The fact that visual presentations are more effective at persuading people than just text has been known since the mid-80s. After all, the human brain is so attuned to visual data that we can process entire images in as little as 13 milliseconds. But despite the ease with which we process pictures, there is a medium our minds seem to be even more fond of – video.
Since it’s so easy to consume, video is an excellent format for most brands to explore. Not only is it more appealing than text or photos, but it also allows for a host of benefits in terms of what you can do with it. Furthermore, it’s more likely to reach followers, as well as to inspire user engagement.
If starting up and maintaining conversations with your audience are your goals, then investing in video content is a logical course of action.
Here are the best ways you can use it to increase user engagement.
Optimize before uploading
One of the essential aspects of creating amazing video content is thinking it through before you click upload.
Like you’d do with text or photos, you want your videos to be fully optimized to generate views and inspire users to engage. To achieve this result, there are a few ground rules you should follow:
- Use a simple and aesthetically pleasing thumbnail.
- Create an attention-grabbing headline.
- Don’t make it too long. The average length in YouTube’s top 10 section tends to be around 4 minutes 20 seconds long. For most brands, 1-2 minutes is the sweet spot.
- Research your keywords.
- Make sure to optimize your file name.
- Share your creation on social media platforms, newsletters, and your website.
Show, don’t tell
The thing about video is that it has a much wider use than most people credit it for. And although it does remarkably well on social media platforms, it can be equally beneficial when used on product pages.
For one, it can help inspire consumer desire. Advertisers have been doing it for decades by targeting pain points and presenting products as solutions. But even more than growing awareness and raising interest, video can, in fact, catapult your target audience into the lower stages of the marketing funnel.
One of the best ways to do this is to use video in the benefits section of your product pages. For physical products, it can be efficient at describing design concepts that would usually rely on a sensory experience. As you can see in this example from Brooks, it can help users imagine how a shoe will feel and perform, without them having to read a lengthy chunk of text.
You can incorporate video into blog posts as well. This example from Gilisports shows potential customers some of the basics on how to use a stand up paddle board. This is especially useful with products a shopper has limited to no experience with.
Of course, videos should not only be limited to physical goods. They can work equally well with software solutions that require potential buyers to understand more abstract concepts.
Cater to users’ needs
When it comes to content marketing, one of the ground rules for brands is to provide added value. And video can help a lot in this regard.
On the one hand, it could allow you to educate potential customers about various product choices, as done by LFA Capsule Fillers. The brand offers more than a single type of empty capsules, each of which has its list of pros and cons. Because of this, a short video is a time-efficient and engaging way of equipping shoppers with the information they need to make the best possible buying decision.
On the other hand, video can be utilized to show possible product uses. It’s not uncommon for food manufacturers to create recipe videos where they offer viewers ideas on what to cook, all the while presenting their product as the solution for the newly-developed need for ingredients.
Both recipes and DIY guides allow people to make something on their own, inspiring them, and providing the tools they require to satisfy their intrinsic need to create. So, if you feel like your products could be presented through this type of content, it’s more than worth investing in.
If your website already has a steady following and a library filled with evergreen posts, now may be the time to consider going ephemeral.
With the rising popularity of Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have all added their own versions of stories that can only be viewed within 24h of being posted. Furthermore, most platforms now offer brands the ability to engage their audiences in real-time through the use of live video that may or may not remain available once the stream has ended.
With users, this causes two reactions. The first is that they get a sense of exclusivity when consuming this type of content. The second is that they tend to crave more such content, turning their fear of missing out into a daily routine.
When a brand’s objective is to increase engagement, this type of medium can come in particularly handy. You can choose to use ephemeral content to tell fun stories, or to create hype with sneak peeks, unboxings, and product launches.
For example, GoPro uses Instagram stories to provide users with tips and tricks on how to get the absolute best out of their action camera. In this way, they’re making their videos engaging, all the while providing customers with valuable information they’re sure to appreciate.
Let your customers have a say
Finally, don’t forget that great marketing strategies need to make room for sharing user-generated content. After all, it’s a foolproof way to increase engagement.
You can choose to share already existing videos or call for your followers to create something brand new. You’d be surprised at the great results you could get. One excellent example of a brand using videos submitted by followers comes from Pampers’ Love, Sleep, and Play commercial. It is endearing for anyone to watch, and it’s encouraging parents’ pride in sharing some of the most enjoyable parts of their children’s lives.
Of course, that’s not the only way to utilize user-generated submissions. Other great strategies include sending out review units to influencers, running creative competitions, or something as simple as creating a hashtag and encouraging followers to post videos or images of themselves using your products.
Considering how video can offer an immersive experience of your products or services, it becomes apparent that it’s a type of content worth investing in. After all, it’s effective at giving customers a taste of what you’re offering, as well as opening their eyes to your product’s potential.
Nonetheless, keep in mind that for any type of content to be truly engaging, it needs to be true to your brand’s identity. So make sure you’re planning your stories, choosing to share messages that are in line with your values, and always keeping in mind who your audience is.