If you’re at the stage that where you’re reading to make your first venture into video marketing, congratulations!
Video marketing is a significant commitment. Unlike text-based content marketing, a video draws significantly more resources and is more time-consuming to create, edit, and publish. However, the upside is that video can also be a lot more effective than its text-based counterpart. All it takes to realize that is a quick look at the view count of a few of YouTube’s viral hits.
So while you do put in a lot more work, video has the potential to reward you abundantly. To help you get started with video marketing, here are a few fundamental principles of leveraging video establish your brand online.
Set Specific Goals
As we discussed above, video marketing is a notable expense and a significant venture to start. Consequently, as a marketing team, you’ll want to make sure that everything you’re doing with video marketing has a specific purpose, and no resources you put into the strategy go to waste.
Writing up a list of specific goals that you want to accomplish with video creates the focus your campaign needs to be successful.
Remember the three golden rules of effective goals:
Here are a few sound examples of what a good video marketing goal looks like:
- Generate 10,000 unique visitors in 6 months.
- Facilitate collaboration with one other company every month.
- Earn mentions from at least two influencers per week.
Investigate Various Video Formats & Types
Video marketing is a broad term that encompasses so many different formats, styles, and structures. When developing your strategy, you have to take into account the formats that you want to decide on.
Let’s quickly discuss three of the most common ones.
Tutorials: These videos show viewers how to do something related to their product/industry. For example, if your company sells WordPress plugins, tutorial videos on how to setup a WordPress website could attract new customers.
Stories: This video type is very common with crowdfunded brands (especially those on Kickstarter). These videos draw in viewers and engage them with a narrative related to how your company got started or accomplished something significant. Story videos make an excellent branding tool, as they allow viewers to relate to the personalities that drive your brand.
Commercials: This video type is fairly self-explanatory. Commercial videos just straight up market your product or service. Online, they can be effective but should be used sparingly.
Another important consideration is the distribution channel your brand will use to publish the visual content and attract viewers.
YouTube is probably the most obvious choice here, as it’s by far and away the most prominent and well-known video host. However, other video sharing sites like Vimeo, Dailymotion, and Twitch cannot be discounted: each of the above gets tens of millions of visits and has its unique points. Vimeo, for instance, appeals to more of a niche audience and features much higher-quality video than YouTube.
A second option is to publish your visual content through social media. Facebook, Instagram, and more recently Snapchat make excellent mediums for video content.
Last but not least, you could also choose to host videos on your website itself. The upside here is that you have complete control over the viewing environment (no third-party ads), but the downside is that you’re not tapped into the billion-strong audiences of YouTube and its competitors.
As you’ll do when you decide on a video format, be sure to try a few different channels before settling on one. That gives you time to figure out which publishing mediums create the best results for you.
Consider Consumer-Generated Content
Consumer-generated content (CGC) is one of the newer facets of online marketing. The basic premise behind CGC is that you get consumers in your industry to create content for you, allowing you to promote that content to the rest of your audience.
A great way to get users to create content permissible for you to use is through contests.
For instance, say that your company sells gardening equipment. You could run a contest wherein your customers submit a video showing off the gardens they’ve created with the help of your equipment. The prize could be more free equipment.
There are two reasons why consumers would be likely to enter the contest. For one, human nature dictates that we love showing off whatever we’re proud of, and consumers will certainly be proud of the work they put into their gardens. And secondly, everybody loves free stuff.
The videos submitted can then be promoted on your social media or whatever other channels you choose.
End with a Call to Action
The worst thing your video could ever do is just fade to black, concluding without your viewers receiving any direction on where to go next or how to proceed. Their natural reaction, of course, will simply be to exit the tab and leave.
You can prevent losing this audience by always ending your videos with a call to action. For example, if you’ve published the video on YouTube or social media, direct your viewers to click a link in the description to get them on your website to check out your products.
At the very least, you want to be asking viewers to share the video to their networks so you can be continually expanding reach.
Never Forget to Track
Our final tip ties right in with our first one regarding goal-setting.
Once again, video marketing is a big commitment. After setting your goals, you need to be paying attention to your analytics to make sure that you’re on track to achieve those objectives.
Viewership, social media shares, influencer mentions, click-throughs, conversion rates are all important metrics to track that will help you assess the impact of each video. These analytics show you what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it.
You might be getting tens of thousands of viewers on YouTube, but if more people are clicking through from Vimeo, that might indicate you need to focus more on Vimeo as a distribution channel. Or if social media is your most significant conversion generator, then it might be time to devote most of your resources to Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook.
Either way, you won’t know how to improve the effectiveness of your video campaign if you’re not tracking everything every step of the way.
As you begin your video campaigns, use this list of best practices to guide your way. If you find the right video team, track your progress, and utilize all of the various tools and channels available, it’s hard to not see success with video marketing. Good luck!
About the Author: Ryan Gould is the Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services at Elevation Marketing, a B2B marketing agency. Ryan helps medium and large brands improve sales and market share by developing integrated marketing experiences distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion.