Content is still king when it comes to SEO and inbound traffic generation, but written content alone is no longer enough to cut it. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need visual content—images and videos—and that’s only going to grow in importance as the years go on. Written content is going to become even more oversaturated, new video technologies are going to make it easier to share and stream videos, and users are going to demand more and more video content accordingly.
The problem, of course, is that high-quality videos are harder and more expensive to create than basic written articles. Coming up with ideas for videos, if you aren’t accustomed to the medium, is challenging. That’s why I’ve created this list of seven ideas almost anyone can use to produce original videos for a content marketing campaign:
Interviews are one of the most practical videos you can make, for several reasons. First, interviews can easily be translated into multiple mediums; in addition to making a video, you can publish the audio track as a podcast or downloadable mp3, and publish a transcript for the written SEO benefits. Second, interviews naturally involve a second person, usually a major authority in your industry. That person will inevitably share the video with his/her own audience, greatly multiplying the initial reach of your content. You can also turn an interview video as part of a series, giving you an easy thread for future development.
If you have any products or services (and chances are, you do), you can produce a video showing your customers how the product or service works. For example, if you have a tech product that requires specific inputs or specific real-world applications, you can guide your users in best practices. If you have an app or a piece of software, you can help guide your users through the basics of its use. This is especially important if your product or service is complex or confusing to new users.
Instead of a demo, you can make a tutorial or instructional video, possibly one unrelated to any of your products or services. For example, if you’re a personal financial advisor, you can run people through the basics of creating a budget. If you’re an auto mechanic, you can teach people how to conduct a simple oil change. The more detailed you are, the better, but you don’t need anything fancy to complete the work. Walking users through the steps, one by one, with a suitable voiceover is more than enough for most applications.
Webinars, rather than focusing on any products or actions, tend to focus more on general topics. They’re a perfect opportunity to show off your abilities as a thought leader and gather people together. When you first release a webinar, it’s best to offer it to a live audience. Publicize it across social media channels, and consider offering a reward in exchange for attending. As you do multiple webinars, you’ll gradually build a dedicated audience subscribing to them. Beyond that, you can offer all your old webinars as downloadable or streaming videos in your archives.
Q and As are like a hybrid of webinars and interviews; like a webinar, you’ll be showing off your expertise and talking about a handful of specific topics relevant to your industry. Like an interview, you’ll be in charge of finding and responding to certain questions on that topic—except the questions are going to come from your audience. Use social media channels or surveys to bring together common questions your followers have on a certain topic, and prepare them in advance so you can answer them all on video. Q and As are another repeatable idea, so you can easily turn them into an ongoing weekly series.
Video infographics are much like image infographics—they use visual imagery (and sometimes sound) to illustrate pieces of information, such as statistics or trends. Generally, infographics are more labor and skill intensive than other forms of content, especially if you want to make an impressive one. But basic video infographics don’t demand years of video editing experience or niche expertise. For example, you can use a simple whiteboard or basic on-paper sketches to illustrate your concepts. If you aren’t artistically talented, you can use stick figures and graphs. The key is to reduce complex topics to simple visuals with accompanying data or narration.
Video testimonials from your clients and customers are some of the best forms of video content you can offer, because they don’t feature your brand at the center. Instead, a human face and independent third party will be presenting your brand (hopefully) in a positive light. Its biggest advantage is also a core hurdle to overcome; you’ll rely on your customers to produce and send you these videos. It takes some of the pressure off you, but in exchange, you’ll have to offer prizes or similar incentives to get the ball rolling for customer-submitted reviews.
If you haven’t already started incorporating videos into your content marketing campaign, now’s the time to start. Auto-played videos are becoming integral to major platforms like Twitter and Facebook (and soon, Google), and new video apps are being voraciously downloaded and used by consumers everywhere. The sooner you start making good use of videos, the more you’ll stand to benefit.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.