Why and how video will be your go-to marketing tactic in 2016

YouTube says the top 10 viral videos this year have generated more than 25 million hours of viewing time. What does this mean for brand managers?

When it comes to 2016 public relations trends, video will be the new black.

By 2019, roughly 80 percent of the world’s Internet consumption will be video, according to a recent report from Cisco.

In today’s crowded content world, smart communicators will recognize that video shouldn’t be a tactic to use only in special cases. It will be the primary content element in PR and brand journalism.

To achieve video success in 2016, content marketers ought to consider the following:

1. Use video strategically. Before you begin producing video, understand where this format fits into your content continuum. Seasoned storytellers understand that although text and graphics best communicate information, nothing conveys raw emotion better than video.

A clip by Cleveland Clinic garnered a large number of viewers because it stirred strong emotions. The result? More than 2 million views on the brand’s YouTube channel. 2. Have a distribution plan. One essential question to ask is: Why are you producing the video? Once you identify the goal, develop a strategic distribution plan to reach your target audience. Video content delivers maximum value when it can be shared across earned and company-owned media channels. Paid media placements can be added to the mix to augment earned and owned media efforts.

Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children applied this three-tiered approach in seeking exposure for the “Thank You Project,” a hospital-produced video story about giving thanks that went viral. A strong national media outreach plan—complete with viral video feeds—helped the hospital amplify the content and reach its target audience.

Download the free white paper, “How to be a brand journalist,” to learn how to tell your organization’s compelling stories.

3. Know when and how to use live-streaming video. Live-streaming platforms such as Periscope, Meerkat, Blab and Facebook Live have created a lot of buzz in 2015. Many PR and marketing pros found themselves fumbling for ways to squeeze this technology into their communications plans. However, only a few formats and events are optimal for live-streaming:

  • Behind-the-scenes footage. Consumers love an inside look. Identify which “BTS” footage would be most compelling to your audience—without running afoul of HIPAA rules. Then, determine which live-streaming app to use to record it. HuffPost Live, a live-streaming video network for all Huffington Post news, uses this tactic to draw in a larger audience and maintain its massive following.

  • Q&A sessions or interviews. Live-streaming technology can be helpful when you want to teach something to your audience. This can work beautifully with a Q&A format that allows people to directly ask questions and feel connected to your brand.

  • Live events. Live-streaming means your audience can be a part of an event from anywhere in the world. Non-traditional events are becoming popular for live-streaming, such as a real-time look at surgery. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s communications team used this tactic to show, live via Periscope, an Achilles’ tendon operation being performed.

Whether it’s live-streaming, on YouTube or on your own website, video content is here to stay in 2016 and beyond.

Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.

This article was created in partnership with MediaSource.

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