Are you familiar with the acronym TLDR? It stands for ‘too long, didn’t read’ and began as internet slang to say ‘you have written too much.’ It has evolved over time, however, and has taken on a different meaning: People everywhere now add it as a disclaimer on the headers of long emails and articles to say, “I have written too much.” The irony is, of course, thicker than molasses.
Why are we writing things to each other that we know we won’t read? Because we have a lot to say and no good way to communicate it. The world isn’t just complicated anymore, it’s complex, and we’re limited by the information throughput of text, a centuries-old technology. But there’s a simple answer: video.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth 1.8 million. No really, that’s what Forrester concluded. Video is ideal for breaking down complex topics because it has far higher information throughput—it includes simultaneous visuals, audio, and text, but it also offers so much more. Video connects with people on an emotional level. If text is a straw, video is a firehose, and there is a plethora of good uses for it.
Here are 4 types of messages you must replace with video:
Any email longer than 300 words
The average American spends 13 hours each week on email according to Fast Company. That’s a tremulous amount of time and much of it is spent editing, correcting, and re-formatting—bolding headers, adding bullets, and highlighting. Yet all of this can be done better on video.
With a quick-capture video tool, you can use your webcam to simply talk things through. All the incorrect grammar and colloquial language that you’re afraid to put into print do just fine when spoken and you can ramble on tangents and still get your point across. Audiences will comprehend more just from your body language. We’ve experimented with this extensively and an email that normally might take 45 minutes to write and edit can be explained in a 3-minute video. It’s faster for both the viewer and the recorder, so everyone wins. Any time you find yourself writing an email that drags on, close it, and tell it to your computer camera instead.
Walk-throughs, setups, and onboarding
Raise your hand if somewhere in your company employee portal there are novel-length PDFs full of screenshots and text on how to get set up in a new system. (Now put your hand down, people are probably looking.) These screenshot walk-throughs are the epitome of inefficiency because they still leave big gaps. Anyone who has used them has wondered how figure A led to figure B and why they’re not seeing figure C. It’s like trying to interpret the movie Casablanca from just a handful of stills.
Use videos for your walkthroughs. There’s a reason that ‘how to’ is still the top growing category of video on YouTube: watching is easier. With tools like ViewedIt, you can capture both your screen and your webcam and you can talk new users through logging into new systems, filling out expense reports, and properly closing sales deals.
Secure partner communications
Perhaps the best way on Earth to spread information is to tell someone that it’s secret. We’ve all known this since grade-school. So how can we expect our partners and affiliates not to spread product, pricing, and upcoming feature releases if we share them by emails that are just begging to be forwarded? We can’t, and that’s why there’s secure video.
With a securely hosted video platform, you can control the flow of information. You get to both harness the explanatory power of video and you get to lock it down so that only certain parties can access it. Whenever you’re communicating sensitive information to partners, help them do the right thing: make it a secure video.
Anything that could be improved with a human touch
We envision a world where nearly all human resources communications come via video. It’s only fitting, as email drains the ‘human’ away and often leaves us with long, dry, difficult-to-follow resources: for example, first-day welcome emails, explanations of benefits, how to set up a 401k, and a list of IT contact information. What might all this clutter look like if we applied video?
Everything would become more personal. Imagine having quick, custom, ‘Welcome to the company!’ videos from executives and human resources folk and pre-recorded videos to explain benefits and paperwork in a simple way. Or what about a video from the IT department saying hello, explaining how things work, and how best to reach them? Or a quick video tour of the grounds or facilities to show you the office gym, bike park, and good spots for lunch? You’d create a personal touch in a way that supplements human interaction and makes them feel more at home.
If you apply video to your communications, you don’t just become more efficient: you make everyone more efficient. You can stop writing your novel-grade emails and people can stop finding them TLDR!
Teaming up with the team at Convince & Convert, Vidyard’s VP of Marketing Tyler Lessard hosts the Content Pros Podcast. For this week’s episode, Tyler shared his own knowledge with Uberflip’s Randy Frisch about video marketing, and how a new focus on video is changing the face of modern marketing. Check out the full podcast:
Here’s a few of our favourite moments:
How often video production being done in-house these days versus externally?
It’s definitely a growing trend that we’re seeing. It’s not just because I’m biased with respect to my role in the industry but it genuinely is happening. I test these ideas with friends and peers in the market as well as with our customers. We’re absolutely seeing more and more content production and particularly video production coming in-house and organizations. It’s been exciting to see a lot more people with journalism backgrounds coming in-house into content marketing roles, seeing writers and folks from a traditional writing background coming in to do these things. But, yeah, we are seeing it follow suit with video now.
There is a recognition that having the ability to create and publish video content no different from how you create and publish a blog post is becoming important for businesses and will be critical over the next few years. What’s been happening alongside that and the reason that we’re seeing it be successful is that, well, A, there’s this younger generation of folks who’ve grown up on this. They’re creating videos and publishing them on YouTube. They’re sharing videos everyday on Snapchat and other channels. And, they recognize that not every video has to be a big Hollywood production. It’s just as good to say, “Hey. We’ve got a great idea here. Let’s get somebody on camera in front of a whiteboard talking about this as a way to explore or peel back a how-to topic.” Or, “Let’s do a quick motion graphic video.”
The team here I’ve got, I mentioned we have three folks, and what they can do in a matter of a couple of days still blows my mind, and it’s really incredible to see. I think the accessibility of video is now there and the people who can really churn amazing content out quickly are out there. And, the cost for this is not merely what it was and also, of course, production equipment and those things have all come down. It’s definitely happening and more and more companies we’re working with are bringing in-house production talent to the table, and it’s helping them go from delivering one or two videos a month to one or two videos a week. And, it really is changing the perspective.
Where should your videos live? On your website? YouTube?
Tyler: Yeah. I think a lot of the debate really just stems from where we’ve come from. The traditional approach for businesses was if you’re creating a video asset to just stand alone as a promotional piece or to be a part of some other campaign or program, the default was we’ll upload it to YouTube as a place to host that video because it’s free and it’s easy. We would then potentially also link to that video using an <span class="glossaryLink cmtt_Video Promotion" data-cmtooltip="
“>embed code on our website, or landing page, or the different place that that video would be embedded.
The video would live in both places. It would be on your YouTube channel, but it would also be on your website. But, the version embedded on your website is basically just that YouTube version streaming over. In a lot of cases, that’s a good start to what you’re doing and obviously it’s nice that it’s free and very simple to manage as an organization. But, one of the challenges now we’re facing is as video is becoming a more integrated part of these different programs that we’re doing, it’s not a one-off kind of brand thing. It’s now we’re doing customer stories on video. We’re doing product demos and explainers. It’s just becoming another piece of our content toolkit for the programs we’re running. Using YouTube as a way to host the videos that are going to play back on your own landing pages and your own websites comes with a number of challenges.
Simple things like, well, at the end of the video is YouTube going to recommend one of your competitors’ videos? You lack that brand control over what that playback experience looks like. But, you’re also missing a lot of the potential capabilities of what you get with video. For example, can you understand when somebody is watching that video just like you might track if they interact with or download a PDF from your website? If they come to watch that customer story video, do you know who watched it and how long they engaged? YouTube is not going to give you that. You’re just going to know there’s another tick on the view counter.
There’s a number of things that as we evolve as content marketers we’re being thoughtful about as video becomes a more integrated part of what we do. And so, that’s where new more premium video platforms are coming into play that align with how traditional B2B marketers really work. And so, it’s the notion of being able to host and distribute those videos in a way on your website that you can brand the experience, that you could create interactive content that would ask them questions or have calls to action to do something next but also in a way that enables you to track and know who’s actually watching what content and using that data back as part of your organization.
That’s what we’re starting to see as a trend. I’d say YouTube is still very important as a distribution channel so we encourage everybody to still post their videos to YouTube because people may find you there. But, when you’re posting those videos on your own sites and your own campaigns, that’s where using a video platform makes a lot more sense because of the incremental value you can get.
Get The Full Story
If you want to hear the full podcast, we’ve posted it above, and you can read a full transcript of this talk on Convince & Convert, where it was originally posted!
The post Content Pros: How Cheaper Video is Improving Content Quality with Tyler Lessard appeared first on Vidyard.