These days, more and more organizations are turning to video and other digital media to promote themselves. Why is this the case? Consumer preferences are increasingly shifting away from long-form print and instead towards a wide range of dynamic digital media, such as video and audio. Digital media can convey a business’s story in ways that print fails to do so: for online visitors, it can bring a business to life, highlight existing products and services and tell the stories of the real people behind the business.
It’s especially important for business owners to consider including digital media as a part of their online marketing strategies. When developing content for your website, stop and think about what stories are better told in print, and which ones are better told using a more dynamic medium. You have several to choose from:
Web videos can take a wide variety of forms, from content matter to production value. For example, a web video can consist of a formal commercial, an informal interview with a business owner, interview with a selection of the business’s customers or a highlights reel of the business’s products or services. Videos can be used to give online visitors a virtual experience of visiting your business. Web videos provide an added benefit in that they help boost your business’s SEO ranking and help new customers discover your business. Although anyone with an Internet connection and a camera with video recording capabilities can create a web video, business owners should consider hiring a professional videographer with high-quality equipment.
Have interesting content to provide to your customers? Consider developing an audio podcast series. The subject matter is entirely up to you: for example, if you’re a garden supply store, you may choose to talk about weekly gardening tips. Podcasts need not be extensive; often enough, a simple five-minute podcast provides customers with a digestible clip that they can listen to in their cars or at home. Audio podcasts can be promoted online and listed in the iTunes Podcast directory, attracting new listeners and therefore serving as a powerful marketing tool in itself. For a really comprehensive list of audio podcasts, checkout Chris Christensen’s list of the 71 best podcasts.
Although web videos can turn any story into a compelling one, business owners wanting to shy away from the camera or requiring more privacy may choose to develop animated videos. Animated videos have an added bonus in that they can communicate concepts and information clearly and concisely. Although the prospect of animated videos may sound intimidating, they need not be. Animated videos can be as simple as moving text and basic animations, and as complex as 3D, computer-generated graphics, depending on a business owner’s budget and interests. If you’re looking more for simple animation, you can checkout Animoto. On the other hand, using a post-production company in your area is advisable for more complex projects.
Using Digital Media
We already know that digital media can serve as a more powerful storytelling platform than print. As an added bonus, digital media is infinitely more shareable, which helps strengthen relationships with customers and increases a business’s visibility. As a business owner, you have the option to disseminate your web videos, podcasts and animated videos on your various social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest. Users can discover these videos or podcasts on their own through Google search, YouTube, Vimeo or iTunes, and then have the option to share this media with their friends and family. The sharing potential of digital media—and the accompanying potential of building lasting relationships with customers as well as acquiring new ones—is huge.
Tristan Pelligrino is one of the founders of 522 Productions (web video production) and specializes in developing dynamic content for the web. Tristan also co-owns 522 Digital, a digital media company located in Alexandria, VA.