Kirill Yurovskiy – Effective use of video content in PR campaigns

Video content is taking the public relations world by storm, with companies both large and small embracing video as an integral part of their PR and communications campaigns. But simply slapping together a corporate video and posting it to YouTube is not enough in today’s visually saturated media landscape. To truly utilize the power of visual storytelling through video, PR pros need to employ effective strategies optimized for their target audiences across multiple platforms. The payoff for incorporating compelling video into PR efforts, however, can lead to substantial gains in brand awareness, public perception, and even sales. Text author:

The Rise of Video

It’s no secret that video has exploded in popularity among news outlets, social media platforms, and pretty much every sector focused on communications, media or advertising. In fact, as early as 2012 Cisco predicted that by 2017, video would account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic. And according to Wyzowl’s 2022 State of Video Marketing report, 63% of senior marketers believe video gives them the highest return on investment for their marketing spend—more than any other marketing tactic or strategy. Those kind of numbers suggest video is here to stay.

But what makes video so game-changing for public relations? Audiences simply connect with and respond to video in a more visceral way. A well-produced video allows viewers to not just hear, but see a company’s story play out with their own eyes. Powerful visuals allow audiences to immerse themselves in an unfolding narrative and feel emotions on a deeper level. In a world of information overload, video also offers a welcome change of pace from constant text. Perhaps that is why 87% of marketing professionals believe video gives them good returns on their marketing investments, according to research by Wyzowl. 

The benefits of incorporating video content into PR plans include higher brand awareness, increased website traffic, improved search engine optimization, additional earned media coverage, heightened thought leadership status, stronger audience connection and engagement, better conversion rates, and ultimately, higher sales. With numbers and advantages like those, PR pros would be remiss to ignore the power of video.

Where to Start When Creating a Video PR Strategy

Before pressing “record” and calling it a day, PR professionals should thoughtfully develop a comprehensive video strategy. Start by identifying campaign goals, target audiences and the desired action you want viewers to take after watching a video. With a clear roadmap established upfront, subsequent decisions about video styles, messaging, production quality and distribution platforms will naturally take shape for maximum impact.  

Some overarching best practices to keep in mind for ensuring your video content accomplishes established PR objectives include:

Clearly Understand Your Audience

Who are you trying to reach with your video? What do they care about? What visual and narrative styles will best resonate with them? The more intimately familiar you are with your target demographic and psychographic profiles, the better able you’ll be to fine tune all creative and messaging elements in your video content catered directly to them. Dig into analytics across your website and social platforms to see which types of video content already performs well with your followers. Survey customers and prospective leads to gain additional insights into preferences to inform script treatments and overall video strategy.

Optimize for Mobile

Today’s audiences increasingly watch video content on the go via smartphones and tablets. According to Ooyala’s State of the Broadcast Industry 2022 report, mobile devices now drive 71% of total online video plays. Given such heavy mobile viewership, optimize both the length and formatting of your videos for mobile screens. The ideal run time for videos intended for mobile viewing lands between 30 seconds to two minutes. Also design your shots and graphics to maximize impact even on smaller screen sizes.

Show Some Personality

Especially if promoting a product or service, add some personality and even humor into your videos when appropriate. Playful, animated videos and quirky b-roll shots allow brands to showcase their more human side versus coming across overly dry, corporate or promotional. Let the passion your team has for what you do shine through authentically on camera for easier viewer connection on an emotional level.

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

One highly polished, professional quality video will net better results for PR and branding efforts versus hastily throwing together a high quantity of mediocre, generic videos. Devote more resources upfront to develop thoughtful messaging aligned to strategic goals, detailed creative concepts and high quality production value for maximum ROI.

Strategically Distribute Across Multiple Platforms & Track Performance

Once your video content is finalized, distribute it far and wide to extend reach. Post natively on owned media platforms like your brand website and blog, blasting out links via email, e-newsletters and social media. Repurpose snippets as ads. Pitch the video to relevant reporters as potential news stories. Upload to free video distribution platforms like YouTube. Strategically place paid ads on social to boost viewership. And importantly—track real-time performance on every channel through video and ad analytics. Continuously monitor which platforms, messages and creative execution perform best to optimize efforts on the fly and improve future video.

Leverage Influencers to Expand Authority and Trust

Partner with influencers and brand ambassadors—from celebrity endorsers all the way to nano-influencers—to expand the credibility and reach of branded video campaigns. Especially influential figures respected for their expertise on a topic related to your brand can lend their authority, boosting the trustworthiness of key messages. Give influencers early previews of video content to drum up anticipation on their own channels for new launches. Compensate them to actively promote videos across their robust social media presences. Incorporate influencers directly in branded video content through guest appearances, interviews, testimonials and more.

Evolve Campaigns Over Time

Avoid the trap of viewing video content as “one and done.” Continuously track performance then tweak creative and distribution strategies accordingly for maximum impact over time. Film multiple video variations around single themes to determine what resonates best through A/B testing content then double down on top performers. Re-promote evergreen video even years after initial release, updating end cards to redirect to new product offerings. Test cutting snippets from existing high-performing videos to repurpose as ads, building continual momentum.   

Video content indeed holds exceptional power in PR if harnessed effectively. By taking the time to develop clearly defined strategies, compelling creative and wide distribution, video can significantly boost brand awareness, shape positive public perception and drive measurable business results. PR pros would be remiss not to make video a centerpiece of modern communication plans given such tremendous potential to visually engage audiences and powerfully convey desired messaging. The companies doing video right today will undoubtedly soar above competitors still timidly sticking to print brochures and text-heavy press releases to promote their brands tomorrow.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, video content allows brands to connect with audiences in deeper, more meaningful ways while also expanding reach exponentially across the digital landscape. For public relations professionals seeking to increase positive sentiment, establish thought leadership and ultimately boost sales for clients or employers through profound storytelling and messaging, prioritizing video is a must. The visual and emotional impact of well-crafted video content wields simply outpaces traditional PR formats. Though text, images, infographics and audio absolutely still factor into comprehensive, modern communications plans, video sits in a category all its own as audiences increasingly consume content on-demand via mobile and digital platforms. The companies recognizing video’s immense potential and harnessing it most effectively already sit miles ahead… and they aim to keep it that way in an intensely competitive landscape. Adapt or get left behind.