5 Reasons Video Gives Authors a Competitive Edge

When Google bought YouTube in 2006, the platform skyrocketed to prominence. The subsequent proliferation of video into a daily information-sharing tool is evidenced in today’s ease of capturing, viewing, and sharing videos in the social media sphere. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat all offer the ability to stream live video to your followers. The serious investment made in video by these social sharing giants has cemented the importance of the medium to building brand awareness.

Here are five reasons why video should be given a serious look:

1. Humanize your brand

Video allows your followers to “meet” you and experience you, as a person representing your brand. Pro tip: Don’t hold back. When recording a video, double your energy and be very engaged. If you think you’re being over the top, that means you’ve probably gotten it just right to help your viewers get excited about the passion you’re infusing into your message.

2. Interaction

Research has shown that online users spend an average of 2.6 times as long on webpages with video. This is because video allows your followers to interact with content in a hands-on way and provides a different kind of stimulation from images and text. The passivity of watching video also means it’s an easy vehicle through which consumers can gain details about a product or service. That being said, be careful not to go overboard on length, as almost two-thirds of consumers reportedly prefer videos under 60 seconds.

3. Discoverability

Did you know that YouTube is the number-two search engine, behind Google, and the biggest video platform? A YouTube presence makes your content more discoverable—period. When recording your video, mention important keywords during the first 15 seconds to get the message across early and drive SEO. Be sure to end each video with a clear call to action, such as inviting people to visit your website or subscribe to your YouTube channel. A good headline for your video that is both descriptive of the content and cognizant of important keywords can also go a long way toward maximizing your discoverability.

4. Social sharing

Much like any article, blog post, or podcast you’ve published, share your videos with your networks, on your website, and across your social media channels, as much as possible. This will further bolster your online reach and presence.

5. Professional vs. amateur

Whether you go the route of short-form videos via a studio production or prefer to stream your videos live via Facebook—or you opt for a combination of the two—these methods both serve to build out your digital presence.

  • Professionally produced, short-form videos (stressing short) work as informational features on your website’s homepage, as well as various other pages, such as your “About,” “Speaking,” and “Work with Me” pages. They should aim to draw people in within the first few seconds; an intriguing or unusual but concise statement or question usually works well here.
  • A live stream from your smartphone will come across as more off-the-cuff and should focus on something happening in the moment. Perhaps you are attending a conference or event, or maybe you just experienced something transformative and wanted to document that moment.

The bottom line is that video as a communication medium is on a continued upward trajectory. Some recent statistics revealed that about 50% of Internet users watch online videos daily; they also search for videos about a brand ahead of visiting the brick-and-mortar store. It’s therefore worth considering video as a tool in your marketing and branding campaigns as you launch a new book and grow your brand presence in the marketplace.

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