Some things just belong together. Shoes and socks. Bees and honey. Peanut butter and jelly. Videos and advertising. Whether they’re instructional, informational, or simply for fun, videos are an important part of today’s marketing strategy.
According to a recent report sponsored by Demand Metric and VidYard, almost 70 percent of marketers use video as part of their marketing strategy and 82 percent say they’ve seen success with video content marketing initiatives. If you’re planning to give video a larger place in your content marketing strategy for the coming year, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Define your goals. Videos within the context of content marketing mean different things to different people. If the marketing team whips together a video highlighting features of a new product while the CEO is expecting something that depicts a day in the life of a company employee, that’s an expensive lesson to learn. Make sure everyone is on the same page before the cameras roll.
Part of clarifying the goals of your video content marketing strategy should be to determine how your team defines successful metrics. By the number of viewers? How often it’s shared? How many leads it generates? If it goes viral? And, what constitutes “viral?” Figuring out these kinds of things ahead of time helps you spot what’s working and what need to be tweaked.
Star or supporting cast? Give some thought to what kind of role you want your videos to have as part of your overall marketing strategy: central or peripheral.
For some organizations, casting video in the starring role makes the most sense. The majority of camera manufacturer GoPro’s marketing content revolves around videos, with social media content, blog posts, and other types of advertising serving as support or collateral content. The company now boasts 2.5 million subscribers to its YouTube channel and was the platform’s top brand channel from January to March of this year.
Some products or services simply don’t lend themselves to that much of a focus on video marketing, but that’s okay. Videos that supplement a company’s primary marketing content are still important and useful. Even a collection of videos showing how to repair or troubleshoot a product can be positioned to customers as a value added benefit.
Remember to include a CTA. Obviously, you’ll want each video you create to feature your logo and brand but it should also include a clear call to action (CTA). Written copy allows content creators to easily incorporate clickable buttons or URLs but videos present a bit more of a challenge. Incorporate your CTA directly into the video both visually and audibly for the best impact.
If you share your videos on YouTube make sure to use the platform’s Annotation feature to add pop-up messages that automatically play whenever your video is viewed. Don’t rely on it exclusively for your calls to action, however, because YouTube allows its users to disable pop-ups if they choose.
Paid or organic distribution? There are two ways to get your videos noticed: pay to have them distributed or let customers find it themselves. What’s the best approach? A mix of both.
Organic reach on Facebook has been taking a nosedive for a while now. Facebook VP Brian Boland says it’s due to a combination of factors including the way its algorithms are structured and that there’s simply “far more content being made than there is time to absorb it.”
Facebook hasn’t reported any plans to increase organic reach and now Twitter is hinting at taking a similar approach to how they serve content to users. All the major social media platforms offer tools to help brands boost their signal — in exchange for fee, of course.
If you want a fighting chance at getting your videos seen on social media, you’ll need to spend a portion of your marketing budget on buying promoted or boosted ad space. It’s money well spent, though, and you’ll be in good company, to boot. A 2012 Nielsen survey revealed that 65 percent of marketers increased their social media ad budgets for 2013.
Of course, paying for reach doesn’t mean you can take the rest of the week off. You still need to promote your video content via your own social networking channels and email campaigns.. Videos are the perfect medium for cross-channel distribution so don’t forget to use them at trade shows, as part of your online user support tools, or in mobile apps you create.
Find a parking spot. Your videos need a permanent home on your website so you’ll want to find the best place to put them. Vimeo, Brightcove, YouTube, and other video hosting sites are an option. However, they might not be your best choice if you want to retain complete control over your content and what ads (if any) are shown alongside it. Housing your video in an on-site content management system is a better bet. From there you can set up on other distribution channels and add your videos there as well.
Image: David Gardiner