So there you were, pulling your hair out. Your business was just profiled at a major industry convention, or you launched a new product you spent years of your life perfecting, or maybe you just recently hired a marketing genius away from a major dot com. In celebration, and with an eye towards leveraging this excitement into some upwards mobility of your bottom line, you had your PR professional craft a SEO press release.
It covered all the facts, and included a quote that made you not only sound like a genius, but also like the kind of person your customers would want to have over for dinner, or name their first born after. You launched that press release out into the world, crossed your fingers, sat back and watched as… Absolutely nothing happened. That’s when the panic set in.
0 effect from PR
Yep, your impressively-worded press release just hit the wires and is having zero effect. It’s not being picked up, it’s not generating web traffic. Basically, it’s not doing anything. Hence this moment, and the assault on your hair follicles. What the heck went wrong? And how can you insure that this never happens again?
Well, you can start by taking that traditional press release, crumpling it up into a ball and tossing it in the recycling bin. The traditional press release is more of a relic than your iPhone, and you certainly can’t pull it out at parties as an ironic conversation starter.
At this point you’re probably beyond confused, and maybe starting to hyperventilate. “What do you mean, the press release is a relic? People put them out all the time!”
“Press releases are IMPORTANT!”
Yes, they are important, but the structure of your press release is just as important than the content, if not even more so. If you want your press release to have an effect, you simply have to incorporate video. Simply put, the video press release is the next generation of information dissemination, and it will have a profound effect on your company’s visibility, consumer base and financial bottom line.
So what is a video press release?
It’s a press release that integrates a video report detailing the content within the release. That video could be a how-to, a listicle-type breakdown of the points within the press release, or in the style of a news report, each with a professional anchor who describes the press release for the viewer. Okay, that sounds pretty easy. So why would just including a video lead to any sort of profound difference in the impact of your press release?
Why you need to use video:
- In the second quarter of last year, Americans watched over 38 billion videos online.
- That’s up 40% from the same time period in 2018.
- More than a billion people currently use YouTube, and the daily viewing numbers are well into the several billion range.
- YouTube users collectively watch six billion videos a month.
- 92% of people who watch a video on their mobile device will share it with others.
- The average internet user will spend 88% more time on a website that incorporates video.
- 65% of executives who watch a vendor’s video will visit that vendor’s site.
- 64% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product after watching a related video.
Just wrap your head around this data, and then take a few minutes and head to the websites of your favorite brands. How many times did you come across video content? If you visit ten sites, I would bet that all ten of them incorporate video. And what about social media? Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter… Just count the number of times in any given day that you click the ‘play’ button on video freeze frames on any of those sites. Suffice to say, video has become the go-to tool for engaging today’s internet user. Now imagine a press release that incorporates video, and you’ll begin to understand the massive potential of expanded reach..
There are several reasons why this may be the case. First off, today’s surfer of the worldwide web spends more than 50% of their time doing so on mobile devices. These tiny computers have stunning color and sound, and are basically optimized for video content. If you’re checking something out on your smartphone, chances are you would rather watch a video than read some copy, even if your eyeglass prescription is up to snuff. Just look at the ways people consume entertainment today. There’s a reason why bookstores and libraries are disappearing, while multimedia entertainment and app companies are attracting heavy venture capitalist money.
Secondly, videos allow you to gather huge amounts of data. There are plenty of easy to use online tools that can help you understand exactly how your viewer behaves while watching your video. You can discover which elements of your video content are the most compelling and where people lose interest. You can gather emails through autofill popups, and even direct people to additional content once the current video completes. Every single one of these is now a trusted tool of the online marketer.
How video impacts marketing efforts:
- According to Nielsen polling, digital video enhances the reach of a marketing effort across all categories, including a 45% bump in message recall, a 40% increase in likability and a 33% lift in brand recall.
- 91% of the top 150 ad execs polled feel video marketing is more effective than display advertising and 68% stronger than social media promotion.
- The average viewer spends approximately 5.25 hours a week watching digital video, versus 4.5 hours a week watching television.
It’s clear that today’s consumer has changed, and how he or she pays attention to content has evolved as well. But what about the changing goal of PR? Has public relations itself hit a wall? And how would a video press release refresh your stodgy efforts? If you are constantly frustrated that your public relations efforts aren’t having the same traction they once did, you are not alone. PR is transforming at a rapid pace, just like technology, and it will continue.
The simple truth is, your release is competing with an enormous amount of content. People no longer wait for the evening news to educate themselves. It’s a 24/7/365 news cycle, and today’s top story is already forgotten by the end of the day. While a press release isn’t considered a sales tool, it is in competition with everything out there that is being sold, from film to TV, video games to comic books, music videos to the latest must-have gadget. The PR/marketing machines behind these billion dollar industries spare no expense, and every single one of them are now integrating multimedia content in their efforts. Your press release simply has to keep up with the times.
How do you create a Video press release?
At this point you’re probably sold on the video press release. But how should you go about it? The video content within your press release must be professional. Setting up a GoPro in your basement just isn’t going to cut it. If it’s not polished, it won’t be taken seriously. It also has to be easily shared. Social media is one of the primary driving forces behind information dissemination today. If your core demographic is younger than the Baby Boomers, chances are they are getting their news from Facebook, Twitter and Reddit more often than anywhere else.
That means the video content in your press release should be easy to download or share across the social networks. The video content within your release should also build authority for your brand. Unfortunately, it can’t be you delivering the content. Think about how effective Yelp has become as a platform. If a restaurant owner writes a review of his own place, people dismiss it as advertising. If a customer writes that same review, people take it to heart. A professional, embedded press release video creates the same result.