Video Marketing can be used for everything from building customer rapport, to promoting your brand, services or products. Additionally, video marketing can serve as a medium to present how-to’s, promote customer testimonials, live-stream events and deliver viral (entertaining) content.
With the prominence of video content on social media platforms and search engines continuing to grow, having a video marketing strategy for your business has never been more important.
That’s why I’ve created a free and exclusive product video marketing guide below in order to help you get started on your video journey, or simply have a refresher.
By 2020, the video industry will account for 82% of all internet traffic, according to Cisco. And it’s easy to see why. The combination of visual and audio content has long been compelling to people, as we saw with the groundbreaking inventions of film and television.
Television is still, today, the most effective way to advertise, and certainly one of the most expensive. Online video can be a powerful tool, but it is, like television, pricey when compared to banner ads, and audio ads.
How are Videos useful?
It’s not too hard to see why video is so popular these days — for one thing, it’s an easy-to-digest format that gives our eyes a rest from the overabundance of textual information online. This would be why the world reportedly watches 1 billion hours of YouTube social video per day.
And those of you who are headed towards digital marketing careers should have a complete understanding of the power of video as a marketing tool. This is not only because they might be interested in making amazing videos, but because they’ll probably have to learn to incorporate video into their content in order to remain competitive.
Video is a versatile and engaging content format that not only gives us a real-life picture of what is going on; it’s also easy to share across multiple platforms. Consumers like it because it’s easy to digest, entertaining and engaging, and marketers like it because it can give a potentially huge return on investment (ROI) through many channels.
Video is also very accessible to anyone with internet access, both to watch and to produce. While there is certainly a trend towards higher quality video on a professional level, anyone can hop onto their laptop and create their own video in under an hour.
To develop your Video Marketing strategy, you’ll want to:
- Allocate resources. You’re going to need to designate some budget for video – at the least, decent equipment, good editing software, and a video marketing guru (or, better, team) – as well as time to create it.
- Tell your stories. Storytelling has never been as important as it is in the video, so get brainstorming: What stories do you want to tell? How will you tell them?
- Engage. It’s not enough to simply tell your stories; you must engage your audience while you do so. How will you make your stories interesting? What will hook your audience?
- Keep it short. There’s no set length for marketing videos (although there are recommendations), but the general rule is that shorter is better. Be ruthless with your editing. Cut, cut, cut out everything extraneous. Attention spans are short, so make the best of what you get.
- Publish. Publish your videos far and wide – embedded in your website, uploaded to Google-owned YouTube, and on all your social media channels. Then, promote, promote, promote.
- Analyze. Track metrics and stats, to determine which videos do the best – and why.
Why is Video Marketing important?
Simply, because product video marketing is all over the Internet. Look no further than your favorite brands, your Facebook, your YouTube homepage, and there it is: successful video marketing that has found its way to your eyes. If a photo’s worth a thousand words, then how much more valuable is a video? That’s the basis of video marketing.
A forward-facing marketing strategy that integrates engaging video into your marketing campaigns. On the surface, the how of video marketing is pretty simple: Your brand creates videos that, in some way or another, promote your company, drive sales, raise awareness of your products or services, or engage your customers.
In practice, it’s a little more complicated. Like many of your marketing efforts, video marketing is data-driven, so you’ll want to monitor various metrics and track customer engagement. As a medium, it takes more time to produce a video than any other kind of online marketing. Therefore, to ensure you get the best value, a video marketing strategy is required.
What are the Benefits of Video Marketing?
In 2017, video content accounted for an estimated 74% of all online traffic. Your customers love video. Would-be customers also love video, which means good video marketing can attract new visitors.
The benefits of video marketing are many. In that case, let’s begin with easily quantifiable statistics, numbers, and data for instance.
- Video helps you connect with your audience. Today, so much of a company’s marketing efforts are designed to help build trust. Video is the bridge that links what you say to who you really are, allowing customers to peer behind the curtain and get to know your brand.
- Video is an SEO gold mine, helping build backlinks to your site, boosting likes and shares (which can affect search rankings), and driving traffic to your site. And let’s not forget that YouTube is owned by Google, so be sure to post your videos to YT and tag, tag, tag with keywords/keyphrases!
- Videos boost information retention. If your customers hear something only, they’re likely to retain about 10% of that information three days later; by contrast, if what they hear is accompanied by relevant imagery, they’ll retain an average 65% of that information three days later.
- Email subject lines that include the word “video” see a 19% increase in open rates and a 65% boost in click-throughs.
- Four times as many customers would prefer to watch a product video than to read product descriptions.
- Do you like money? Then consider this: after watching a video, customers are 64-85% more likely to make a purchase.
Which are the Best Practices for Video Marketing?
From these challenges, rise video marketing best practices. And it all comes down to strategy: If you want your video marketing to have results, then you must plan, test, analyze, and test again. Yes, the goal of your videos is to tell a story and engage your customers. But, from a marketing perspective, your videos must also align with your sales funnel. Like;
- What is the purpose of each video?
- Who is the audience?
- How does the video further your marketing goals?
The bottom line, overall strategy, and data should drive your video marketing strategy. First, plan a solid strategy to develop video(s) for each level of your sales funnel. Outline the content and goals of each individual video.
Determine what metrics will best determine a video’s success. Then, test. Analyze. Tweak your videos (and their deployment), when necessary. Work to make them more effective. And whatever you do, do video; in 2017 and beyond, it’s the cornerstone of your brand’s marketing efforts.
Today, let’s look at what you need to know to put a video strategy together. And I’ll provide tips to make it both robust enough and agile enough to use in the short, medium and long-term.
1. Articulate your goals
Step one is to articulate why you’re attempting to use product video marketing as a part of your marketing mix. Setting video goals, objectives, and KPIs is fundamental to creating an efficient video marketing strategy. It will help you justify the resources you need, and allow you to clearly see how well video marketing is contributing to your broader marketing goals.
A recent study from Ascend2 found that businesses commonly use video marketing to:
- Educate customers
- Build brand awareness
- Drive engagement
- Increase leads
- Improve conversion
- Build a community
- Send traffic to their website
These goals may work as nothing more than inspiration for you, or may well be some of the things you want to replicate for your strategy. Whichever way you go, use the SMART technique – making things specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound – to set your goals and KPIs for each of these objectives.
Do the best you can to make them both ambitious, yet realistic. But be sure to give yourself the freedom to adjust them as time goes on if they show themselves to no longer be valuable parts of your strategy, or are simply no longer achievable.
2. Be aware of trends
A lot of video trends are a flash in the pan, but some stick around. So, what should you do?
If you were to go all-in on every video marketing trend, you would be switching up your video stack constantly for little value in return. Trends, by definition, come and go, so include an allowance of time and resources for experimentation so that you can try trends and new ideas for size, and see if they show value before making them a permanent part of your strategy.
Here are some trends that have grown in 2019:
Although Facebook Live was overhyped, live streaming has proven valuable to a lot of brands. The in-the-moment nature of the format captures people’s attention by establishing a sense of urgency. Live video also feels more intimate as it’s typically more off the cuff.
Most platforms that offer live streaming will also provide viewers the ability to comment live, and interact with the streamer in a unique way which can increase overall user engagement for your brand.
While users on social media sites like Facebook prefer short videos, YouTube viewers are watching videos that are longer. In fact, it’s something that YouTube’s algorithm is favoring, as it means people are spending longer on the platform, and can, therefore, be shown more ads.
For Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, animated captions are a great way to catch the eye of users that are scrolling. As videos on these platforms autoplay on mute, these animations can provide the context of what the video is about, and try and hook users in, getting them to activate the sound and watch the whole way through.
You can also do this through closed captions, which you can set to be automatically activated on your videos while playing with the sound off. These provide subtitles and need to be uploaded into each platform with your video content as a .srt file.
This is also a good thing to include in all videos across platforms, as it provides a transcript that search engines like Google can crawl, picking up on keywords, and improving the chances that they’ll show up in search results.
Snapchat’s popularity has fluctuated, and Instagram’s much-hyped IGTV was a bit of a bust, but the “Stories” format continues to go from strength to strength. Viewers usually expect to see this content in and amongst that of their close friends and influencers, so it needs to feel personal and be designed to be watched alone (often with the sound off).
Stories can be more low-fi than the content you’d expect to see from brands within your Instagram stream, or YouTube and Facebook feeds. If done well, it’s a unique and intimate way to connect with your audience.
3. Which channels to use
Each of the video channels available can be used to target a slightly different audience and requires a certain set of formats. Once you’ve figured out the audience that you’re trying to reach, and the style of video you want to create, it’s time to look for the right platform/s to be on.
YouTube is one of the best video platforms on the web. It can handle virtually any resolution or format you want to throw at it, including interactive 360 videos, and 4k resolution. It’s the place to upload if you’re happy to have your users be shown ads before or during your content.
YouTube videos can be easily embedded on web pages. And, as YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web, succeeding on YouTube can have a big impact on your brand’s SEO.
It’s difficult to stand out on Facebook at the best of times, and with more video content than ever being uploaded to the social network, decent exposure is getting harder. As a platform, it can handle virtually any length of the video (under 240 minutes), offers live streaming options, and can support the regular 16:9 video aspect ratio, as well as square or vertical videos.
However, it can only handle 1080p or lower resolutions. Facebook videos autoplay in people’s feeds until users activate the sound. The feed is both a blessing and a curse, as it prompts the passive discovery of your content, but, being in a feed full of content, rarely results in content longer than a few seconds being watched all the way through.
The star of Instagram right now is its popular Stories format, which was mentioned earlier. The other option is IGTV which, after a rough launch, has broadened the formats of video it accepts (no longer exclusively vertical video). IGTV will accept up to 15 minute long videos when uploading from a mobile device, and 60 minutes when uploading from the web.
Videos must be MP4 format. And they’ll now appear as autoplaying videos in people’s feeds when they’re released, and on your Instagram profile, although only the first 30 seconds will play, and then prompt users to watch the rest in the IGTV part of the app.
Twitter is similar to Facebook in that it can handle most formats and aspect ratios. However, it will only accept videos up to 30 seconds in length. You can get around this and upload videos up to 10 minutes long if you go through the ad platform (which is free unless you want to promote the video).
Twitter videos autoplay, so consider the same kinds of things we’ve mentioned previously to stop scrolling users in their tracks. As a platform, Twitter is all about immediacy, so videos that are relevant to the current conversation will perform the best.
4. Video production workflow
Assuming this is your first time putting together a video marketing strategy, this will be the first time your business will be putting resources into video production, which can involve some serious investment depending on the type of content you’re wanting to create.
An efficient video workflow is important when it comes to defining what you need and estimating how long and how many resources it will take to get things created.
Now that you know your objectives, who you’re trying to reach, and what platforms you need to be on, it’s time to decide what video formats your videos will be in. Will you be creating a series of live streams, with just one person talking to the camera, and interacting with the audience? Is it an explainer video, requiring graphics, and animation? Each video format will require a different level of investment.
5. Analyze, Measure and learn
Here are the main video metrics to keep an eye on:
Platforms like Facebook and YouTube place a lot of value on how long people watch your videos. Pay attention to the structure of your content, and ensure you’re hooking people inefficiently at the beginning, and maintaining their attention throughout. Consider whether you need to provide them with incentives to keep watching in the future.
It’s the vainest of metrics, but it still counts. The algorithms of these sites pay attention to the number of views a video has. Optimizing your videos correctly, sharing links to them on social media, in emails, and in newsletters can drive traffic to them, and help build momentum around them early on. The earlier you can give them exposure, the better, as each platform values relevant, and popular content.
Comments, likes, and shares indicate how your content has resonated with viewers. Reactions – good or bad – are better than no reactions at all. This doesn’t mean making your content unnecessarily extreme. But it does mean the content needs to be compelling enough to start a conversation around it.
Since this is video marketing, most of your videos – regardless of where you share them – will be linking, or driving people back to your website, or product page in some way. Measuring the click-through-rate – the amount of times a user has clicked on these links – is, therefore, an important metric to monitor.
You’ve measured your click-through-rate, now how many of those clicks converted into a sale. Whether it’s a product or subscription you’re driving your audience to, using tools like Google Analytics or Tableau, allows you to see where people have come to your product pages from, and how many of them made a purchase. This metric is key when calculating the direct ROI from your video content.
The most important point to make in light of all of these tips is that they make up a framework that can stay the same, or be adjusted at any time. Broadly, defining your objectives, finding your audience, determining your budget, building a process, and measuring and learning are the considerations that guide you in creating your strategy.
These will not change. But the specifics that come out of these broader requirements can and will. What “works” today in the rapidly changing field of video marketing, may not work tomorrow.
So, be aware of your goals, and be open to changing, and adjusting them when necessary. Want to see a few best-of videos in action? Check out this list of enjoyable video marketing campaigns from Hubspot, 10 great examples from Forbes, or these 17 great examples from Big Commerce.
Having said that, I hope the above-revised guide was informative enough especially to beginners in various product video marketing.
But, if you’ll have more questions or even contributions, please feel free to Contact Us. We’ll be more than glad to offer our input and limitless service solutions support. By the same token, you can share your thoughts with other readers in the comments box below this article.
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