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Without Video, Is Your Communications Strategy One-Dimensional?

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This post is brought to you by West Corporation, a proud sponsor of PRSA.

Are you relying on text-only assets to drive your messaging? Consider this: Where both video and text are available at the same source, 72 percent of people prefer video to learn about a product or service. Anyone on my team will tell you how much I love video. Its ability to attract audiences with sound and sight is so “right now,” and the statistics prove it. A recent survey affirms the power of this medium to engage and persuade:

  • Ninety-seven percent of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.
  • Eighty-one percent of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
  • Eighty-five percent of people say they’d like to see more video from brands.

It’s increasingly clear that if you’re not already embracing video, it should quickly become an integral part of your organization’s marketing and communications strategy. Now is the time.

Enhancing press releases with video

Many organizations already add video to their press releases to support product launches, events and executive announcements. Video not only adds context and tells an engaging visual story, but it also can help to humanize a brand and company leadership. Allowing audiences to see and hear the CEO’s message can have a significant impact on brand authenticity, transparency and engagement. Experiencing the CEO’s expressions can do much more to establish audience trust than a text-only press release.

Public companies can use video for corporate storytelling and investor education by adding video to their earnings calls and shareholder meetings.

Not only can video help your organization authentically connect with your stakeholders, it is an excellent way to strategically position your executives as opinion leaders.

We created Media Snippets to help companies tap into this potential. Multimedia can be seamlessly embedded into press releases, blogs and webpages to help companies provide an immersive and information-rich experience for media, investors, customers and other influencers. The content is easy to interact with and share, and can help transform a press release from a one-dimensional vehicle into a multi-dimensional communications asset.

Mastering the skill of syndication

As convinced as I am of the power of video as an asset, I’m even more convinced of its potential to transform PR and investor communications through syndication. Some of the benefits of syndicating your content include:

  • Engagement: A new report by Technavio highlights how online video has grown from an entertainment medium into a trusted source for information, news and knowledge. Audiences around the world now consume video on the platforms they prefer, making syndication an essential skill to master. When you know where your audience spends their time online, syndication boosts the chances of having your message heard.
  • Retention: Viewers also retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10 percent when they read it in text. By including video in your releases, you not only increase the likelihood of engagement, but you also increase the likelihood that your audiences remember what they read.
  • Exposure: Don’t wait for audiences to access your video or webcast through an email link or via your website. Stream video straight into the feeds they scan daily. Consider “going live” on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube the next time you livestream an event. Even better, include your live feed in a press release to drive audience engagement, access and share

Maximizing your network

Keep in mind the syndication channels already in your own network: your partners, media contacts and staff. Invite your partners to share your content as a benefit to their audience, and be prepared to return the favor. Alert target media outlets and influencers ahead of your livestream or video release and ask them to share your content. Internally, a quick scan of the digital presence of your executives, board members and shareholders can reveal untapped opportunity.

Social networking is one of the most popular activities for mobile internet users. Being among the first in your space to inject video into this phenomenon can transform your exposure, engagement and message retention.

For tips and best practices on video content, download our white paper, “Using Video in Press Releases.” You’ll understand why it can be so powerful in driving successful content marketing programs.

As president of the Digital Media Solutions group at West Corporation (formerly Nasdaq’s Public Relations Solutions and Digital Media Services businesses), Ben Chodor is leading the transformation of its PR services, webhosting and webcasting suite to empower communications professionals worldwide. Over the past 25 years, Chodor has established himself as a global leader in the world of digital media and enterprise communications. He was co-founder and CEO of Happtique, and founder and CEO of Stream57, and led both companies through successful acquisitions.

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Ben Chodor

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