Categories: Video Marketing

The Beginner’s Guide to Video Content

Video content is here to stay, but many marketers and business owners are still intimidated by it as a medium. Written content, by comparison, is easier to produce, far more common in syndication, and is a more traditional means of working toward SEO results. The idea of “video” content seems expensive—after all, you’ll need to hire a videographer, purchase expensive video equipment, and spend dozens of hours producing high quality work, right?

Wrong. Video content has to be informative, entertaining, and thorough, just like written content, but that doesn’t mean you have to splurge on expensive equipment or seasoned talent. Chances are, your phone already has a decent video camera in it—combine that with a basic setup, and you have an instant, simple video producing setup. But why is video content that important in the first place?

Why Video Content Is Important

The simple answer is that more people want to see video, and as always in content marketing, you need to produce the content that people want to consume. That’s the entire point. But let’s take a closer look at why more people crave videos:

  • Internet is more reliable. Faster, more widely available Internet makes it easier to stream videos anywhere. This is a small motivating factor, but a significant one nonetheless.
  • Mobile phones are everywhere. This has a two-pronged effect; people can watch more videos on the go (and avoid hard-to-read written content), and people can produce more video content, leading to increased demand as a social reaction.
  • Written content is becoming oversaturated. Let’s face it. Too many people are fighting for a finite amount of visibility in the written content world. People are getting tired of cluttered newsfeeds, so only the best of the best written content stands out.
  • Videos are faster. If you’re on the go and you need a quick answer to a brief question, you might have to scroll through an article for several minutes before you get your solution. A video, on the other hand, is much more concise and easy to navigate—you can even multitask when pulling it up.
  • There’s a consumer-publisher feedback loop supporting video popularity. As videos have grown more popular, apps like Facebook and Twitter have supported them more and more with auto-play features and other functions that make videos easier to upload and view. This encourages more video production, which in turn is sparking even newer innovations in the video publishing and syndication sphere.

Ultimately, these trends are only going to increase, so it’s in your best interest to get started with video content as soon as possible.

Video Content for SEO

Because video content lacks any explicitly written words, you may wonder how they can be valuable for SEO. After all, most content posts rely on Google’s web crawlers to extract information and draw a conclusion about the nature and value of the piece. While Google can’t currently evaluate the quality of a video the way it can a written post (though it can rely on external indicators, like thumbs up, views, and shares), there are ways videos can aid your search position:

  • It adds to the content of your site. And the more valuable content you have, the better—always.
  • You can optimize for your chosen publishing platform. If you upload on YouTube, you can use tags, titles, and categories to maximize your video’s chances of getting found. YouTube isn’t quite as powerful as the general Google platform, but it’s certainly worth pursuing.
  • It can be mircoformatted. There’s a Schema markup for video, which makes it available for Google to use as a rich answer. You can also use this to optimize the meta data for the video.

Getting Started With Video Content

If you’re nervous about getting started or feel like you aren’t going to “do it right,” throw those assumptions out the window. As long as your video is chock full of useful information, or even marginally entertaining, it’s going to be valuable. Cameras in mobile devices in an improvised setting won’t give you the same production value as a movie studio, but it’ll do just fine for a starter video content strategy.

Video Content Ideas for the Beginner

If you’re struggling with how to get started, consider some of the following content ideas:

  • Product demos. Show off what makes your product or service special.
  • Speak with industry leaders or random people on the street—they’ll even do most of the talking for you.
  • How-to videos and tutorials. Show your customers how to do something, or walk them through something complex.
  • Q&A (or FAQ). Gather up some of the most common questions you’ve received or heard, and answer them. It really is that simple.
  • Whiteboard discussions. Open ended and regarding a specific topic, whiteboard sessions help you establish yourself as a thought leader.
  • Testimonials and reviews. This is a great one because you can collect them from your customers rather than making them yourself.
  • Live feeds of industry events. Use Periscope or Meerkat to do a “live feed” of speakers or your experience at a specific event.
  • Video infographics. These are a bit trickier to pull off, but you don’t need fancy animation—you can illustrate concepts with doodles or anything you can find around the office.

Moving Forward

Remember, video content is only going to become more important as the years continue. It needs to start being a part of your strategy today, while the competitive environment is still relatively light. As you gain more experience and confidence in your work, you can invest in higher quality tools and strategies, but only head that direction when you’re comfortable. In the meantime, you’ll see ample results from a basic approach.

Timothy Carter @TimothyCarter

Timothy Carter is the CRO for SEO.co/. Since 1997 he's been helping businesses maximize their sales revenue from websites via content marketing, SEO and Internet Marketing strategies. Over the years he's written for publications like Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs and other highly respected online publications.

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