With video marketing spend expected to reach $8.04 billion by 2016, you likely have a few unanswered questions about how to most effectively invest your resources. You know that you need time and creative effort to come up with a video marketing strategy and video content that engages your target audience (and if you don’t, check out our related white paper on video marketing). But what’s next?
Today, brands still don’t use video as a marketing channel as much as they should. I can’t tell you how many people turn to me to ask for a single viral video. You wouldn’t post a single written blog and call it a marketing strategy. Video needs more attention! Maybe worse, there are those brands that fail to optimize their productions for greater visibility in search and viewer transactions – an absolute shame.
At Brafton, we emphasize using all types of content with a very specific purpose – to generate ROI. Here are a few tips to making the most of your video content opportunities.
Where is your video living on the web? Well, it’s a great question, and almost anytime I ask someone, they say, “Video marketing…. You mean YouTube right?” It’s a natural reaction – it’s the world’s second largest search engine and serves more than 800 million monthly active users. But in reality, posting videos to YouTube should be addressed on a project-by-project basis. Phil Nottingham does a great job of breaking down which videos should be on YouTube and which ones shouldn’t, and even the videos you post to YouTube must also live on your website.
You should be hosting branded videos yourself as opposed to Vimeo or YouTube. Finding a third-party server isn’t incredibly difficult or expensive. This way you won’t bog down your own bandwidth with big files but you can get all of the hosting credit.Through self-hosting, you own the SEO benefits associated with your video content and increase the chances that backlinks point to your site instead of YouTube.
The Right Player
If you’ve ever broken out your iPhone or iPad while on the train, on the couch or in the airport, raise your hand! It’s a mobile world out there. You need to make sure your videos and site web pages are accessible through all different types of technology. There are a couple of really nice, unbranded players that use HTML5 with a Flash fallback. This ensures that your video will play in most browsers and on many devices, giving your viewers an optimal experience no matter how they’re accessing your content.
The player should live on a specific landing page. This should generate a fresh, optimized URL and must have calls to action and related content around the video to reduce the bounce rate, give viewers places to click and increase conversions. I’m not an advocate for light boxes (the feature that makes videos pop up, fading the rest of the web page). It’s natural for the human eye to wander when watching visual media. Have you ever watched an interview or testimonial and maintained eye contact the whole time? Probably not. So when your viewers’ eyes wander from the video clip, make sure you have calls to action and other media to entertain their thoughts.
At the very least, you should have a transcript of a video on your web pages.
Search engines love content. They’re becoming extremely good at sensing what the end-user looks for in online media. There are a few technical ways to optimize for keywords, but so many people overlook the obvious fact that video must work alongside written text. Video should not live on a page without supporting text. If it’s a video news round-up, write up a quick blog to delve deeper into specific concepts and ideas. If it’s a product promotion, get together some stats or supporting text to explain why your audience needs your product or service.
At the very least, you should have a transcript of a video on your web pages. On top of being important to making your video page more search-friendly, this appeals to audiences attracted by video who also want to be able to get the meat and potatoes of a point quickly.
Relevant Calls to Action and Related Content
I mentioned earlier that the human eye can wander from time to time. I’ll also say that people digest and learn new material in very different ways. Similar to how some students perform better in big lectures over smaller classroom discussions, some consumers prefer white papers over quick, two-minute videos. All of this can be applied to your target audience, so it’s important to make sure the next logical step – supplementary content – is available once the video clip finishes.
I suggest having a cornucopia of content near the video. Hit them with related information, ranging from other visual clips to blogs to white papers, and make sure the underlying theme ties the media together. It’s important to make sure your website organizes content within similar categories so you can easily point them to more resources around the same topic.
Also, if you’re complaining that your content pages aren’t converting because no one is clicking on the “contact our sales team” button in the header, it’s because you’ve missed out on a key opportunity. If someone is consuming a piece of content, it’s because the subject or topic interests them. Use multiple calls to action to resonate with website visitors based on their needs. This way you can speak directly to them and nurture relationships without forcing them to commit to talking with a sales executive straight out of the gate.
Easy sharing options
When you’ve produced an amazing video and it’s well-positioned to convert on-site viewers, make sure to promote the content to your audience to get them to your site. Beyond sharing the video with all of your relevant networks, include noticeable social share buttons on your website to encourage interaction from your target audience. People aren’t as patient as they used to be – they will rarely copy and paste links to Tweet or share them. But if there is a button right next to the video, how hard can it be? We all know they’re already logged into Facebook in the other window.
Also, an embed code is a great tool. Your videos should be branded by company (featuring your logo, calls to action within presenter scripts, pop ups or sliders with CTAs, etc), so let people put it on their sites and blogs. It only creates more high quality links and brand awareness for business.
Content marketing and video marketing are at the top of many companies’ 2013 to-do list. Video is a newer media for many – it’s an unexplored frontier. But keep in mind that just because it’s a different medium, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to uphold best practices for optimizing it for SEO, conversions and user experience – after all video is still content.