If you're plugged into the content marketing world, you know the rising trend that none of us will be able to escape: the increasing popularity of video content. Video-exclusive platforms like YouTube are seeing higher and higher engagement rates. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and constantly adopting new features to host and encourage video sharing, and meanwhile, the traditional written content field is getting more oversaturated with fewer engagements.
None of this is to say that video is the only relevant content strategy now, or that it will ever be the only way to reach your audience. However, it needs to be a part of any reasonably balanced content campaign, the same way vegetables are a part of any healthy diet. Like it or not, you need them.
The Challenge With Video
Most traditional content marketers are reading this and either rolling their eyes or wringing their hands. This is because an old truth about video content has evolved to become a modern misconception: that video production demands a high level of expertise and is disproportionately expensive. This may be true for feature film-quality productions, but it isn't necessarily true for the average business owner. Good video content, for the most part, isn't about capturing art on camera or achieving perfect sound quality. It's about providing something valuable to your user in an engaging way, which might be as simple as speaking your mind while looking into a camera.
You also don't need any fancy production or editing equipment (though these can improve your final product). Your smartphone probably has a decent video camera in it already. So what are you waiting for?
Step 1: Find the Right Medium
"Medium" demands definition here, as your medium will obviously be video. I want to dig a little deeper--what kind of video do you want to create? There are several approachable options for newcomers, none of which requires much pre-existing expertise. To get you started, here are some ideas:
Interview. Choose someone prominent in your industry and sit down with them to discuss some pivotal issues facing your companies and customers.Monologue. Speak directly to your audience about any topic you want (provided it's relevant)! It really is that simple. You can use props or tools like a whiteboard to complement your speech.Tutorial. Show users how to do something (related to your brand, of course).Stunt. Entertain your audience by pulling a prank on a coworker or putting on a funny sketch (if your brand voice can accommodate it).
Step 2: Select a Topic and Write
The beauty of this step is that if you're already familiar with the customs of traditional content marketing (i.e., written articles), this is basically the same thing. Choose a specific topic within the frame of reference you've already selected--for example, you might choose "incorporating new technology" as a topic for your coming interview--and draft out what you'd like to say. Different formats will require different approaches; for example, a monologue may require a full outline, while an interview might only take the form of a few introductory questions. Write as much or as little as you feel comfortable with (you might find it more comfortable to improvise).
Step 3: Rehearse
Before you hit 'record,' you should practice what you're going to say and how you're going to say it. This will save time later, and give you a chance to iron out the kinks of your approach before getting the rest of the team together. Avoid relying too much on your scripts or cue cards; during your rehearsal, try to commit most of your talking points to memory. In the case of an interview, see if you can stage a "mock" interview with someone else within your company to practice the give and take of a real conversation.
Step 4: Record
Finally, do the recording. Again, you need no fancy equipment here--a basic smartphone will do, at least to get started. Get a tripod or a helper to keep the device still and head to an area closed off from the rest of your office with suitable lighting and acoustics. If you mess up, start over--you have plenty of chances to get it right. From there, you'll be able to upload your video directly or transfer it to a computer for further editing.
Step 5: Distribute
The last step is distributing your video content, which you'll do following similar practices as traditional written content. First, you'll want to upload your video to YouTube (or a similar channel) and embed the video somewhere on your site (usually a blog page). Then, send out a link or embed the video in social media posts across all your available channels. Your goal should be to maximize your video's reach. After a day or two, check back to your original post and start reading the comments--get involved in running conversations, and take note of any points of feedback you can get.
It will take you some time to learn the ebb and flow of video content marketing. It's a different genre, a different medium, and you'll use different skills and tactics to execute it successfully. However, it isn't that far removed from any other area of content marketing. If you apply yourself, and remain focused on giving your users something they actually want, you should have no trouble building an audience accordingly.
BY JAYSON DEMERS
Founder and CEO, AudienceBloom @jaysondemers