By Wally Koval published June 14, 2010

5 Ways to Expand Your Audience with Video (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

How important is video to your content marketing strategy? If you guessed “Very,” then you are correct! (*Ding ding ding* We have a winner!)

Video has increasingly become a mainstay medium for distribution and consumption of content online, and it continues to grow in popularity, scope, and reach. In April 2010 alone, over 178 million U.S. internet users watched online video; that’s more than half of the entire U.S. population!

So maybe you are thinking, “Wow! What an incredible opportunity to expand my content’s reach . . . if only I had the means to get my content out there.” Well, it’s not as difficult as you may think. If you are not doing it yet, here is how you can get started.

Any content can be repurposed for video

When it comes to content, you need not look any further than your most recent blog post, a new product description or white paper. The idea is not to do a ‘deep-dive’, but rather to gain interest and entice the viewer back to your site.

Leave them wanting more, and always offer an easy route, like a URL, leading them back to your main content hub (website, blog, etc) where they can get their hands on more in-depth information

Just to get a feel for what I am talking about, take a peek at these examples:

Shorter is better

To reel in content consumers and new customers, you want to offer up just enough to get them interested and leave them wanting more.

Research shows that after a minute, more than half of your audience has lost interest and most likely clicked away, so while your video may grab their attention, it will likely only hold it for a short time.

Therefore, as a rule of thumb, get the most pertinent information out there in the beginning of the video and remember: that less is more.

You don’t need fancy equipment

If you have a ‘deep-pocketed’ budget for your content marketing program, then congratulations! If not, don’t worry, you are in the same boat as virtually everyone else.

To produce a quality video does not necessarily mean you need overly-expensive equipment. Successful content marketing video can be shot with a webcam or a hand-held ‘Point-and-Shoot’ camera; a professional-grade studio camera is not a necessity. As long as the content is valuable, and leads the viewer back to your site for further engagement, it has successfully done its job.

Take a look at this example from CNET: Phone Review.

There are a lot of video distribution options

Now that you have your video, where do you place it?!

Representing more than 40% of all videos, Google sites (aka: YouTube) are the clear market leaders in online video distribution; however they are not the only option. There is a virtual sea of video distribution sites that you can use that not only cater to numerous different niches, but are also free!

With Facebook users currently uploading around 415,000 videos daily, and viewing over 2 billion videos a month (that’s more than Hulu!), social networking sites are increasingly becoming hotspots for video content as well. It would be foolish not to take advantage of this opportunity to reach your current and potential content consumers and customers.

Last but absolutely not least, your content should be available on your website as well! Which leads us to the next step.

It’s essential to use your video to engage with visitors

You got the bait (content), you cast the lure (distribution), you’ve reeled them in (link to your site), now to scoop them up with the net . . .

Once you have led viewers back to your site, you want to them they return. (We’re not looking for a “one shot deal” here!). It’s time to engage them with the in-depth information they were looking for. Here are a few ideas:

  • Ask them to sign up for your newsletter
  • Have them opt-in to be notified of new content when it’s hot off the presses
  • Collect their name, email address, etc for future relevant engagement

This is your opportunity to ensure a “continued conversation” with your customer. Use this opportunity to show them what you (and your company) are made of, and build a relationship so they will want to come back.

To sum up, whether your content marketing strategy is at the top (or the bottom) of its game, the opportunity and advantages associated with integrating video into your strategy can make a significant impact.

If not knowing how to get started was the only hurdle holding you back, then I hope these tips will help you ‘pull the trigger’ on the starter-pistol and get you up and running.

Let me know what other tips or questions you have about video in the comments below.

Author: Wally Koval

Wally Koval serves as a Marketing “Swiss Army Knife” of sorts at American Business Media (ABM), a global B-to-B Media Association. Among the many "hats" he wears, he is responsible for “Outside The Cube”, a monthly video program which explores topical industry issues from a ‘Millennial’ vantage point. Wally is also heavily involved with Business Development and the Social Media presence of ABM. You can follow Wally on Twitter @wallykoval or catch the latest episode of his "Cube" on YouTube.

Other posts by Wally Koval

  • http://www.seeingyourstory.com Ron Blau

    Great post! … now here's a self-serving comment: I've recently started a blog about making better online videos. It's called Seeing Your Story and you can find it at http://www.seeingyourstory.com. Just a few posts so far, but I'll keep 'em coming. If you check out Seeing Your Story, I welcome your feedback.

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