TORONTO — It can seem daunting to get started with video as part of your marketing strategy as it’s probably not something that’s in the usual wheelhouse of your marketing team, but experts say it’s not as difficult to get started with video as you may think.

As cloud backup and recovery vendor Asigra’s annual Summit conference this week. Tyler Lessard, CMO of Kitchener, Ont.-based video marketing platform developer Vidyard, told attendees that video has become a content expectation on websites – he said it’s now rare to find a site without it.

“The ‘play’ button has become the most compelling call to action on the web,” said Lessard. “My kids, if there’s a play button on the iPad they have to hit it. And it’s not just consumer sites; it’s happening more in B2B as well. If you’re not creating video content today it’s something you need to think about because people are going to be expecting it.”

With studies showing 60 to 90 per cent of the buying process now takes place online before a prospect even contacts a business, marketers need to now be involved digitally in identifying, engaging and qualifying potential buyers and using digital content to build relationships with online audiences. Lessard said video is a good content tool as people know they will get the information they need quickly.

He added not only do people expect video and want to consume it, the good news for marketers is that it works, delivering greater engagement and conversions.

“You get higher click-throughs if video is the call to action in your e-blast,” said Lessard. “Video in the subject line helps too.”

Video is also now being used further down in the funnel, and not just at the building interest stage. Explainer videos, on-demand webinars and product tours can help at the learning and evaluation stage. At the justify stage, product feature demonstrations and client testimonials are popular. And at the spending/onboarding stage, customer success stories and how-to videos are useful.

Video and the sales & marketing funnel.
Video and the sales & marketing funnel.

Lessard advises marketers getting into video to focus on storytelling and differentiating your brand. Be conscious of your marketing goals. Look at what pages are popular on your website to see if video would fit there, as an easy place to start. And look beyond your marketing team to see who in-house may have video expertise.

Here are Lessard’s 10 tips for getting started with video in your marketing program:

  1. When it comes to video editing and recording, keep it simple. You don’t need to invest in a ton of new equipment and software. Many PCs and Macs come with simple video editing software, such as iMovie, and many modern smartphones record video at 1080p.
  2. Be creative with your ideas, but also be realistic. You’ll get lots of great ideas, so focus on what you can do with resources available.
  3. Keep focused on the authenticity and value of your content. Feature real people with simple shoots, making crisp comments that are too the point and are valuable to your audience. Think in 60 to 120-second bursts; keeping it short will be harder than you think. Keep focused on your message.
  4. Improv is usually a bad idea – go in with a script. Ideally you want to storyboard your video ahead of time and script at least part of it. Film people in short bursts so they can memorize the script and you can cut it together.
  5. Let the camera roll when shooting testimonials, and takes lots of notes. You may get great soundbites you weren’t expecting, and your notes can help you find them later in that sea of raw video.
  6. Get your customers on video whenever you can; you can use the footage later in different ways for different things.
  7. Music and b-roll footage can make all the difference – you don’t want to have a talking head on screen for too long.
  8. Consider developing repeatable content series; something simple that, once you’ve developed the format, you can repeat again and again.
  9. Animated explainer videos are popular, and there are simple tools that make it easier to do than you think. Keep it simple: he’s a problem you may have, here’s our solution, here’s how it helps you.
  10. Just do it! If you’re not doing video today, just pick a project and jump in. Simple videos with customers, or employees talking about customer problems, can be a great place to start.
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