There’s no disputing it - it's clear that a significant portion of the population prefers to consume content via videos.
More and more businesses are investing in a video marketing strategy. Video has become so popular that:
- Video now accounts for about 80% of all consumer internet traffic
- The volume of mobile video consumption increases by 100% every year
Given the trends, video marketing provides a great opportunity to connect with your ideal clients, and develop stronger relationships more effectively. People respond well to video, as it can facilitate more of a human element, and enable your prospects to get to know you more intimately.
Your face, tone of voice, body language and surroundings can help you create a more compelling story than text-based articles, still graphics and/or email. It's also a powerful content medium for storytelling, which can help to set you apart from your competition, especially those who've yet to add video marketing to their overall marketing strategy.
Remember, people buy from people, not companies, and by using video as part of your marketing and sales strategy, your ideal clients will get to see the person behind the company that they're interacting with.
According to research, 79% of consumers now agree that video is the easiest way to get to know a brand online. That same research shows that nearly three-quarters (74%) of consumers can draw a direct connection between watching a video on social media and their purchasing decision-making process. In fact, roughly half (46%) of consumers said that they've made a purchase as a result of watching a brand video on social media, while another third (32%) have considered doing so.
Now, if you're like many businesses or social sellers, you might be hesitant about creating and sharing your own videos - but I can assure you that the benefits are worth it.
In fact, for lead generation purposes, businesses and sellers get better results when they create the video themselves. A video of yourself can leave you feeling a bit vulnerable, thereby giving your video a level of authenticity that's often lacking in high-quality marketing videos. Those slick marketing videos, in many cases, are actually more likely to be ignored.
Emails which include a video see 4x the click-through rate compared to those without. It's also important to note that video is one of the best ways to establish authority on your topic, and in your niche.
In this post, I'm going to share eight ways that will help you improve your video marketing strategy, and increase engagement with your ideal clients.
Here we go:
1. Know your audience
If you try to market to everyone, you ultimately market to no one.
This notion holds true with video marketing. While having a viral video that everyone loves may be great social proof, your video marketing strategy, and the videos that you create, should help you to achieve one or more of your business or marketing goals (i.e. drive awareness, sales, traffic, etc.).
How you make your videos effective is to begin with your ideal client/s in mind.
You need to do your research and have a clear understanding of your audience’s needs and preferences.
To do this, you need to determine:
- What channels they're using to consume video
- The type of language they use, and which will best communicate your message
- What challenges or needs they have, which you can provide a solution for
If you understand what their motivations are, and you speak their language, you’ll be able to connect with them in a meaningful way. When you create targeted video that's specific to your audience’s questions or needs, this will drive better outcomes for your business, and be more useful to your audience.
2. Consistently brand your videos
Whether you're creating live videos on the fly, professionally scripted and edited webinars, or something in between, you need to be consistent with your digital branding.
This will make it easier for people to recognize you when they see a video you have shared, while it can also instill a sense of professionalism which, over time, will build trust.
Decide what branding element(s) you're going to include in all of your videos, which will help your viewers to recognize your video content when they see it. This could range from something as simple as a unique item of clothing you always wear when recording, to a simple brand logo in the same corner, or the inclusion of a short, branded intro or outro on each video.
3. Make the video topic clear
There is now a ton of video content that's competing for the attention of your ideal clients.
Because of this, it's essential that you quickly grab their interest, and clearly communicate the topic of the video with your title and description. You have to provide enough information for people to decide whether they want to watch your video or not - and worth noting, often viewers will be deciding whether or not to watch based on your video title alone.
If you want viewers to commit to a lengthier video of five minutes or longer, you'll need to provide them with an accurate and informative synopsis. In your synopsis, try to highlight two or three benefits that they'll get from watching your video, or provide the main plot points if it's a narrative.
It can also be helpful to transcribe your videos. This will enable viewers to skim the content if they prefer, while it can also help search engines index your video content for relevant search queries.
4. Tell stories with your video
Storytelling is vital to successful video marketing. Viewers will often forget the various stats and numbers you share, but they'll remember a funny or inspirational anecdote which connects with them emotionally.
People use stories every day to help them understand the world around them. Stories can also be one of the best ways to communicate a complex situation or idea.
Here are five tips on incorporating effective storytelling into your videos:
- Showcase your expertise - Share customer success stories, or create deep-dive videos on a topic of interest to your viewers in order to highlight your expertise and your success in helping people with challenges similar to theirs.
- Explain a trend - Join the conversation on hot or new topics in your industry by sharing your opinion or your unique take on the trend.
- Show a process - Make viewers feel like a brand insider with a behind the scenes view of your processes, or help them to solve a problem using a video which outlines a step-by-step process.
- Inspire - Share an inspirational, or aspirational, story which captures viewers’ attention and invokes positive feelings, which they'll, ideally, then associate with your brand.
- Get personal - Help your viewers get to know the people behind your brand, which, in turn, can help them feel more connected to your business.
5. Use social proof
Social proof is a key influencing factor that people use when making a decision on who to do business with.
People look to what others have done when making a decision, which is why reviews, testimonials and endorsements can be so powerful for businesses.
In simpler terms, social proof helps people make decisions when they're uncertain, based on the experiences and choices others are making, or have made in the past.
Social proof can also take the form of likes, votes, views or comments on your videos. It can also be very effective to share customer testimonial and case study videos. Depending on your budget, you may also want to consider incorporating experts or influencers into your video marketing strategy.
6. Optimize your videos
In order for people to watch your videos, they need to find them first. This is essential for YouTube marketing as it is the second largest search engine, next to Google.
When optimizing your videos for a social media channel, you'll want to ensure that you're familiar with the current best practices for video on each platform.
For example, Criteo recommends for:
- Facebook - Keep videos short, upload videos directly to Facebook and add captions
- YouTube - Wait two weeks after the video has launched to make any tweaks or refine your target audience
- Twitter: Upload videos directly, keep them short and find a balance between fine-tuned targeting (interests, keywords, devices) and not over targeting, in order to accurately track results
As well as optimizing your videos on each channel, you also need to optimize them for SEO. Keep these tips in mind when creating your videos, to help them be found when your ideal clients conduct a search for related topics:
- Plan your keywords for your video, just as you would for a blog post
- Include your keywords in the title and description
- Keep titles short as well as informative - less than 60 characters is ideal
- Include a link to your website
- Use tags with different keyword variations
- Work to build natural backlinks to your videos
- Use eye-catching, branded, high-quality thumbnails
- Optimize your videos for viewing on mobile devices
LinkedIn Native Video
LinkedIn makes posting videos easy, as you can upload and share videos directly from your mobile phone, enabling your network to enjoy unique and original video content that’s relevant and of interest to them.
You're also able to see how well your videos are performing - you can check the number of views they’re getting (defined as any instance wherein the video is played for longer than three seconds) as well as the level of engagement your videos receive, at any time.
7. Include a call-to-action
It's essential to include specific calls to action that you want people to follow through with after viewing your videos.
Your call to action (CTA) is where you tell your viewers what you want them to do next - without a CTA, most viewers will leave your video without taking any further action, even if they enjoyed and gleaned value from it.
Adding a simple and powerful CTA to your videos can help prompt meaningful engagement from interested viewers. If they’ve watched your video to completion, they’ve demonstrated clear interest, and this is the time you need to prompt them with your CTA.
CTAs can come in different forms and have different purposes. Inspire your users to take action with different calls-to-action, such as:
- Ask a question they can answer in the comments below
- Direct them to another piece of content
- Suggest another related video
- Send them to a landing page
- Direct them to your website
- Get them to subscribe to your newsletter or YouTube channel
- Ask them to connect with you on other social media channels
- Offer a free trial so they can take a test drive
8. Analyze your video performance
Just like your website and broader social media efforts, you also need to track and analyze your results in order to maximize your video efforts.
It's important to know that the time, effort and money you're investing into your video marketing strategy is achieving the goals that you identified when you started. A/B testing can be a great way to test which specific elements are working, and which are not.
Test and then test again to help you figure out the optimal content and timing of your videos.
Different metrics you can use to measure your success include:
- Engagement rate - How many interactions is your video getting? How long are people watching the video? This number will indicate the quality of the content and whether the video is too long.
- View count - How many times was the video watched? Be sure to understand how each platform measures view counts (YouTube 30+ seconds vs Facebook 3+ seconds).
- Play rate - How many did unique visitors click your video play button on each of the different platforms (website, social media channels, etc.)? This can tell you something about your audience and their use of each network. Note that the play rate can be influenced by the thumbnail, copy or size of the video.
- Social sharing - How many times has your video been shared by viewers on social media? People only share content they're interested in, or gleaned value from. If your videos are getting lots of shares, it means your content is resonating with your ideal clients.
- Comments - What kind of comments are your videos getting? People have to be moved strongly, either in a positive or negative way, to leave a comment on your video. Use this feedback to help you create new videos that will perform well with your viewers.
Pro Video Marketing Tips
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when creating videos for your business:
- Keep your videos short - Unless you have something of value to share, try to keep videos under a minute. Even for a complex subject or demo, try to limit it to 7 or 8 minutes.
- Use good lighting so the viewer can see your face - A helpful trick is to face a window, and to have the camera above your eyesight, so that it’s aiming down towards you.
- Be professional - Approach your video the same way you would if you were walking into a client’s office and having a conversation with them.
- Be authentic and personable - Avoid rigid scripts or templates for live videos, as this can stifle your authenticity. It's often your authentic self that will enable your viewers to emotionally connect with you and want to learn more.
- Choose the right thumbnail for your video - This is the image people will see on social platforms, or in your email, and it can be just as important as crafting the right title. Also, when choosing your thumbnail, ensure that the play button of the video doesn't cover your main image.
- Note video length - When you send the video in an email or message, mention the length of the video so your potential viewer understands the time commitment and knows what to expect. This can give you higher click-through rates. For best results in your email, you should also include a value statement (three lines or less) which explains who you are and why you're reaching out, along with a call-to-action asking them to watch your video.
Start with your ideal client in mind to improve your video marketing strategy
Video has become an incredibly important part of digital marketing, as it can facilitate a more personal connection with your prospects and clients.
When video marketing is done right, it'll provide viewers with a chance to get to know you and your business in a way that other forms of content marketing can’t compete with, because it much more closely simulates the experience of a face-to-face interaction.
And creating video content has never been easier, with so many tools, apps and mobile devices, now easily and affordably available. With a little time, effort, and a planned video marketing strategy, you too can begin to share video content that's of value to your ideal clients.
A version of this post was first published on the Top Dog Social Media blog.