An increasing number of companies are publishing videos onto their websites as they strive to give demanding consumers the content they want.
In fact, a number of studies have shown that more and more top retailers are using online video to engage with their visitors, and drive up repeat visits and sales.
So how can you make use of video?
How Could Your Company Use Video Content?
It's all very well deciding your business should leap onto the video content bandwagon, but what do you actually intend to use it for and what kind of content best suits that?
There are many options. You could publish video news, industry guides, interviews, or simply funny, industry-relevant content.
Some of these are easier to do than others -- it's comparatively simple to create a straightforward interview with your CEO or a product development manager.
However, it takes real skill to create something funny that people will want to share and stands a chance of going viral.
There's nothing worse than seeing a failed attempt at humor on a corporate website, particularly if it's badly shot and edited. It's like watching your Dad dance the Macarena.
Outsource if You Need to
Let's be frank, videos filmed on your mobile phone and edited using some basic home editing package are not going to look professional.
Publishing shoddy content onto your site devalues your brand and undermines your online marketing campaign.
If you have the budget, bring some creatives into the company and let them run with their ideas. As the money flows out of traditional media roles like newspapers and TV, more creative graduates are leaving university and looking for marketing roles.
You can easily find talented staff capable of filming, starring in and editing your content for not much more than you'd pay a junior copywriter.
However, if you aren't willing to hire a qualified team then outsource your video needs to one of the many new agencies that have sprung up to provide tailored content to large companies.
It will cost money, but it's worth it for the professional feel a well scripted, filmed, and edited video provides.
Use Video Content to Impact Universal Search & SEO
Although the search engines are getting better at reading video content, your videos can still work hard for your organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
This can be because people are linking to the videos, or because they're embedding them on their own sites and linking to yours. You can also add transcript and keyword-rich descriptions to reinforce the relevancy of the page.
All of this will clearly help to boost the relevancy of these videos in the search engines and their listings in universal search results.
Keep it Short to Keep Them Sweet
Don't expect viewers to sit through four or five minutes of video content, because in general they won't. The vast majority will click away and you'll lose the sale you were trying to drive them towards.
Ideally, your videos should be under a minute long, two minutes at the most. Video is easy to digest and that's why it's popular, so there's no point trying to cram mountains of content in.
Bigger definitely isn't better.
Want a Viral Video? Dig Deep Into Your Budget
Achieving viral success is part luck, part big budget. You need to invest in promoting your video content almost as much as you invest in creating it.
Advertise and promote your content. Encourage sharing on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social platform that your typical customers use and spend money getting it seen.
If the content is good, then this will ignite online interest and your video will soon be seen across the world.
One good example I recently saw on Twitter was simply called Kitten wearing a tiny hat eats a tiny ice-cream cone. It's advertising some U.S. ice cream company, but you don't even see the logo until the end.
However, because of the "awww" factor and some decent investment, it's now being tweeted to SEO techies in Oxfordshire! That's some brand reach and is worth the initial investment.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!