||Most organisations, whether public or private sector, are always on the lookout for ways to reach out and really connect with the people they serve. Between traditional marketing methods, the internet, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it may seem like you’ve got all the bases covered…
but not quite.
The power of video
Did you know that 96% of 78 local authorities in the UK were using interactive social media as of April last year and those who weren’t using it intended to in the next 12 months? Why? Because it is instantaneous, powerful and being used and recorded for social media makes it two-way. Social media allows for direct and immediate engagement with a target audience and not only is it effective, but it allows members of that audience to communicate back to local authorities. It is, in short, an unprecedented kind of interaction.
Interestingly, 97% of those local authorities mentioned above used Twitter and 93% Facebook, but only 63% used YouTube. The ever-growing popularity of social media sites makes it a great medium for communication, so why not enhance your posts further and add additional content in the form of video.
YouTube has become so popular and powerful that it receives more daily visitors than Google – who actually own it! More people are reacting to video, so take advantage of the trend by making a video your community can engage with, too.
Depending on the purpose of your video, which might include recruitment, induction, training, promotional or awareness building, you need to decide whether to produce it internally or use a video production company such as Creation Video
who specialize in creating video for the Public Sector.
Police forces throughout the country are now using YouTube videos to connect to the community they serve, with Greater Manchester being the first to produce a video about their new mobile phone App which enables the public to find their nearest police station, report a crime, see the latest Missing Person reports and read about appeals for help.
Surrey Police, along with West Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Greater Manchester and other Forces are now using YouTube videos to appeal to the public for help, to reinforce public safety campaigns and keep local constituents informed on the success of specific crime fighting operations, for example West Midlands Police posted a video in an appeal for help to identify criminals involved in a bank robbery
– the video has attracted almost 2,500 hits.
In-house video production
If you intend to record and produce your video in house, begin by focusing on the content.
- What information do you want to share?
- Who is your intended audience and what do you want them to do upon seeing it?
A flip camera or digital camera might be all you need to get started but if you can, try and find an external microphone to use in order to record quality audio. For editing purposes, Windows Movie Maker or iMovie by Apple are both easy to learn for first-time users.
Once you’ve made your video, you’ll need to post it to the web. When you do that, do a little research into how to tag people and places, which will then allow your video to appear on more pages. Another idea is to use the video on your website and use meta data and page titles to aid SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) That way your content has more chance of appearing higher up in the search engine results pages when someone types those keywords into a search engine.
Viewers for your video
Finally, you’ll want to drive traffic to whichever platform you’ve chosen to host your video, be it your organisation’s website, YouTube or your social media pages.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- If you’ve chosen to add your video on your website, tell people about it on your social media page by linking back to your main site (or microsite if applicable.)
- Encourage visitors on your site to ‘comment’ on your video and share it with others.
- Initially spread the word internally by distributing a techy type of item such as a mousemat printed with your Twitter or Facebook addresses or a USB with a copy of your video loaded onto it so as to get the word out that you’ve got an exciting new digital medium.
- Then, work on spreading the message within your community. Use flashy marketing like reflective slap wraps as a personal safety reminder and a way to share the news about your online video. Equally flashy and useful are reflective stickers, perfect for drawing attention to your message and lighting up at night!
- For the first users who view your video and then share it, offer a freebie such as a 2 in 1 pen with stylus as a thank-you.
Ultimately, video should appeal to people much more than pages and pages of web text or anything else they have to read. It is a powerful and dynamic feature that should hopefully enrich their experience with your department.
So, lights, camera – ACTION! – Make the most out of video today!