When you think of the term “con­tent mar­ket­ing,” what pops into your head? If you’re like most peo­ple, you like­ly think of blog posts. Maybe some ebooks or extend­ed guides. If you’re also like most peo­ple, you like­ly won’t think “video”– but you should.

While video has been used more for oth­er types of mar­ket­ing in the past, it has a sol­id place in con­tent mar­ket­ing. Videos are incred­i­ble medi­ums for sto­ry­telling and rela­tion­ship build­ing, after all, and though those fea­tures can enhance an ad, they also speak to the core pur­pose of con­tent mar­ket­ing. Copy is meant to sell; con­tent informs and build rela­tion­ships.

So what exact­ly is the role of video in con­tent mar­ket­ing? In this post, we’re going to dis­cuss why video is so vital to con­tent mar­ket­ing and how you can use it to improve the results you’re already get­ting in every way.

Why Video Should Be a Vital Part of Your Content Marketing

One thing I want to clear up real­ly quick­ly is the dif­fer­ence between copy and adver­tis­ing and con­tent mar­ket­ing.

Copy and adver­tis­ing focused on sell­ing some­thing imme­di­ate­ly. It’s meant to dri­ve imme­di­ate action. It’s brief and to the point.

Con­tent might still encour­age you to take cer­tain actions, but it’s more about sto­ry­telling, inform­ing, and estab­lish­ing rela­tion­ships. You’re pro­vid­ing val­ue and draw­ing cus­tomers in that way instead of going for the hard sales pitch.

A lot of busi­ness­es focus on video exclu­sive­ly in adver­tis­ing. They cre­ate hard-hit­ting explain­er videos meant to dri­ve sales instant­ly. This is obvi­ous­ly effec­tive, and we write about it a great deal on this blog. But it’s not the only way to use video.

Video is an out­stand­ing medi­um for con­tent mar­ket­ing, and I’ve argued in the past that video is so con­tent-ori­ent­ed that YouTube should be approached as a con­tent mar­ket­ing plat­form instead of a social media one. It can be used to pro­vide excep­tion­al val­ue in a quick, digestible way that audi­ences will be hap­py to engage with and share.

It helps that video is a com­pact form of con­tent. Instead of copy/pasting an entire blog post and its sup­port­ing images into a Face­book post (which no one would ever do), peo­ple can just share your video with a sim­ple click.

How to Improve Content Marketing with Video

Video has a lot of ben­e­fits and a lot of diverse use cas­es. Let’s take a look at the four biggest ways you should be using it to improve your con­tent mar­ket­ing cam­paigns across the board.

Create Standalone Video Content

We’re see­ing more and more long form con­tent being shared across mul­ti­ple plat­forms, to the point where we’ve even seen an emer­gence of plat­forms like IGTV.

Video con­tent that’s meant to engage with users, teach them, or offer val­ue to them in some oth­er way is a great way to enhance your con­tent mar­ket­ing. You’re adding a new medi­um of con­tent that’s engag­ing and easy for users to process quick­ly.

And some­times, video can cap­ture a sub­ject more effi­cient­ly than even the best-writ­ten blog post ever could. Instead of writ­ing a blog post about how to fix the engine of the car, for exam­ple, it would like­ly be a lot more effec­tive to watch a video going over the same thing. It’s eas­i­er for peo­ple to under­stand, and it can often get the point across much more quick­ly.

Some­times video tuto­ri­als are more ben­e­fi­cial than text-based how-tos. In this case, you’ll see videos appear­ing high in the SERPs.

Your stand­alone video con­tent can tru­ly stand­alone, exist­ing in sep­a­rate cam­paigns from your blog or lead mag­nets, but it can also work along­side it. Cov­er sim­i­lar top­ics, and then send users back and forth from your videos to your blog and vice ver­sa.

Embed Videos in Blog Posts

Once you’ve got that video con­tent up and run­ning, embed them in rel­e­vant blog posts. Are you talk­ing about over­all car main­te­nance? Insert that video show­ing how to change an engine in the appro­pri­ate sec­tion, embed­ding it into the post. This adds val­ue for your read­ers, it makes your con­tent more engag­ing, and it even gives you a new type of goal to track in Google Ana­lyt­ics; (you can actu­al­ly see how many users click to play your videos).

Videos appear­ing in blog posts do count as addi­tion­al media, and the more thor­ough­ly you’re able to cov­er a sin­gle sub­ject, the hap­pi­er your read­ers will be.

Use .SRT Files to Improve SEO

We already know that cap­tions are impor­tant to include on videos, espe­cial­ly with 85% of videos being played on Face­book with­out any sound. Includ­ing closed cap­tions to coun­ter­act this trend is impor­tant, but they have anoth­er great use, too.

When you use .SRT files to cre­ate closed cap­tions for your video, you’re also giv­ing your video con­tent a big SEO boost that will help you to attract rel­e­vant traf­fic. Google can’t crawl videos, but they can crawl .SRT files, which are essen­tial­ly text tran­scripts that you embed into the video.

This gives you an enor­mous SEO advan­tage, because you can hit a lot of key­words you weren’t even tar­get­ing direct­ly and show up in more rel­e­vant feeds.

If you’re not sure how to cre­ate an .SRT file, it’s eas­i­er than you think, espe­cial­ly if you use YouTube. You can see how here.

Create Videos to Promote Your Content

Even if you’re most com­fort­able stick­ing with blog posts as your pri­ma­ry form of con­tent, you can still use video to send more traf­fic your way.

As a part of Shakr’s con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, we cre­ate short announce­ment videos for our blog posts using our high-per­form­ing video tem­plates. We fea­ture the blog title in short, 5‑sec­ond-long videos that we share on social media. Since videos are often favored in feeds and imme­di­ate­ly suck you into watch­ing, it’s been an effec­tive strat­e­gy that we’re stick­ing to (at least for now!).

Conclusion

Blog posts are the sta­ple of most brands’ con­tent mar­ket­ing strate­gies, but that def­i­nite­ly doesn’t mean they should be the only part. Video can help your mar­ket­ing efforts by enhanc­ing the con­tent itself, pro­vid­ing new con­tent avail­able to you, help­ing you con­nect with your audi­ence, and mak­ing it eas­i­er to pro­mote the posts you already have. It’s a valu­able and flex­i­ble asset, and it should be treat­ed as such.

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