Lights, Camera, Action!: The Value of Video Content Jennifer Taylor November 3rd, 2015 Today you no longer need a set, camera crew, and cast to produce viral-worthy video content. In the digital age where Smartphones are the norm and apps like Vine, Periscope and Meerkat make producing video content a breeze, we are always ready to film anything and everything from our pets being adorable to our city streets in the midst of a protest.Businesses and brands are quickly learning the benefits of harnessing the power of video content. According to B2C video content generates 3 times as many monthly visitors to a website as other content. These visitors spend up to 88% more time on a website that includes video content and are 85% more likely to buy a product after watching product videos. YouTube alone has over a billion users (that’s almost one third of all people on the Internet) and YouTube mobile now reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.According to Marion Marvil of Natcom “for both B2B and B2C initiatives, the use of video is one of the most effective marketing tactics available within a marketer’s arsenal across multiple platforms. Whether it is used to sell, inform, entertain, evoke an emotion, or share beliefs, video captures viewers and makes lasting impressions by appealing with both sight and sound.”Visuals are one of the most effective way to engage audiences and video content is quickly becoming a key pillar in any successful content marketing plan. Below we’ve compiled three ways video content can help you fill your upper funnel and build an audience. We’ve also hand-picked some examples of brands that are engaging audiences with killer video content to help you get started on brainstorming your next video campaign.1. Offer A Glimpse Behind the CurtainVideo content gives brands an opportunity to get creative, show a little personality, and tell their brand story. Giving audiences a look at what’s going on behind the scenes and showcasing the some of the real faces behind the brand will humanize your brand and build trust with the audience. Establishing trust is a key component in building relationships with Millennials, a demographic that is inherently suspicious of brands that appear contrived or profit-driven.Showcasing some personality and injecting your video content with a little humour will also create a “unique transparency” that viewers will naturally gravitate towards. Video content that is honest and pokes fun at itself while communicating your company’s core message is more likely to be shared across social and will make your brand more relatable.The Dollar Shave Club raised brand awareness in 2012 with a video that featured founder Mike Dubin giving viewers a peek into the Dollar Shave warehouse. Mike used the video to laugh at himself, making him more relatable, humanizing the brand, and building trust with the audience. It also told the story of the brand in a funny and compelling way, helping to win over audiences and make his brand stand out from the competitors.The video’s length and use of humour also make is share-worthy, and the video has been viewed over 21 million times online.by Gary Parkinson via YouTubeBanana Republic leveraged Instagram’s video feature by giving viewers a glimpse of the design process behind their Holiday 2014 collection. The 15 second videos were easily digestible and took the audience behind-the-scenes, showcasing the brand’s creativity and building momentum for their new look and hashtag #thenewBR. The hyperlapse videos “were created to give the Instagram community a look inside our walls and a glimpse at the design process, and show them our latest collection in a way that was inspiring, artful, and real."by Jen Taylor A1 Steak Sauce also used video content to drive awareness about product changes while simultaneously injecting the brand with a little personality and humour. The declining popularity of red meat led A1 Steak Sauce to remove “Steak” from their product name. To inform audiences about changes to the brand and new ways to use the product, A1 produced the short video, “New Friend Request.” The video follows the relationship between A1 Sauce and Steak on Facebook from “an exclusive love affair to a platonic friendship.” By poking fun at themselves and, social media more generally, A1 managed to make their sauce relatable and hilarious. The video struck an emotional cord and went viral, receiving over 3.1 million views and 2.1 million impressions.by Jen Taylor via YouTube2. Showcase New TalentVideo content can also be an excellent way to turn the tables and make your audience the stars. Leveraging user-generated video content not only allows you to help your audience participate in the brand, but also gives marketers a break from producing original content in this fast-paced digital environment.The best way to reach Millennials and Generation Z is to create a conversation and ask for their participation. Millennials want to “co-create products” and are more likely to trust brands that ask for their input. Calling for user-generated video content is a great way to build relationships with this demographic and encourage your audience to get creative.GoPro has been leading the pack when it comes to leveraging user-generated content on its social channels. The camera’s YouTube channel and Instagram is full of video content from users who have taken the GoPro to new heights (both literally and figuratively). Their audience contributions include many extreme athletes, helping the brand to create entertaining content while also making their audience the stars of the show.by Jen Taylor via YouTubeAustralia Tourism also leveraged user-generated content to raise awareness about Queensland Islands. The “Best Job in the World” promotion asked those interested in winning a six month job at “one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world” to send in a video entry. In addition to filling the jobs, the campaign produced valuable user-generated content and raised awareness about the Queensland islands. The campaign also earned Tourism Australia over 4,000,000 fans and the site quickly became the most liked web page in Australia and the most popular destination page in the world. According to the website “more than 330,000 people from 196 countries around the world expressed interest in the six dream jobs with more than 40,000 video entries being uploaded.”The Best Jobs in The World Australia 2013 - Elisa - Park Rangerby Jen Taylor via YouTube3. Improve Your (SEO) RatingsFinally, video content is a great (and often underutilized) way to improve your site’s search rankings. As Digital Marketing Magazine points out, “we all know Google likes video - it owns YouTube - and having relevant, keyword optimized video content on your site can help increase its performance in terms of SEO.”Video content is easily shareable, especially on social media, and provides a great opportunity to generate more links to your website (especially if the links are generated from reputable domains). Kissmetrics recommends including social share buttons on video embeds so that video content can easily be shared across multiple social channels with the click of a button. This strategy will also share the original video URL and increase social shares which will indirectly impact your SEO.Century 21 made waves on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with their “Thanksblasting” video series. The real estate company used social media channels to ask people to vote for their favourite Thanksgiving dishes. Once the votes were tallied they blew up the losing dishes in a series of web videos. Their videos earned over 100,000 views and were featured on reputable websites including Fast Company’s Co.Create and AdAge’s Creativity site. Getting linked on websites that already rank well on Google is great for SEO.by Jen Taylor via YouTubeLights, Camera, Action!Now that you’ve learned why video content is important and how it can improve your content marketing strategy it’s time to get creative. Whether you’re producing your own content or tapping into your audience’s creativity, video content is a great way to connect with your target audience while improving SEO.