As a voiceover artist, I supply audio narrations for videos every day for multiple companies. Whether the project format is explainers, ads, corporate or training videos, creating the audio component for videos gives me a unique perspective. Vital to that perspective is the understanding that the job I’m tasked with is that of being the conduit between people who have a strong desire or need to get their message heard and those who have a strong desire/or need to hear it. Great voice over artists don’t see scripted narrations as just a job, but as more of a sacred trust between message maker and message receiver. If you’ve been thinking about adding video to your VO marketing strategy, but have been hesitating, I’d like to offer some perspectives, as a B2B myself who helps other businesses gain success through video marketing, perhaps to help nudge you over to the non-hesitating camp.
Social vs Digital. Advertising vs. Marketing.
First let’s define the playing field: social vs digital and advertising vs marketing. Social media marketing is limited to online social platforms. While this reach is extensive, it has borders that are controlled not by you, but by the platforms themselves. While digital marketing uses both online and offline digital means to reach out to the target audience. Your digital media marketing campaign may use a variety of channels such as mobile advertisements, TV, online advertising, SMS, etc.
Advertising and marketing, for purposes of this discussion, are more symbiotic. Marketing is more of what you do to create your brand’s presence and get your products ready for market. Marketing involves market and consumer behavior research and data mining about how to best align the idea of a product or service with the target audience. Advertising then involves creative endeavors like design and multimedia production to spread the word about your product or service.
What Do You Intend to Use it For?
Part of deciding whether or not to use video campaigns in your marketing is to decide what benefits you’d like to focus on. In other words, what do you intend to use videos for? There are lots of benefits that video marketing brings.
First, you can use video content to improve your rank on the search engine results pages. SEO for videos needs some extra work for the search engines to pay attention to them, but by using keywords in the video title, descriptions, and tags, you can give them the SEO boost you desire. And since Google owns YouTube, having an organized presence there can provide some quality backlinks to the videos you embed on your website. (Sidebar: search engines LOVE new content no matter what format. Each bit of something new results in an uptick in your engine rankings. So, why not get a double whammy of new content for the search engine and video for the click-through and engagement boost).
You can also use video to show off your brand, products, services, and company personality. I’ll touch on this differently in a moment but think of your video as a path to humanize your brand and connect with your website visitors. Use that to build trust. People buy from people or businesses they trust and a video can help with that introduction.
Also, a great video campaign can help you to stand out from your competition. Not every business is using video for marketing yet, but they’re catching on quickly. You don’t want to be lagging behind your competitors by not leveraging video for your business. A video provides supplemental material to the static content on your website and that helps to provide a compelling website experience for the consumer and build long-lasting relationships.
Is Video Worth it? The ROI
So is video marketing worth it? Consumers and marketers both like video because it’s easy to digest, entertaining, and engaging, and (for the marketers) can give a potentially huge return on investment (ROI). All a user needs is the internet, and your content is within reach. By using Explainer videos, interviews, vlogs, Lives on Facebook or Instagram (or other platforms), and other videos, you can create content that finds your audience where they live.
Check out these compelling statistics:
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 81% of businesses are now using video to market. And by the end of 2021, 80% of all traffic will be driven by video. Video has absolutely dominated social. HubSpot Research shows that four of the top six channels on which global consumers watch videos are social channels.
Ramona Sukhraj, Associate Director of Content at Impact+, and some of her colleagues put together a detailed infographic that highlights some statistics that impact ROI by leveraging video’s reach (and she should know – she has her team has increased their website traffic by almost 9 fold from her strategies). Here’s some of what they included:
- 75 million people in the U.S. watch online videos every day.
- YouTube has over 1 Billion users – that’s nearly a third of all people on the internet.
- Nearly 50% of all video is watched on a mobile device.
- Viewers retain 95% of a message from a video vs. 10% when reading a message.
- Online video is a 600% more effective marketing tool than print and direct mail combined.
- Videos up to 2 minutes long get the most engagement.
- Over 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube daily.
- Social video generates 1200% more engagement in shares and comments than text.
- Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic.
- Merely mentioning the word ‘video’ in an email subject line, the click-through rate increased by 13%.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to hear ROI stats like that twice to know that video is absolutely the way to go if traffic, leads, and sales are what you want for your business.
VO Marketing Strategy – Now More than Ever
Video is more important for brands now than ever before. If the global pandemic has increased anything, it’s the amount of time we spend online. From meetings to ordering food, to shopping, to entertainment, to visiting family and friends, online became a lifeline for many of us. Some estimate our use increased by 70%. Streaming went up by 12% and social media use also went up by 20-30%.
Numerous brick-and-mortar businesses that couldn’t bring products and services online were shuttered. Those that were already online, we’re in a good position to thrive, and those that made the shift have survived and quickly learned that engaging clients and buyers take more than a one-page website. Regularly producing video content that can be repurposed in whole or in parts on your website and social platforms is the wave of the future in marketing and SEO. Video is key to creating that engagement with robust marketing in the current climate and beyond.
The Audio Component of Videos
Just as important as a story for your message and great visuals is the soundscape for your video. As a voiceover artist, this is and has been my arena of work for over twenty years. And because organic, authentic engagement with your customers will drive traffic and sales, you’ll want to choose a voice to represent your brand that knows how to be a storyteller with a track record of successfully giving brands that extra element of personality for their video. Many companies like to think of audio branding and will choose one voice over artist consistently for a series of explainer videos or for their podcasts. Or they may hire one voice for an ad campaign or a series of internal training or eLearning modules. That brand or series voice will reflect the intent the company has for that set of messages. For onboarding, it may be welcoming and warm. For how-to’s, it may be down-to-earth or matter of fact. For an ad campaign, it may be gritty or edgy or sassy, or playful. A good voice over artist will reflect the company brand, and match the tone of your series of messages. They’ll know when to lean into the story part of your message and when to lean on the back foot and let the images do the heavy lifting.
Hand in hand with the voiceover narration, sound effects, and music also are elements to consider in an impactful audio element to your video. Making sure that the mood you intend for your messaging is set with just the right soundtrack coupled with a narrator that can match the music with the right emotional build or humorous “wink”, etc. can be the difference between a good video and a great one.