What It Is: Strategic Content Development
Why You Should Care: High Demand for Informational Content
Channels Impacted: Paid, Owned, Earned
Most brands focus their search marketing attention on keywords that are closest to a sale or conversion. But what about informational keywords? Everyday, MILLIONS of searchers ask Google questions like “how to tie a tie,” “how to set up a printer” and “how to make an omelet.” Brands have the opportunity to respond to these informational queries by providing helpful content to searchers, instead of a hard-sell message. This content enables brands to connect—and start building relationships—with searchers. Your participants are less likely to consider your advertising as manipulation if you give them a fair trade: provide them with helpful content, and they’ll be more open to your message.
Informational queries are high volume, and have different expectations from searchers in terms of intent. Demonstrative video content is often a great response to informational needs. For instance, every month, Google receives 1.5 million “how to tie a tie” queries. And the easiest way to teach a person is to show them, right? A brand that sells ties could therefore create a search-optimized “How to Tie a Tie” video. That brand would be providing searchers with valuable content in the right place at the right time and a solid touchpoint of engagement. Video thus boosts branding metrics such as awareness, perception, consideration and brand loyalty—and it’s more likely to be shared via social media than any other type of content on the Internet.
Video also provides potential impacts to:
Surprisingly, large brands rarely employ informational video search strategies, giving first-mover advantage to brands that jump in now!
PERFORMICS HYPOTHESIS PUT TO THE TEST: INFORMATIONAL SEARCH QUERIES MORE LIKELY TO DISPLAY VIDEO IN UNIVERSAL SEARCH RESULTS
Google and Bing will often display videos in unpaid search results—but how can advertisers get their videos to cross over? Performics hypothesized that informational search queries were more likely to generate embedded video results than transactional or brand queries. We also hypothesized that most embedded video results for informational queries did not come from large brands.
To prove these hypotheses, we conducted a search experiment. First, we created three corresponding keyword lists:
Each keyword list contained 100 terms. We then queried each keyword (from Chicago the week of Aug. 21, 2011) on Google and totaled the number of first-page embedded video results for each query.
Thus, informational queries were 12.7 times more likely to deliver embedded first-page videos than transactional queries and 8.25 times more likely to deliver embedded first-page videos than brand queries
To validate our hypothesis that big brands weren’t the ones creating the informational videos, we then determined the source of each embedded video:
Of the 165 videos generated by informational queries,
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Our experiment proved that to achieve more prominent video visibility on universal search results, brands should focus on creating videos that respond to informational queries. Moreover, the opportunity is worth the effort. Searchers are clearly seeking informational video, proven by YouTube query volume. For instance, YouTube receives 295,000 search queries per month for “how to kiss,” 92,000 for “how to tie a tie,” and 13,500 for “how to lose belly fat.”
Informational videos by large brands have failed to rank because these brands have either (1) not made informational video or (2) not optimized this content for search.
Embrace the following strategies around informational video to amplify your message in search:
Informational video content is king when it comes to demand and engagement. Large brands have a distinct advantage over amateur and small brands in creating high quality video content. It’s time for you to incorporate informational video strategies into your marketing program to amplify your message and interact with participants.