As any marketer attending this month’s Video Marketing: The Powerhouse of Content conference will tell you, if you aren’t incorporating video content into your business’ marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a major source of both brand awareness and website traffic.
If you weren’t able to get tickets to the event (which sold out weeks in advance!) don’t worry. In this blog we’ll give you all the information you’ll need to get you:
- Producing exceptional videos with ease
- Successfully marketing your videos through social media
- Search engine optimising your videos and;
- Understanding what “live video” means for your business
Fancy Feature Films? Forget About It!
“Damn Daniel! Back at it again with the white Vans!”
- Length: 30 seconds
- Age: 2 months
- Views: 10 million +
- Production cost: <$5 (probably!)
While not a marketing campaign in itself, the “Damn Daniel” clip is a stellar example of the new way video content is made and consumed: It’s short, and it’s made with smart phones for viewing on smart phones.
Aim for Short Form & Low Res Videos
Mobile views make up 45% of video views globally, and many anticipate that smart phones and tablets will replace both TVs and computers as our primary entertainment conduits in the near future.
The major drawback of the mobile, however, is that data is often in short supply, meaning that just the length and quality of a video can determine whether it is watched at all.
Part of the success of “Damn Daniel” – a compilation of low-quality Snapchat videos – is the fact that it’s just 30 seconds long.
Short form, low-res videos have greater viewer retention because they cost the consumer less to watch.
So, forget about hiring expensive videographers to shoot feature-length, HD advertisements. Vine (owned by Twitter), Instagram (owned by Facebook), and Snapchat (the app with 6 billion views/day) videos are leading the way with their 6, 60, and 10-second video capabilities.
If your video genuinely entertains, informs or shocks viewers, and viewers don’t have to max out their plan to watch it, you’re onto the winning combination.
All Businesses Are Film-Worthy
Do you know you need videos but have no what to shoot? Here are just a few video concepts you can start on today, regardless of your market or industry!
How to: If you’ve got a tangible product, why not show your target audience how to use it and the multitude of uses it has. The more they know about what you’re selling, the better chance of them making a purchase.
A day in the life or behind the scenes: People are naturally very snoopy. So, play on that! Give a sped up tour of your office, show the day-to-day goings on, or get backstage at an important event and give your viewers “exclusive access”.
Frequently asked questions: Capitalise on viewer’s curiosity by titling your video with the question you get most. Then, get a senior staff member to succinctly explain the answer. In fact, why not make a whole series of FAQ videos, then plug them on a regular day?
Interviews: Got a notable client, friend, or colleague? Pick their brain on camera. You can use the material you get to make snippet videos that are teasers for a longer interview.
Tip: Look at what videos your competitors are making. If they’ve found a style that people want to watch, consider doing something similar for your first attempt.
Capitalise on Creative Customers
You might not have to produce videos at all to benefit from having this type of content.
In the thirty seconds the “Damn Daniel” clip runs for, it contains two brand mentions that have spurred a tonne of positive press for Vans.
Once “Damn Daniel” went viral, Vans rode a wave of good publicity right to the bank – just look at the spike in searches for “white Vans”!
Vans didn’t make this clip, but they could have easily got their fans to. The beauty of user-submitted content is that it’s not forced, and therefore has a better chance of getting traction.
Imagine creating a campaign calling for users to make Snapchat, Instagram or Vine clips mentioning your brand, and having the next “Damn Daniel” sent your way.
How & Why You Need Social Media for Maximum Exposure
Don’t Just Upload, Release!
Releasing video content is very different from just uploading it.
The number of companies with an extensive video portfolio that sits untouched on YouTube is countless. There’s no point producing video content for the sake of saying you have some video content.
If you want your video content to meet your business’ objectives (whether they are creating brand awareness, boosting sales, or something else), you need to get your videos out of your immediate circle of internet influence.
How to get strangers to watch your videos is, of course, the million dollar question. Ultimately, it’s about trial and error. But here are a few strategies we’ve found work:
- Utilise other’s influence: Start following and observing accounts whose audience would have a genuine interest in the video you’re going to make. When it comes to releasing time, you should have a list of these accounts (and a set of corresponding personalised messages/captions to issue to the account holder/page) at the ready. Then, just release your video onto their page.
- Release the same video across your platforms multiple times: Space them out, change the accompanying captions, mix up the hashtags and do different shout outs each time you post. If you’re proud of your work, post it to your personal platforms too. Get as much value as you can from every video.
Why Social Media Matters for Video SEO
While cynics look at view counts as vanity metrics, both search and engines and consumers see social metrics as a measure of credibility and relevancy.
While Google doesn’t index every retweet, post or share, both SearchMetrics and Moz have conducted correlation studies that show social signals are linked to rankings.
Whether sites with better social signals rank well because they tick a bunch of other SEO criteria, or whether there is a causal relationship between the two, remains to be seen. However, at the end of the day SEO is about improved user experience, and how happy your viewers are with your videos will be shown by:
- Engagement: Comments and likes are a good way to start measuring engagement, but are the “vainest” of all the metrics.
- Seconds spent watching your video: This important metric can be used to gauge interest in your videos, and give you an indication of viewer’s preferred length. Even if you just get your video half-viewed on average, you’re doing well.
- Shares: This is perhaps the most important social metric as it is active brand promotion on your behalf. Make sure you never post anything without making sure there’s a reason for people to share it.
How to Optimise Your Videos for Search Engines
Once you’ve got a fantastic video that is ready to release across your social media channels, you can leverage this piece of rich media to improve your website’s SEO. Video content is a major source of untapped traffic, and Google wants to give preference to video results. But, if you don’t have a huge following on YouTube, how do you get your video to rank?
Video SEO Technical Tips
A few of the easy-to-implement SEO techniques for video include:
- Keyword targeting: As with traditional SEO, try to include your keywords and their synonyms naturally in your video’s filename, title, description, and any file names for images associated with it.
- Optimise Descriptions: When writing your video’s description, make sure that you include a call to action that has a link to your website, and a video description that is at least 300 words and naturally integrates the search phrases you want to rank for. If you’re stuck for ways to come up with the words, why not write a video transcript? Whatever you do, don’t duplicate content!
- Backlinks: Building a strong backlink profile is one of the best ways to get the ranking power you want for your video. Reach out to your business’ partners, social media sharers, and other relevant interest groups that may be willing to have your video on their website full time.
- Create Playlists: Playlists are another way for search engines to find your content, so make one per video using synonym keywords.
- Custom Thumbnails: Custom thumbnails are headlines in and of themselves, and a thumbnail that grabs the viewer’s attention will result in more clicks through to your video, which will improve its SEO performance.
- Optimise Your Account: As with all other social networks, if all of the details in your YouTube account aren’t filled out, your traffic will be automatically handicapped. Make sure your channel’s page has all of its channel images (be sure to name the images after your search terms) and descriptions taken care of, that it’s linked to your other social accounts and websites, and that you are subscribing to channels similar to your own.
What about Live Video?
Live video is another exciting new front for marketers, but whether it can actually improve your business’ bottom line remains to be seen.
The live craze, which started in February 2015 with the Meerkat app, and now includes Twitter’s Periscope app and Facebook’s “Live” feature, has indeed met with some success. Facebook claims that people watch live video for more than three times longer than regular video. Some even argue that live video will soon have a viewership on par with conventional TV programming.
However, it’s too early to tell if live video will get the traction needed to occupy a permanent space in the digital sphere, or whether the concept will only fall by the social media wayside like MSN and Myspace have.
Investing in live video is a gamble. If you want to use live video, hedge your bets by experimenting with the platform where you already have the strongest following.
If your platforms are equally strong, choose Facebook. Facebook Live has a tonne of options not available on other platforms, including:
- Ability to save & share videos easily
- Ability to schedule live streams
- No need to sign up or download an additional app
- Discovery of videos appears in News Feeds
Do you have any more hot video marketing tips? We’d love to hear them! Please, comment below!