Repeat after me: This holiday season, I resolve to take into consideration the increasingly mobile and visual preferences of my customers or readers, and to create and repurpose content to meet their needs, on whichever platform they use to connect with my business.
- Sixty percent of executives will watch a video before reading a word of text on their screen.
- Forty-two percent of executives have made a purchasing decision based on an online video.
- 500 years worth of YouTube videos are shared each day on Facebook.
- Over 3 billion hours of video is consumed monthly on YouTube.
Over 53% of e-commerce retailers are already using non-product related video content (informational videos) on their sites. An additional 30.5% plan to add informational videos to their content arsenal in 2013.
Video Creation & Editing Using Existing Content: Getting Started
At TopRank, we’ve long been advocates of content repurposing as part of a sustainable marketing strategy; in fact, in this 2008 Online Marketing Blog post, Lee suggests repurposing PowerPoint decks to better leverage the research and content created for a presentation. More recently, we’ve used videos to add visual and audio to blog posts by way of an introduction or explanation (as in this video, a screenshot of which is at the top of this post). Yet marketers may be weary to take the plunge as video production can be costly and time-consuming.
Back in 2010, I discovered the value of content repurposing video through my work with a non-profit adult literacy agency. This organization held their first annual Transliteracy Conference that year, to teach educators how to reach learners more effectively through multimedia content.
This need to connect and educate applies in business as much as learning programs; your customers may be visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners, who want to be informed, educated and entertained, not marketed to. Now keep in mind, we had almost no budget to play with and though I had been creating written content for years, I had zero video production or editing skills. Yet we knew that people consume content in a variety of ways and in order to reach the greatest audience and help them actually retain information, we had to get creative.
After testing out a few free, open source video tools, we went with Cam Studio for the task of converting PowerPoint decks from the conference to videos we could upload to YouTube. Educators could access these videos online after the event, share them with other practitioners, and even embed them in their own content (see below). Videos are incredibly versatile content that can be shared on your blog, corporate site, social media accounts and more.
It took approximately two hours per presentation to record a voiceover track for each slide and edit, then upload the video. In keeping with accessibility standards, we created a second version of each, with closed captioning for hearing-impaired viewers (this took an additional hour per video).
How to Use Repurposed Video Content in Business
Imagine how you can use this content repurposing strategy for your business! There are even more free tools now and they’re far more advanced than those we had to choose from in 2010. Business videos can be used to:
- Demonstrate unique uses of your product or service
- Answer frequently asked questions
- Share original research
- Showcase customer testimonials
- Introduce your staff or give a tour of your facilities
- Tell the story of your company’s involvement in charitable or social good activities
- Display customer success stories
- Interview customers, suppliers, brand advocates or industry thought leaders
- Video press releases
- Much, much more… whatever your customers want and need to know!
Free & Open Source Tools for Video Content Marketers
For the purpose of this post, I’ll assume that like many people, you would prefer to experiment and learn the basics with a no-cost tool before taking the plunge and investing in video software. Here are a few free tools you can use to get started:
CamStudio is the stripped down, basic – and free – version of TechSmith’s popular Camtasia screen recording and video editing software. I’ve used both and have to say that Cam Studio was a fantastic beginner’s tool; it was easy to learn, simple to use and the finished product was decent.
The trick to using this tool for repurposing a presentation was to set the PowerPoint display time for each slide longer than required. For example, we set a 30-second slide time and it took 15 to 25 seconds for each voiceover recording. This allowed us to easily cut out the additional few seconds of slide time, rather than rushing to fit the audio in, for seamless transitions in the video to the next slide.
Google Hangouts are a free and incredibly flexible video tool from social network Google+. You might be familiar with its potential for online meetings and chat, but it’s also a great option for content repurposing.
Easily transition from live video to screen captures to dive deeper into blog posts, add commentary to written research studies, or read and explain customer testimonials. The entire video can be uploaded to YouTube at the push of a button.
This is a good option for marketers with a collection of images to convert to video. For example, your company could turn a set of charts or graphs based on original research into a video with commentary that links back to your original report. Or, narrate the story of a number of customers using your product in a variety of ways. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination.
Eighty-five percent of the U.S. Internet audience watch videos online each month and on average, each user watches 1,399 minutes per month. To get your company started in video marketing as quickly and inexpensively as possible, without sacrificing the quality of your customer interactions, you need a solution that:
- Allows you to repurpose existing content, making it fresh and relevant again without creating a whole new project.
- Doesn’t have a huge learning curve.
- Is flexible and allows you to incorporate screencaptures, audio (music or voiceover), subtitles or other text cues, and actual video.
Once you become comfortable with video content repurposing, you may choose to upgrade to a paid software solution with more features. In the meantime, I hope these free tools fit the bill!
How do you use video in your content marketing strategy? Share your tips and tricks with other readers in the comments.