Live and kicking – be your own broadcaster

Now you have your shiny new content, how are you going to make sure that it is seen by your target audience?

In this series of blogs we’ll be looking at “Why video is vital to your communications strategy”. We have also prepared a guide which is available at the link below:

We have settled into our roles as publishers, posting blogs and social media updates online. Vloggers have shown us that everyone can be a broadcaster now too with a minimal investment in technology. There are multiple platforms for broadcasting live video including Twitter Live, Facebook Live and Instagram Live plus channels such as Livestream and IBM Cloud Video.

With the advent of this accessible technology comes the ability for anyone to become a broadcaster. With 3G and 4G uploading to social media and the growth of live-streaming has influenced the type and style of video that is now being produced. Brands want to capitalise on the popularity of the homegrown video movement and briefs often require a more informal response and sometimes even lend themselves to an amateurish style. Rough and ready footage lends authenticity and can be more believable than a big budget advert with slick production values. Ultra-segmentation using programmatic advertising has increased the power of targeting meaning video can be highly tailored for exactly the audience you want to reach.

Part of social media strategy

Scratch the surface of the main platforms and some significant numbers emerge. It is hard to ignore the fact that over 2 billion people, more than a third of the world’s population, are active on Facebook, the world’s largest social media audience. Despite recommendations that videos are kept short, Facebook has developed its algorithm more recently to avoid penalising long-form content. But with 86% of videos played with audio off, it is worth remembering our tips about graphics and typography. 

YouTube remains the most popular channel for marketers, with 87% saying that they have uploaded video and four fifths reporting a positive impact. While two minutes may be optimum length for a video, it is possible to get your messages across in six seconds. Video works perfectly in the domain of visual platform Instagram where you can achieve cut through with stylish and polished content to showcase your brand. And on Twitter, tweets containing video are six times more likely to be re-tweeted.

To get the most out of a video-posting strategy, you must post regularly, make sure your content is sharable and above all, make it entertaining. Optimise your video for search by including keywords in the title, meta description and always be sure to include a call to action.

Don’t leave out your own website

Once you have developed your content, don’t forget to make sure that it takes pride of place on your own website. The reasons to do this are compelling and start with the customer’s experience which will be made more dynamic and engaging with moving images. Video actively engages visitors and can bring your brand personality to life. This has the effect of strengthening the bond with your website visitors, encouraging engagement and boosting the likelihood that they will return.

Adding video to your website will improve search engine rankings adding impact to your inbound marketing strategy. A popular trend in web design employs video background as a means of capturing attention. Video background is thought to improve conversion rates for sign-up and opt-in by 138%.

There is much debate about whether video should be uploaded to your website directly or embedded within a video platform such as YouTube or Vimeo. Videos with a large file size may be affected by the bandwidth of your server or may clog up file storage and slow your site down causing buffering or slow-loading of video on playback. The quality may vary across a range of platforms and devices, so it is usually better to upload your content to a hosting service and embed it within your website by copying across a simple piece of code.

The downside to this method is that it takes people away from your website into territory where they could be distracted by a programmatically-placed competitor. In any case, your video is likely to be prefaced by an advertisement which viewers will need to skip to reach your content.

Uploading to a host effectively means that you lose control of your video. To avoid this, consider using inbound marketing software such as HubSpot or Salesforce which enables you to appear to be hosting your own content while in fact it is being held safely and securely as part of a platform that provides valuable granular analytics.

Digital out-of-home

The growing number of communication channels has led to media fragmentation but there are still ways of getting your message across by surrounding audiences within their everyday environment. Evolving digital technologies have given a boost to out-of-home media with the UK market growing by 5.3% to £267m in 2018. Continued investment in the medium has led to an increased number of digital screens containing images that cannot be skipped or fast-forwarded.

Technology in out-of-home enables dynamic messaging, often close to the point of sale, contextualised by time of day and place. It also encourages the development of ever-more creative and engaging content. This is essential to compete with the growing tide of pedestrians who use their mobile phones, heads down, in public as they walk. Platforms for digital out-of-home (DOOH) are growing in number and variety from placements within the transport network (on the Tube, in taxis or buses, and at train stations and airports), to billboards and mobile ad vans. Arguably there is room for more interesting story-telling and the opportunity to create an involving experience. Video out-of-home is set to become a speciality of its own, delivering full-motion TV quality-video advertisement in a myriad of public places.

As with some social media viewing, while video is the most powerful type of content, audio may not be heard in out-of-home, so graphics are ideal in this situation. Sophisticated digital billboards incorporating cameras can scan individuals and serve highly personalised content depending on what they see. This has already been deployed to stunning effect during New York Fashion Week.

In this series of blogs we’ll be looking at “Why video is vital to your communications strategy”. We have also prepared a guide which is available at the link below:

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