“Content is king.” - Bill Gates, 1996. This quote is almost as old as the internet and is still as relevant. In simple terms, content plays Cupid between you and your target audience. It does not advertise your business and yet plays a magical role in helping you to get more leads and conversions.
There was a time when advertising was the prevalent medium to promote any business. Businesses used to plan for the right media (newspaper, magazine, TV radio etc.) to run ads and reach out to their audience. The business of publishing was owned only by independent media companies.
The advent of internet and search engines like Google changed that.
It gave businesses the opportunity to publish content and build an audience of their own. That’s when content became “king”.
It’s a common practice for online searchers to type in their queries and Google provides them with the best answers (the most relevant and user-friendly content).
If your content addresses these queries then you have a good chance of getting in front of your target audience. It should be the best of the lot, to rank higher up on search results. It would then convert to more traffic and followers for your business. In today’s times, everyone’s looking for solutions online. If you can provide solutions with helpful content, you can instantly build a relationship with them. Content, therefore, is a great way to build an audience for your business.
At Broadcast2World, ever since we started creating content (blogs and videos) our monthly organic leads shot up all the way to 15-16 from a mere 1 or 2 earlier. We saw this spike after planning, maintaining and executing a well-defined publishing calendar for over 6 months. To make sure our efforts paid off and we offered real value to our readers - we researched popular queries for our industry and created content specific to addressing these. This not only enabled people to discover us more organically, but also got us a higher website rank and positioned as a thought leader.
Next, we promoted the content on each of our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) while also producing high-quality infographics to get featured by some of the top niche blogs such as MarketingProfs and LinkedIn - which again helped us to expand our audience.
Irrespective of the size of a business, content production is essential to building an audience for your business. A growing audience (Followers, fans, and subscribers) ensures your brand is often recalled and is sustainable to generate leads and sales.
Well, just producing and promoting content is not enough. With regular algorithmic updates, search engines have become smarter at identifying which content works best for their audience.
Therefore, to make sure your content gets you, loyal followers, you need to ensure it meets certain quality criteria.
Any content piece you produce must be:
There are many brands who’re using quality video content to build an audience for their business. Moz and HubSpot are two B2B brands publishing good video content. These brands have successfully used video content to educate their audience and build a reputation. In the B2C space, you must look at Starbucks and Redbull. They’re producing a healthy mix of entertaining and educational content.
1.Video is the most human form of content - lifelike visuals, people, graphics, and text. All of that feels more real and builds trust. It’s one of the most consumed forms of online content (and growing).
“YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.” - (Source)
2. With shortening attention spans, video is a content format that performs way better than text or images.
The above image shows a comparison between a text-based post and a video post that we promoted on LinkedIn. The first one was a video post and received an average engagement of 2.55% while the third post was an image and received an average engagement of just 0.28%.
3. Video content communicates more in lesser time and hooks the audience for long. It’s a powerful format to connect with your audience emotionally. It improves the average time spent on-site and ensures higher rankings for your pages.
4. 62% of Google universal searches include video. (Source)
Before you jump in and start creating random video content, you must know your brief and have a bunch of competitive references ready with you. Next, you need to have a well-planned video content strategy. A strategy will help you to create videos that meet a variety of objectives such as brand awareness, conversion, and retention
These goals will then help you to choose your video content types:
Once you’re done with the initial preparation, it’s a good idea to get familiar with who your videos are talking to. For that, you need to delve into knowing about your ideal customer. We use a two-step process to define a buyer-persona for B2W or for any of our clients.
In the first step, we create a profile of our typical customer. We use the audience demographics such as age, location and education etc., and psychographics such as interests, behavior, and buying preferences etc.
Once the basic profiling is done, we move to the an advanced level - the customer personality type. It flows naturally from our brand archetype. Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung theorized 12 personality archetypes based on fundamental human motivations. On the basis of these personality archetypes, we first understand our brand archetype. We then target prospective customers who fall into the same.
The reason is simple - human beings are meant to connect with each other based on shared values and common goals.
When a brand projects a particular personality type it automatically tends to attract people (as audiences or customers) of similar type.
Besides knowing who you’re talking to, you must define what you want them to do after they watch your video.
You must define whether you want your audience to visit a particular landing page or share your video or subscribe to your channel etc. It will help you to convey the right message.
Every piece of video content has a different use case - online platforms, events, and television etc. The production process must be customized according to each use case.
For example, a video for an event is shown on a large screen, to an audience watching from a distance. We therefore, use larger, lesser elements in the video so they’re clearly visible. Similarly, if we’re doing a video for television, we focus more on using plain colors as opposed to gradients as they tend to pixelate and become hazy in the particular medium.
Churning out video content is no big deal. But to create high quality professional looking videos is not so simple. You need a team of qualified resources to create good video content. Trust me, it’s not easy to find the right talent to help you get there.
Typically there are three resource options that you have:
If you don’t have a big enough budget, you can make use of DIY tools. Tools like PowToons and Videoscribe would assist you with pre-designed templates to create animated videos. For live action videos, you would need a smartphone or a professional camera with a tripod. Besides that, you would need an editing tool like iMovie (for Mac and iPhone) to edit your videos.
If you don’t have the time to create videos yourself you can hire an in-house team to do it for you.
While this option is cost-effective, quality will remain a challenge.
Hiring freelancers is another way to save on your video production costs and time. You may, however, face some issues while getting freelancers to do your video content
A production agency will give you access to a team of dedicated and skilled writers, concept artists, illustrators, videographers, animators, and voice-over artists. They would be using the best of tools and equipment. Most agencies will also help you with video strategy and promotion as well.
The best part about hiring an agency is that you won’t have to hire individual specialists. The agency hires the team of specialists - you just need to bear the project cost. If on the other hand, you were to hire in-house specialists, you would have to shell out monthly salaries. An agency is working on multiple projects and charges only a fraction of the total resource cost. It’s therefore, always a more productive and cost-efficient option. You get a fair amount of flexibility while working with an agency - you can change the scope of your project according to your budget and business requirements.
Agencies would always offer more reliability and you can be sure that your work will not suffer.
Hiring an agency will cost you upwards of $3000 for one video. The cost would also depend on other factors such as:
Going with an agency is the best route if you’re aiming to get a distinct brand voice and reputation. While working with one you may have to work through a definite process. It may be tedious in the beginning but the final outcome will be equally rewarding.
You can’t outsource your videos to a two-man outfit offering to create a video at half the price. Before risking your project to an inexperienced team, make the right comparisons and take an informed decision. Here are some key points to consider:
You can read this post to get an in-depth understanding of how to choose an agency that would fit your requirements.
Besides comparing agencies on the above parameters, don’t miss out on the most critical question - ‘Why are they doing, what they are doing?’
You should research and understand their larger existential purpose. Are they solving a business problem that’s beyond video creation? Now check if you can benefit from their approach before you take a final decision. This trick helps because an agency works like a partner. If you can resonate with what they are trying to do in the long run, there would be higher chances of getting more value and satisfaction from working with them.
Delighting your customers with some awe-inspiring video content is no piece of cake. If you don’t plan each move, the outcome may not be as pleasing.
The actual work would in-fact begin after you have chosen the right agency. You must work with them closely. Provide them with the necessary inputs and team-support so they could deliver as desired.
It’s critical to brief the team on the expectations from the video - the key takeaway for the audience, creative references etc. You need to share with them the required raw material such as brand guidelines, the logo, and any technical details (Screenshots, process details, product specifications, etc.) pertaining to the product/service. For technical subjects, you need to give the right inputs to the agency and make sure they have everything before they start working on the script.
At B2W we produce animated videos in the following eight stages:
For each of the stages, we expect the client to give a clear and consolidated feedback. There are times when we are doing the voice-over and the client feels we need to make changes to the script. In such a scenario we have to go back, make changes in the script as well as the storyboard and the voice-over. Similarly, if the client tells us to make changes in the VO after the animation has been done, then everything for a toss.
If you follow a process and give timely feedback, it’ll save you time, effort and cost. It will save the agency a lot of undesirable confusion and improve the final outcome.
It goes without saying that every business, irrespective of its size, needs good content. Consistently publishing and promoting user-friendly content will fetch you more search rankings and followers. Quality videos are the lifeline of successful content marketing. They’re more human and help you to break the content clutter in a crowded web space.
When you’re still small and you have scanty budgets you can go ahead and start creating video content yourself or hire an experienced freelancer to work for you. Once you have deeper pockets, you’ll be looking for a more refined, fluid output - preferably from a production agency that suits your requirements. That would go a long way in helping you to build a brand and a loyal audience - something every business aspires to achieve.
I hope this piece was helpful. Would love to get your thoughts and suggestions on creating video content. Please feel free to add them in the comments section below.