Smartphones today seem to do everything we could possibly wish for. Not only are smartphones replacing cameras and personal computers for some tasks, but they are also being used by marketers all over the globe to advance their marketing strategy through videos. Studies and statistics pointed to videos as a huge way to increase traffic and converts.
- It increases engagement
- Your competitors are using videos
- Video is good for SEO
- Video converts
Since reader attention is becoming shorter and shorter, marketers are trying various methods to hold engagement. This is where video marketing comes in. Videos have better engagement turn out compared to written pieces. Compared to posts without videos, those with videos have better engagement in social media. Although engagement does not necessarily result to converts, it certainly widens a businesses prospects.
And why use videos? Because your competitors use video. This is an advantage to them unless you make use of it too. Say you have no budget to produce videos as offered by marketing agencies? Use your creativity and your smartphone.
Video Content in Marketing
A good video targeted to your audience may help to increase your return on investment. It can go viral and pull in many customers back to your website. Data from the Australian Real Estate group shows that real estate listings that have a video receive a whopping 403% more inquiries than those that do not include videos.
Even page ranking can be affected by videos. According to Forrester Research, it is 50x easier to get to page 1 in Google ranking with use of videos. According to Online Publishers Association, users will take some sort of action after viewing a video (46% of users at least). This growing trend has been recorded these past few years. Enjoyment of video ads can increase purchase intent by 97%.
This prompted the all-time high and the importance of video streaming sites even creating celebrities out of their video channels. Take for example the case of YouTube stars. As video popularity rises, more viewers and followers spring up to check out viral hits. This prompted advertisers to employ these stars in product reviews and endorsements. The real-time use and testing of products in videos greatly influences retail.
Whether it bodes well for society or not, most customers now would rather hear and view ads instead of reading about them. Read: 59% of executives would rather watch video than read text. That is according to data from Forbes. The use of visuals is really effective – 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. To make the case for video marketing even stronger, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than written text.
This bodes well among marketers and SEO managers. For example, in SEOmoz data, blog posts with videos tend to attract three times as many inbound links compared to those without videos.
YouTube and many other video sites are also gaining from the surge in the traffic. Each month, the video site has viewers watching 4 billion hours of videos. Marketers now are banking on these endless possibilities. Facebook on the other hand tried to ramp up its video strategy with its preloaded and auto playing videos. This gives Facebook leverage to autoplay video ads minus the audio (sound will only appear once you click the video). Although viewed as bad idea by many, these helped brands along the way.
So how can you shoot your own videos using your smartphone for marketing success?
We’ve got some tips below.
HQ Videos from Smart Phones
Always make sure that you are in good lighting. This can be achieved naturally or artificially. If you are set to film outside, you can opt for the best time of the day when it’s not too harsh and not too soft. You can employ light reflectors during shooting. When shooting videos inside, opt for separate lighting other than your camera’s flash. Studio-like lighting can be achieved after a few DIY projects. There are three lights to consider: your key light, back light and fill light.
Good lighting will make your videos clearer and more professional looking. This is the first step to achieving good video content (aside from using a decent phone camera and having worthwhile content).
For basics in lighting, check out this Lifehacker article: How to Improve your Photos and Videos with Affordable lighting.
Nothing irked viewers more than a portrait video (imagine the two black bars sandwiching your videos). Make sure you’ve positioned your camera for maximum benefit. Portrait videos limit the subjects in the frame. Landscape would be much better option and is the most popular format for videos.
Good lighting and a good camera are important, but then there is good framing. Good framing can make or break your video. Framing can be done by positioning your subjects the right way. There are certain rules that can be followed like the rule of thirds. Following the rule of thirds helps to give focus to your subject.
You can also frame your videos through natural objects in your surroundings. Use it to give emphasis to the subject and not take away its importance.
Instead of using the zoom feature of your phone (which can make subjects look grainy), get closer to the subject instead. This way, you preserve your video’s quality and you’ll get better audio during the process. Get close especially if your videos include tight shots on faces.
Flash in smartphones have the tendency to skew colouring (why extra lighting is recommended above). The flash in camera phones also should be blamed for the super dark backgrounds contrasting with the extra bright subjects.
A good steady hand creates a good steady video. Any handheld device especially a phone is prone to this unsteady problem. Whether we admit it or not, no phone camera can rival that of real cameras so you have to make the most out of the available accessories as much as possible. Most commonly used is a tripod.
This one makes use of a stand and an extra lens. Tripods on the other hand for phones can be as tall as camera tripods for steady captures.
Another way to make use of extra accessories is by using microphones. Good audio is a must especially if your ads target audio-visual sensory. There are cheap yet good quality external mics that can give you clear sound for your video recording. Just make sure though that the mic you chose will be complementing your video needs – some mics are so sensitive they may pick up even slight background noises which may ruin your whole videos.
If you want a good video but don’t have the budget to spend on bulky cameras you may still improve your phone’s camera vids by using extra lenses. These lenses are available everywhere and they’re really good for travel. You can use macro lenses for extra close shots and wide-angle ones to pack in more into the frame.
Ways to integrate videos in your campaign
Say you already tried to improve your video quality by getting the extra accessories and leveraging on the lighting. But how do you integrate these videos in your campaign? How do you make use of these videos to help improve your ROI?
Videos can be customised for use in your drip feed campaigns. They can be used to stay in touch with groups of people based on events like when users sign up for a new account.
Drip feed marketing is one effective strategy once used wisely. It’s giving people the right information at the right time. Since drip feeds are usually triggered automatically based on the segments definition, there is no need to do them manually.
In this infographic by Pardot, you can see video as a possible trick to persuade customers who are still hovering i.e. encourage trial users to go for paid subscriptions.
For maximum results, it is recommended that your videos be 30-90 seconds for customers who are at the top of the funnel and 1-10 minutes for those who are down further in the funnel.
YouTube stars are created and pushed to stardom not only by followers but also by sponsors behind them. Basically the mutualism between reviewers (the YouTube stars) and the sponsors funds the whole process. The product sponsors send products, YouTube channels provide reviews and buyers search, waiting to be swayed and eventually buying the product.
The popularity of videos supersedes the older text-based testimonials of old times. Videos from real life customers evoke emotions and instill trusts among viewers. You can use these videos in campaigns through emails and social media.
These videos though should be only 1-5 minutes long.
Online and offline integration
Your videos can be used to integrate your offline campaigns to your digital campaigns. They should both complement each other. There are three ways to do that:
- live customer care
- broadcasting seminars
- user-generated video
HubSpot listed three examples for this online offline integration. For the live customer care, they pointed out Mercedes Benz’s starview wherein Mercedes technicians looked at cars for servicing using GoPros while saying his/her commentary all throughout the process. This is then sent to the customer’s email.
For broadcasting seminars HubSpot pointed out its HubSpot Bold Talks. Seminars and other offline events like customer forums are recorded and then made available for those who are not present. For user-generated videos, HubSpot points out Go Pro videos to be a popular source.
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Do you have better practices when it comes to the use of smartphones in producing videos for marketing? How do you draw in visitors to your site?