If one of your business goals for 2017 is to make more video, then you're not alone! We've covered a number of ways that you can use video across your business right here on the blog, from adding a video to your email signature, to creating content teasers for social media. But what we haven't covered yet, is how and when it can be beneficial to add video to your business' blog.
It's really tempting to repurpose any old blog post and turn it into a video (e.g. vlogging with careless abandon), but you'll get more bang for your buck if you're strategic about your approach. A video is not an island. Don't fall into the trap of thinking your end goal is to turn written content into video content just for the sake of it. Instead, your end goal should be to create a valuable and memorable experience for your audience.
If you're wondering whether it makes sense to add video to your post, ask yourself the following 3 questions:
1. Is your audience searching for it?
One way that you can quickly determine whether your post could benefit from a video is to assess the demand for your topic on YouTube. Search for your post's topic on YouTube and take a look at the results. If the videos have low view counts, that suggests that there is not a high demand for that topic (in the form of video). That's not to say your post will flop—it just means that a video asset is likely not necessary.
On the flip side, if you're seeing tons of views on videos that are poorly executed or not that helpful, that suggests there is an opportunity to outshine your competition. Adding a video to your post in this instance could help you capitalize on some of that demand.
This year, we wrote a blog post about Canon's new 50mm STM lens. A quick YouTube search proves the demand for this type of video—the top results yielded over 100,000 views each. Pretty impressive! Since we were showcasing the new features of this lens in comparison to its predecessors, we thought it would be helpful to utilize video to really underscore these differences.
2. Is your topic highly visual?
Think of the last time you tried to explain a complicated concept to someone. Did you end up drawing a visual aid? How did that sketch come out? The truth is, sometimes words alone are not enough.
Imagine Googling how to change a flat tire. Unless you know a lot about cars, a "lug wrench" probably means nothing to you. That's where videos become super helpful—show me how to change the tire, don't tell me how to do it.
After consuming the video, a reader might still benefit from written content. With a step-by-step list, they could go at their own pace and reference specific details that need more attention.
Video and text are not mutually exclusive. You should always consider the greater context and be cognizant of how video and text can help one another best convey a message.
When we set out to explain how to shoot an overhead video, we knew that text or video alone would not do this tricky concept justice. Since setting up an overhead shot involves some rather sneaky production techniques, we thought using video would be our best bet. At the same time, we wanted to list out the equipment we used to get the job done, while linking out to other resources, and that's where text came into play.
3. Is there a human at the heart of your post?
Video gives you the ability to express the full range of human emotions and connect with your readers on a more personal level. It's also one of the best ways to communicate tone—facial expressions and nonverbal cues can speak volumes.
When we interview people on our blog, for example, we usually ask if they're willing to come to the office for a quick shoot. Seeing the person's face and hearing their voice gives the reader a more memorable connection to the interviewee. The video fills in a larger picture of the person and makes the content more dynamic.
Lately we've also been experimenting with using video along with text in our product update blog posts. Adding a dash of personality enhances what would otherwise be a fairly dry piece of content. The videos in these posts also introduce our audience to the people behind our product. So instead of just writing about a new feature or integration, we introduce our audience to Emily or Jeff—the folks who actually worked behind the scenes to make an improvement happen.
At Wistia, we publish product update blog posts to let people in our community know what's happening with our platform on a regular basis. Instead of using, let's face it, boring product shots, we sprinkle in some of the friendly faces who work at Wistia to explain the changes and updates. In this specific example, we talk about moving the autoplay button to a different location. By giving Jeff the space to explain why we moved the feature, we're able to communicate with our audience in a more authentic and transparent way. Take a look for yourself!
In addition to creating an exceptional experience for your reader, adding video to your blog content has SEO benefits too! Businesses often use blogs to help drive organic traffic to their sites, and video can help accomplish that goal.
Search engines tend to rank posts with video embedded on them higher than those without, as video is an indicator of a rich piece of content. So when video adds value and makes sense for your concept, get shooting! If you're interested in learning more about how to go above and beyond when it comes to optimizing your Wistia-hosted videos for SEO, check out this post.
Have you found creative ways to use video on your blog? Share with us in the comments!