An Introduction to Video Marketing
Before we begin, here are some crazy statistics for you:
- Nearly one out of every two people on the internet visits YouTube
- YouTube’s monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly ten Super Bowl audiences
- If YouTube were a country, it’d be the third largest in the world after China and India.
So are you using video marketing to tap into this massive market place?
Video is still an underused marketing tool for companies, which is mind boggling considering the reach a YouTube video can achieve. Enthusiastic video marketers are using video to improve SEO rankings, site engagement and customer conversion.
Creating the right content for video
At its core, video marketing is just content marketing. It sends the same message, just on a different platform. But the biggest challenge lies in knowing how to create the right content for your audience. YouTube subscribers are different to Facebook likers, who in turn are different to Twitter followers – and your content needs to reflect that.
First you’ll need to consider whether video marketing is for you. Some products and services do not lend themselves to video very well, but if you can create content that is visual and uses audio elements to create meaning, then your content is well suited to video.
What content works in a video?
- Content that promotes a physical product or service
Use a video to demonstrate how your product works, but don’t just talk about. Keep your videos focused and make sure your video is relevant and useful to the viewer.
- Content that provides instructions
Use audio, visual and text/dialogue to help your viewer. Show the viewer how to do something, rather than just explaining it.
- Creative and funny content
Be creative with your video marketing. Funny and unique videos attract the most viewers, and are easily shareable. No one wants to watch a video that is just like thousands of others on YouTube.
- Content that relays information
Use short, linear narrative to keep viewers interested.
- Content that covers live events
Use snippets of the original event, with your own filler, instead of extended clips.
What should my video include?
As with any media, there are normal conventions to follow (these conventions can be broken, but here’s what we’d recommend);
1. Tell a story
Your video should naturally have a story arc; a beginning, middle and an end.
2. Include the right amount of content
The ideal length for video (before your viewers flick to something else) is four minutes.
3. Include a call to action
The video’s message should be simple and direct. It should help viewers, or push them towards your desired action (as seen below).
Some companies rely on video marketing as the main part of their overall marketing strategy, but not all do. If you do rely on video marketing, chances are you‘ll have a big budget, lots of posh equipment, and specialist staff for the job. If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum, don’t worry. You can still use video marketing; just use it to the best of your ability.
As more people use video marketing, or even video in their email marketing strategy, the cream will rise to the top. Shabby chic won’t cut it, and may negatively impact your brand.
Consider these things as you get started:
- Know your equipment
Even if you don’t have a camera with all the bells and whistles attached, it’s still important to know about the equipment you’re using. Learn how to set it up, adjust lighting, turn the microphone on etc.
- Script it
Being natural and relaxed on camera is not as easy as you think. Most people aren’t born with the skills to adlib and make it sounds natural, so save time and write a script. Show some personality and creativity so that your presenter doesn’t sound like a robot.
- If all else fails, revert to simple
Realise your limitations but don’t let them stop you. It’s important to be creative, but know there is a point where simple is best. Extravagance can distract the viewer from the main point of the video, and over production can make your video look less professional. Twitter’s Vine allows users to create short 6 second videos – they get straight to the point.
- Storyboard it
Have a start and end point in mind. Sit down with your team and make a list of the things you’d like to see if you were watching the video. Work this list into an order and include the points you’d like to cover.
There are tonnes of free and paid video sharing sites on the internet, and only you can choose which one will work for you. Here is a small selection:
Of course. The biggest video sharing platform in the world is now a social media site, editing tool and general black hole for productivity (does anyone else get stuck watching cat videos? Just me then…).
Vimeo mostly contains professional looking videos and has two options for its users: a basic account with limitations, and a paid account with advanced options and more space. The paid account is a good idea if you’re involved in video editing.
Vevo is mostly used for music artists and music lovers. Artists can use the site to promote their videos, whilst music lovers can find new band to their liking. One great thing about Vevo is the quality, videos render well even when watching them on a TV. One not so great thing about Vevo is the adverts. It’s impossible to opt out of them and you can’t choose which ads are shown.
Metacafe achieves over 40 million unique viewers every month. You can find all categories of video which are of a high quality. Metacafe does not allow ducplicated videos, so each video can only be uploaded once. A perk: if your video is viewed over 20,000 times, they will pay you $5 for every 1000 views you get on top.
Flickr is not only used for hosting images, but it used for videos too – who knew? There are also two types of account; paid and free. The free account only allows 2 video uploads per month and are limited to 90 seconds. The paid account allows an unlimited number of videos, but again must be under 90 seconds and no bigger than 150mb. Great for short, snappy clips.
Share your video
You’ve written, filmed, edited and uploaded your video. Now what? You need to share it. Of course you should use the obvious channels. Encourage subscribers through social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook.
Sharing on social sites is all well and good, but only your followers will see the content. You need to allow viewers to find the content on their own. Here’s where SEO comes in.
- Include your keyword in the title of the video, but be careful not to make it look too spammy.
- Include the keyword in the video description.
- Include a video transcript. If you have scripted your video this will be easy, if not, you’ll have to take time to write out the transcript of the video. Copy and paste this into YouTube, to allow GoogleBot to crawl the content. The robots can’t read video in the same way they can read text, so help them out by providing the text too.
If you’re venturing into the world of video marketing, you need to do it right. If your video isn’t informative or adding value, then it’s a waste of time. Videos aren’t easily absorbed (compared to a whitepaper for example) and require the viewer to sit and watch your content – so make it worthwhile.