The popularity of video marketing has been rising in the last several years. According to statistics, 86% of businesses today agree that video is an effective marketing tool. It’s not surprising, given all the advantages of video content.
Whether you are a marketing specialist or a small business owner, our guide will help you upgrade your video marketing game. Trust these tips to put you on the right track and keep assisting you on this promising journey.
First, Set Your Budget
Before you hire a team of professionals to create videos for you, it’s important to define your budget. Your next steps will depend on how much money your company is able and willing to invest in video marketing. The good news is that there are viable video marketing solutions for every budget.
Source: Sooner Marketing Solutions
Completely outsourcing the creation of your videos is a tempting option. But the costs associated with it might limit the number of videos you can afford every month. If instead, you’d like to make videos an inseparable part of your online presence, there are lots of affordable and cool solutions you can try out.
For one, you can hire a freelancer, who will create videos for you at a much lower price than an agency would. In this digital age, hiring a freelancer is as easy as grabbing a cup of coffee at a coffee shop. Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer are a few of the many other platforms made just for that.
If you’re willing to get a little creative, though, you can save even more by making your videos. There are many video templates online to help you create professional-looking videos within minutes!
Define Your Goals
Video is an incredibly versatile marketing tool that can be used for many different purposes. But there are probably one or two main reasons that prompted you to consider video marketing. Thus, before you plunge ahead with your creative video idea, one thing you should get clear about is your goal.
There are different types of videos, and marketing specialists use each one for a specific purpose. Let’s say, your goal is to explain to your customers the value of your product or how it works. Then, you should definitely opt for explainer videos.
Want to win the trust of your leads? Asking your existing customers for video reviews is the best solution out there. Why? Because your hesitant leads will see that those are real people who turned to you for solutions, and are now happily satisfied.
Know Your Audience
Have you already identified your buyer personas? If yes, this is the right time to turn to them for suggestions. What kind of videos would thrill each of your personas? Get into their shoes and write a list of topics they would find interesting.
Also, think about the platforms they use to watch videos. Is YouTube their go-to place for finding the info they need. Or do they spend hours on Instagram, watching videos on IGTV? Your videos should be there where your customers are.
If you don’t know enough about the video consumption habits of your customers, now is the time to do some research.
Add Value with Your Videos
The modern consumer has become very immune to promotional content. According to statistics, the average person is exposed to more than 4000 ads per day, and most of them — online. Our brains are ignoring most of the promotional content we receive to protect us from data overload.
Thus, to grab the attention of today’s picky internet users, you need to do more than just showcase your products in flattering ways. More exactly, you need to add value. How exactly you make your video content useful for your customers is totally up to you.
Get as creative as you want to, but remember to keep your goals in mind as well. Have a strategy in place, and seamlessly move your target customers through the sales funnel while they are busy watching your videos.
Source: Sooner Marketing Solutions
Give Solutions to Your Customers’ Problems
Providing solutions is one way to make your video content useful for your audience. What common problems are your customers facing that you can help them with? You can easily identify some of those problems, as your products and services are made to address them.
You can uncover other common pain points by doing some research and paying attention to what your customers are saying. After your research, make a list of those problems and address each one with a separate video.
Moz’s Whiteboards Friday videos, for example, give marketing specialists weekly bits of insight into the various aspects of SEO. Their video content has certainly contributed to the popularity of their brand.
Also, remember that learning about customer pain points is an ongoing process. You might do a comprehensive research today and think you know all about your customers. While this might hold true for a while, tomorrow your customers will be facing a whole different set of problems. Thus, do make sure to stay up to date.
As you build your video library of valuable content, your target customers will keep coming back for new bits of useful information. With time, you will have built enough trust in your expertise, and switching to your competitors will be the last thing ever to cross your customers’ minds.
Tell a Story
People love stories! That’s why cinema, since its relatively recent invention, has become an inseparable part of our lives. Cinematic ads that move their audiences by telling a story are exciting to watch and leave a lasting impression on people.
Create a Character
One practical approach to video storytelling is creating a character who has the same problem as your target customers. The presence of a common pain point makes your audience quickly identify with the character and feel his or her emotions (just like in a movie!). Then you take your crisis-struck creation on a charged journey towards a solution — your products or services. And, of course, all this drama should happen within 1 or 2 minutes — the less, the better.
Or you can start your video with a character who has already found your product. This way, you can dedicate the entire video to showcasing its various benefits, while background characters are still struggling with the problem.
It’s exactly what Headspace did in this fun product demo.
Use Emotional Triggers
To ensure that your video has the intended effect on the audience, incorporate a sequence of emotional triggers into your script. First, build tension, and then release it with a solution. This way you create a sense of relief, which your audience will start associating with your brand.
Optimize Your Videos for Search Engines
Optimizing your videos for search engines makes it more likely that your target audience will find them. There are several dimensions to video SEO that you need to consider to get your videos to that first page.
Video and Audio Quality
With plenty of video content on the internet, the quality of the visuals and the audio is something users take for granted. Let’s say you’ve uploaded a video with a poor-quality voice-over. People will not spend their time watching it unless they are interested in what it has to say. And even then, they will be counting the seconds until it’s over. The result? A high bounce rate and low rankings. Not the kind of destiny you’d wish for your videos.
Ranking aside, poor video quality can be devastating for your brand image as well.
Image source: Bijoux Visual
Search engine robots cannot crawl a video the same way they crawl a web page. To help them understand the contents of your video, you should incorporate relevant keywords into its title, description, and tags.
If you are planning to post your videos to YouTube, there are many keyword research tools to help you optimize your videos for this particular search engine. Make sure, however, that the text sounds natural, and not just a bunch of keywords crammed together. After all, your audience are humans and not bots.
While search engine bots are not able to crawl videos, they do have the ability to crawl the subtitles and captions you include in your videos. Thus, by taking that extra step and adding captions to your videos, you make them visible by search engines.
Note, however, that for the captions to be crawlable, you need to add them with a separate text file, and not “burn” them to the video file itself. For more information on how you can add captions and subtitles to your video, you can check out our article.
Win the Attention You Deserve
Are you creating awesome video content, and yet the viewership of your videos remains sluggish? Maybe you’re not enough of an attention seeker. Remind yourself that it’s okay to want attention and follow these handy tips to get it.
Spark Curiosity with the Title
“Is it worth my time?” — that’s the first question users ask themselves when they come across a piece of content. The few words that make up your title should convince your target audience that your video is worth the watch.
Again, emotional triggers can come to your rescue.
Try to place your keywords as close to the beginning of the title as possible. This way, your audience will see them right away and will know that your video is relevant to their query.
Choose Your Thumbnails Wisely
Good news! Your title is not all alone in fighting for people’s attention! An engaging thumbnail should always come to assist it. When it comes to video content, thumbnails might play a more significant role than titles. Why? Because videos communicate information visually. And so do thumbnails — by serving as their previews.
There are two main prerequisites for a good thumbnail։ quality and relevance. Surely, you can tell the difference between a high-quality thumbnail and a poor-quality thumbnail, so there’s no need to get into much detail here.
As for the relevance, make sure the image matches your target keyword, your title, and the contents of the video. If it manages to communicate the title visually, you rock.
Including your keywords in the thumbnail is often a good idea as well.
We see dozens (if not hundreds) of posts every day on social media. Every second our attention jumps from a post about a famous celeb’s new date to a pumpkin pie recipe to a video ad by a local restaurant.
Some statistics claim that people now have a shorter attention span than goldfish — slightly more than 8 seconds. While this data is certainly exaggerated, it is harder for us to keep focused attention when we’re on social media. Thus, make your videos as concise as possible to ensure that your audience watches them until the end.
Hubspot’s research shows what length is best for each of the most visited platforms.
Still, this does not mean you should only post short videos. Even long-format content can keep the audience glued if it’s packed with valuable information and has minimal to no redundancy.
Thus, ditch the long and tedious intros and get straight to the point. Include only the most important information, and keep your audience engaged with attractive visuals.
Social Platforms Dictate the Format
If you are planning to use several platforms to share your videos, you might want to consider the specificities of each.
Native Videos vs. Youtube Links
Facebook gives preference to its native videos over those shared from Youtube. According to statistics, the former ones have significantly higher engagement rates. It might be partly because native videos start playing automatically, while Youtube videos need to be tapped on first. Even though users can still choose to keep scrolling and ignore the playing video, there’s still a chance that those first seconds will win their attention.
Horizontal vs. Vertical
Image: Sprout Social
Aspect ratio is also important to think about when posting videos to social media. With the growing number of mobile-only users, there’s a need to choose mobile-friendly video formats.
Horizontal videos require users to flip their phones to watch them in full-screen mode. Thus, many prefer square and vertical videos that allow them to hold their phones vertically.
If you are planning to post the same video to different platforms, consider making a separate version for each – a horizontal one for YouTube, a vertical or square one for IGTV and Facebook.
Keep this in mind while shooting, and place what’s important near the center of the screen. You’ll manage to get away with a simple crop.
Polished vs. Natural
Earlier in the article, we mentioned that video quality matters. But! If you are posting your videos to social media, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on professional equipment and studio lighting.
An experiment by Smarties showed that natural-looking videos performed better in Instagram stories than polished ones. Why? Thanks to their immediacy. They looked less like ads and users were more curious and willing to watch them.
A transcript is a text version of everything spoken in a video. Transcribing your videos will not only make them accessible to a broader audience but will also boost their rankings.
Transcripts and SEO
If keywords in the metadata inform search engines about the topic of a particular video, a transcript reveals its actual contents. It means that the poor bots, who felt excluded from your video club, can now finally “read” your videos. The results? Improved indexability and higher chances of ranking with multiple queries, as opposed to the few keywords you squeezed into your metadata.
Image: The Paciello Group
Transcripts and Social Media
Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound? So, if you post a video to Facebook, and include key information in the voice-over without transcribing it, you’ll lose as much as 85% of your potential audience.
Luckily, you do not have to type out the entire thing yourself. There are lots of automated speech recognition services that will do it for you.
Call Them to Action
Earlier, we mentioned the importance of making your video content valuable for the audience. While this is certainly true, you should not forget about your interests as well. Recall your goal for creating that video, and use a relevant call-to-action.
Image: Digital School of Marketing
When deciding what call-to-action to use in a specific video, understand where the audience is in the sales funnel. For example, if the video is targeted at first-time visitors, tell them to subscribe to your channel.
It’s also a good idea to offer them something for free in return for their email address. It could be an informative guide, an ebook, a free trial, or something else. Now, you can stay in touch with your audience through email marketing and let them know about the latest updates and news.
Analyze Your Data
To determine whether your video marketing efforts are bringing the desired results, analyze your data. Most video hosting platforms have native analytics tools. To track videos that are embedded on your website, you could use Google Analytics for the same purpose.
Despite their scary name, analytics tools are a goldmine of valuable information. They will give you a whole new understanding of your audience, its behavior and preferences. The insights you gain will help you further adjust your video marketing strategy for even better results.
Image: Fashion Artista
Whether you have already started using video as a marketing tool or are just starting out, these tips are guaranteed to help you. Remember that practice makes perfect, and don’t be afraid to start even if it’s something entirely new to you. Your first videos might not hit the target, but with consistent efforts, you will soon understand what works for your audience and what doesn’t.
Need help creating videos that will leave your audience in awe? There are lots of templates available at Renderforest to help you make professional videos for your business. Click the button below to try them out!