The Many Ways That SIPA Members Are Using Video

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More than half of the adults polled in a new Pew Research Center Survey say video is important for helping them make purchasing decisions. The survey also reports that users are turning to videos—and that means YouTube, of course—for much more than entertainment.

"Roughly half of YouTube users say the platform is very important for helping them figure out how to do things they've never done before. (Fully 87% of users say the site is important for this reason, with 51% saying it is very important.) That works out to 35% of all U.S. adults, once both users and non-users of the site are accounted for."

Businesses are increasing their use of video across specific channels: The number using video on landing pages jumped from 49% last year to 60% this year, and the number of businesses using video in email jumped from 36% to 46%. Additionally, video use in sales conversions has also experienced a marked increase from 25% to 37%.

Fortunately, many SIPA members already use video in varying ways. Here are a few: 

Testimonials. "Something else very exciting we're just now doing," says Joe Habboushe, a doctor and CEO and co-founder of MDCalc in a video for EB Medicine on YouTube. "We're working with one of my favorite evidence-based journals, EB Medicine—collaborating with them to make a new publication called Calculated Decisions."

How-tos. "Hi this is Greg Alvarado, and I wanted to give you something new to think about—a new way to look at the health of your equipment," says Alvarado, chief editor and father of Inspectioneering director Tyler Alvarado, in a video on their site. Inspectioneering showcases a whole series of videos on various topics in their industry, several dealing with safety.

Introductions. "You may have heard about IRMI, but you might not be completely sure about what we do." So begins a video on the homepage of the International Risk Management Institute. Scroll down and watch a powerful video from an IRMI member speaking their praises.

Recruitment: In a video on Money-Media's homepage—with the headline, "Why should you work for Money-Media?" above it—New York City looks fast-paced and beautiful. We hear from employees about the career-growing opportunities, trust and camaraderie bursting forth in their brick-laden office. Then we see laughter and food at staff gatherings, a softball title and comfortable meetings.

Information. The SIPAward-winning, sponsored Coleman Report Update is a fast-moving, 10-or-so minute video. The one I watched featured stories on an SBA Phoenix Award Winner, the 3 Brothers Bakery, SBA Hemp Industry Lending, SBA Portfolio Reviews and Dan's RV Sales, tied together by Bob Coleman's hard-charging presence.

Event promotion. Education Week uses powerful videos to promote their annual Leaders To Learn From event in Washington, D.C. When they first started this approach in 2016, it helped boost year-over-year attendee revenue by 77% and live attendance by 75%. Similarly, Access Intelligence's The Social Shake-Up Conference uses testimonial video to promote its event.

Contests. Videos can also be requested from your audience. Columbia Books & Information Services' American Paint Contractor held a contest to find the top contractor videos. "You've watched them, you voted for them, and now you can help us congratulate the winners of APC's Top Contractor Videos on the Web..." Talk about a win-win-win enterprise. They get excellent, topical video content, all kinds of engagement, sponsor dollars and a page on their website that can stay relevant for a while.

And there's more, of course. "We are seeing video usage rise, especially as we test new formats," said Money-Media's managing director Dan Fink. "Originally, we published video clips of industry conferences, but over the years we have added formal interviews, man-on-the-street interviews, explainer videos, data visualizations, and more. The last two formats have proven to be extremely popular."

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…