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How to use video to effectively promote your business

September 19, 2018

Why Video?

Reach your customers in the format they’re most used to seeing: Americans on average spend more than 10 hours per day or just about two thirds of their waking hours looking at some kind of screen. With more and more of our media consumption coming from digital sources, the fact of the matter is this: if you’re not effectively reaching out to your customers through digital media, you are missing out on business.

 

All of the time Americans spend viewing digital media presents a great marketing opportunity for businesses and one of the best ways to capitalize on that time is through video content. Take Facebook for example; much of their $500 billion business is based around providing relevant content to their consumers and their algorithms prioritize video content above all else. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a well-executed video is worth many more. Don’t waste your time trying to re-create the impact of video through alternate means – “cut out the middle man” and market yourself on the ultimate platform of the digital age.

How to Create Effective Video Content

Keep it short and sweet: One of the first things to consider is the length of your video. Generally speaking, the shorter the better. When looking at engagement rates over time, 2 minutes or less is the sweet spot for most videos; after that, you can expect to see a sharp drop-off in engagement.

 

Front-load your content: It is an incontrovertible truth that viewership drops off over time. Regardless of the total length of your video, it is important to get the most pertinent content and message out there as soon as possible to ensure it reaches the largest number of viewers. This technique also helps “hook” your viewers into watching more of your video. In 2016, Facebook found that 65% of viewers that watched the first 3 seconds of a video continued to watch for at least 10 seconds and 45% continued watching for 30 seconds. What does this tell you? If you can front load your content and hook them right off the bat, it’s likely that you will get additional time to get your message out. However, if you don’t start your video with engaging content, you may never get the opportunity to drive your point home, regardless of your video length.

 

Is brevity always best? Most of the time, yes. But if your video is so dense with content that cutting time does more to truncate than elucidate, you may be better served keeping a longer run time. While you will see drop offs in engagement with increasing lengths of videos, the relationship between video length and engagement is not linear; there is generally a plateau around 50% engagement for videos between 6 and 12 minutes. In other words, if your viewer is sticking around for the first 6 minutes, the content is typically relevant to them and they will remain engaged for at least the next 6. From this, we can learn that while brevity is best if possible, if you need the extra time to explain a concept or go into further detail with your content, take it; the viewers you will be targeting are likely to stick around, at least until that 12 minute mark.

 

Don’t cut just to cut: If, for instance, you have a video that is 10 minutes long, cutting out even up to 4 minutes of pertinent content just for the sake of creating a shorter video is not worth your while; because of the engagement plateau between 6 and 12 minutes, you won’t see much of a change in engagement, but your viewers will see less of your content. By cutting time within the plateau, you essentially just forfeit the opportunity to provide more information without any benefit to you.

 

Sounds great! Am I ready to make my own video? If you don’t have experience in any aspect of video production, it will likely show in your end product. This is why arguably the most important tip of all is to hire a professional. By hiring an experienced video production team to help you create professional content, you convey the message that you are an experienced and professional business. Without that experience in every aspect of the video production process, you leave much of that overall message to your consumers up to chance and with how quickly consumers make up their mind in this day and age, that chance is not one many businesses choose to take. The upfront cost of hiring a video professional will more than pay for itself in the quality of the final product.

 

What to look for in a video production professional: It can be a daunting task to try and find a credible source for your video production needs for a reasonable price, especially if you have little to no experience in the video production arena and don’t exactly know what to look for. When looking to hire, one of the first things you should ask for are samples of previous work. Most credible sources will have some examples of the work they’ve done and the larger ones will at least have a list of clients (i.e. Nike, Coke, National Geographic, etc.). Without work samples, you are going in more or less blind and should be wary. Likewise, if they do have samples but you don’t like the way they look or feel, it's generally best to trust your gut.

To see how ABC Imaging can help with video production for your business, contact us at marketing@abcimaging.com

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