On everything we see and read today, video is king. Videos are not only easy to view, but mobile networks are continuing to improve, which eliminates slow loading times. Audiences respond better to video than just posting, and as things continue to grow video marketing is going to get easier. There’s no doubt that videos can be powerful tools for a brand, and a well thought out video has the potential to show up all over social media. We’ve often discussed how powerful video marketing is during our free webinar training. It’s true, however, before a business pushes out videos to gain a promising audience who will convert, there are a few guidelines to follow.
1. Do have a strategy right from the beginning
It’s hard to post videos without having a strategy in place. Before doing anything, it’s essential to identify your audience and figure out what they’d like to see on your channel. Business 2 Community discusses deciding not only who your audience is, but how to tell whether it’s working or not.
“Know what you need to do, before you do anything,” Varo said. This means identifying the target audience and considering the viewer’s journey.
“Who are you trying to produce content for, and what is it that you’re going to produce?” Varo continued. “And then, how are you going to get it out there? How are you going to know if it’s working or not? You can’t just start putting stuff out there and hope it works. ’Cause it doesn’t.”
Varo believes that the mantra “know your audience” is sometimes understated or glossed over. It ought to inspire a careful, and deliberate, thought process about the ideal viewer’s wants and needs.
“Are people out to be entertained? Are they out to learn something? Are they out to do research on something they want to buy?” Varo said. “These are sort of the points that you really need to understand and figure out before you start producing anything. Who are you catering to? Because you can’t hit everybody at once. You’ve got to go narrow and deep.”
2. Don’t have an inconsistent appearance
Another aspect to focus on is whether your videos and a video stream has a consistent appearance. Your audience should be able to identify you by the type of videos you have on social media and the people who tell stories on your videos. Data Strategy Technology says you should try to stick to the same theme and people so you can build trust with your audience.
Varo argues that a series of videos could benefit from branding consistency. By applying the same fonts, colors, and logo, video marketers can make the content look cohesive, and branded. Random stylistic choices may represent a missed opportunity.
3. Do test video length
Are you testing video length? Marketing Land reminds companies to test video length so you can find a length that’s perfect for your audience. If it’s too long it’s likely an audience will click away, and you don’t want to happen.
This is an area where you’re going to rely on your video metrics to find an optimal length.
Here, Google recommends in-stream video ads be no more than 3 minutes in length. But here, the help files say to “deliver your most important messages early in the video, in case viewers stop watching before it’s over. Play rates drop off significantly after 45 seconds.”
I’ve seen clients use video ads that were up to 5 minutes in length and still experience good results. It all depends on how engaging the video is. For example, oOne client in the corporate events space had 5-minute videos highlighting the events they put on with interviews of participants, and those drove conversions through a form fill on their site.
Conversions are the ultimate goal, but you can also track metrics like “video played to,” which shows you what percentage of viewers made it through various points in your ad.
This can give you important information about the engagement factor of your video ads.
In 2015, Google came out with data that showed longer video ads positively impacted brand metrics like awareness and consideration. (In 2016, Google further examined this theory in some new research findings over at Think with Google.)
4. Don’t forget the call to action
Business 2 Community reminds companies to not forget about the call to action. It’s hard to convert an audience without one — so be sure to include a call action at least a few times throughout your video. However, you don’t want to overdo it so find a balance.
Your call-to-action is what tells users what actions you want them to take next, giving your video an even bigger impact by driving specific engagement, traffic to a site, sales, and so one.
You don’t want your video to become a sales pitch, but you want to utilize the momentum that comes when engaged users have watched your video all the way through. Give them a website to view, or a specific place where they can take action. Even if you’re just asking them to subscribe to your YouTube channel, that’s a great step and it ensures they won’t just click away for good.
5. Do focus on telling a story
Stories work, which is why Contently argues that it’s essential to tell stories on your videos. For example, on Instagram, your audience will get used to watching a certain person tell his or her story. Don’t allow that person to drop off a cliff — get them to continue to create relationships with your audience for a compelling brand.
Numbers and abstract concepts are too nebulous to inspire shareable, watchable brand videos—leave those in the board room. Individual human stories, on the other hand, trigger our empathy and make us care.
When we hear a statistic about a disease affecting tens of thousands, for example, it’s hard to conceptualize the size of that story. But when we’re told the story of one patient—her personality traits, family members, hobbies, and values, it’s much easier for us to feel for that single character. Whether you’re telling a story about strife or not, your branded video should focus on one character’s objective and her struggle to achieve it. When we’re invested empathetically with someone’s story, we’re more likely to watch as they find a solution.
6. Don’t assume every video is eye-catching
Contently says to constantly focus on making compelling content without assuming that every video is king. There’s always something to focus on so don’t get caught up with thinking otherwise.
It’s important to remember that just because your content format is a video, that doesn’t mean people won’t click away. Too often, brands think that by creating a video, they’ve automatically made something interesting. But those of us who had to take a middle school health class know that video can all too easily be boring, or worse—uncomfortable. People generally give video two seconds before clicking away, especially on social platforms. If you don’t grab your audience within those two seconds, your video was just a giant waste of resources.
When creating video, you still have just as much responsibility to hook your audience with something they haven’t seen or heard before. Just make sure it’s something they want to be seeing. Two college-aged women making spicy egg and cheese sandwiches while wearing bike helmets for no reason is probably a pass.
7. Do look at the brand impact
After you’ve been working on your video strategy for a while, Business 2 Community recommends carefully watching your brand’s impact. If your audience isn’t responding then that’s something you need to work on.
Remember that every video you make should say something about your brand, affecting how users see you. When you keep this in mind, even a well-constructed product video can work as a strong branded video.
If, for example, you’re showing how your organic soap is lovingly made from scratch, sourced from the best ingredients, and handmade and packaged before being sent off to your customers, you’re doing more than just showing how a single product is made. You’re showing the attention and care that goes into the creation of your product, which directly reflects on your brand.
Starting an online business is an exciting time, and you need to explore every avenue so you can develop an effective company. Part of gaining an audience is coming up with a compelling video strategy. Talk to us about video marketing and pick our brains on a number of other marketing topics during our next free webinar training. We want you to succeed and can help you jumpstart your business today!