Everyone should be adding a summary video to their written thought leadership content. Read why and our 5 tips for starting today, or watch the video below (2m45s).
I have to admit, the first thing I thought when I sat down to write this article was “Is anybody even going to read it?” It feels almost ironic, right? I mean, it’s a written post about creating a summary video for your content. And there is a summary video sitting 100 pixels above all this written content. And statistically speaking, roughly 72% of you will just watch the video instead of reading the text and move along to something else. So if I were to get 100 people to this page, only around 28 of you would skip the video and choose to read this. 72 of you will have never even seen this very sentence. That’s astounding. So what’s the point to all these words strung together in the first place? Well, the short answer is we need the word count for Google search and I guess I can’t leave 28% of you behind. Right? So if you have yet to board the video content train, what are you waiting for? We’re just starting out ourselves and so should you. All aboard!
I’m not sure if you’ve caught on yet, but video is a chugging locomotive with a full head of steam around these parts. As well it should be. 87% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool and 91% of video marketers consider video an important part of their marketing strategy. I mean, people spend 2.6x as much time on pages with video as they do on pages without. At first we didn’t believe it, but then we started doing it ourselves and we’ve seen jumps in time spent on pages go from 2 minutes or less to almost 5 minutes or more. That’s crazy. But it’s a testament to the compelling power of video. When it comes to consuming content, more people are watching than reading. And some of those people are reading what they’re watching, but more on that in a moment.
That’s the Ticket
Now my colleagues and I have talked about all kinds of videos: brand videos, promo videos, explainer videos, testimonial videos, instream/outstream video advertising, marketing videos and the list goes on. Well, I’m here to add one more to the stack: Summary Videos. Categorically I guess these can sometimes fall into the “explainer” video realm, but explainer videos are more commonly associated with products and services, not necessarily thought leadership. So if you want to call these explainer videos, go ahead, but I prefer to branch them into a sub-category and call them summary videos. It’s more descriptive of what they actually are, which is a summary of written content in video form. Like the one above that 28% decided to skip to read these words. It’s basically the video form of everything I’m typing now. It’s a quick video that breaks the article down to its key points and delivers it in an easily digestible way. Just pull out the “meat” of your written content—the parts you think are the most important—and use those as your talking points. If there were 1 or 2 key aspects of your written content that you would like your audience to walk away with, then those should be the subject of your video summary.
In this day and age, if a topic is worth writing 1,000 words about, it is probably worth taking the time to create a video about as well. We’ve already seen that’s what consumers of content want. More of you will watch a summary video if it’s available than read the text below it. That’s important. For any other reason, that should be the main impetus for why you should start creating and adding summary videos to your posts today. Never mind the fact that Cisco projects that global traffic from videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021 and 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands. Yes, I know. More facts and figures about video just like our other posts, but sometimes you just need to be repetitive to drive a point home. In other words, you need to start doing this yesterday.
On the Right Track
Okay, I’ve convinced you to create summary videos as a companion to your written content. Now, what are some things you should keep in mind as you start producing videos? Besides the courage it sit in front of a camera, warts and all, and look like you are completely comfortable. Not awkward and nervous like it will probably feel. Here are a few tips.
- First and foremost, start with a script. It’s really easy to ramble on and on and not make any progress. So jot down a few points you want to make or write out every word you plan on saying. I know you think you’re a pro, but having some semblance of a script helps you get to point number 2.
- Keep it at two minutes. I know we’ve talked about this in the past, but people just don’t have the attention span or the time to listen to you for 5-10 minuets. In fact, the most successful videos on YouTube are under 2 minutes. So keep it short.
- The overall quality of your video matters. You don’t need the best equipment by any stretch of the imagination, but camera, resolution, sound, lighting, etc. all play into the professionalism of your video content. Bad audio, poor lighting or low resolution all have a detrimental effect on trust of the company/knowledge about the subject. It’s a visual/mental roadblock for some. So make sure you look and sound your best. You don’t want to tune people out just because your audio is garbled or you’re sitting in a dark room. As vain as it sounds, you have to look and sound your best to be taken seriously.
- If possible, caption your video. On Facebook, 85% of people watch videos without sound. Not to mention the 28 million people in the U.S. who are deaf. It’s just smart to make sure your entire broad audience can be reached. YouTube does have an auto caption feature that allows you to edit/change the text pretty easily.
- Use YouTube to host all your video. It’s simply the largest and most agile video player, so don’t fight it. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. That’s right, I said BILLION. YouTube gets over 30 million visitors per day. That is insane. It’s free and allows easy embedding for your content needs. What’s not to like?
The end of the line
So that’s it. Go make a video and put it above all your written content. Then barely anyone (28%!) will read what you spent such a long time researching and writing. But on the plus side, that also means less people will point out all your grammar and spelling errors. No with video they’ll just make comments about your clothes and complexion instead. I kid, I kid.