Last month, eMarketer launched a report which stated that brands will be reallocating the vast majority of their advertising spend from search marketing over to digital video in the coming 12 months. This is far from the first time we’ve heard such reports. In fact, every year we’re told video is THE new thing and where we should be investing our advertising bucks, yet year-on-year brands fail to grasp the opportunity fully. Now, with a range of incredible video-based social channels, it’s easier than ever to get involved.

So should you be investing more into digital video you ask?

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, which means your video content is another avenue by which you can capture your audience(s) attention and drive them towards your website/content. In fact, more and more social networks are getting video-centric. Twitter is constantly adding new options for video (including extended video clip capability, Periscope integration and YouTube play-in-Tweet functionality) and Instagram has adopted a similar strategy to sister network Facebook with video playing upon scroll in your feed. If the big boys are investing so heavily in it, you can guarantee it’s not going away any time soon.

Your video doesn’t have to be Oscar-worthy. There’s a plethora of free and cheap tools out there to both create, edit and produce your videos to a high standard. You can capture HD video, record on-screen demos, create animations, add transitions, music, narration and overlays, and so much more. Just don’t get too carried away and invest your time unwisely.

Some useful tools:

  • iMovie - this iOS app mirrors much of the functionality from the desktop version
  • PowerDirector - the iMovie of the Android world
  • ProCamera - another popular app that makes the most of your iPhone camera’s capability
  • QuickTime Player - did you know that as well as being the default Mac video player it has screen recording capabilities too? You can record your full screen or drag to record part of your screen
  • Animaker - a free cloud-based animation video maker
  • Prezi - create animated slideshows, which zoom and soar and can feature narrative and audio.

Plus, it’s not just making videos that has got easier. The vast majority of us now carry around a video player in our pockets every single minute of the day. The barrier to entry is nil, so you are instantly removing one issue for your users - cha-ching!

Make some noise

Don’t just share your videos once on YouTube. Cross promote them. You’ve spent the time making them so shout about them on all your channels, including your website, and don’t be scared to talk about them more than once (remember that social media in particular is fleeting, and so you can re-use messages that you have already communicated at an earlier date).

Most social channels make it really simple to embed your videos. YouTube and Vine both offer embed code that you can drop directly into your content management system (CMS), given it is a modern and flexible platform that you use (such as WordPress). Simply click on the ‘Share’ option under the player window and click ‘embed’ to display the code. You then have the ability to add parameter code should you wish your videos to appear differently (size, border, etc).


Some people should stick to radio

Just kidding. But, in all seriousness video is not for everyone. Not due to vanity or acting skills, but purely because some brands, products and services do not lend themselves to engaging content on video or there is no added benefit of using this medium.

Don’t just do it for the sake of it. You’d be surprised how many companies have wasted time and money creating video content which is completely irrelevant, uninformative or uninteresting. While some of the ‘worst’ examples could be seen to be entertaining in their own unique kind of way, unless you’re really pushing the weird or funny boat out, it’s a leap of faith to assume your content will go viral.

Think about it like this - users like video primarily because it gives them the most amount of information in the shortest period of time (and perhaps a laugh or insight along the way). So, consider - are you getting all the key information across, is the video (or all of the content) really necessary and of any value to the end user, and what do you want the outcome to be?

As with all your marketing messages make it clear, succinct and reflective of your brand.