Using video in PR to engage audiences

Let’s face it, we all know that mobile is increasingly taking over a) how we consume media and b) our evenings!

Do you sit on the couch with your mobile beside you? Guilty!

The time has come for PR practitioners to up the tactics and start using video in PR. It keeps your audience excited, engaged, and you are effectively encouraging them to share the content.

A study done by Forbes stated that 75% of senior executives surveyed said that they watched work-related videos at least weekly, and 52% watched work related videos on YouTube at least once a week.

Cisco forecasts that by 2019, video will make up 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, up from 64 percent in 2014. They also forecast that every second, more than 1 million videos will be transmitted across the Internet.

Some quick statistics:

Aura uses video for all of its clients, from the West End Festival, to The Lighthouse‘s exhibition and events, through to The Big Lunch. Each has its own YouTube channel for hosting the videos and URLs are used for posting on social. We also upload files directly to Facebook as it prefers direct uploads and will normally rank your content higher than if it was a link used.

Here are my top 5 tips for using video in PR:

#1  Storytelling – it says more than a press release

You can capture emotions, allowing the audience to get a flavour of the brand’s personality and an authentic approach is always the best.

A real-life video can inspire people to take action based on the emotional connections. Think of the ad campaigns which have moved you to tears. Videos should be telling a story and gaining a reaction.

Figure out what you want the story to do – what action do you want the viewer to take?

#2 A picture says a thousand words – so what does video do in a minute?!

It doesn’t take much effort to watch a video, and with most videos being effective at 30 seconds, viewers can consume more information than just a visual image.

Aura has started using iPhone for recording and iMovie for editing. A two-minute interview ‘on location’ can be quickly edited, topped and tailed on-site and uploaded immediately.

Think about using sound-bytes rather than long-winded interviews which are full of jargon and ‘umms’ and ‘erms’. Give a top-level overview – short videos have been proven to get more views according to testing done by video management service, Wistia.

#3 Authenticity

Testimonials are critical for businesses and organisations. The willingness of someone to speak in a positive way about their experience, you just can’t buy. Well, you can, but then that’s not necessarily authentic as it’s paid for.

Video testimonials are more effective and may take a little extra effort, but the impact of video will be greater than copy on a website. As I mentioned before, you can upload directly social platforms or you can upload to YouTube and use the link.

This recent video Laura did for the West End Festival launch was shot on iPhone, edited in iMovie and uploaded to YouTube and directly to Facebook. It’s had 1000 views on Facebook in less than a week! If we had a budget we could have paid to promote the post reaching a wider audience – but we don’t.

#4 Got a great news story or blog post? Turn it into a video

Repurposing a news story into video is a great idea, particularly if the news was a success originally.

If you have a blog post which was successful, why not take the key themes/points and turn it into a video? You could even do a mini series, taking one key point at a time.

#5 Make it easy to share

Video, as owned content, is a great opportunity to promote branded content, in an entertaining and engaging manner. With sharing button embedded, video can be shared over multiple platforms with very little effort.

The easier you make it for people to share, the broader reach you will have.

According to YouTube’s social statistics:

  • 17 million = the number of people that people have connected their YouTube account to at least 1 social service.
  • 12 million = of those connected and auto-sharing with at least one network.
  • 150 years = number of years of YouTube videos that are watched each day on Facebook.
  • Over 50% = the number of videos that have been rated or include comments from the community.

How Aura uses video:

  • To activate launches and news announcements – once the news has been broken across print, broadcast and online media, get your video ready and start to share.
  • Offer videos as part of a news story – some media outlets, increasingly, will use video content you provide in a raw format
  • Think of video as a visual podcast – in the past we’ve used videos for discussion and debate
  • Bring events alive – whether you pre-record a video for use at an event, record and broadcast live at an event or produce a video from an event
  • Use video to entice sponsors – sponsors want to know what they will get and what the sponsorship is all about – show them, visually
  • Trailer – get people excited about an event or piece of news coming soon by recording a trailer. Laura did a really simple one for The PRofessionals, using a ‘Trailer’ template in iMovie. Check it out here.
  • Make a mini video, up to 30 seconds, for Instagram – they are more stand-out than just an image, because they move

So in summary, you can see how easy and effective it can be to point, record and edit a simple video for your target audience. Ensure it’s relevant, shareable and you tell people across your networks where to find it, by using links.

Thanks for reading my post. If you enjoyed it and think others will too, then please take a second to share it. If you want to chat about some very quick and effective videos, get in touch!

Blog post by Laura Sutherland FCIPR.