As we shift into the future of online marketing, more and more small businesses now realize the importance of an online video presence in their marketing mix. The increased accessibility of video tools and sharing systems has been a game-changer for businesses that typically couldn’t afford high-end video equipment. Developing a video marketing strategy can be a highly-engaging and cost-effective way to increase brand awareness, and even increase leads and visitor engagement on your site.
We recently spoke with Carey Ballard, Director of Content Marketing at Infusionsoft, a sales and marketing platform for small businesses, to discuss how what role online video plays at Infusionsoft and how the company incorporates video into their content marketing mix. Carey Ballard shares her tips for small businesses who wish to integrate video into their online marketing strategy, as well as her predictions for the future of video below.
1) Can you please provide a brief description of Infusionsoft?
Infusionsoft is a sales and marketing platform that helps small businesses get organized, grow sales and save time. We are committed to small business success through providing the technology, education and networks (community) that support that success.
2) What role does online video play in the business?
Video has historically been an important communication tool for our organization – but it is becoming even more relevant now, as the market is demanding a sophisticated presence in that medium. Our videos have typically focused on training and utilizing our software – however, as we are moving into more of the branding and broader education space – the video strategy is evolving to include interviews, customer stories, in-depth training videos, etc. Our YouTube Channel is a good mix of all the types of programming that are relevant to our businesses.
Additionally, our customers can now harness the power of video so much more easily with the advent of accessible tools and sharing systems. It has been a game-changer for businesses that typically couldn’t afford high-end video equipment.
3) In your experience, how important is online video in the overall online marketing space?
Extremely important. Video allows for really robust viewership data, it is a platform that more and more consumers are expecting, and it allows for a higher level of brand personality.
4) In your opinion, how does the effectiveness of a video compare to that of visual graphic online? (social media, websites, emails, etc.)
Depending on the viewer – it can be extremely effective. The challenge is that audiences vary in the way that they consume information in their day. For example- when I’m at work I only consume written or audio content (you can’t have the boss walk by and be watching a video!). However, after work hours, we find that video consumption picks up significantly. So we try to provide both for key topics – the visual and text-based solutions, as well as the video version – allowing viewers and readers to choose.
5) In terms of lead generation, which medium of your services do you feel are the most effective and why?
I can’t say that there is a clear winner in the medium department – the true winning comes from the right combination. For our purposes we have started creating “content solar systems” – which takes a meaty problem at the center (such as successfully hiring sales people) and builds out multiple touch points – and these touch points vary in their format.
For each we would include written pieces, infographics, videos, and we are adding podcasts into the mix. By providing an ecosystem of varying content types, we find the overall success of generating leads is much higher. You allow your audience to pick their path, and that choice increases both engagement and return viewership. That being said, video is an extremely important part of that mix.
6) If you were to provide your clients a top tip for integrating video into their online marketing strategy what would be your recommendation?
Start with your audience and what you want to say. What is your main objective and how will you know if your program is working? From there you can create a strategy and plan that puts those first two pieces together. If your objective is to educate – make sure your style and approach matches that objective. And then research like crazy. What other companies have created content on the topic you want to cover? What was successful for them – and how do you know? How long are the videos going to be?
You have to answer a slew of questions first before you begin creating. But once you do start creating video – look closely at your data and metrics. The beauty of video in today’s world, is you can truly get a sense of what is working.
7) How do you think online video has already affected the industry and what future changes do you anticipate in the next 5-10 years?
Online video has changed the content landscape immensely. The tools keep getting easier and cheaper – and high-quality video keeps getting simpler to produce. However, the major change is how people are consuming that content. Over 40% of YouTube’s videos are watched on a mobile device. That indicates that people aren’t looking so much for a cinematic experience, as they are seeking a genuinely interesting, helpful, and/or entertaining piece.
Goodness – 5–10 years!?! I can barely predict tomorrow! What I imagine is that we will see more conversations happening via video. Currently video is the pushing media, and social is the back and forth conversation place. I see that changing in the coming years. User-generated-content will lead brands and companies, and they will have to follow suit. It should be an interesting and entertaining ride!