The trend worldwide is an increasing use of video to communicate online, especially through social media. Having video on your site increases the time a visitor will stay on the site by 105%. But what does this mean for businesses? We talk with Brightcove, a leading global provider of cloud services for video, to get some insights on how Australian businesses can use video to reach their customers online.
How can a business harness the power of video?
Video is one of the best tools to help raise brand awareness and increase sales conversions. It enables brands to communicate with their customers and really draw emotional connections with them. The Brightcove video below demonstrates how this can work in practice:
It also enables an organisation to deliver messages in a more compelling way. You can humanise your brand; put a face to your brand. And it often gives consumers a lot more information in a way they are going to process and understand by listening and seeing as opposed to having to read, digest and interpret. It’s a powerful tool for communicating with people.
What is the magic length for a video?
It depends on what the video is and what you’re trying to do. If you’re providing detailed ‘how-to’ instructions then it’s likely going to be a bit longer than a video created for Instagram. Anywhere between 90 seconds and 3 minutes can be powerful in terms of giving audiences relevant information in a time frame that’s going to keep them engaged.
Now that people are on their mobile phone, you can catch people on the go. You can watch a 3 minute video while you’re commuting; it’s a small consumable bite that people are willing to engage with.
Online video can be very accessible; while there are videographers and other specialist firms that produce video for a business, some companies will also produce smaller subsets of their content it in-house. With the modern smartphone and video software that’s so widely available, the barrier to entry can be quite low.
Impact of Social Media
We know Australians are watching more video than ever before. Consumers are spending six hours a week watching video content on social networks alone, and around half of that is on YouTube. In fact, a recent survey from Brightcove found that eight in ten consumers are engaging with brands on social media, and three in four see a direct link between social video viewing and their purchasing decisions.
What is the best content?
Always begin with a content strategy. Ask, as a business, what you want consumers to get out of your video content. Do you want them to engage more with your brand? Are you looking for somebody to watch a how-to video and then purchase something off the back of that video? It really depends on what you are trying to achieve.
How-to videos are super powerful. We’ve worked with large retailers that see great results from how-to videos that show consumers what they can do with the items the company is selling.
In terms of engagement, we’ve seen that putting a video on the home page of your website can increase conversion by up to 300 percent.
Do you need to have a human face?
It depends on your business model and what your products are. If you’re selling a pair of boots, then a video with someone wearing those boots is probably going to be more effective than just a video clip of the boots on the shelf.
On the other hand, sometimes if you’re showcasing a product, your audience are more interested in the product features; they don’t need to see someone using the product to understand the value. Say for instance you are selling a dishwasher; a video showcasing all the amazing features of that dishwasher with a voiceover will likely work better.
You need to really think about that strategy and what you want to achieve, and track what is working for you and your brand. I think with everything you do you need to measure the strategy against actual video engagement.
Start small to test
Business will often experiment with video on a smaller scale first. Once they look at the analytics and see the results it’s generating, they continue to expand their use of video.
One of the benefits of using an online video platform (OVP) like Brightcove is that we have very powerful analytics. You can measure key metrics ranging from the types of content that are most popular through to how much of an individual video your audience is watching. Using this data, you can then make more informed content strategy decisions.
Social networks are great for increasing the exposure of your content but it’s often hard to measure how much people are really engaging with your video. For instance, you can see that 10,000 people viewed it; but how many of them clicked on it, watched two seconds, got distracted and moved on to something else?
If you can measure that extra level of detail, you can get a better idea of what is working and what isn’t. You can see where you are losing people and try to work out why. Once you have this understanding, you can change your videos to better suit your audience’s’ desire.
Video on your website is the key
The next step is to embed the video on your site. This will allow you to have better insights into user engagement and ensure it’s meeting your wider business objectives set out at the beginning.
If you are using a platform where you can upload and control your own video, you can get a better idea of which videos are working; which pages are looked at more often and make sure you have relevant content there to capture a visitor’s interest. You can then start to direct engagement around the video and steer the customer journey through your website using your own metadata and playlists.
It’s also possible to integrate videos within your existing marketing automation platforms (MAPs). For example, in a retail business, you can encourage a user to sign in to complete a purchase and use the MAP to help keep track of your customers and share the right marketing materials with them based on what they’re interested in. When you add video to this mix you can discover when a customer has viewed the same video two or three times and how much of that video they have watched. Based on this info, you can then choose to send them an email that offers a 10 or 20 percent discount off that item if they purchase it within a certain timeframe or tempt them with some other offer knowing that they already have a level of interest in the product.
These platforms are powerful and flexible. You can tailor your content, measure it and adapt your strategy.
Globally, 67 percent of the buyer journey is driven through digital channels and content. In Australia, 15.5 percent of video viewing time is spread across computers, tablets and smartphones. That includes television content as well. There’s a real trend towards viewing in the online and mobile space and it’s growing.
Australia does follow worldwide trends. If you’re a business in Australia you can take a look at what’s around around the world to get a better idea of what’s likely to come. In our experience, the UK can be a very good predictor for Australia in the way things trend.
Three essentials to remember:
Always keep in mind these three tips:
1) Know what you are trying to achieve
2) Know what your audience wants, and
3) Track the results of everything you do
Think about your audience, their journey and how you want to drive them through your site, and perceive your brand. Trial it and then measure it and adapt your strategy based on what’s working and what’s not.
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