video and content marketing

This is a guest post by Joshua Hardwick.

I hear about “content marketing” all the time and to be honest, I’m sick of hearing about it. Ever since Google rolled out their Panda algorithm update a year-or-so again, it seems to have been the topic of just about every blog post out there.

“But why does it annoy you?” I hear you ask. Well basically, it’s because every online marketer worth his/her salt has been doing content marketing for years (before all this Panda nonsense) and I find it annoying that it’s become yet another “SEO tactic” where, more often than not, it’s more about “getting a link” than creating great content.

The truth is that great content will always attract links (and social shares and all the rest) and a lot of content marketers are creating great content every day. However, there seems to be one aspect of content marketing that is still (for whatever reason) extremely underused; video.

In my opinion, video should be part of EVERYONE’s content marketing strategy; and here’s why…

It Sets You Apart From The Crowd

As I mentioned above, almost every online marketer on the planet is involved in some sort of content marketing these days (i.e. guest posting, blog posting, creating infographics, etc.) but for some reason, very few are using video marketing at all.

Sure, a lot of the bigger companies have started using it in the form of viral ads or perhaps on landing pages but hardly any of the small companies out there are using it.

But why should you care about standing out from the crowd? Well, let’s say you were given the choice of reading two blog posts; one of them was 1000 words of plain text and the other had the same information, but presented in a video format. Which one would you choose and which one would you be more likely to share/link to? Exactly, the video post.

It’s Embeddable!

One of the best things about video content is that it’s easily embeddable on just about any website or blog you can think of. This means that bloggers can easily share the great content presented in your video with their readers too; they just have to embed it.

Let’s compare this to a standard blog post. If another blogger wanted to share your blog post with their readers they’d not only have to ask your permission (thus decreasing the likelihood of them sharing it) but also, have to significantly rewrite the post to ensure that Google doesn’t hate them for stealing your content.

If this wasn’t enough, you can probably generate a huge amount of back links to your site if you host the video yourself (and provide an embed code) too (check out this post if you want to do this).

It’s Not As Expensive As You Think

Writing a blog post is cheap; if you go on any popular freelancing site you can probably find a decent writer for just a few bucks quite easily. Now, creating (quality) video content is never going to be this cheap admittedly, but firstly; it doesn’t have to be and secondly; it’s still not as expensive as you might think.

The fact is, millions of people are writing blog posts every single day and while they’re still a great form of content marketing, there’s nothing special about them in most cases. A piece of video content is probably going to have chance of generating links and ranking well on popular search engines than any, bog-standard blog post.

As well as this, quality video content is becoming cheaper than ever to produce in-house. If you’ve got a Smartphone (e.g. iPhone, Galaxy etc) or perhaps a decent (i.e. $500+) DSLR camera with video mode, you’ve got everything you need to create a great video. Remember, it’s more about great content than fancy video editing.

You’re Probably Already Doing Similar Things

A lot of content marketers are constantly producing different forms of content in order to keep their strategy as diverse as possible and therefore, you’re probably already doing similar things to video marketing.

One of the things that springs to mind is infographic marketing. For years, infographics have been an extremely popular way of not only gaining links but also, sharing expertise and building trust.

Now one things for sure, infographics aren’t cheap (at least not the good ones anyway) so why not use that budget and produce a video? With thousands of infographics created every day, bloggers are inundated with requests to republish them but rarely are they asked to republish a video (hence you’ll stand out from the crowd).

The World Loves To Watch Videos

If all the above reasons weren’t enough to convince you, then hopefully this one will be; people LOVE videos.

Content marketing is all about creating content that your target audience is going to love and currently, the world seems to be in love with video content. Sure, people love reading a well-written blog post (as you’re doing right now) but let’s face it, it’s much easier to sit back and watch a video.

I could throw statistics about online video at you all day (if you want some, here’s some mind-blowing ones) but really, you only have to look at the success of YouTube to see just how much people love them.

And That’s A Wrap!

Well, I hope that I’ve convinced you to experiment with video marketing at least as I know it can lead to wonderful things.

However, just remember that video marketing works on the same principles as any other form of marketing; it has to be great content or no-one will care about it, no matter how much outreach you do!

ShortyMediaAbout the author: Joshua Hardwick is the Managing Director at ShortyMedia, one of the leading video production companies based in the UK. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus for more video marketing tips and ideas.

image: EmpowerNetwork

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Blog consulting with Danny Brown

Enjoy this post? Share your thoughts below:


        • Josh Hardwick says

          Hi Ninos,

          What kind of private work are you looking for? Along with running my video production company, I’m also a freelance writer and SEO too; so I’d be happy to chat with you about what you need.

          I did register a personal website a few months ago, but haven’t had time to do anything at all with it yet. You can email me directly at if you like though :)


  1. says

    I almost never watch videos on blogs. The quality of the speaking is often so poor that it turns me off, uhm you know, because people don’t, you know, edit their audio tracks, so, uhm all the “You knows and uhms” are removed.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong. I just don’t want to watch videos. I want to read my news and this goes for CNN, too. I don’t watch those videos, either.

    • Josh Hardwick says

      Hi Brian,

      I know what you’re saying, there are a lot of pretty poor videos out there but there’s also some great ones; much in the same way as there’s some great blog posts and infographics etc, but also some uhm…great ones :)

      It’s important to remember too that even a video on YouTube is a form of content marketing, so it doesn’t have to be embedded in a blog such as CNN. Although I think a lot more people would watch the news blog videos if they were better quality; even the videos produced by some big news sites are still pretty diabolical!


  2. danperezfilms says

    Mr. Brown, you make some nice points but when you write: “millions of people are writing blog posts every single day and while they’re still a great form of content marketing, there’s nothing special about them in most cases” you can easily change the wording to: “millions of people are posting videos every single day and while they’re a great form of content marketing, there’s nothing special about them in most cases”.

    For every viral video out there, there are several hundred thousand videos that never amass even 100 views. Whatever way you share content (video, photo, or the written word), if you post good content, people will return and share. I’ll take a well written post over a poorly produced video any day.

    Know what your strengths are. If you’re a terrific writer don’t put out a video that’s not up to par with your writing just because “It’s Embeddable!”. If you suck at video but really want to put one out there, hire a pro. The world does indeed love to watch videos – just not crappy ones. And most bloggers think they’re entertaining their “audience” by sitting in front of their ipad and rambling away. Not.

    Cheers :-)

    • Josh Hardwick says

      Hi Dan Perez,

      Thanks for your comment, I completely agree with your points, although I did write at the end of the post: “just remember that video marketing works on the same principles as any other form of marketing; it has to be great content or no-one will care about it, no matter how much outreach you do” – so I know what you mean about there being millions of videos that only amount to a few hundred views.

      I’m not saying that everyone should just start making videos for the sake of it, but a lot of the time, they can offer a fantastic way of marketing yourself and building links; just take the “Whiteboard Friday” videos on SEOMoz for instance. They’re nothing special production-wise, but the content is always on-point and therefore, people share them.

      My point is that a lot of people don’t even consider video, when sometimes it could get their point across in a simpler and more entertaining way than say; a blog post or an infographic – and as a video-lover myself, I just want people to experiment with it :)


    • says

      Hi Jim,

      I’d say yes and no. Some videos (for me, anyhoo) work as “rogue videos” with no polish or critique. Others clearly need them.

      It also comes down to budget – many small business owners are looking to video as an alternative marketing angle, but not as many can afford a professional critique. In that case, should they go with the raw and save money to market elsewhere, or spend on the critique but then have less to spend on wider marketing efforts?

      • newmediajim says

        Danny it all depends on content and context. In fact too much polish can sometimes be as bad as not enough. If your video unlocks the secrets to happiness and prosperity, then I’ll endure crappy, thin audio and shaky, back-lit video. But if you’re trying to convince my that you have a product that is the solution to my problems, then I think your video quality should reflect that. BUT there are times where “rogue” may be the way to go. It depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

        I’ve also seen very polished videos that contain messaging that isn’t right for a brand. Video is complicated and has a lot of moving parts. If marketers can’t afford professional consultation, they should at least enlist some objective eyes to look at the project before the upload that video.

  3. Jennifer Agrazada-Schreiner says

    I would love to make videos for our social media targets. However, I am not much of a techie. Can you recommend a free cheap, if not free software that I can use to make videos to make them look professional? Are iPhone videos considered to be OK?

    • Josh Hardwick says

      Hi Jennifer,

      I would say that using an iPhone to make a video is a good idea, at least for starting out. Depending on which one you have, the camera quality is pretty good too – plus there are a few “editing” apps you can use too, such as iMovie (I think it’s about £2.99 from the iTunes App Store).

      If you’ve got a Mac, you can also use iMovie on there too if you prefer to edit on a PC.

      I’m not sure about other free or low-cost video editing programs to be honest, we use Final Cut Pro but that’s more of a professional solution.

      All I would say is that it can often matter more about the content than the quality of the video/editing techniques anyway. Just take a look at many of the videos that have “gone viral” – they’re usually poor quality videos to say the least.

      I hope that helps.


  4. says

    This is really nice and informative post and you are hitting on a very significant issue of today’s – mainly smaller – blogs. As you truthfully stated we hear about “content marketing” all the time and we have become sick of hearing about it. Ever since Google rolled out their Panda algorithm update it seems to have been the topic of just about every blog post out there. But why? Blog owners should bring their readers sine added value and not just trying to increase traffic using various SEO techniques – it’s just annoying and it doesn’t bring anything worth-reading to their readers.

    • Josh Hardwick says

      Hi Michal,

      Thanks for your kind comments. I apologise for making yet another post about “content marketing” by the way :)


  5. Nicole Beletz says

    Mr. Hardwick, thank you for your insight! I agree completely that videos are the way to go. It is a cheap and easy way to reach out to your market and it brings people in. Yes, words can go a long way, but a video is much more intriguing and it does set you apart. I wonder how long it will take for marketers to make the switch completely to video? Also, what do you about the vine application? I am studying social media with @dr4ward and he just showed us this new application.. I wonder how far it will really go! thanks again!

    • Josh Hardwick says

      Hi Nicole,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I don’t think marketers will ever switch completely to video, but it will definitely become more prominent in the marketing mix for most brands I feel.

      I’ve actually been playing around with Vine the past couple of days and been reading a little about it; it’s definitely going to be interesting from a marketing point-of-view and with a little bit of creativity, will be a great way to communicate with customers :)

      I may be doing a post about it soon actually, so keep a lookout!


  6. says

    Video still provides a lot of opportunity to stand out from the rest, since like you said not everyone is doing it. A marketing video doesn’t need to be fancy. It just needs to provide good information. A product demonstration is relatively easy to film and useful for target audience members.

    • Josh Hardwick says

      Hi Nick,

      I completely agree; it’s the content that’s the number one priority, hence the term “content marketing” :)


  7. says

    I’ve enjoyed doing videos, and I got a special bracket to attach my iPad3 to a tripod, and also invested in wireless mics, so I could be a decent distance from the iPad, and still have good audio clarity.

    I do very little editing – sometimes just adding some text. I’ve also found it necessary to edit the audio to eliminate lags, so that is where I spend most of my time. Other than that, it is pretty casual. I feel the message/content is good, but people are not getting polish. Most of the feedback has been very positive, so I’ll keep doing videos.

    • Josh Hardwick says

      Hi Brian,

      It’s good to hear you’re experimenting with video! If people love them, keep making them; that’s what content marketing is all about! :)


  8. aylin_s says

    I’m in complete agreement, Josh. I think marketers will often dismiss video marketing as ‘not right’ for their particular business, but I would argue that virtually every product can benefit from being marketed via a well-done video. At the software company I work at, we use videos not only to explain how our software functions but to also showcase our company’s unique culture and and let customers see a more personal side of our team.

  9. says

    Great post Danny. I think a lot of people don’t use videos on their sites because they think it’s harder than it actually is to create videos. There’s a lot of great video software out there these days though that make it much easier than most people think. Good videos can make even boring subjects interesting.