Back from a short vacation. It was a beautiful week at a cottage by the lake. Most days were hovering around a warm 22° Celsius (72° Fahrenheit), but with a couple of frosty mornings that caused a dense fog to cover the entire lake.
It was absolutely gorgeous.
Before I left, I appeared as a guest on my client Ed Rush’s weekly video-based podcast. If you missed it, I’ve posted the recording and transcript.
Ed uses StreamYard, a service that allows him to livestream simultaneously on multiple platforms, and to pull in comments, questions, and guests in real-time. There’s also Restream.io, which some of my other clients use.
Ed streams his podcast on YouTube, Facebook, and Periscope. But you can also restream on LinkedIn, Twitch, Twitter, Discord, Facebook Groups, and more.
Restreaming aside, there’s a reason why you might want to consider video as part of your inbound marketing and overall marketing strategy.
First, content marketing is one of the most effective marketing practices available. If you want to increase your visibility and grow your practice, you need to produce content. You don’t have to write it from scratch if you don’t have time. You can co-create, curate, or compile content.
Content marketing has many benefits.
Its value goes beyond simply communicating your expertise, which is the number one reason most professionals do it. It also improves your SEO, generates traffic, prequalifies your audience, promotes awareness, amplifies your brand, and much more.
There's written content, of course. But there are podcasts, too. If you're an entrepreneurial professional who wishes to grow her practice with the least amount of investment, you should consider doing one.
However, visual marketing is increasingly popular. In fact, statistics show that the highest performing types of content are those with visuals.
For example, accompany posts with featured images, as they create eye gravity and increase readership of the written content. You can also post photo-stories and social graphics with text art, where the image is the content.
Also, infographics, slides, and carousels help to convey longer forms of visual content if necessary — which increases both readership and engagement.
Above all, there’s video.
Short videos are easy to produce, and you can use them to showcase a product or service, a quote, an idea, a tip, a newsworthy item, a mini-tutorial, a demo, a tour, or a question.
You can (and should) dissect your longer videos, and pull out and edit them into bite-sized clips, which you can use to promote your website, your email list, your social platforms, or the rest of the longer video from which it came.
While it can be costly to have a video professionally produced, recording yourself while doing your podcasts can add an extra form of content you can use without much effort.
Some professionals I know simply read their written content on camera. Some will offer an accompanying slide presentation. Others will pause once in a while to add commentary, offer related resources, or answer questions about it.
Bottom line, visuals engage more senses.
By engaging more senses, you increase traction.
Studies show that visuals used in your marketing efforts increase:
- Attention and engagement;
- Retention and recall scores;
- Reshares and comments;
- Credibility and reliability;
- Connection with audiences;
- Comprehension levels;
- Traffic quantity and quality;
- Brand awareness and loyalty;
- Response and purchases;
- And so much more.
You don't have to create professionally produced videos. Simply record yourself reading a script. Or add an opinion or analysis about something you've read, or share a recent news item that's important to your audience.
You can stream it live and record the livestream for future publication.
You can also do the converse.
You can pre-record your video, edit it, and stream the recording at a later time. Some professionals I know restream a previously recorded video, and answer comments and chat questions live as the recording streams.
If you struggle doing live presentations, then follow a prompt, use slides, share your desktop, interview a guest, or have someone interview you.
Don't worry too much about the quality of your presentation. While you want to avoid making errors, with live events your audience will be more forgiving than some professionally produced video.
After all, it's live and no different than lecturing in front of a room of people.
It humanizes your content and shows authenticity, too.
Just offer valuable content your audience will love. The quality of the content is more important than the quality of the production.
Make sure every video you produce has a call to action, preferably your website address or email list, which should appear at the bottom of your video.
You should also include your brand, such as your logo or at least your name. If you prefer to be less overt, simply add a watermark tucked away in a corner, and you can include your website address in bumper cards (i.e., the before and after video thumbnails).
Then, distribute the video recoding through every channel, social media network, and video hosting site that your audience frequents. You don’t need to be everywhere, just be where your market happens to be.
Finally, the best forms of video content are webinars.
Webinars and online classes have grown considerably, particularly in light of the COVID lockdown. Use this to your advantage. Showcase your services by sharing your expertise. Host a class, live event, or how-to presentation.
Webinars help to promote your practice and attract potential clients. There are many web conferencing platforms, Zoom being the most popular one. You can also manage attendance using a variety of online tools — such as Facebook events and Eventbrite, among others.
Promote your webinar to increase attendance. Use your promotion as an opportunity to gather questions and content ideas. The incentive to join the class might be that you will answer a select number of attendee questions live.
After the presentation, upload the recording to your blog. Include a transcript too, since some prefer to read (or to read as they watch). In fact, you should include captions and subtitles, as statistics show that over 80% of people watch videos with the volume turned off.
Then promote and amplify it as you do any article.
Just remember, Google is the largest search engine in the world.
But the second largest is YouTube.
Back in 2004, I wrote a manifesto about the death of the long-scrolling, text-only web salesletters. I predicted they would become more dynamic, personalized, and visual — including the rise of videos in marketing.
And this was before YouTube came out in 2005.
Today, videos have become an integral part of any marketing program. So include video content somewhere in your marketing repertoire.
Video may add dimension to an otherwise static piece of content. But the best part is that it allows you to create derivative content, reach more people, and multiply your results, all with the same effort.