Harnessing the Power of Video to Improve Your Marketing Performance
DFWSEM only meets once a month, so we have to make it count. Despite the stormy weather, this month was no exception, with announcements and networking before a main event that contained more information than the most ardent nerd heart could desire.
There was the usual snack-and-beverage-fueled networking before the presentation, something the new NOAH’s Event Venue in Richardson makes particularly easy. Every attendee gets one ticket before and one ticket after the meeting that can be exchanged for beer, wine, or a soft drink, and there is plenty of room for conversation.
Select announcements and State of Search
After the minglers found their way into the auditorium and made it to their seats, DFWSEM announced several upcoming events. On May 23, the DFW WordPress Group will cover 10 Essential WordPress Plugins for 2015. Arnie Kuenn will be the featured speaker for June, providing vital information on common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them. Then in July, DFWSEM will be partnering with Social Media Club of Dallas for a joint event in Deep Ellum. And thanks to feedback from the DFWSEM meeting surveys, we can continue to hone our guest list to bring you top value.
In State of Search news, the Super Early Bird tickets sold out in less than 30 days, and that price is gone for good. But the Early Bird tickets will go on sale June 1 at an amazing price of $350. Given that Moz (yep, that Moz), is among the confirmed sponsors, that ticket price is a heckuva bargain. Keep your eyes peeled for more announcements — and surprises — as the summer rolls on.
What video isn’t, and what video is
When Casey Henry took the stage, he did so with a vengeance. For a full 90 minutes, the former Director of Inbound of Engineering at Moz talked hard numbers and admitted how he had a man-crush on Whiteboard Friday pro (and State of Search keynote speaker) Rand Fishkin.
There was a tremendous amount of information in this presentation, but one way to distill it all is to consider what video isn’t, what it is, and what it can do for you.
First of all, video isn’t magic. You can’t just stick a video on a landing page and expect to convert. It has to serve a purpose like any other type of content, and like regular content it should include a call to action. Do you want to present your company as experts? Offer a download to a white paper or other collateral. Just don’t expect it to effortlessly solve all your problems.
— Greg Gifford (@GregGifford) May 14, 2015
Second, video can’t stand alone. Sometimes, people won’t click on your video at all, because of bandwidth issues or lack of attention. In fact, sometimes people can’t play your video, possibly due to being in an open office or at a work computer with no speakers. Without text or infographics to provide context, these potential viewers won’t receive your message at all.
Third, video doesn’t work just anywhere. If you’re tucking a tiny thumbnail in one corner of a page, or locating the play button on your video below the fold, you are throwing away all your hard work. Videos in the top 500 vertical pixels average a 52% play rate; any lower on your page, and you’ll be lucky to get 24%.
Finally, video hosted off-site can’t guarantee traffic for your site. If you are putting your video on YouTube or Vimeo, you must include a link as part of your call to action. Without it, you’ve given viewers no reason to continue down the sales funnel. Just like other content meant to drive a result, make it as easy as possible for viewers to do what you want them to do.
So, what is video, then? Video is foremost a way to forge an emotional connection with a potential client or customer. Live or animated, video does what a static image or text can’t — it moves, attracting and engaging different portions of the brain. Add a face to that, say Rand Fishkin in front of a whiteboard, and the result is a powerful cocktail that is difficult to duplicate in any other way.
Video can also reach people when they’re most willing and able to consume content. On busses or trains, in waiting rooms and lobbies, people watch video on mobile at a phenomenal rate. They already have their headphones in, are already receptive, and have time to kill. Why wouldn’t you put video out there for those moments?
Perhaps most importantly, a well-made video creates instant authority. Prices for cameras and other equipment are falling, but it still takes time and effort to produce quality video. Your potential clients and customers know this, so when you present a polished and effective video, you look like you know what you’re doing, giving you an air of expertise.
What video can do
Casey is a numbers guy with an engineer’s mindset, so when it came down to what video can actually do, he was armed with facts. The best takeaway of the night is that video can set you apart. In his quest to demonstrate how video is still under-utilized, he scraped massive amounts of data of ecommerce sites and analyzed thousands and thousands of PPC landing pages. Amazon, Walmart, and Target were are well represented, along with other businesses big and small. But fewer than 1% of those pages featured video!
Even worse? Entirely too many PPC ads link to a generic homepage, so that each visitor from each ad sees the same thing. Video is an amazing opportunity to customize.
— Timothy Huneycutt (@Timotheous128) May 14, 2015
— Damon Gochneaur (@DamonGochneaur) May 14, 2015
Clearly, to Casey and others, 2015 is finally and truly the year of video in marketing. All the signs are there. Equipment prices are down. Internet speeds are up. People are used to consuming content on their mobile devices. So there is no time like the present to use video, either in your sales funnel or to raise brand awareness.
The crowd adjourned to the bar for pizza, drinks, and networking, unfazed by the fading storm outside. Folks had a lot to talk about, after all, including where exactly video would be appearing on personal and client websites in the very near future. If you’d like to view the slide deck that had them all buzzing, Casey was kind enough to provide it; you can find it here.