Public relations. Most people equate the field with press releases, talking points, fact sheets or possibly bylined feature articles. Words, words and more words. But increasingly, PR efforts are focused as much on visual elements as on words. Effective PowerPoints have more pictures than bulleted lists, fact sheets and one-pagers now give way to infographics, and the storytelling once confined to the pages of press releases and bylined articles appears onscreen, in the form of web-based video.
If you’ve yet to leverage the power of YouTube and web-based video as part of your marketing mix, consider these fun facts:
- As of February 2011, YouTube has 490 million unique users worldwide per month. Those users rack up an estimated 92 billion page views each month.
- We spend around 2.9 billion hours on YouTube in a month — over 325,000 years. And those stats are just for the main YouTube website — they don’t incorporate embedded videos or video watched on mobile devices.
- YouTube users are pretty evenly split between men and women, with the average user watching 15-25 minutes of video each day.
- On average, there are more than 400 tweets per minute containing a YouTube link. On Facebook over 150 years worth of YouTube videos are watched every single day. (source: Mashable)
That’s a lot of video consumption, and it only continues to grow as video viewing takes over time spent on smartphones and tablet computers. If you haven’t yet made the leap to creating content with sight, sound and motion, now is the time.
4 Considerations for Video Marketing
- To get views, you have to get found
Seems obvious, right? But far too many companies and organizations make the mistake of thinking, “if I build it, they will come.” Instead, make sure that your video is actually optimized so it can be found. If you’re going to make videos, they need to be searchable. On YouTube, your blog, social bookmarking sites and more, make sure you are tagging and categorizing correctly at every opportunity. Include your top keywords and phrases that will drive related traffic and click-thrus.
- Look for like minds
On YouTube, there are an endless supply of Channels and users across a multitude of industries and interests. Find the ones who might be interested in your content and subscribe to them, comment on their content and invite them to watch yours. By aligning yourself with video content creators in your niche and position, you can drive referral traffic to your content.
- Get embedded
Go beyond YouTube. Use the embed code in the details of your YouTube video to extend your reach. Consider including the video in a social media release; embed the video on your own website and blog, provide the link and embed code on your social channels and email marketing. Bloggers and e-media outlets in particular are significant users of video content and can help expand the reach of your videos (if done well).
- Don’t limit yourself
Successful content doesn’t have to be limited to a single format or a specific length. From a short “man on the street” to a longer, issue-oriented position to a more humorous –or musical – approach, the key is to get the content right, provide value to your audience, and create something that gets and keeps their attention. The more open you are to different types of content, the more successful your channel may be.
Words matter, and as a passionate PR practitioner, I don’t see myself abandoning them anytime soon. But adding video to the marketing mix is essential. Oh, and don’t forget to format it for mobile –my video viewing time is mostly logged on my phone. And I have a feeling I’m not alone.