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Videos are king and are poised to remain so, with a predicted 80% of all traffic consisting of video by 2021 according to data from Cisco. And according to TechCrunch people watch 1 billion hours of YouTube social video per day.
So, no matter what your business is, it should be a key part of your content strategy. But if you’ve never done it before, or you’ve tried and aren’t getting results, where do you start?
Fortunately, there are a lot of resources and options out there today - here’s the breakdown of the basics. You choose one or a few that fits your business and budget and other social strategies.
What’s So Great About Video?
The allure of social media video is quite simple: In a world where we are constantly bombarded by digital messages that seem so far away and impersonal, seeing a person’s face and hearing them talk is meaningful. It gives us an up-close-and-personal feeling and lends authenticity to a person’s message as well. All of this equates to greater trust.
Video is also very versatile. We can create one or several small snippets that act as placeholders and brand-building tools for our business and share and re-share over time and across different platforms.
And while there are plenty of fancy, interesting things we can do (higher-quality video will continue to have a competitive edge), we can also keep it super simple. Sometimes just a brief but powerful message from the comfort of our own home can say so much more than a text-heavy blog or an overly-salesy ad.
Before you Start
A great YouTube or video marketing strategy takes some planning, and depending on the level of quality you are looking for; you may want to consult an expert or agency for assistance. But whether or not you do this, it’s important that you have a clear idea of why you are doing it in the first place.
Just like any other piece of content, your video or video series is going to have a call to action (CTA) that’s tied to a sale and/or marketing objective.
- How does it fit in with your overall strategy?
- What is your CTA?
- What type of feeling do you want the video to have?
- Where and when are you planning on sharing it on social media?
- How does it fit into the buyer’s journey?
- What persona are you targeting?
Buyer’s Journey Overview
Remember that you are trying to create a frictionless, pleasant, and direct experience that fills a buyer’s need in a given stage of a journey. So, if you are working on general brand awareness, create a story, and if you are selling a course for instance, make the value explicitly clear.
Here are a few tips for creating your video based on what stage in the journey you are at:
You are creating a story and offering valuable information about your service or product. Keep the video short, helpful, and inspirational or fun. Your CTA can lead to a landing page or more detailed content to help the audience access some exclusive information.
The customer is considering a purchase and probably looking around online for various alternatives. So, you need to be clear about differentiation, here. To this end, you’ll want to make the video a little longer, include demos and testimonials, for instance. You really need to show the product and this is where video visuals and explainers can be extremely useful.
Your customer is about to buy and you need to make this a smooth, clear process. You also need to ensure that the customer feels like they have control over the process. You can make sure they understand clearly how to use, assemble and return products, for instance.
4. Nurture / Re-engage
If someone has made a purchase or even came close to it, you can always come back around to them and remind them about your product and all the amazing things that your company is doing.
Here you have the opportunity to nurture previous customers, surprise them, delight them, thank them, and have a little fun engaging.
You can also include videos and testimonials from other people here, or offer opportunities for customers to interact with each other around your brand.
Types of Video
There are different formats of video you can choose to market your product. Here are a few different types
- Vlogs or live
- Product reviews
- Video ads
So, which is best to use? It really depends on your budget and level of expertise. If you want a slick and professional look, or an out-of-this-world script, you’ll want to hire a digital marketing or video production company to create something professional.
How long is the ideal video length?
HubSpot recommends the following lengths for videos:
- Instagram: 30 seconds
- Twitter: 45 seconds
- Facebook: 1 minute
- YouTube: 2 minutes
You’ll see that length is somewhat correlated to channel purpose. Shorter is better because of our short attention spans – you can do it cheaply and quickly. Use visuals to ensure your audience is engaged – a simple slideshow and a few fun graphics can work wonders.
A longer video does have some advantages, including offering more value and clearer in-depth explanation. But it’s best reserved for complex or high-tech types of setups that actually require those details. A good rule of thumb is: don’t have a long video for no reason.
Sharing your Video
On your website or blog, you’ll be able to upload or embed a video – the whole thing should be pretty self-explanatory. What’s more effective and strategic is that you’ll want to do some pretty extensive video marketing on social media channels.
Here are some tips for best practice:
Include captions on any autoplay videos, keep them on silent, and don’t put them on your homepage. You don’t want to interrupt people’s social experience with a sudden loud advertorial that just gets in the way of what they are doing – you want them to come to you.
- Make sure videos are mobile friendly – mobile is king these days, and everything you do must be fully visible across a spectrum of different devices.
- Optimize your video according to the best practices and SEO standards for a particular platform.
- Keep everything on YouTube in an organized library.
- Use A/B testing to see what times of day your videos get seen and when the most engagement is.
- Incorporate your video with different types of content.
- Extra visuals can be very effective, especially on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat – you can include captions over top of interesting images as well.
Choose channels that suit your goal/brand. LinkedIn, for instance, now has plenty of room for you to share a variety of content, including slideshows, videos and blogs. It’s a great place to connect with other professionals in your field.
Keep things super quick and organized on Twitter! Hashtags and manually developed captions are also critical here.
Live video will continue to make up the forefront make up over 10 % of traffic by 2021. Instagram live is still a hot tool for anyone and everyone to use. The allure of it is that videos only stay up for 24 hours and are posted in a real-time format.
It’s super simple to test out, too. All you do is swipe over to the Instagram Stories Camera and it will notify some others to watch.
Facebook live too is another way to get up close and personal in a real-time format with an option of allowing users to react and leave comments.
Tips for using Facebook Live:
- Comments are in real time but can be slightly delayed
- It’s not ideal for interaction for a huge audience but can certainly be useful for giving an up close and personal feel to an event or important announcement
- Great for casual, day-to-day updates as well (just keep them short)
- Do let your audience know in advance that you’ll be doing a live video
- Choose a few key social channels to share the live video on as well
- Consider creating a video with value that can be re-shared later – you can upload to YouTube and edit it too.
- Use the comments and engagement to frame your next video
- Incorporate the video into other types of content like email blasts
Optimizing for Search & Tracking Results
The title of your video needs to be specific and value-oriented. You need to remember that this is not just something that people are finding via your brand channel, but also something that they will find on the web.
So, using your brand and company as a part of the title is really crucial here if it’s a demo or product overview. To that extent, a title that is generally useful can also bring them to their brand, but it must add value and be related. You should still keep it as short as possible.
Descriptions are really important and should include keywords. They are going to be aimed at both search engines and consumers so you can’t just make a list of keywords.
YouTube’s keyword tool can help you find keywords across all of your content and you can use it to help you think of new ideas for topics and link them with your blogs and other content as well as use it to create video ads
You can use Google Analytics to understand more about how your videos are performing, who is watching them and a whole lot more. This is also a great way to get a solid understanding of what social channels your videos are performing the best, where they are being shared. Keep everything on record and always be using it to refine your strategy.