Marketers in all industries—including food, beverage, ingredients and supplements—are bombarded with exhortations to create more visual content for their brands. Why? Because visual images and video garner more eyeballs and attention than any other type of content online. Video, in particular, has become a game changer for SEO (search engine optimization) traction and has the ability to show and tell a brand story in easily digestible bites.
According to Ekaterina Walter, social media evangelist and author of The Power of Visual Storytelling, here are the facts:
- The average modern adult’s attention span is between 2.8 and 8 seconds;
- Viewers spend 100 percent more time on web pages with videos;
- Viewers are 85 percent more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video;
- There is a 14-percent increase in page views when a press release contains a photo and a 48-percent increase when both photographs and videos are included; There are 94 percent more total views attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images.
And if that wasn’t convincing enough, every minute:
- 208,000 photos are posted to Facebook;
- 27,800 photos are shared on Instagram;
- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube;
- Since 2012, image-centric platforms Pinterest and Instagram have doubled usage among adults.
Any company can jump on the video bandwagon, and it’s easier than many might think, especially if you start with short-form, basic video content that’s created to live online. That’s what we’ll focus on in this article. Just remember—at its best and most interesting, video captures people (and things) moving, interacting, emoting and engaging. Even a “talking head"—a person talking into the camera—needs to converse in an animated way that connects to the audience.
Video News Shorts—An Easy Way to Start
Video news shorts are an easy way to start your video journey. Take a lesson from your local TV stations. They air video content that is of the moment and relevant to something that’s happening in the community. It’s reactive, fast and cogent. Editing and production values are good, but we’re not talking artsy camera angles and movie-quality effects. Segment length is a minute or less. Get in. Get out. The reporters are sometimes in the frame, talking, and sometimes outside the frame, asking the question to a news source.
Apply that learning to your company video production. Firms that don’t have an in-house video team are working with their agency partners to create bite-sized business video content that can be posted to websites, social media channels or blogs.
- Creating short videos of key executives commenting on a topic that can match with a company blog post on the same topic. For example, your CEO commenting on an in-the-news industry issue; your research and development (R&D) director on new research findings; your quality assurance (QA) person on the newest in safety and quality standards;
- Setting up short interviews with key customers at your trade shows. Ask a question about a trend relevant to your company or industry, and video the replies. Post to social media as part of your engagement at that show. Be sure to get “B-roll" of trade show action, especially if there are compelling visual aspects of your booth;
- Creating a series. Interview your R&D team on what’s new and the challenges they’re working on. Without giving away trade secrets, you can showcase your labs and your science and create a multi-part series of one-minute videos to update your website with meaningful, new content;
- Video news releases (VNRs). These aren’t new, but they still work to generate hundreds of times more online views than a typical copy-only release. Take your business news release, create one or two short videos that match up with the announcement and distribute as a video news release via any of the wire services that provide this service. Topics could be a new facility, a new product introduction or a new executive management team.
Experts talk about the value of “authentic" content, meaning it’s not forced or fake. There’s nothing more authentic than user-generated videos. Ask your customers, employees or social media followers to send you video that you have permission to use and then repurpose on social media platforms or in other ways. Ideas include:
- A short video of a manufacturing process in which your product/ingredient is being used;
- Employee-generated videos—at a company event, conference or other professional venue;
- Start a contest on your company’s Facebook page that rewards followers for sending in videos in a category you choose that will enhance the content on your platforms, and be informational or just plain fun.
Every picture tells a story—we’ve all heard that truism. The story you can tell with video is a powerful one, indeed. Tell it to match your brand values, keep it relevant and timely, and you’ll be well served. Importantly, sync up your video strategy with your company’s business objectives and make it an integral part of your content goals.