If you’re a content marketer, then you’ve heard what I’m about to say probably a million times the last few years: Video is the future of content marketing.
This sounds like an overstatement, but in a lot of important ways it’s true. Just think about the way you consume content and you’ll start to understand why. If you’re like most people, a lot of the content you consume each day comes from a social media channel like Facebook. Though Facebook started out in 2007 with simple text posts, what do you see in your newsfeed when you log in today?
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Video. We as consumers have gotten so good at consuming video that we can usually tell if we want to watch a whole video after just watching the first three seconds of it. Three! If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.
When we log onto Facebook, we see product demos, recipe walk-throughs, funny clips, music videos. We see podcasts and Facebook Live. We see text-over-photos as sort of pseudo-videos. It’s just what people like to watch, and what they like to share.
And it’s easy to understand why. It’s just so much easier to communicate something by video than it is by text. Consuming video is effortless: Just sit back, watch, and listen. Though text is great for communicating ideas, video allows you to merge your words with visuals that just resonate with the viewer in a way that text doesn’t, which makes video a great way of communicating complex ideas.
That being said, the importance of text for your SEO and content marketing efforts can’t be overstated. Text isn’t going anywhere: It’s still the primary way that search engines like Google interpret the information on your website. Unless Google cracks the code and is able to interpret video (which, honestly, one day it will probably be able to do) then text will always play a key role in getting your content found by people using search engines. But you can’t just sit by and hope that your words are enough: You need to embrace video as well. How?
Honestly, it’s as simple as supplementing your existing blog posts with videos. This will make the content more valuable to your audience, increasing the likelihood that you’ll rank high in search results, and it’ll also offer you content that is specifically suited to social media sharing. It’s a win-win!
If you’re wondering how you should prioritize which content of yours should be supplemented with video first, we’ve pulled together this quick guide. Target the kinds of blog posts listed out below, and once you’ve covered them move on until you’ve supplemented all of your content with video.
1. Start with your most popular blog posts.
This might seem counterintuitive at first: If your content is already performing well, why should you focus on it instead of content that isn’t performing as well? For a couple of reasons. First of all, if you have text content that is ranking well, its really easy for someone else to swoop in, copy your content, and improve upon it themselves by supplementing it with video to increase the perceived value. Once they’ve improved on your content, it’s only a matter of time before they start to outrank you. By adding video (and other visuals) to your content that is already performing well, you make it harder for some up-and-comer to usurp your throne. Don’t rest on your laurels: Protect what’s yours!
Beyond this, adding video to your popular blog content can only make it perform better. Having a video component makes it easier for your audience to share your content on social media, opening you up to a wider audience and increasing your bottom line.
So your first plan of action should be to identify the blog posts that you’ve published that are already the most popular. Think of this first in terms of the blog posts that are getting the most visits (you can check Google Analytics for this) before moving onto the blog posts which are getting the most social shares (try BuzzSumo to identify these). There might be some overlap here, but you also might be surprised by how different these two buckets can be.
2. Move on to blog posts with complicated topics that need a primer.
Once you’ve supplemented the blog posts that are performing the best, try to identify your blog posts that are the most complicated. Have you written about topics that are hard to understand? Have you written about some in-depth idea where you’re assuming the reader has background knowledge? These blog posts are perfect candidates for video primers.
A video primer is a video that you insert at the top of your blog post that gives your reader a bit of background before you dive into the meaty text below. It’s a way for you to make sure that your reader fully understands the background information that they need in order to get the most value out of what you wrote.
Why should you care? Well, the clearer your content is, and the easier it is to understand, the happier your audience will be. If your audience is happy, then they’re more likely to both share your blog posts on social media and to link back to it from their own sites. This all plays a role in making your site more authoritative, which will help you rank higher in search results and get you in front of a wider and wider audience.
The moral of the story? Any way that you can increase the user experience of your website and make it easier to understand your topics, the happier your audience will be; the happier your audience is, the happier the search engine’s will be.
3. Finish with blog posts that would benefit from how-tos or demos.
After you’ve tackled the first two buckets above, you should finish up with any blog posts that would specifically benefit from how-tos or demos.
Have you written any blog posts where you are describing a tool or service? Record a video demoing it. Have you written a post explaining how to do something complicated, and used screenshots or images to clarify things? Including a video will take all of the guesswork out of the equation for your reader, making it much more likely that they’ll be successful in whatever they’re doing. That’ll make them happy, and if you make the searcher happy Google will reward you.
After you’ve tackled these three kinds of blog posts and supplemented them with video, you should go back in to any other blog posts you’ve written and add a video to them as well. This could do wonders for how they perform on social and in search, and have real benefits for your SEO efforts. Moving forward, you should create a video for each blog post you publish, even if it is just a quick 60-second introduction to the topic you’re about to cover. Your audience, and Google, will thank you.