voices, body language and movement.
Video is no longer something that you experiment with on social media from time to time; it is a “must” for your promotion toolbox. In the digital marketing space, video is expected. It builds trust with customers while keeping them entertained. Even better, consumers stick around two minutes longer when there’s a video on your site. More good news: After watching a video, 64% of viewers are more likely to buy a product. By 2022, online videos will account for 82% of all internet traffic.
If you aren’t incorporating video in your marketing mix, you are missing out. Here’s why:
7 benefits of video
● Creating a video is easy and cost-effective.
● Video provides measurable gains to boost search engine optimization (SEO).
● People are more likely to link to videos, generating referral traffic to your site.
● Video educates your audience about your product or service in a way that text cannot.
● When included in an email, video dramatically boosts open rates.
● Video marketing is a powerful lead generation tool.
● The analytics are easily accessible and measurable.
The most popular video content types include explainers, testimonials, commercials, social content videos and product demonstrations. A mini-documentary can be used to showcase your company’s mission in a documentary-style format. Similarly, narrative videos use classic storytelling elements to tell your brand story in an entertaining way. They are best suited for the awareness stage. Although any type of video can be turned into an animated video, they work best for explaining technology-related topics or for difficult-to-explain concepts.
Depending on the goal of your video, the length may vary. A best practice is to experiment and see what resonates best with your audience. However, shorter is almost always better. Generally, videos should not be longer than two minutes and social content videos should be 30 seconds or less. They are fun, engaging clips that are designed specifically to be shared on social media.
Savvy marketers are using video in a variety of ways to engage consumers:
Thanks to social video hosting platforms like Vimeo and YouTube, video content is easy to share. Create engaging and entertaining videos that get your brand noticed. Upload anything from corporate training videos to how-to or instructional tutorials.
Owned by Google, YouTube is the largest social video sharing platform. Therefore, it is key to optimize your videos with the keywords that will help you rank higher in search results. Although YouTube is a crowded and competitive space, it may be the best choice if you are just starting out and want to experiment or have a limited marketing budget. Afterall, it is free and easy to use. Although it may be hard to get noticed, if you can successfully optimize and find a way to stand out, YouTube will reward you. Seventy percent of the time, YouTube’s algorithm determines which videos show up.
On Vimeo, videos do not feature ads. This may be the best platform for companies that want to post higher quality videos or share organizational courses or trainings. The focus on Vimeo is quality over quantity. Since Vimeo has a smaller, tight-knit community, engaging and responding to comments is especially important. Unlike YouTube, posting often to Vimeo will require a paid account.
As with all aspects of marketing, choosing the right video hosting platform for your brand comes down to knowing your target audience and meeting them where they are.
LinkedIn Live is the latest video feature from LinkedIn that is designed to help marketers connect with professional communities in real-time via live streaming to share company updates, offer insight from company leaders via Q&As or panel discussions or as a forum to share hiring announcements.
Best for capturing people with short attention spans, Snapchat and Instagram Stories offer quick, “insider” or behind the scenes glimpses that have real-time contextual value. For businesses, consider using Snapchat or Instragram Stories to create buzz around time-sensitive promotions or to showcase exclusive offers. A Snapchat business account is ideal for playful brands that are looking to reach a younger audience—under age 35.
On Instagram Stories, set up polls to further engage your audience and improve visibility. For even more interactivity, try out the “ask me anything” feature. It gives your followers an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about your brand. In turn, you’ll gain insight into what is important to your customers.
Facebook Live delivers a snapshot of your brand experience, providing an intimate level of engagement to your audience that allows them to interact in real-time. Use it to reach more people quickly and communicate information instantly. Don’t forget about the live comments—the two-way conversation is what makes Facebook Live so engaging.
Although Facebook Live is a live broadcast, it shouldn’t be scripted, but it should be promoted ahead of time so people know when to join in the conversation. Get the timing right. Consider when the majority of your target audience is online, then go live!
Just like all types of marketing, consistency and quality are key. Let your customers know when to expect your next video or live stream and maintain a regular schedule. Use social media to share promotional posts ahead of time to promote the videos, tag your presenters to expand your reach and use hashtags when appropriate. Be sure to cross-promote on multiple social media channels, on your website and in eblasts. When done right, you can effectively use video to teach, entertain and sell to your target audience.
Use video to improve SEO
Not only does video allow you to build a personality for your brand and company, it also generates traffic to your website, keeps visitors engaged longer and encourages prospects to move down the sales funnel. Search engines like Google are crawling for content that engages viewers—nothing entices them more than video. Google rewards websites that create an optimal user experience with features like social shares, links and optimized content that includes video. Content is the most important (SEO) ranking factor. It is an essential part of every digital marketing strategy, increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic, driving more visitors to your site and potentially more business.
Get better brand exposure with live streaming
Consumers prefer watching live videos in comparison to watching prerecorded videos. The number of live video viewers is growing at a faster rate than video viewers overall. Live streaming is the best chance to capture your audience’s attention, especially on social media. Real-time content engages your customers in a genuine way, builds brand trust and offers updates that are interesting and authentic—a way that other mediums cannot. Think: live Q&A or behind the scenes product glimpses or tours. By the end of 2020, live streaming is expected to account for 82% of all internet traffic with 82% of people preferring live video from a brand rather than a standard social media post. In fact, customers expect live video at every step of the consideration phase.
Although live streaming may be unfamiliar territory for some businesses, when planning for 2021, consider how you can work live videos into your marketing strategy.
With the rise in virtual and hybrid events due to the pandemic, live streaming now plays a pivotal role in the event landscape. It has the power to extend viewership and reach global audiences. When done right, it produces results that go beyond the screen, generating revenue and supplying footage that can be used for future promotional and revenue generating opportunities.
Create purpose-driven interactive content
In addition to video, businesses are adding various forms of interactive content to their overall content marketing strategy to engage users in a new way. Interactivity through assessments, infographics, polls, calculators, e-books and flipbooks invites customers to actively participate rather than mindlessly scrolling. Interactive content is designed to capture a user’s attention and create a valuable experience that encourages him or her to take an action. It is the future of content marketing!
Through technology, interactive content allows your customer to enter the story and influence the results, creating a memorable experience by giving them something to do, say, see or feel. Developing interactive content typically requires extra resources, such as a specific skillset or software program and getting started may mean acquiring a specialized content team, using plugins or outsourcing the project.
Before developing interactive content, consider the following questions:
1. Does the addition of interactivity enhance your product or service?
2. What is your goal in adding interactive content?
3. Does your interactive format of choice support your messaging and strategic goals?
4. How will you measure the impact of your content?
Think about experimenting with a pilot program to gauge your audience’s interest or get started by repurposing some of your existing infographics, blog posts or e-books as interactive content. Remember, you still need to cater to users that want a straightforward browsing experience without a lot of clicking and swiping.
Video marketing is only growing
When it comes to video, you are only limited by your imagination. Afterall, you have a phone in your pocket, right? It’s not just for big brands anymore. Associations, nonprofits and small corporations need to jump onboard. The key is to think beyond profit and product. Be sure to share valuable information, entertain your audience and bring your business philosophy to life. The more your audience knows about your positive practices, the more likely you are to keep their attention. Video is a powerful marketing tool that moves your audience in more than one way!
If you aren’t sure what types of videos your audience wants to see, ask them! Run polls and invite them to share in the comments on your social media channels. If you aren’t sure how to incorporate video, live streaming or interactive content into your marketing mix, just ask us!
Contact us today, to get the conversation started.