As of 2021, at least 80% of content will be in video format. Videos are a smart way to market a business, not just because of their SEO potential like keywords in titles and tags, but because more and more people are attracted to them over words on a page. Videos can be engaging, educational, and provide a human element when done right.
Some consumers prefer videos because they just have to sit back and watch rather than focus on an article. While both are great ways to create engaging content, 69% of people prefer videos over blogs when learning about a product or service, generating more leads.
Take a how-to video for example. How-to articles may provide instructions, but seeing something being built in real time is more informative and easier to follow than written ones. Especially when the thing being built or worked on is complex.
Videos are especially convenient as a user just has to search for a topic or even scroll through their social media feeds to find and watch them. They promise either education or entertainment all in a medium that doesn’t require you to do anything but observe. So for consumers who aren’t particularly motivated to read about a product or service, they’re being handed the information on a silver platter.
What do videos do that blogs and infographics don’t?
Infographics and blogs can sometimes feel like you are being instructed rather than being conversed with, which is what a video does with the human faces and voices behind them. As mentioned earlier, videos feel more human, personalised, and conversational, something people want. They make you feel like you’re part of the dialogue.
Videos can also be played in the background of something you’re doing, especially if the visuals aren’t as crucial as the audio. Take a timeline video, for example. The image being displayed is static and won’t be as important as the information you’re getting from the person speaking. So while you’re multitasking, you can let the video run.
Trust is another factor as videos are trustworthy sources. Google loves videos and their algorithm makes sure that good, high-quality, and reliable content ranks high on their results pages.
Because videos require a great deal of effort to be made, they also feel more authentic, bringing about a sense of assurance and confidence. With the storytelling that videos do, they establish a sort of vulnerability to them, making them feel more real and honest. Because of this, people are more likely to consume a piece of media that does this. 91% of people are more likely to return or purchase from brands for their authenticity and recommend them to their loved ones, proving their high return of investment (ROI).
5 great practices when creating a video
While there are many ways to create engaging video content, these five are the foundations and practices that you need to establish in order to create great videos.
1. Be consistent with branding and brand identity
Videos are visual media—so keep those visuals in mind. Not only does brand identity make your videos look more polished and professional, they make people remember you. Being recognised as the brand that has these certain fonts or colours helps people trust in you and find your videos more trustworthy.
Cleaner, more focused videos with great visuals can make all the difference. If you use different visuals every time, it becomes difficult to separate your videos from the millions of others being uploaded every day.
Design is just as important as message and poor design sometimes leads people to click out of your video. Being consistent will help people with their memory retention of your brand, drawing them in the more they remember you.
2. Connect with your audience
Audiences don’t like to be talked at but rather to. Conversations and dialogue are important as a viewer feels that they’re part of the video, too. If you encourage them to comment to further the discussion or ask questions that’ll entice them to interact with you and your video, it’s good for you.
Being recognised in a video feels good and establishes a connection with someone they enjoy watching. Say a popular YouTuber encourages their viewers to comment with what they want to see next. A viewer feels as if they can sway their favourite YouTuber to try or do something that they personally want to see and they’ll feel heard and seen.
Remember: People don’t forget how they felt more than what was said. And that validation can make them feel happy and like they’re part of something bigger. A loyal viewer is more likely to return and keep engaging.
3. Tell stories
The best way to connect with an audience is by telling them stories. Everyone has a story to share and being able to hear someone else’s opens up an opportunity to empathise with them and see their vulnerability.
The human ability to recognise someone else’s errors or mistakes will have them flocking to a video. Whether the story is funny or sad, they feel they’re part of a trusted circle that a video creator made.
People identify with emotions and stories more than they do with data. They relate to stories, especially when they’ve experienced something similar. When brands open up about their endeavours and journeys, people see beyond their status as a brand and see the people behind it instead.
4. Don’t over complicate
Embellishing content for the sake of it isn’t a good way to capture attention. Sometimes, simplicity and being concise is the way to go. People don’t want to wait for 30-second openings with unnecessary effects, they want the information they came for.
This is not to say the video needs to be kept so short that people won’t learn anything, but to cut out anything extra that doesn’t contribute to the video. Tangents, for example, can become distracting and superfluous.
Creating a video takes a lot of time and effort so including something that doesn’t need to be there is a waste of time and energy.
A great way to identify what shouldn’t be there is to imagine you’re the audience. Test your patience for the video and see how much you can handle when it comes to any transitions or pauses or extra information. Keep it simple as competitors may also be utilising video content and if yours are more concise, you can stay ahead of the game.
5. Don’t be overly scripted (but have one in place)
Scripts are essential to videos as they guide and outline what you have to say. But if you read off a script monotonously and in a detached manner, the conversation doesn’t feel genuine. There’s nothing wrong with video scripts that have everything you need to say word-for-word but make sure you’re still lively and come off sincere.
Viewers look for authenticity in a brand and in a video. If they feel they are being engaged with, they will respond in an equivalent manner. Non-rigid but still comprehensive scripts keep the presenter focused and prevent them from unnecessary tangents.
Video creation can be difficult and time-consuming but what with the changing digital landscape, they are necessary in order to adapt. Investing in video creation can make or break a brand’s visibility as more and more people are tuning into videos. Understanding how videos work and how viewers perceive them are keys to creating better content that will make your brand seem more trustworthy.