Why Video Marketing?
… The statistics to sway your content strategy
It´s statistics like that which have marketers dubbing video “the future of content marketing”, although it´s fair to say that this future is already very much upon us. That´s not to say that the web will just be a series of videos, however, the written word still holds a special place in the heart of many of us (it´s just more refined, isn´t it?). But online video is where it´s at for an increasing amount of customers, without doubt.
Nielsen claims 64% of marketers expect video to govern their strategies in the near future, as they try to tap into the potential reach that the medium provides.
As Chris Trimble points out in a blog for the Guardian, YouTube now receives more unique visitors that any other channel, Facebook aside, with more than one billion users making their way to the website every month.
Facebook itself is making more of video these days, too, implementing an auto-play feature which leaves users with little choice but to cast an eye over the clip in front of them.
The question appears to be, then, how can we capitalise on this turning of the tide? Video is inherently engaging – which should make for increasing brand awareness, lead generation & traffic and therefore direct sales a formality, right? Not necessarily. There are plenty examples of brands making a mess of playable content.
As far as engaging goes, this has got to be one of our favourite examples of 2014, and with over 77 million views, we’re not the only ones! Evoking emotions, displaying the prowess of Volvo’s trucks and Jean Claude Van Damme makes for one hell of a piece of content.
Volvo doing it like a boss
Of course, we don’t all have the same budgets to play with as Volvo, but that’s not to say something that fits your resources can’t still be incredible … Let´s look at the ways in which you can enhance your video strategy for maximum performance once you set it free.
Video Marketing Tips
Identify your goals and constraints
The Volvo trucks video above perfectly illustrates this point. It’s crucial that you understand and map out the balance between the internal resources available to you, and capabilities against your opportunities (and threats!). Typical questions to ask yourself before you get into the creative stages include:
- Where are we now?
- What is our current situation (think SWOT analysis)
- What do you want to achieve in general terms? (goal identification)
- What is the single most important achievement?
- Why have we chosen video marketing? (your intent and motivation)
- How will we measure the success of our goals (setting KPI’s that are relevant to your goals)
- What are the boundaries of this project (time, budget, resources, creativity)
Ace your video marketing plan
Bountiful advice resource the Content Marketing Institute suggests the key lies, like many things, in preparation. Michael Litt explains that you must have a clear idea of the end result before you even think of picking up the camera, and asking yourself the above questions should help you achieve a well formulated marketing plan.
He says that marketing teams should first sit down and discuss the intent of the video: so that´s the emotions you want to evoke (fear, excitement and greed are a few that work especially well) and why; the target buyers to whom the video will resonate; and what you want your leads to do following consumption of the content.
Deploy calls to action
For whatever reason, calls to action (CTA) are still somewhat lacking in video content (see what we did there…?).You´ll see them in abundance in written content, just you wait for ´em! But marketers are often missing a trick by not deploying them at end of a clip.
It´s even more surprising given how easy they are to come up with, not to mention how effective they can be, when the whole piece holds together accordingly. All it takes is a series of YouTube annotations highlighting the different resources, or a direct prompt from the presenter. You could even argue that you´re undoing all your good work by simply forgetting to put a short link at the end of the video directing viewers to where you want them to go.
If it´s aesthetics you´re worried about, how about placing a CTA adjacent to the video itself? Just remember to keep it fairly direct; because you´re likely to have gone down a creative route with your video, which may not scream at viewers the products or services you offer.
Some typical do´s and don´ts
As you can see, there´s plenty to discuss when it comes to what makes a successful piece of video content, but with research suggesting that attention spans are on the decrease, we thought it best to boil a few of the points down into more manageable portions.
Advertising platform Outbrain does a pretty neat job of that, in fact, its advice suggests there´s plenty of ways to get it right, but just as many wrong ways to go with online video marketing.
DO adopt a trial-and-error approach. As far as video is concerned, there is indeed more than one way to skin a cat, so give all the formats a try and see what works best for your brand.
DON´T drag it out. That´s not to say that you shouldn´t be creative with your masterpiece, but the best videos and film creators are the ones that know when to draw it to a close. How often do you hear the faint praise “It´s good, but it went on a bit” levelled at something?
DO make sure your videos are on-brand. The company message should be at the heart of your content, rather than just latched on at the end. It´s easy to get carried away with a concept, only to realise that it doesn´t really adhere to your brand´s style and tone after you´ve already invested substantial time and resources.
DON´T make a bad video. Quite an obvious one, this, I admit, but you´ll be surprised how many brands we spot who still seem to be shooting with ten-year-old technology. Outbrain´s advice is: if you don´t have the resources to make a well-made video, outsource it.
The technical side of things
Measuring your campaign’s success
It´s easy to get wrapped up in the making of a video, quite often at the cost of what is important in terms of the marketing of it. As Forbes suggests, the technical make-up of a video has to be duly considered if it’s going to take off.
For those brands that are just entering the world of video marketing, YouTube is likely to be your go-to channel. If that is the case, you´ll need to have a good idea of what its algorithm looks at when it comes to rank videos. Here´s what determines where your content resides:
- How often the video has been viewed
- How long someone views the video
- How often the video appears in a user´s playlist
- The number of positive rankings/comments
- The number of subscribers the creator (you) has
- How often the video is added to a playlist
- How often the video was embedded on the web
Video content optimisation
There´s not likely to be anything there you didn´t expect to see, but sometimes it can be hard to grasp exactly how you can tailor your video content to tick all of the boxes. With that, here are several optimisation tips to help you along the way:
1. Implement keywords.
Make it easy for bots to be able to call on your content when a user demands it.
2. Keep that title catchy.
Keywords play a part here too, but it´ll need to be eye-catching as much as anything else.
3. Thoroughly describe what´s going on.
Remember, bots cannot actually watch and extract information from your content, so give them a good idea with a detailed description.
4. Don´t forget to include tags.
Have a think about what your audience might search in order to land upon your content, and tag it accordingly.
There´s so much more we could discuss on the matter of video marketing, not least distribution, but that will have to wait for another day. If the whole conversation has put your head in a spin already, perhaps it´s time to have somebody else worry about it? Here at M2 Bespoke, we revel in all things video content and would be delighted to listen and assist with your video marketing woes.