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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Why your business should invest in video content

Be it bespoke adverts for major brands or home-shot smartphone pieces to camera, the moving image is a crucial part of raising your business profile

Video, whether in the form of professional presentations or a simple smartphone post to YouTube, can greatly enhance awareness of your business. John Parra/Getty
Video, whether in the form of professional presentations or a simple smartphone post to YouTube, can greatly enhance awareness of your business. John Parra/Getty

One of the biggest shifts in digital media, in the past three years, is the rise of video content.

From professionally produced video, to self-taken content via smartphones and applications such as SnapChat and Instagram, video is literally everywhere and not limited to anyone.

International brands, media companies such like the Great Big Story and lifestyle social influencers such as the Kuwaiti Fouz Al Fahad, use video as an essential medium to engage with their audience members. A Cisco study projects that by next year, video will comprise 90 per cent of internet traffic.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with many mediums when sharing my clients’ stories, and nothing engages people more than video. It’s easily shared, and can summarise a story in 30-seconds to a minute and save people time from reading through lengthy content. Also, with the amount of content we are exposed to every single day through digital media, video has to be the most efficient way to get a message across.

If your business isn’t embracing video content, here are a few reasons why it should be included in this year’s strategy:

1. Videos create one-on-one connections with the audience

The combination of visuals, audios, text and music can instantly create an emotional connection with someone. That’s why we are often touched by a powerful TV advertisement, or a 10-second advert may encourage us to order that bucket of chicken. In addition, seeing a face, yourself or someone from your team, activates the fusiform area of the brain, a part of the human visual system that is specialised for facial recognition. From a scientific perspective this will make customers more likely to trust you, as your business will have a face that they’re connected to.

2. Better SEO ranking

Search engines place more emphasis on video content. It’s because it’s easier to watch a two-minute video than read through a manual of how to fix a camera glitch, for instance. I watch videos explaining a product’s functionality rather than read lengthy text. Having your content in video format will mean that it will be ranked higher in search engines, which means that your brand will be noticed more.

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3. Access to millions of viewers

If you are on social media, then consider YouTube as a medium to share your video content on. With more than 1 billion active users, the chances of exposing your brand to a wider audience are great.

4. Ease of production

Long gone are the days when you need a film crew to produce a video. Smartphones allow you to do that so simply, and many famous vloggers became famous because of the videos they filmed on their smartphones. Start by watching how people/businesses in your field film their videos. Go on YouTube and take a turn. When it comes to editing and if you want to keep costs low and do it yourself, you can also watch tutorials on YouTube. I’ve recently worked with a talented Emirati videographer who was completely self-taught. He learned all the tricks from YouTube. Today he works with the biggest clients in the country.

5. It will help your customers understand your brand

In the past, more than now, when people want to find out more about a product or a service, they would head down to the store or call a sales representative to ask about it. Nowadays, what they do is search for the information online. If they can find a video about it then that’s great, and they will also see what others are saying about it, hence the rise of vloggers who review products online on YouTube and other social media channels.

As a business owner, when a customer comes to your store, it will be easy to talk to them about your product and influence them to try it or buy it. But what should you do when a lot of people look for their information online and there’s not much face-to-face interaction? You’ll have to move into that digital world and hence create videos. Videos provide you with the opportunity to explain things as you would face-to-face in the store.

As many businesses are now realising the impact of video, there will be so much content out there. High quality, engaging videos like those produced by retail brands such as Chanel, for instance, may mean more capital investment, but you will be investing in higher audience engagement and will gain a long-term investment return.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer who manages her branding and marketing consultancy in Abu Dhabi