Let’s make one thing clear: video production is not video marketing. Creating a highly polished, big-budget brand film does not mean that it will be deemed a success. Even your video gets millions of views that doesn’t mean it’s leaving a lasting impression or convert a significant proportion of those views into actual sales.
Much like any other type of content—be it blog posts or infographics—your videos have to be promoted in ways that fit with the way people consume them.
How To Market Your Videos
Video marketing can be broken down to five steps that answer simple but necessary questions, like which channels should your videos be on, how should they be presented and shared, and how effective are they at achieving their goals.
1. Video Hosting
The obvious avenues for where you should host your videos are the two biggest social media platforms: YouTube and Facebook. Whilst leveraging the huge potential audiences on both these platforms is a no brainer, don’t rely on them. Ultimately YouTube and Facebook will gain the most from having your videos on their platforms so use a secure, third-party hosting solution like Amazon S3 or Wistia to host videos on your own website. This will give you more control and allow you to potentially rank your web pages on the search engines instead of those of YouTube.
2. Video Formatting
It doesn’t matter how slick or inspiring your video is if people don’t even bother to play it. Here are quick tips to make it enticing for your audience to click on your videos.
- Put your video above the fold on your home or landing page — This immediately puts all the attention on your video and removes the obstacle of having to scroll down the page.
- Choose a compelling video thumbnail — A highly expressive face that hints at a relatable situation or controversy works wonders.
- Make the play button big and simple — Visitors should know from the get-go that the shiny still image above the fold on your site can be clicked on to play a video.
- Don’t set your video to autoplay — People find it more of a nuisance than a convenience when a video starts automatically playing, especially if it has sound on.
3. Video SEO
Search engine optimisation applies to videos as well, but Google and YouTube’s site crawlers still can’t technically watch a video and determine what it’s about but that’s not to say that there aren’t other ranking signals that search engines will use.
Video SEO is then still reliant on the text that you write around the video. Here are some basics:
- Format your video title like a headline with natural keyword placement — For instance, “How to Promote Your Videos with Video SEO” makes for a good title.
- Write a concise meta description — This text should be around 150 to 160 characters, stating what the video is about and containing relevant keywords.
- Place relevant keywords in the “tags” section of your CMS — This is where you put the keywords or key phrases that your target audience uses when searching online.
- Optimise your video URL — A short, keyword-friendly URL that includes the word “video” makes the content more scrapable by search engines.
- Provide a transcript — By transcribing your video, you don’t just make the content more accessible; you also make it easier for Google to index it.
4. Video Promotion
Getting your video in front of your target audience can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Here are simple yet highly effective methods:
- Integrate your videos with your social media promotional campaigns — Amplifying the shareability of your social media campaign with promotions like giveaways and discounts is a tried-and-tested approach. When your audience is already bought into entering your promotion, getting them to watch your video is easy.
- Embed videos into other content — From your blog posts to your newsletters, you should be embedding your relevant videos into other forms of content you produce.
- Make your videos easy for people to share — People love to share videos that they find entertaining, informative, or inspiring. Add share buttons to your video to streamline the process.
- Invest money into social media advertising — 71% of consumers think Facebook video ads are relevant, according to a survey from video ad creation platform Promo. This means a vast majority pay attention to such video content.
5. Video Analytics
Because of the resource-intensive nature of video production, it’s important to get an understanding of your video’s ROI and what to measure. Here are some of the metrics that you need to consider to judge your video’s performance.
- Views – As the most basic metric for video performance, the number of views can tell you how much awareness there is for your content.
- Watch time – Knowing when viewers stop watching indicates the optimal length for your videos.
- Traffic sources – Seeing which channels drive traffic to your video directs where you should focus your video marketing efforts.
- Demographics – Are your videos reaching the right people? Even with a high view count, the wrong audience watching your videos can explain low leads and conversions.
Engagement – This is the reaction people have to your videos. Are they liking, sharing, and/or commenting? High engagement can prove to be more useful than a big view count number, as this shows your videos resonate with your audience.
However – you don’t do video for it’s own sake or for people just to view and forget. It’s essential that you don’t get lost in the data (views, social shares, likes and comments) and establish a robust system for flowing through the measurement data to establish real ROI i.e. enquiries, leads and ultimately sales.
If your video isn’t generating the leads needed to generate sales then it isn’t working. You have to find a way to measure this, even crudely, although if you aren’t doing this you aren’t alone. In a recent survey by Adstage they identified that there is a real disconnect between the metrics marketers see as critical and the metrics they actually track, with 69% not tracking anything beyond a view, and 73% unable to establish if video contributes to sales.
Segmenting your Video Content
Each video you produce needs to have a specific goal to make it actionable. Segmenting content gives you an outline to follow with your video content strategy, allowing you to address your target audience’s every need throughout the marketing funnel.
The “help, hub, hero” strategy, pioneered by Google via YouTube, is an effective methodology for segmenting content.
Help content is simple to produce and highly informative. It’s based on what your audience is looking for online that is also related to your business.
This is where your brand displays its expertise on its niche. Educating viewers is the surface goal, with the ultimate goal of improving search engine rankings, driving conversions, and building brand loyalty.
Home Depot’s “How to” videos and Nike’s “Nike Academy” series are perfect examples of easy-to-understand educational videos that integrate their products and inform viewers on topics relevant to their interests.
Hub content is regularly released content that caters to your current customers. Consistency is key, as the goal is to maintain engagement. With a formula in mind, the small tweaks you make and the audience reactions to said changes can be key indicators as to what matters to your customers.
Redbull’s “Who is JOB” and Nintendo’s “Nintendo Minute” illustrate the appeal of episodic video content that follow a template and go in-depth into what the audience likes. They foster a community of like-minded people that identify more with the brands.
Hero content is where you put the most effort into creating, with the goal of raising as much brand awareness as possible. This means producing highly polished, emotionally resonant content distributed through as many relevant channels possible. This type of content should only be made for major brand initiatives, so as not to drain your resources.
Avon’s #MakeUpYourOwnMind video campaign and Tide’s 2018 Super Bowl halftime ad “Every Ad is a Tide Ad” demonstrate polar opposite approaches to hero video content all the while accomplishing virality and reinforcing the power of their brands.
Avon “collaborated” with beauty vloggers by secretly sending their own products for review, while Tide satirised the bombastic nature of most Super Bowl ads. Either way, the results are the videos going viral and garnering millions of views.
QUICK CHAPTER SUMMARY
- Video marketing can be broken down into five steps: video hosting, video formatting, video SEO, video promotion, and video analytics.
- Host your videos on Facebook and YouTube for maximum reach but also host them on your own website for better conversions.
- Format your videos with your audience’s convenience in mindSEO for video means investing time to identify keywords and optimise the text and metadata according to this keyword strategy.
- Promote your videos by integrating them through your social media, content marketing, and paid advertising campaigns.
- Identify the important video metrics to measure and understand the context of each and what it is you’re ultimately using to ascertain ROI.
- Segmenting content using a system like help, hub, hero provides a clear structure for your video marketing strategy, helping quickly ascertain goals and metrics to measure for each video.
- Help content is educational, showcases expertise, improves search rankings, and builds brand loyalty.
- Hub content is regular, in-depth content targeted at existing customers and drives engagement
. Herocontent is big budget, professionally produced content made for maximum exposure to elevate brand awareness.