Video is now one of the most important parts of the current internet user’s experience. Think about how you gather information while on the internet – how much of it comes from video? The incredible growth of video content, and corresponding habits of video consumption means video marketing has a real place in the online business landscape.
While customers might not always be purposely seeking out videos, the very nature of videos is engaging and authentic. They serve as a good way to get in touch with the viewer, and they are something viewers are naturally drawn to.
Even if videos aren’t essential to your product offering or core service, it should be a big part of your marketing strategy. A video marketing strategy is important for any business that wants to reach a further audience and create closer connections with the audience they already have.
So the question is: how do you get started? Here are the first steps to your fool-proof video marketing strategy.
Discover Your Audience
At this point, with a general marketing plan, you should have a good grasp on who is included in your audience and what they are like. For the video marketing portion of the plan, however, you want to specifically answer the question of where exactly your audience consumes content and what kind of content they like to consume.
This is important because a great video simply used in the wrong place can create tons of missed opportunities just as a video that misses the mark can lose a customer’s attention before you even get your point across.
One great way to learn more about your target market is by looking at a close competitor’s content, what their engagement looks like, where they are publishing the content, and how well the people respond to different things.
Some of the main publishing platforms for marketing videos include:
YouTube is the top social video platform in the world with over 1.5 billion users each month. It’s good for reviews tutorials, vlogs, recaps, and informative/ educational material.
- Free hosting
- Huge audience
- Opportunity to link to a home website
- Suggested Videos features is a great way to get new traffic
- Great analytics to collect data and grow strategy
- Viewers are willing to watch longer videos because they are the sole purpose of the site
- A high amount of competition site-wide
- Can’t update information or replace any video file without deleting the old one and creating a new one
- The embedded player isn’t good for other websites
- Creating a discoverable channel is hard and can take a lot of dedication
Facebook is catching up to YouTube quickly, with over 100 million hours of clips watched on Facebook each week. It’s great for short and entertaining content that will catch a scroller’s eye and keep them occupied. People often go to Facebook for distraction.
- Free hosting
- Large audience pool
- Autoplay doesn’t require the consent of the viewer before playing, capturing their attention immediately
- An easily added value with an already created and existing community audience
- Higher CPM than YouTube – a better value
- Analytics are top-notch, but only for pages with above 30 likes
- Perfect for viral content to be shared
- A rapidly developing and improving platform
- Shorter audience attention span
- High competition from other content on the site
- Short life for videos because of sharing systems
- Audience works better for B2C companies
- Facebook Watch – FB TV hasn’t taken off yet since it’s so new (August 2017)
Vimeo is known as a place with high-quality and professional content. This site is often preferred by artists and professionals in the motion picture arts, so the content is usually pretty well-done.
- Large community present to engage with
- The free plan allows for 500MB of uploads each week
- Other related videos may feature yours
- The player is customizable, making it great to embed on other websites
- Google Analytics for Vimeo is available at the business level, but that plan costs money
- No analytics at the free plan option
- The audience is smaller than YouTube and Facebook
Wistia is great for embedded videos for added value (product demos, etc.), particularly for lead generation. The sleek and adjustable player looks good on most other web pages.
- Great analytics for tracking watch times and audience retention among other things
- Lead capture forms can be built-in to the video
- The player is easily customizable
- The design is clean and minimal
- Must pay for the service
- The audience reach is low since it’s not a community within itself
Setting the Stage for the Content
Now that you’ve determined what kind of content your audience is looking for, you can begin to plan out the content you’re going to create.
Videos take just as much time as any other marketing tactic like blogs or emails, and sometimes they take more depending on the kind of film and level of quality you’re aiming for before publishing.
Pre-production is a crucial part of creating good video content. The more time you dedicate to the pre-production period, the better your clips will end up being.
Pre-Production Brainstorming Tips:
Make sure it is relevant
Following viral trends might be a good “in” with audiences, but it is often short-lived with little to no return. Instead of jumping on any bandwagons or following a trend, know your niche and create videos that your audience will find interest in again and again. Remain unique within your brand identity and that will attract the audience to you.
Hook them from the beginning.
The first few seconds of your video are absolutely precious moments that are not to be wasted. Especially on YouTube and Facebook, audiences are extremely impatient. Within the first five to ten seconds, the viewers must be hooked to keep them committed. Staying unique and attention-grabbing at the beginning while also explaining what to expect in the video will help the audience member know they’re in the right place and are in for a good time.
Once you check out competitor films, you should be able to gauge about how long your videos should be. Find the most successful content and average out the length. While staying brief is important, judge this on what’s going on in your niche and keep the type of video in mind. For example, a one-minute review video might not be descriptive and helpful enough. Make sure your content is thorough and does its job well without being drawn out.
Focus on quality
When we say quality, we’re talking about smart planning and project execution. When you plan, you should allow time for troubleshooting and concept perfecting before the camera even gets rolling.
Plan for evergreen content
The best kind of content is video content that can be recycled and repurposed at any moment. Time-specific videos are great for specific instances, but they don’t hold a lot of value after that. Keep the future in mind when writing scripts or developing video shops to keep things evergreen.
Make the Content Good
When you’re beginning your video marketing journey, you might get caught up in a lot of the small details. But, things like technical specifics have very little to do with the final product unless it’s for special effect purposes.
Priorities should look a bit more like this:
Content is king. Without good content, the rest doesn’t really matter. Keep it to the point, and ruthlessly cut to keep the video interesting.
Bad audio tracks can be extremely distracting and a hindrance to an otherwise great video story. There are no quick, last-minute ways to fix this, so getting it right the first time is crucial. A great tip is using an external recorder rather than the camera’s microphone to capture sound.
Keep the subject well-lit and maintain flattering angles. Books can be written on how to best light various scenes. For many advertising videos, a clean and simple approach that draws the viewer to the content instead of the lighting is usually a good place to start.
Make a good impression with the perceived environment of your business with a good background choice that won’t take away too much from the content itself. Good backgrounds rarely make the video, but they certainly can ruin one by being overly distracting.
Beginners often think having a top-of-the-line camera will suddenly make their video better. While it sure doesn’t hurt, all of the factors in making great video must be considered.
Optimize for SEO
Once you have your content, you’ll want to utilize every opportunity to make it stand out and generate ROI. A great way to do that is with SEO. With videos, SEO can get a bit complex. Depending on the platform you’ve chosen to publish on, there are some secrets of the trade to help boost the performance of your videos.
If you’re publishing to YouTube, here are some general tips to keep in mind:
Nail your timing down
Publishing time can really affect how many views a video gets on YouTube, so if that’s where you’re putting the content up, pick a popular time to publish. When the results of the first 48 hours are positive, YouTube will highlight it to more viewers and thus increase the viewership of your video as it stays posted.
Create a thumbnail
A good freeze-frame for the thumbnail can really increase the chances of someone clicking on your video. Find some great thumbnail images from competitors and use them as inspiration for an even better one.
A short title with the focus keyword is important for SEO purposes. Don’t make clickbait titles – keep it relevant and authentic. Keep your description informative and use any search terms that may be important to the content.
Captions help with viewership on YouTube.
Use screen cards for end-screen elements
On YouTube, this helps you redirect viewers to your channel or other content and avoid them switching to competitor content after your video is over.
Double check it all
You cannot replace files on YouTube without completely taking down a video, so make sure it’s all correct before publishing! Also, don’t change any of the text descriptions until the content’s been up for about a week, as YouTube may see the changes and get confused about who to show the content to.
Send, don’t just publish!
When you publish the video on your page, make sure also to send it out to your subscribers. You want them to respond within 48 hours, so keep that the goal. You may choose to get their attention with a marketing email linking them to the video. Sometimes, your audience just needs to be aware that the content is there.
Using YouTube’s analytics will help you learn from your decisions. You can check out the average watch time, what the audience retention rate was, and what the main traffic sources were.
Use the data gathered during the analysis to make each marketing video better every time.
If you’re publishing through Wistia, here are some type-specific tips for publishing:
Make a good title.
Keep it short and accurate. Don’t keyword stuff here.
Keep it accurate and useful; don’t optimize it for bots.
Thumbnail photo selection
Find a complimentary frame that gives the right impression right off the bat. It doesn’t need to be as in-your-face as a YouTube thumbnail.
Use transcription for crawling.
Wistia offers a $5/minute service to transcribe or you can do it yourself.
Learn and Repeat
Arguably, the most important part of a video marketing strategy is much like any overall marketing strategy: analyzing, learning, and improving.
After each upload, check out the performance and response of the video and find what worked and what didn’t. Keep what worked, throw out what didn’t, and try something new.
For example, perhaps you learn that YouTube is the right channel and the content was great, but videos over 2 minutes just lose the audience after a while. Then, you know for next time to keep your channel and content niche the same while making the video a bit shorter.
After refining your strategy in this way, what you’ll be left with is the cream of the crop.
If you’re ready to get started with a video strategy that will bolster your business, boost leads, and raise ROI, contact Phoenix Production Services today.