Predictions estimate that, by 2021, 82 percent of all internet traffic will be video. That's only a few years away, so if you haven't already incorporated video in your your marketing strategy - now is the time.
Between YouTube, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories or Snapchat, publishing video content online has never been easier, cheaper or more accessible for businesses. But there are some best practices that are important to take note of and keep in mind.
1. Define Your Goals
Before you start any new marketing campaign, you need to define your goals, and what you ultimately hope to get out of it. Do you want to increase traffic? Grow your leads? Drive conversions? Improve brand awareness?
Whatever your goal, defining and documenting it before moving forward with a new strategy or campaign will help you stay on track and stay accountable.
2. Tell a Story
All business should make use of the emotive power of video by telling a story. Stories are key to captivate an audience and appeal to their wants and needs. Don't just sell your product or service, tell a story about what your product or service does, and why or how it will help the customer solve their problems.
Storytelling is key to connecting with your audience and increasing positive brand awareness.
3. Grab Attention
One-fifth of all viewers will click away from a video in 10 seconds or less. That means you have only about 5 seconds to grab their attention and keep it. The introduction of your video is therefore vitally important in its overall success, and you'll need to bring your story to life quickly to hook the viewer to keep watching.
In the opening seconds of your video, you should clarify what the video is about and just enough information for the viewer to decide if it's worth their time or not. Your thumbnail should also be clear and relevant, suggesting to the viewer that your video is also high-quality and worth the click.
4. Maintain Brand Consistency
This is especially important if one of your goals is to increase brand awareness. Brand consistency should be kept in mind for all aspects of your video content: logos, font, use of color, background music, graphics, and even tone, all roll up into your brand image.
If even one or two of your elements are off of your regular branding, it will confuse audiences and might cause them to think the video or its content is inauthentic.
5. Educate Your Audience
When creating video content, don't just focus on promoting the product or service you are selling: focus instead on the value you are providing and educate your audience on that value. For example, you can film a demo video that teaches your customers how to use your product, or useful tips or tricks in using it. Or you can showcase your industry expertise with a recorded webinar discussing the industry or recent relevant news.
6. Be Creative
Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot’s Founder and CTO, gave an interview a few years ago where he was asked about lessons learned in video marketing:
"The worst thing to do is make a completely boring video. Videos that are pure marketing puff pieces don’t spread."
He goes on to say that their team focuses on being creative and incorporating humour into their video content. He also stresses that video production doesn't need to be "Oscar-worthy" as long as the content is useful and the overall message of the video is valuable.
Relying on buyer personas will help you to decide which creative direction makes the most sense for your target audience, but don't feel like you can't use humour or a little creativity, even in the most 'professional' of industries.
7. Optimize Your Videos
Optimizing your YouTube videos is as important as search engine optimization for your website. Over 300 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute, so you need to make sure your own content is found easily, and by the right audience, every time. Optimizing your YouTube videos will not only improve your search ranking results within YouTube itself, but also across search engines like Google as well.
We just published a whole blog post about optimizing your YouTube videos last month, so check it out for all the details.
8. Share Your Content
Video content should be shared across all available channels, including your blog, resource pages, and social media accounts. You can publish videos to your Facebook, YouTube and Instagram accounts, and post links to Twitter, allowing your videos to be easily shared and distributed.
9. Include a Call To Action
You can build viewership with end screens on your videos, which are basically a call to action for the user to take a suggested next step. End screens are a part of the video that show during the last 5-20 seconds of a video. Your video has to be at least 25 seconds long to have an end screen, and you can add up to four elements to promote your content, channel, and websites.
Some examples of how you can use end screens at the end of your YouTube video are:
- Point viewers to other videos, playlists, or channels on YouTube
- Call for subscriptions to your channel
- Promote your website, merchandise, or crowdfunding campaigns
10. Rely on Video Analytics
Once a video has gone live, rely on your data and analytics to track its success. What are the views like? How is your watchtime? Are people commenting? What's the feedback? And most importantly: has your website traffic or conversions increased?
Using your real-time results can help you understand what you did right with your video, and what you may have done wrong -- both of which can point you in the right direction for your next production or campaign.
Thanks for checking out this post. I hope you find our video marketing tips useful in your next video marketing campaign.