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Using Videos to Broaden Your Reach

Everybody knows that content is king and that content marketing is one of the best ways to build an audience (and, by extension, a clientele) for your products, services and brand. What you might not know is that there are a lot of different types of content. Content creation is not, as many would assume, limited to blogs, articles and social media posts.

As SEO Inc, an SEO services company based in San Diego, points out in the blog post Why Online Video Cannot Be Ignored by Your Business, “With all the hype surrounding Facebook, people often forget about YouTube.” YouTube has been around for ten years and has helped launch incredibly successful careers for a variety of talented artists, comedians, educators and even businesses. Some of the creators who publish there regularly are even courted by huge brands like Toyota, Proactiv, Macy’s, and Nissan. Imagine being able to partner with huge brands like those!

YouTube isn’t, of course, the only video hosting service out there. Vimeo is also incredibly popular and Aperture is a hoping to get a piece of the pie too. Still, YouTube inevitably wins any contest in which it is pitted against another video service or site.

Why is YouTube, and the larger field of video marketing, so popular? Why are so many branding experts and sales leaders insisting that video creation is the best way to truly reach an audience?

Video is Compelling

There is something about being able to see the person pitching a product or service to you that blogs and, often, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter do not offer. Sure you can share photos on these services and via portals. Still, moving pictures where people can see your face and hear you talk are going to go much farther in getting your message across. People are better able to relate to a video than they are to a still image or something that is purely text-based.

One of the reasons this is true, said Slate in 2013, is that photos and text are easier to stage and edit. They do not present you as you are, but as you want the world to see you. Video, on the other hand--while, yes, do usually have planned production values and scripting--can only do so much. More of the real you is present during that clip than you share in a still.

How to Create Great Videos

How, then, do you create videos that people actually want to watch and channels to which people actually want to subscribe? Is it really as easy as just sitting down and talking into your webcam or phone’s camera? Sometimes it is, but more often than not, it’s a little bit more complicated. Here are some tips that will help make your videos and channel more compelling so that you can sell more stuff.

Mind the golden ratio. Your instinct is to only create videos with direct marketing and selling messages in them. This is wrong. If you want to create videos that will sell your products and services, as counterintuitive as it seems, you sometimes need to talk about other things. Create videos that showcase your company, your community involvement, your niche. This is the strategy you should be using on your blog and in your social media accounts. Use it on YouTube as well.

Put some effort into the production. Have good lighting and an interesting back drop. Get outside sometimes. Do not just turn on your overhead light and hope for the best. Light things well, use color wisely. Plan your wardrobe. The littlest details will matter more than you think they do.

Script your videos out ahead of time.  Yes, the goal is to make your videos look like you’re talking off the cuff. Reading straight from a script causes most people to look wooden and uncomfortable. Still, knowing what you want to say ahead of time will reduce the number of times you say things like “um,” “uh,” “so,” etc. If you want the video to flow smoothly, script it and even consider storyboarding it out if it’s a more complicated concept.

Have some energy! Chug an energy drink before you record if that is what it takes. People can tell when you don’t want to be talking, when you’re tired, when you’re on your fiftieth take. Try to keep your energy levels up. If you seem excited, people will get excited for what you have to say.

In other words, make a solid effort to create something that people will like watching. Spend some time watching YouTube videos to get an idea for what works and what doesn’t. Pay attention to your reactions and build your own videos from there. Whatever you do, don’t assume that video marketing is a fad.