Content Rules, an extremely useful book by Ann Handley (chief content officer for MarketingProfs) and C.C. Chapman (founder of DigitalDads.com) on creating all kinds of online content, has just been released in paperback. We’re thrilled to present this excerpt.
Search engines such as Google and Bing have adopted an approach called blended search, which means that in their search results they display not only standard web pages but also videos, images, news stories, maps, and tweets from Twitter. Your video content, in particular, is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results than your standard text-based content, according to a Forrester Research report. Can you see why it’s important to include video as part of your content mix?
Of course, an enormous amount of video is uploaded to YouTube and the like regularly — every minute, 72 hours’ worth of video is uploaded to YouTube alone. So how in the world are you going to stand out from the crowd? Clearly, your intent isn’t to reach as many people as possible; rather, it’s to reach people you want as customers and advocates.
So stop thinking that you need to make a viral video to be successful. Videos that go viral are great for generating buzz and getting people to watch and share them, but they don’t necessarily do a lot for getting people to visit your website or purchase your product. Plus, as we said earlier, you can’t guarantee that a video will go viral; instead, focus on the story you are going to tell.
As with any of your content, when creating videos ask yourself, “Why would the people I want to reach want to watch this?” Most of the time, the answer is that they want to be either entertained or educated (about your industry, their area of interest or need, a specific business topic, and so on). The videos you create will, ideally, fall into one of those two categories. If you can make a video that combines the two, better still!
Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. from Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business, Revised and Updated Edition by Ann Handley and C. C. Chapman. Copyright (c) 2012 by Ann Handley and C. C. Chapman. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.
Thermometer image via Shutterstock.