With the new year well and truly underway, now is the perfect time to take a look at ways you can improve your content marketing strategy.
One of our predictions for last year was that this is the year that video will finally make it mainstream in terms of the marketing mix. Its been much talked about and there is no disputing the growth of video in our social streams but for lots of brands, video has not yet made it into their content calendar. In this post, I’d like to remind our readers WHY it is a great tactic for engaging readers and HOW you should go about integrating video into your blog.
First and foremost, there are many ways to use video to ignite your marketing campaigns. One of those ways is with video content. And where better to start than integrating it with your blog and give your content a new lease of life.
Why Use Videos to Increase Engagement With Your Blog Posts?
As a marketer, you need to understand how your consumers or audience absorb your content. How do they read your blog? Do they read it word for word? Do they skim and just scan it? What is the average amount of time a reader spends on each blog post? As direct as these questions may seem, understanding consumer and audience behaviour is crucial, especially when it comes to creating content and increasing engagement.
1. Videos help break up the text in your blog posts.
We now live in a digital age where attention spans are shorter, and it takes roughly 15 seconds to capture a reader’s attention. Most of the time, readers are just scanning your webpage and only 20% of your blog content is being read and/or absorbed. According to Medium, the ideal blog post is about 7 minutes long, which is around 1,600 words in length.
To help overcome this inevitable truth of readers merely scanning through webpages, articles, and blog posts, using visual content such as videos can help break up the text in your blog posts. Why? Because videos stand out and attract readers. When people are scanning through a copious amount of text, they are most likely to stop at the images. They are also more likely to skim the lines right before and right after the visual to absorb the main points.
2. Videos increase the time spent on your blog posts.
This study by Oracle suggests that videos can increase the time spent on your webpage by more than 100%. When you include videos in your blog posts, readers will feel more inclined to stop when they reach the video. More often than not, readers will end up engaging with the content by clicking on the video because it stands out in the midst of all text in the blog post.
3. Videos attract Millennials.
A lot of online content is being absorbed by Millennials, one of the most tech-savvy generations of our digital day and age. 90% of Millennials connect online every day, and they are definitely an audience to keep in mind when it comes to using videos to increase engagement with your blog posts, just like how and why you should consider them in your digital marketing plan. In general, Millennials like to view rather than read. Videos are a major driving factor of Millennials’ consumer behaviour, and much of their buying decisions result from watching video content.
How Should You Use Videos to Increase Engagement With Your Blog Posts?
We’ve discussed the “why”, so now we’ll discuss the ‘how”. There are a number of ways you can use video content to increase engagement with your blog posts.
1. Create original video content
Creating original and authentic video content and embedding videos into your blog posts will help increase the overall engagement of your posts.
Types of content to consider:
- An ‘About Us’ video
- Tutorials and How-To Videos
- Video Summaries
- Client Reviews and Testimonials
By including original video content into your blog posts, readers will more likely share and engage with your posts. Original videos tell a story. When you become a master at storytelling for your business and create compelling content, people will be more inclined to like, comment, and share it with their network.
2. Keep videos under 2 minutes
If you’re looking to use videos to increase engagement with your blog posts, make sure the videos are short and straight to the point. Short videos gain the most engagement. According to HubSpot, the most engagement is seen when videos are about 2 minutes long. You may be thinking, “A 2-minute video seems a little short for all the information I want to include”.
Don’t worry about having to explain and go too in-depth to cover all aspects of the topic surrounding your blog post. Using videos in your blog posts is meant to complement the information being discussed, not cover the post in its entirety.
3. Host your videos on YouTube
There are typically two ways you can go about hosting your video content online: on your own website or on YouTube. Personally, I would recommend hosting videos on YouTube before embedding them into your blog posts. This is because YouTube offers a wide range of SEO and analytics tools which help track engagement.
Blogging platforms such as WordPress make it extremely easy to embed YouTube videos into your blog posts. Simply hop into the backend of your website, and when you are looking to attach any visual media, you have the option to directly paste the URL of the video you want to attach and it will appear in your post.
When done right, YouTube has the potential to bring in hundreds, thousands, or even millions of new customers to your business. Embedding YouTube videos into your blog posts can help bolster your overall SEO and help your business rank higher when people are searching for content.
4. Repurpose existing video content
If you already have an existing YouTube channel or a content hub with existing video content, repurposing videos are another excellent way to increase engagement with your blog posts. One thing to keep in mind is to make sure that the video you are embedding is relevant to the topic of the blog post.
5. Use video as a teaser to promote your blog
OK – You know how it goes. You’ve worked really hard to produce your blog article, It has gone through several review iterations and now you are finally happy to share it with the world. However, for many, that’s where it all goes wrong.
You look back at the stats a week or even a month later and you find out that there have been very few views of your precious content. After a few cycles like that, it’s not surprising that blog authors get disheartened and stop.
The key to success is promoting the blog effectively. In addition to structuring the blog in a way that makes it more likely to appear in Google search engine results, you should email the blog to your mailing list and publish it on your social channels.
Another less used tactic is to produce a teaser video. Essentially this is a short (60 second or less) video that summarises the main points of your blog.
This enables your audience to get an overview of your blog content right within their newsfeed. Even if they don’t end up reading the full article at least they get the highlights!
We use this tactic ourselves with our own blog and have seen very positive results. Video product software has evolved over the last number of years and there are a number of solutions in the marketplace that enable you to convert blog articles to video, using images and b-roll video to support the content.
Our video platform uses artificial intelligence in the video creation process to select soundbites from the blog and then support these soundbites with stock images and stock video. The end result is an engaging video designed to tease out aspects of our blog in order to encourage people to read the full story. An example from a recent blog share can be seen below:
The best way to capitalize on video content is to integrate it with your other marketing efforts. When done strategically, videos can be used to help increase engagement with your blog posts. As a result, doing so will also improve how readers interact with your content.