More and more companies are discovering the power of content marketing. And online video can be a powerful addition to your content marketing toolkit, giving you a unique and compelling platform to showcase your expertise and set you apart from the competition.

The benefits of video are endless. Many people would rather watch an online video rather than read pages and pages of text on a website. The fact is, people like video and we’ve got the stats to prove it. Here’s a basic overview of why online video is important and some tips on how to add video to your content marketing program.

Online video is extremely popular

According to comScore, 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online and the average Internet user watches 186 videos a month.  And YouTube is now the second largest search engine next to Google with 50% more searches than Yahoo and 180% more searches than Bing. Therefore, video can be a strong marketing tool because you can reach an even larger audience by placing video content where millions of people are looking for entertainment and information.

Video as a content marketing tactic is growing in popularity

According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, video was one of the most popular content marketing tactics in 2014, jumping up to 76 percent from an already impressive 73 percent in 2013 and up from 54 percent going back to 2011.  The study also found that a significant majority of B2B marketers (60%) believe online video is an effective form of content marketing. Needless to say, more and more marketers are seeing the potential value of adding video to their content marketing mix as well.

Video is easy to consume and digest

Video is engaging and easy to consume. And it’s much easier for most people to retain information from a video rather than reading it online. Video can also be much more compelling than words on a web page. It provides a way for potential customers to get an inside look into your company and see personality and passion. 46% of people say that seeing a product or service mentioned in an online video would encourage them to seek out more information.

Keep your videos simple, but professional

Creating a video does not have to be complicated. When getting started, be sure to keep it simple and focus on only one topic per video. It’s better to have a series of short videos with specific topics than one long video. The last thing you want to do is ramble on and bore your viewers.  And although every video doesn’t need a big production, it’s important to make sure all your videos are professional and reflective of your brand.

Be conversational

Make sure the tone of your video is conversational. Pretend like you are talking to one of your coworkers across the table. This will make it feel more personable and the audience can connect better with the message. Be sure not to read any notes. Write down 3-5 bullet points and practice! That way you feel more comfortable when you actually begin recording.

Create compelling content

There are countless ways to use video in your content marketing. Some use it for thought leadership while others use it to introduce the employees and get a feel for the culture of the company. Here a few ideas we came up with for your videos:

• How-tos
• Interviews
• Quick tips
• Customer testimonials
• Employee introductions
• Behind-the-scenes tours
• Demonstrations
• Event promotions

No matter what you decide to talk about in your video, keep it engaging and interesting for visitors and be sure to include a call to action at the end. A call to action for a video can be asking viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel or to leave a comment.

Maximize reach through social media

In addition to video content being easily digestible, it’s also easily shareable. Thanks to platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo and Instagram, video can be created and shared across all areas of the web. So once you create your video, not only do you want to post it to your website or blog, but you should also share it through social media. First, create a YouTube or Vimeo channel for your company and post your videos so they are all in one place and associated with your brand. There are more than 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute. So once you have a channel, share your video on other social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media cross promotion is the key to getting your video viewed and shared.

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Using video in your content marketing provides another way to reach your audience and set your company apart from the competition. It’s easy to retain, shareable, entertaining and provides another way for prospects and customers to connect with your brand.

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