Video is the new king! It’s something we at the Profitable Firm have been saying for some time – and the reality is that your content marketing will need to embrace video wholeheartedly if you’re going to keep pace with the competition in 2017.
It’s estimated that over half of all internet video traffic will be content delivery traffic by 2019. Video is the new channel of choice, with consumers and business buyers preferring the immediacy, the visual impact and simplicity of watching video content. They want real personalities, delivering helpful, practical advice – advice that helps them solve their issues and attain their life goals. And, increasingly, the millennial generation can sniff out ‘old-school marketing’ in an instant – and will avoid it like the plague, as a result – making the need for a new marketing approach even more imperative as your client base becomes younger and more digital-savvy.
Video as the dominant and fastest channel
Video is fast becoming the dominant viewing platform for the 21st century. And that’s not just down to video being used as a pure content medium. Video is a channel where you easily document the life of your business, share what’s happening in your niche sectors and get your own professional opinions on topical business issues out there in the real world.
75% of executives watch at least one work-related video every week, according to research by Hubspot. So there’s a huge potential audience out there for your videos. Business owners and decision-makers want information fast, with advice that helps them understand and resolve their financial, business and strategic issues.
If you can develop yourself as video-based thought leader in your chosen niches, it will have a huge impact on the brand profile of the firm as a whole.
So if you’ve never considered video as a channel for your content marketing, 2017 is definitely the time to reassess the benefits of visual marketing, and to take some proactive steps to get you and your firm in the spotlight… it’s time for lights, cameras and ACTION!
Combining video and social media for maximum impact
As internet speeds and mobile usage has soared, so has consumption of video content on social media. Facebook, for example, has an average of 8 billion video views every day. That’s a staggering number of views and this increase in video views is mirrored across the other main social sites, such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat etc.
Using social networks effectively is a brilliant way to expand the reach of your video content and connect with a far wider audience through retweets, reshares and organic search. Studies have shown that using video content on Facebook will double your organic reach, making video not just a brand exercise, but a very real way to increase your online presence and potential leads.
YouTube is another channel to work into your video strategy. You may think of it as just a video-sharing site, but in fact. it’s the second most popular search engine in the world, after Google. It’s the go-to destination when you need a visual explanation to a pressing problem.
People love the ‘explainer video’ that gives them the step-by-step guide they need for everything from learning the guitar to fitting their new baby’s car seat – and that’s just as relevant to B2B advice and content too. When business owners go looking for an expert, they’re likely to search your YouTube channel just as closely as your blog, your LinkedIn profile or your website services pages.
Vlogging and getting more personal
Vlogging (recording a video blog and sharing it with your followers) has become an incredibly popular way to share your opinions, ideas and advice with your chosen audience. It’s a highly effective way to present a more personal, more human face to clients and prospects – and as we’ve said before, getting real with your clients is a game-changer when it comes to building valued working relationships.
Rather than writing a thought leadership blog, or writing yet another PDF guide to small business accounting, why not sit down and record a piece to camera? It does require a certain amount of presentation skill (not to mention some confidence in your chosen topic), but it’s a fast, efficient way to capture your thoughts and get a conversation going.
At the Profitable Firm, we’re always keen to practice what we preach when it comes to content marketing, so we’ve dipped a toe into the vlogging waters ourselves. And here’s the result – three minutes of advice on why a vlog is very different to a blog.
Some key things to consider when vlogging include:
- Vlogs are about being spontaneous – the key thing about vlogging to record your thoughts and ideas quickly. Vlogs are short (3 minutes or less) and get published fast.
- They can be rough and ready, or polished – your vlog can be an instant stream-of-consciousness piece (recording your thoughts straight to your smartphone), or it can be something more professionally recorded (using a high-definition digital SLR camera and editing the final content). The choice is yours.
- You need to say something interesting – share some opinions, give some practical advice or tell your audience something that will get them thinking.
- Vlogs are not about high production values – you’re not making a big budget video: this is about shooting something rough and ready with your smartphone.
- Be open and BE REAL! – what people want to see is the real you, so be genuine and show your personality.
Gavin Bell is a Facebook Ad expert who works with some of our clients. He’s recently started a vlog series which is a great example of where to start, and the progress you can make as you get more comfortable with video. Take a look at Gavin’s first vlog for some inspiration.
We also have a list of video equipment which will help you get started.
Work video into your content strategy
As with all content marketing, your results and return-on-investment from video content will be far greater when you work it into a proper long-term content plan.
Incorporate video into your annual content plan alongside written blogs, regular social media posts and ongoing updates to your web content. Mix it up with rough-and-ready vlogs, live Facebook videos of events you run and high-production value video content to introduce you and the team on your website.
With this broad content palette, you’ll keep engagement high, SEO looking good and will give your video content the reach it needs to have a real and meaningful impact over time.
We have lots more advice on content and video for accountants on our Content Marketer online course. Find out more and sign up to the course.