Videos are a very effective way of finding new and inexpensive audiences. Even though your videos may only get a moderate amount of views, they are quality views that allow you to leverage the technology to grow your business.
1. Keep it Simple, Short and Sweet
Creating an effective video isn’t always simple, but your content should be. Your video should focus on one clear message. Start with a concept that will elevate your brand and differentiate you from the competition.
At VMakers we take clients through the process of developing a “Creative Brief” to define goals, objectives, target audience and what the key message is.
Leverage your existing content, third party content and/or stock media. Keep graphics, props, animations, and dialogue to a minimum. You’ll want to enable your audience to easily consume your video message.
Viewers’ patience is greatly reduced while watching online videos, so keep your content short. Try to keep your videos less than two minutes to maintain maximum audience attention. Keep the pace moving and don’t wait to get to your point. If you don’t grab your audience within the first 10 seconds, they’re unlikely to stick around for the rest. If it’s difficult to cut your video down to that time-frame, create separate videos (chapters).
2. Inform, Educate, Entertain
Three types of video are consistently popular on the web: informative video, entertaining video, and educational video.
How-to’s, video guides, product demos, sales presentations, testimonials and even your FAQs on video can make popular and relatively timeless pieces of online content.
3. Know Your Audience
Knowing what peaks your audience’s interest is a great way to make sure your message is getting communicated effectively. Create videos for your target audience; considering their needs and wants, what language and what style will resonate with them.
Your target audience plays a vital part in the overall success of your video, so make sure to communicate and engage with them as they prefer. Carefully plan your video content and the channels you intend to market it through. Figure out when visitors engage and disengage with your videos (Analytics). This will help you refine existing videos and produce new videos that lead to a much more engaged prospect.
4. Add Calls-to-Action
Video players can do more than simply play videos. You created your video with a goal in mind and your video should help you reach that goal.
If your aim is to get viewers to buy a product, your video should end with a clickable link to where the product can be purchased. Preferably in the player itself, so the link travels with the video wherever it’s embedded.
If you’re trying to generate leads, it makes sense to close your video with an email signup form.
Let viewers know what you want them to do.
5. Video Hosting
When you are marketing your video, the last thing you want is an unreliable hosting service. It’s important to use a provider that will offer you consistent quality and provide all the necessary metrics to measure your success.
YouTube and Vimeo are limited for hosting – plus they add distracting and competitive advertising. Investing with Online Video Platforms (OVPs) such as Brightcove or Bitsontherun (offers a single brand voice, complete creative control, transcoding into multiple versions for different devices, browsers and bandwidths, and deeper more valuable analytics. A blended strategy is best – YouTube and an OVP (check out my host vs post article to come).
6. Video SEO
Showing up at the top of search results is key to directing customers to your products and/or services. YouTube is the #2 search engine and showing up in the top of YouTube organic results can be a very powerful tool.
Set up a YouTube channel for your business where you can upload your videos. Be sure to include links to your YouTube channel from your website, social media profiles, blogs, etc. Think about posting different content on YouTube versus your website. Include your branding, calls-to-action and contact information.
It’s essential to complete the searchable meta-data and transcripts. Include as much information as allowed. The more people who not only see your video, but can interact with you directly as a result, the more potential customers you will have.
Submit a video site map to Google. A sitemap is an XML file that gives search engines your video title, length, target audience, and a bunch of other pertinent details which better inform how your videos will be indexed.
Can you skip this step by uploading your videos with a service that already has great SEO? Doesn’t YouTube have great SEO? Absolutely, YouTube videos are all very well optimized to direct search engine traffic…to YouTube. Not to your site.
To capitalize on the benefits of video SEO for your own website, you must submit a video sitemap. Contact your video hosting service’s support team for help setting one up.
If you’ve added a new video to your site, don’t wait for it be discovered, get out there and promote it. Of course you should link to the video on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ , but why not share it with your mailing list as well?
While email client support for video is limited, you can embed an image in your email that links directly to your player. That way, when recipients click on the image’s play button, a webpage with your player set to autoplay will open up.
No matter what platform you are using—your website, social profiles, video-sharing sites, or blogs— embrace and interact with the communities there.
Engage with commenters and other users, Like or comment on their content, video-respond to them, share their work, subscribe, follow and generally participate in the discussions taking place in those locations.
Doing so will encourage other users to do the same, with your content, enhancing your marketing karma thereby extending your reach.
9. Measure Your Success
Always remember that measuring success creates success. Whether you’re looking to improve your video views, social following, Likes, conversions, subscribes, website visits, or bounce rates via online video… you need to regularly monitor your analytics and measure the success of your strategy and tactics.
Gain a competitive advantage with video!