Leveraging Video to Improve Your Company’s Branding
To SEO, branding is the new link-building. I know, it’s a bold statement: but think about it. Without branding, your interactive marketing efforts today would likely be far less effective. Without link building in the past, you could not say you were an SEO. Now, I’m not saying link-building is not important anymore (it definitely is), but I’m saying wondering, without branding efforts built into your strategy, are you really an SEO today? Post-Panda, there is a multiplicity of new content and other strategies that can help you regain rankings (if you lost them), maintain them, or climb them if you are just starting out. A balance of high-quality content, white hat, relevant link-building and branding will bring your website to the top; lacking any one of these elements will likely hinder your ability to significantly alter your site’s search engine ranking.
What Contributes To Successful Branding?
Social media, videos and any other content that reflects your business’s unique value proposition contribute to your branding. Videos specifically allow you to convey your business’s personality and value, and hopefully sense of humor. They also allow you to create interactive, commercial-like shorts about particularly interesting products that you offer, or about solutions you provide to complicated issues in your industry. Social media is important not only for furthering your interactive marketing efforts through language and continual activity, but also for sharing these videos with those close to your company. However, getting others to share this video is no easy task.
Why Going Viral is Not Necessarily the (Only) Key to Video Success
First – let me say, I love viral videos. I am definitely one to sit down at the computer and just watch the best ones for hours on end. Further, I’m not saying that viral videos don’t boost your branding and SEO efforts: though it obviously wouldn’t hurt to have a viral video out there, creating one isn’t necessarily the key to SEO success. While I do agree with Jordan Kasteler’s comment in his post for Search Engine Land entitled “21 Types of Social Content to Boost Your SEO,” that “As search engines pay more and more attention to social signals, going viral is rapidly becoming one of the best ways to build links, attract attention, and establish authority and legitimacy in your field,” for many, being successful in this type of widespread marketing endeavor is a pipedream.
Yes – a viral videos can bring in a stream of high-quality links and can definitely bring attention to your company – but let’s face it: it’s not always possible to get a viral video out there and trending if you are a small business operating in a somewhat obscure industry that only a relatively small, tight knit group understand (*cough* SEO *cough). Often, it is better to create videos for your target audience, one that you can share across social media platforms and get in front of those who truly want to hear about your industry and what you have to say about it. In an ideal world, we would all love for our content to go viral – as I think we can all agree with Kasteler’s assertion that “viral content is like the mass endorsement of the public; a giant thumbs-up formed from thousands of hands.”
Dave Kerpen of Likeable Media writes in his book, Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and other social networks), the following about YouTube videos:
“Are you a trusted advisor to your audience, creating valuable how-to-videos? Are you completely customer-focused, capturing video of users and allowing them to speak about your products or service? Whoever you are, consider taking the things your brand fans love most about you and bringing them to life on YouTube…Is it possible to create videos on YouTube that will go viral? Sure. But think of the last 10 viral videos you’ve seen on YouTube. Chances are few of them, if any, were created for a business…What makes content viral is that very thing that often can’t be produced: the spontaneity of human experience.”
So, what Mr. Kerpen and I are both suggesting is, that even though viral videos CAN help your branding efforts, and therefore your SEO efforts- the problem is creating them. Though Kasteler provides 21 ways to create valuable video content (only one of them is “The Viral Video”), the fact is that most of these ways, if not all, are manufactured. To me, manufactured is good, as long as the content within is valuable. The problem with manufactured video content is expecting such content to actually go viral, and to get thousands of views and shares. If you are able to do this (and some are, don’t get me wrong), then good for you. But if you are a small company simply looking to improve your branding and your SEO with the help of videos, creating narrowly tailored messages for your audience can provide a good deal of link juice as well as unparalleled marketing value. Though you may not get thousands of shares – the shares you do get will be incredibly valuable and helpful to your overall marketing efforts.
So, instead of spending hours creating “viral videos,” get in front of the camera and speak to your target audience. Comment on recent events within your industry, address questions you know your potential customers want asked, and most importantly – convey the culture of your company and the personality of your brand. If you can focus your videos on what your company specializes in and what your potential customers want to learn about or better understand with relation to your industry, you should be able to make a little 60 second video go a long way for your company.
Looking to learn more about videos and their connection with interactive marketing? Want to learn about video optimization? Keep coming back to our blog for regular updates and free tips when it comes to search engine optimization and online marketing. Have questions that are more specific to your particular company? Give us a call at 770-481-1766.