Standing out in your industry can be a difficult and challenging feat, especially if you’re trying to do so in an already saturated media-based culture.
Standing out in your industry can be a difficult and challenging feat, especially if you’re trying to do so in an already saturated media-based culture. However, this can be accomplished by someone who is considered to be a “thought leader” in their industry. By positioning yourself as an expert in your field, your content will naturally be sought after above your peers—but how do you stay on top? Research shows that the best way to do this is through the use of video.
Here are some eye-opening statistics on the effectiveness of video:
- Videos posted on landing pages can improve conversion rates by 80%
- Social media videos can lead to an increase in shares of up to 1200%
- There are 2 BILLION online users, and nearly ⅓ of them watch YouTube videos!
With numbers like those, it’s easy to see why video is important when you’re trying to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Now the question is, how do you do so? We’re going to show you simple tips and tricks of the trade, so keep reading, and you’ll be on your way.
Why Pursue Thought Leadership?
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you already know the importance of being a thought leader, but just in case, we’re going to cover it briefly. A thought leader is defined as an individual that is seen as a leader in their industry, giving them an edge over their competitors and creating trust between their company and consumers.
When positioned as a thought leader, your reputation precedes you, and your target audience perceives you as trustworthy before they even truly interact with you. This leads to higher sales and improved connections with other industry leaders, allowing you to form partnerships and cross-promotions. All of these benefits directly affect your bottom line, so it’s easy to see that becoming a thought leader is a worthwhile pursuit.
Why Use Video To Pursue Thought Leadership?
Now that you understand the importance of becoming a thought leader, you may be wondering if videos are the best way to pursue this goal. There are several reasons we believe this to be true. With videos, you’re able to:
- Control your message by creating a video in the tone that you want your customers to hear. It can be difficult to convey tone or voice with only written text. Videos solve that problem with ease.
- Show off your knowledge with demonstrations and tips so others will look to you for solutions. Videos are the perfect opportunity to create demos and disperse industry knowledge in an easily digestible format.
- Increase your online presence and brand awareness. Videos are highly effective at driving organic traffic to your website and helping viewers to recognize your brand.
- Connect with viewers beyond text and allow them to hear your voice and see your personality. There’s no better way to make a connection than by speaking directly to someone and looking them in the (virtual) eye. Videos are the best way to give viewers an insight into your personality, so they feel connected to you on a personal level.
How To Use Videos In Thought Leadership
Thought-leader videos, when used and promoted properly, show your peers and target audience that you have special knowledge in your field. Once this perception is created, you’re better able to connect with those looking for the kind of product or service that you’re selling. Your video will not only boost your web traffic but will also bring new customers and help your existing ones.
While there may be a multitude of videos on your given subject available, viewers will naturally choose to watch the ones that have higher views. By presenting yourself as someone with a high level of expertise and by offering knowledge and resources in a well-produced video, your views will continue to increase until you’re positioned over your competitors as a trusted authority.
That being said, there are some tips to follow when creating your videos.
Keep Your Content Relevant
Remember that viewers have extremely short attention spans these days, and they’ll be quick to close your video if they don’t feel the content is relevant or interesting. Your illustrations, demonstrations, and stories should all feel cohesive and related to the subject of interest. This is not the time to go off on tangents or rabbit trails. Stick to the point so they’ll stick with you.
Keep It Short
As we just mentioned, attention spans are short, and they are getting shorter with every generation. That’s why it’s crucial that your content gets to the point quickly before the viewer moves on to the next video. The average length of a YouTube video is 11.7 minutes. If possible, your video should be between 7 and 15 minutes to maintain your viewer’s attention—the shorter, the better while still getting your message across.
Keep The Trust Growing
In order to become a thought leader, your audience has to develop trust in you. They need to know the kind of content to expect from you and they also need to believe that watching your video is worth their time. Make sure that the subjects of your videos are credible and relatable, so your viewers will keep coming back to learn more from you.
What Kinds Of Video To Use
The next thing to consider when using videos to become a thought leader is the kind of video you should create and promote. Just like there are millions of videos on the internet, there are dozens of types of videos that marketers use. When it comes to thought leadership, there are four main kinds that are most effective at building credibility.
Perhaps the most obvious, a presentation video is exactly what it sounds like. You record yourself giving a presentation about a subject that you have expertise in, and that’s within your field or industry. You can make a simple video with a flip board, or you can use digital slides with visual effects. The key is to make it informative and to keep the viewer’s interest.
Subject Matter Expert Interview
Another highly effective video to establish your expertise is the subject matter expert interview. In this video, the presenter is interviewing someone with in-depth knowledge on a subject, and that person is delivering details to the viewer in an engaging manner.
Make a video of yourself talking casually with members of your team about a subject that would be of interest to your target audience. These videos are great at forming a connection between you and the viewer as they see the interaction and working relationship you have with your team.
Video Logs (Vlogs)
No article about video marketing would be complete without mentioning Vlogs. These “video logs” are a less formal video that gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and personality with your audience. Create a short video in a laid-back setting so that your personality shines through while your knowledge is still on full display.
Strategy Tips For Using Videos As A Thought Leader
Before you start to post too many videos, it’s important that you sit down and formulate a plan for moving forward strategically. It’s not enough to catch the attention of a viewer once or twice, you want to make sure they keep coming back for more and that you can keep them engaged. The best way to make sure that happens is to clearly define your strategy and the plan to carry it out.
When forming this strategy, keep in mind the following tips as you start planning your content:
- Post new videos consistently. This is key with any online strategy as it plays directly into the methods of Search Engine Optimization. You want to create a schedule for postings and find a balance between posting inconsistently and posting too much.
- Think about the best place to post your videos. Do you want your videos to be embedded in your website? Are you going to post them on social media? Are they part of an email campaign? There’s no wrong answer, just be sure that you understand where and how they’re being promoted.
- Keep your topics relevant. Remember, if you lose their attention, they’re gone. Your video content needs to relate to your industry and field of expertise. A viewer should know, in general, what to expect from your videos. This is part of building trust and credibility, so it’s important to get it just right.
Become An Authoritative Voice With The Help Of Videos
If becoming a thought leader in your industry is a goal of yours, we strongly suggest following these tips and using videos to position yourself as a voice of authority. While it can be difficult to reach that status, it’s a worthy pursuit and one that will pay off in both dollars and credibility for years to come if you continue to nurture your following.
Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO at Sparkhouse, an Orange County based video production agency. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations.Rather than hitting the consumer over the head with blatant ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining and useful videos that enrich the lives of his clients’ customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & Forge54.