By John Allen
Videos are easy to consume, highly engaging, and require much less active attention from the viewer to communicate information. They also have the ability to tap into our emotions to a far greater extent than other content formats. It’s estimated that the average person will end up spending about 100 minutes watching online videos every day.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why video marketing is so effective, and how the transition to live video is allowing brands to boost live video engagement and strengthen the relationship between business and consumer.
Why People Prefer Video
If you were learning something new and you had the choice between reading a book or watching a video, which would you choose? The majority of people (61%) would pick the video.
One of the most difficult tasks in content marketing is holding the attention of the person viewing your content (whether paid or organic) so that they:
A.) Consume all of the intended content without leaving or bouncing from your site due to lack of interest
B.) Pay enough attention so that all of the information contained in your content is processed, understood, and remembered.
Video as a format is fantastic at holding a viewers attention so that both of the aforementioned things happen. It’s why TV ads are far more effective than radio or print.
Video can instantly grab your attention, convey a message, and entertain you along the way. This is the holy grail of marketing because it makes people take notice of your brand, understand what you’re selling, and allows you to leave a lasting impression long after it’s finished.
Take a look at the statistics:
- 81% of businesses are now using video for marketing
- 97% of marketers say that videos have helped their customers understand their products better, leading to more conversions.
- 90% of customers state a video helps them make a purchase decision.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, using video also boosts your traffic and search rankings. People are likely to spend longer on your site if they’re watching a video, reducing bounce rate – proven time and time again to be arguably the most important metric when it comes to SEO.. Considering that by 2021, over 80% of all traffic will come from video, now is the time to get involved.
Although video as a content format is far from being a new phenomenon (most businesses make use of videos in their marketing practices), a specific format of video is still heavily underused today by many brands: live content like webinars, conferences, or even less-structured livestreams. They’re particularly effective for B2B companies who want to promote themselves as thought leaders.
Live Video Streaming
Live video is becoming increasingly popular every day. It’s expected to account for 13% of website traffic by 2021.
Live content has allowed brands (specifically in the B2B space) to supercharge sales teams and boost their presence, while establishing a personal connection to their customers.
We’re social creatures and we like to feel a part of a group – when our favourite brands are willing to interact with us on a live stream, we feel a sense of innate loyalty to them.. We demonstrate this loyalty by taking notice of their ads in the future, sharing their content, and obviously conducting more business with them.
Live streams give audiences the opportunity to see a brand represented by a person, not a logo. When audiences can put a face behind a brand, they feel more assured when engaging with the content and have more trust in statements made by the brand regarding their products.
How Do You Boost Live Video Engagement?
So now you know how important and impactful live videos can be, it’s time to learn how to maximise engagement. The first step is deciding on which social media platforms you want to use and how long form you want your video content to be.
Taking the top four social platforms, Forrester suggests that users watch live video 10-20 times longer than on-demand content -but it needs to be high quality in order for this statistic to hold true. Consumers have a low tolerance for poor streams, and will only stick around for a maximum of 90 seconds. In addition, be sure to keep your videos mobile friendly as about half of viewers watch videos on their phone.
Choose Your Content Wisely
While it’s nice for people to get to see your business through a more personal and transparent medium, all of the old marketing rules still apply. Research the type of content your audiences want to see and provide it.
Live content has some restrictions that pre-recorded content doesn’t – for instance, it can’t be animated. Some other video types to consider include:
- Explainer or tutorial videos. When people see a product in this way, 74% of them will end up buying it.
- Behind the scenes – give viewers an insight into the things they don’t usually see.
- Interviews/Q+A. Take audience questions and answer them in real-time.
Use the AIDA Method
It’s up to you to build that instant rapport and keep viewers engaged throughout. Advertisers have been doing this for years, perfecting the art of squeezing relevant information into a short burst of video. You can do this by following the AIDA principle. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, and it still works to this day.
You don’t have long for this, but you can start with a great attention grabbing headline that gets audiences to actually click through to your stream and start watching.. An interesting thumbnail image and caption is important as well promote your live content on social media, through email campaigns, and via any other verticals your marketing team sees fit.
If there are limited tickets available for your content, it may be worth using booking software to ensure you keep track of who signs up.
Once audiences are watching your stream, you need to make sure that you are efficient with the information you convey so you hold their attention. It goes without saying that the information itself also needs to be compelling to the viewer – if the content you provide in your stream doesn’t align with the intent of viewers who clicked into your stream, they won’t be viewers for long.
They’ve clicked through, but now you have to keep them there. So, explain what they’re about to see and why they should keep watching. So, let’s say you provide a VoIP phone service and you have an audience – in order to get them to take the next step, it could be worth demonstrating the VoIP advantages and disadvantages, so they can feel like they are being educated about a topic and not a specific brand. After the stream, viewers will feel more informed and more confident in their decision to purchase a VoIP solution.
This is about relaying information that specifically creates desire for your product/brand. The information has to be compelling and differentiate you from competitors, but it also has to be presented in a way that resonates with your audiences. Create an emotional connection, relating your product/service to the audience’s problems, and show them how it can make their life easier
Action is what you want them to do at the end of the video. You’d be surprised how many people won’t take action on something unless they’re told specifically what to do. Known as a CTA or Call-to-Action (groundbreaking stuff), you must make it clear what the next step is for audiences if they want to recognize all of the benefits you’ve been discussing. Depending on your business and product and also the type of livestream you hosted, it can make more sense for your CTA to lead into another marketing workflow. For example, if you held an informative webinar or livestream educating your audience on a topic but have not yet gone into detail regarding your specific brand or solution, they won’t be ready to purchase – it makes more sense to direct them to your website so they can learn more about your business before being sold to. Adding the viewers and attendees to a marketing list and sending a follow up email or reaching through an inbound call center solution should be standard practice.
Building Relationships Live
Once you have an audience, you need to maintain their interest. The best kind of connection works both ways.
Responding to your viewers via chat or addressing their comments during your stream (make sure to mention their name) is an efficient form of asynchronous collaboration that is essential to keeping viewers engaged. Maintain That Relationship and Presence
After establishing a strong rapport with your viewers during a stream, it’s essential that you show your audience how they can continue the conversation and connection with your brand after the video ends.
Consider using cloud based call center software, to ensure you’re always there for your audience if they have any questions at any point in the future regarding your product.
One great way to maintain relationships after a livestream is to post related content to your other platforms – especially social media. That way, conversations started during the video can continue afterwards.
You might have covered one component of a need for your ideal customer persona during the livestream – now that your viewers know who you are and what you’re about, you can leverage this trust to sell them adjacent products and services.
If you have a sales or customer service team, you can achieve this via VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for making and receiving calls over the internet. If you’re not sure about the many benefits of VoIP, you can easily learn about what does VoIP stand for and more. You may find this to be a much more efficient way to deliver the best possible service to your customers.
Get Started With Live Video Marketing
Don’t be confined by the written word alone – break free from convention, put a face to your brand, and develop personal relationships with your audiences. They’ll thank you for it, and you’ll find some of the most loyal and engaged customers you’ve ever had.
About the Author
John Allen is the Director of SEO for 8×8, a leading communication platform with integrated contact center, voice, video, internet phone service, and chat functionality. John is a marketing professional with over 14 years experience in the field, and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs across SEM, SEO, and a myriad of services. This is his LinkedIn.