Are you one of the only 24 percent of brands who used online video for marketing in 2015? If not, it’s time to make online video work for your business. More than half of marketing professionals from all around the globe say that video stands out among other types of content with the best ROI, and 93% of marketers do use video for marketing because video improves click-through rates and is among the most effective marketing tools for social media.
Cisco tells us that by next year, video will make up 69 percent of all online consumer traffic, so get smart about this kind of content. Here are our dos and don’ts of marketing with video content.
Use how-to videos build influence
Showing followers and new visitors how to do something useful gets you new followers and shares, but it does more than that. It also helps establish you as an influencer, an authority in your field. Create videos that give away something valuable; content that is highly useful and sought after. Ask yourself: what are my target audience members searching for? Create the videos that will answer their questions.
Watch trending topics for great ideas
Obviously we’d all love to make and share the next viral video sensation, so it’s not easy to do. One of the best ways to make this happen is to watch your social media platforms for trending topics. There are really two ways to do this, too. First, watch for topics that trend organically as new events take place. But you should also plan ahead; check the calendar and anticipate which topics will be trending when. For example, March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day are both likely to be hot now and so you should add them to your video creation plan.
Use pre-roll videos to get attention
Pre-roll videos are short and they grab the attention of people effectively. The secret to a great pre-roll video is to slam enough interest into the first few seconds of the 15- to 30-second video to prevent users from skipping or scrolling past them. They are often used on social media platforms because they’re not sales-y, they’re entertaining.
Use behind the scenes videos to sell your brand
Your customers and new visitors alike love watching your behind the scenes videos. By showing people how things work in your business, you connect with them in a personal way. By eliminating this distance between you and your potential customers you get a lot closer to conversion.
Embed and brand your videos
Embed whichever video player you use into your site’s pages. Be careful to brand your videos in obvious ways in case others embed them. Ideally you should also use a paid service like Vimeo or Wistia to prevent you from cannibalizing your own traffic by sending it to YouTube.
Watch your metrics
Just like every other element of your marketing strategy, you can’t just release your videos into the wild without follow up. YouTube offers some metrics for free. However, using a paid service like Vimeo or Wistia serves two purposes: it not only keeps you from losing traffic to YouTube, but also gives you deep insight into how your videos are being watched and shared. Always review your metrics and take action based on what they tell you.
Tell your customers’ stories
Another great way to connect with your customers is to tell their stories in short videos. (Clearly, you need their permission to do this.) These videos are an ideal way to do more than one thing at once: you can turn existing customers into loyal fans of your brand, and attract new customers who would love to have a positive experience like the one they’re seeing.
Use fun videos to highlight your products or services
It’s totally possible to create entertaining, amusing videos that don’t have much to do with your brand yet feature it prominently and effectively. For example, a funny story could be told that includes your product; Kate Spade uses this technique in her short story-like videos starring actress Anna Kendrick. Remember, 76 percent of consumers share videos that entertain.
Use the right tools for your video creation
If your video isn’t complicated you don’t need any special tools; most social media apps that support videos allow you to shoot right in their platforms. If you need something more professional looking there are two ways to go. You can either use Camtasia, Adobe After Effects, and PowToon to produce good quality video footage if you understand how they work. If this really isn’t your wheelhouse you can hire a professional to create videos for you—and you should if you need a truly professional quality video.
Explore different kinds of videos
Mix up the variety of videos you create and use. From a funny snapshot into the culture of your business to a more detailed how-to video, variety will be the spice of your business. You’ll also be able to compare your various videos to see which types work best for your company.
Tell your brand’s story via video
It is a simple, effective idea to use video to tell the story of your brand. Use short videos to illustrate the core values of your business in action; for example, you can depict a typical customer experience that highlights your brand’s commitment to responsive communication. Remember, you want to get the style and tone of your business across consistently and prevent dilution of your brand.
Use video on your homepage and landing pages
Many of the best business videos created for landing pages offer a short version of your brand’s value proposition in minutes. Customized videos can express the focus of each of your landing pages quickly and easily; they can also boost conversion by as much as 80 percent.
Support your video content
Support your video content so it can work for you. Use social media platforms and ads to drive traffic to your videos and send viewers to another destination; link to an in-depth how-to guide or blog post to provide more information on the same topic. And remember to include your videos in your email newsletter. You can also use a tool like Outbrain Amplify to get your video seen by entirely new people.
Use videos to communicate lots of information in a simple way
Each of us is exposed to so much information each day that it can be difficult to parse through it. And when there’s this much to accomplish and wade through video is a smart way to offer even complex information quickly and without too much effort for your audience.
Keep it short whenever you can
The average attention span in 2015 was less than eight and a half seconds. The average time we spend watching an online video is about 2.7 minutes. We these figures in mind it is clear that you need to engage your viewers almost immediately, and then wrap up as quickly as possible.
Include a call-to-action
Let your viewers know what you’d like them to do. If you created a video to explain how a product or process works, let them know where to find the product or how to learn more. If you’re creating short, funny videos hoping to inspire followers to create their own response video, tell them and show them where to post theirs.
Learn to think like a videographer, not just a marketer or manager
Yes, you definitely need your videos to be strong from a marketing perspective. But you also need to know how to tell a story with video. Understand your audience and their interests and preferences so you can make your story something they genuinely want to hear about. Edit carefully so your points are both apparent and congruent with the elements of storytelling. And use a proper microphone to make your video pleasant to hear.
Define your goals for your video content
Although you may have very clear ideas about what you’re hoping to get from creating video content, it is essential that you clarify those goals carefully and add them to your overall strategy. As you do this you’ll allow yourself to stay on task with your video creation and accurately assess how effective your videos are.
If you’re not already using video content as part of your marketing strategy, now is the time to start. When you do, make sure you’re in step with these dos and don’ts of marketing with video content. Let me know what you come up with in the comments!