If every picture tells a story, then every video is an epic tale. How useful is video in PR campaigns?
Matt Fox from the Thinking Hat team has some answers.
When you want media exposure for your business, a Financial Times contribution, Daily Mail feature or a chat with Piers Morgan might be your first thoughts. For traditional PR that includes a broadcast strategy, or even a social campaign, video can be your secret weapon.
I started producing video content in 2011, while working for TV production companies in South Africa and now use that experience to create video content as part of PR strategies to help brands and organisations of all shapes and sizes reach their desired audiences.
People love to watch, not just read or listen. If you need convincing on the importance of video content, the video-only social media platform TikTok is set to pass 1 billion users this year, surging past Facebook in average monthly time spent per user.
Considering social media is where many people get their news, shop and view a near-infinite amount of video content and media, a strategy that considers video and social media habits is a smart move.
But how can you elevate your PR and social media strategies? Here are a few things to think about:
1. Creating video content is great media training
TV viewers want to connect with who’s talking to them, and broadcast media will want to see how well you do on air.
When looking for national TV media opportunities, a degree of media training helps, but by creating video content to host online, you increase your confidence and become a better media spokesperson in front of the camera.
This also gives journalists a great sense of who you are and what you’d bring to their segments – further increasing your chances of securing top broadcast opportunities.
2. Video content takes your social media engagement to the next level
Social media is a powerhouse comms channel and can do wonders for your B2B campaign by rivalling more traditional mediums with advanced targeting options and audience sizes.
According to LinkedIn, video posts get 5x more engagement, and we also know that video length is important, with Social Bakers trends report showing that online engagement on short video content remains high. If you want to truly engage with your audience, you need to be creating video content for social media. The ability to talk to your audience with dynamic videos containing strong hooks and sharp, concise messaging increases your engagement while delivering your intended message.
You’ll want to get your core message in the first 5-10 seconds as users tend to drop off and not view to the end. And don’t forget to include subtitles either! Videos in newsfeeds auto-play without sound, so lots of viewers end up watching videos with no sound.
Producing social video content is a must for your campaign, but using paid ads to amplify your content, well that’s next level. Having a content plan that includes video will help steadily build your online audience, but the beauty of paid is that you can scale your budget to suit your campaign.
3. Don’t forget about podcasts
Your PR team may put you forward for all manner of well established podcasts – from mainstream big hitters to niche opportunities in your sector (such as OPITalk, a podcast for procurement and supply chain industry leaders) – but increasingly many clients want to produce their own pods too – which can open up a huge range of opportunities. If you decide to go down this road don’t forget the benefits of video!
While podcasts can thrive on streaming platforms alone, recording your podcast episode on video is a tactical move that gives you lots of fresh content that can be uploaded to YouTube and shared across socials. Just look at one of the most popular podcasts in the world, The Joe Rogan Experience, who uses this tactic to produce podcast content in video form to reach a wider audience.
There are more reasons to put the extra effort in and include video in your podcast. Podcast episodes with static images on YouTube lose 90-95% of their audience in the first 90 seconds. Showing your face also builds trust, which today is not an easy thing to do.
Engaging with your audience through video can help speed the process up quite a bit because video also captures attention more fully. Have you ever listened to a podcast, but your mind wanders and ten minutes in you realise you’ve missed every word? This is familiar for a reason – audio needs more participation from the listener to stay engaged.
When competing for attention in busy news feeds, high-quality video remains king even in the world of podcasts, so it’s definitely worth the extra effort and investment. These audio and video edits act as assets within your social media campaign, producing both editorial and organic coverage through reviews, listings and collaborations.
4. Build your audience, then go live
Another way to elevate your brand presence is by capturing your audience’s attention and creating a meaningful connection. The emphasis of using video on social cannot be denied, and when you’re ready, ‘going live’ is a smart way work because it allows you to remain strategic while authentically strengthening the relationship you have with your audience.
Because social media is reactive and engaging, going live brings your audience into your world, and gives them exclusive access to real-time information, news, exciting projects and collaborations, gaining 10x more comments than regular videos. Facebook users are also 4x more likely to watch live streamed content than recorded videos.
The wonderful thing about this option is that, since the rise of online meetings, the additional requirements like ring lights or lapel microphones are inexpensive, easy to come by and will add a professional touch to your delivery. Of course, you’ll want to promote your topic and the time you’re going live beforehand, usually through a slick on-brand graphic using the host’s photo with snappy text.
After you’ve braved the spotlight of your livestream, your video is accessible afterwards and acts as an asset that continues to reach future audiences and create opportunities.
Some final thoughts on video
Video is a valuable tool for PR campaigns, one that hooks your audience and tells your story as efficiently as possible, which is what we want in today’s fast-paced media communications landscape. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, start-up or large organisation, video supplements and brings your strategy to life through promoted video and strengthened exposure.
If you’re looking to implement video in your next PR campaign, or for more information on Thinking Hat PR’s offering, reach us on LinkedIn or simply give us a call – we’re always happy for a quick chat.