For many people, social media scrolling has become an integral part of the daily routine – far more so than reading newspapers, or even taking time to visit specific websites.
For anyone who uses the internet regularly, it is clear how central video has become to the way we consume content online. It only takes a few seconds of scrolling to find an embedded video on Twitter or any news app.
Having now been around for 15 years, YouTube has become one of the more traditional, familiar platforms. More recent entrants to the market include Instagram stories and TikTok, designed for short videos to be consumed in high volume.
To enter this sea of video content and attempt to compete may seem like a daunting prospect but the truth is that without video content your website or social media profile is far less likely to stand out.
For an accountancy firm looking to attract new clients and engage current ones, video is vital.
A snapshot of your practice
When it comes to defining your brand, video is one of the fastest ways to get through to your audience.
Many strands make up your marketing strategy: your website, imagery, tone of voice and social media presence.
From a client’s point of view, a video that condenses all of these elements into a bite-size format can quickly tell them what kind of firm you are.
- Are you straight-talking and traditional? Jovial and friendly?
- What kind of clients do you most enjoy working with?
Of course, these kinds of messages can be conveyed through written copy – we love words at PracticeWeb – but by unlocking the potential of audio-visual communication you can gain access to a much larger, more varied audience.
Increase your impact
Studies have shown that the brain retains audio visual data more easily than information gained through reading alone.
Many people prefer a mixture of text, speech and visuals as a way to take on information, and these people are far more likely to be interested in video.
In the age of social media, we have grown used to consuming many short pieces of information, rather than dwelling over longer blocks of text.
A potential client looking for a specific accounting service may be more inclined to read longer copy on a website, especially where it answers a particular need. But the casual scroller who may not know exactly what they are looking for is likely to be put off.
It is these potential clients that can have their interest sparked by a short video clip featuring an engaging speaker, or some clever animation.
Find your style
Depending on the branding of your accountancy firm, you might want to explore some different options for conveying your expertise. If your brand is slightly less formal and you want to do something a bit quirky, animated videos offer scope for being inventive and having some fun.
With an animation, you can explain a fairly simple concept and make it really eye catching. For example, a colourful, 30 second visual explanation of corporation tax will stand out in a sea of articles explaining the same thing in dry detail.
A video like this doesn’t need to be long or expensive and, done properly, can be really effective in appealing to clients who are usually confused or overwhelmed by technical topics.
If your brand is quite traditional, you may want to stick with one person speaking to camera at first, but there is still a lot you can do with this format to make it stand out.
Simple details can work well, like a plain but colourful background or basic graphics, maybe introducing the person speaking.
Adding subtitles to your video not only makes it more accessible, but immediately gives you a second visual element to encourage people to stop scrolling past.
Deliver the basics
An advantage of video content is that virtually anyone can start making it with relatively little experience. All you need is something to say and a smartphone with which to record it.
Some of the most effective video marketing can be as simple as this, especially if you want to dip your toe in without investing too early in animators, directors or equipment.
You can run the risk of appearing unprofessional with an informal setup. There are easy things you can do, though, to ensure your basic video content still looks polished.
The two key requirements are that you can be clearly seen and heard. This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how often these standards aren’t met. If recording on a smartphone, make sure you aren’t covering the microphone with your hand, and avoid filming outside near a busy road or on a windy day.
Outdoor filming can be better in terms of exploiting natural light, but if you are filming inside this can still be achieved by facing a window.
For a short video, holding your camera phone while speaking can be fine, especially if you want to go for a slightly less formal, ‘vlogger’ style. If you want to be able to speak with both hands free, a simple tripod or even a stack of books can be a helpful solution.
Make your video work for you
Once created, a video is a valuable asset that you can use in multiple locations. It can be shared on every social media platform, in order to reach different sections of your audience.
You could also embed videos into longer blog posts about the same topic, or share them again if a related story is in the news, for example. It is important to think creatively, not only while making your video, but also in terms of when and where to use it.
Going to the trouble of writing a script, paying for an animation or overcoming a fear of speaking on camera may seem like too much for a 30 second video.
But the value you will gain from a short video like this will more than match the work being done by your written copy, and make the effort more than worthwhile.
Download our ‘Beginner’s guide to video for accountants‘ to find out more on why video can be a powerful communications medium and one that’s easier than ever for accountants to explore for their practice.
Contact us today if you’d like us to help you start building video into your accountancy firm’s digital marketing programme.