Video is the Fastest Growing Content Type on the Internet – Should You Be in on It?

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Video is the Fastest Growing Content Type on the Internet – Should You Be in on It?

Right now, video is the fastest growing type of content on the Internet. YouTube1 is the second largest search engine, behind Google. Every day over 100 million people watch a clip online, and by 2018,2 video will account for 79% of all consumer traffic. Based on a Cisco report,3 more people are consuming online content on mobile devices than ever before and video is the primary traffic driver. If you haven't added video into your content marketing strategy yet, now is the time to decide whether or not it is right for your business.

Video is now one of the major mediums by which users choose to consume information, and there are many other reasons why it is an important content consideration. For one, studies show that audiences may be more attentive to video than some other forms of content. A recent Entrepreneur article4 by Eric Siu revealed that 80% of online visitors will watch a clip in its entirety, while only 20% will read content completely. Generally, users retain video too, with 80% of users recalling the videos that they see online.

According to a recent article in The Guardian,5 "video is the future of content marketing," and businesses that ignore it do so at their peril. Some businesses are deciding if and how they should include video in their social media marketing efforts. Should your business have video in its social media strategy?

Define Your Goals

Like any sound social media strategy, video should also start with a clear set of goals. What do you want users to get from watching? What do you want viewers to do after watching? If you want to influence a behavior or action, then incorporate a call to action in your video. In other words, tell viewers what you want them to do next.

A smart way to approach goal setting for your video is to establish quantifiable goals that you can track. Some examples for goals are to: increase website traffic, generate leads or increase the number of YouTube channel subscribers.

It is also important to make sure that those goals are realistic. For instance, not every video is going to go viral. Obviously going viral can be a major win for businesses, however, it isn't a practical goal. An increasing number of videos are being uploaded onto the Internet. There are 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute,6 which makes fighting for the attention of users more competitive.

According to Upworthy, a video is more likely to go viral if it is both shareable and clickable. What makes people share and click on your video? Upworthy says,7 "If you can find that happy medium between entertainment and an emotional connection, you can make some magic happen."

What's Your Story?

You can have the most impressive special effects and valuable information in a video, but it means nothing unless people watch it. The story in your video can be the deciding factor for whether or not it is successful. What is the story that you want to tell audiences? And more importantly, will people be engaged with that story? In order to decide if viewers will be engaged, test your story for its entertainment and educational values.

Here are a few questions to help you rate your story idea before creating a video:

Entertainment Value

  • Does it evoke a shared emotion?
  • Is it relevant or compelling to my audience?
  • Would I or my audience share this video with a friend?
  • Would it capture viewers' attention within the first 15 to 30 seconds?

Educational Value

  • Would viewers understand this topic better if it were in explained in a video instead of another format?
  • Is this a resource that my audience needs and wants to know more about?
  • Will my audience learn something that they did not know before?

If your story idea rates highly among each of the values, then it could be a potential video candidate.

Do You Have the Time and Resources?

With more sophisticated, cost-effective recording devices and editing software programs, jumping on the video bandwagon is now more possible than ever for small businesses. However, creating a quality video takes time and a talented person to manage it all. Plus, if you are producing it on your own, there will be some initial startup costs for equipment and editing software. Businesses should decide if a video will produce an acceptable return on investment by considering the production costs versus its expected success in achieving a goal. In order to be more successful with ROI, a call to action should be presented in the video.

Deciding to incorporate video into your content marketing strategy is a tough, but important, decision for today's businesses. The way that audiences choose to get information and consume content is evolving. Users want to be entertained and informed and they increasingly want to do it through mediums like video. By not considering video in your strategy, you could be missing out on a huge part of your target audience and potential leads.

1. http://www.mushroomnetworks.com/infographics/youtube—the-2nd-largest-search-engine-infographic 2. http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/VNI-ForecastQA.html/index.html 3. http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/VNI-ForecastQA.html/index.html 4. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237644 5. http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/jan/14/video-content-marketing-media-online 6. https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html 7.http://www.upworthy.com/how-to-make-that-one-thing-go-viral-just-kidding

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Elicia T

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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