Video content is growing exponentially. This is true for all sectors, from social media to B2B marketing to search engine results. Steadily improving internet speeds have made watching videos faster and easier on all devices. The trend toward video in social media continues to grow as both people and businesses recognize that video leads to far greater engagement levels. Search engines identified this trend long ago and are now incorporating more videos in their search results and prioritizing them higher in the rankings.
As a result, it is becoming increasingly essential for businesses to incorporate video into their marketing strategies. Creating compelling video content on relevant topics that complement the rest of your material allows you to provide a well-rounded view on your chosen topics and impress upon visitors your comprehensive knowledge on the subject. Also, by combining several different types of content – text, video, graphics – on multiple platforms, including YouTube, you cover a wider swath of users and improve your overall odds of engagement. Simple tracking of your SEO metrics will show just how important video content can be if used properly.
How to Implement Video Content
It is important to clearly state the purpose and content of the video. A clear and detailed title and concise but informative description are essential to let users know exactly what they are looking at. Even with the significant increase in video usage, people still treat them as a slightly greater commitment than opening an article. They rarely “browse” videos, but rather want to be sure it is a topic they are interested in before clicking.
You need to provide appealing visuals to catch the attention of users. It is also helpful if these photos, graphics, or banners improve upon the information provided in the title and description. The effects of mobile-first indexing are already being felt among digital marketers, making it even more important to optimize video to match the constantly-increasing use of mobile devices.
Other than on a video-specific platform such as your YouTube channel, it is more effective to use your video content as a complement to the main source rather than the main focus. Users looking specifically for videos will go to video sites, so if they are browsing blogs or articles it is reasonable to assume they are primarily looking for written content.
You want to include sound in your videos to add depth and entertainment value but don’t overdo it. Music and sounds should be used discreetly because you do not want them to overpower the video content or distract from the message. Also, studies have shown that the vast majority of videos are watched without sound, so if you make audio a crucial part of the presentation many users will miss out (or be confused).
Including testimonials, comments, views, likes and other examples of user interaction demonstrates to your potential audience the value of the content.
How to Optimize Your Video Content
Produce engaging content
As is the case for all types of content, it must be interesting and compelling. There is so much content available these days that people realize they don’t need to settle for second-rate material, whether in text, graphic, or video form.
This also applies to all kinds of content. Do not increase the length of your material just to make it seem more thorough or detailed than it really is. Make your point in a clear, concise manner without adding any superfluous info.
Even though video content includes less searchable text than traditional articles, keywords are just as important for video content. Be diligent about using them in the title, metadata, and alt-text of any connected images.
Add a transcript
This allows you to fully maximize keyword usage and SEO. Including a video transcript allows search engines to track all the content in the video, creating more comprehensive exposure.
One at a time
Don’t overwhelm your audience with multiple videos within a single article or blog post. Too many videos can disrupt the flow of the material and make it seem busy and confused. Users only looking to watch videos on the topic will head to YouTube or a similar site rather than searching out written material. Remember, the video should complement your content, not dominate it.
Sitemaps can be added to content to enhance the video. Including information such as category, title, platform, description, length, and target audience provides more easily searchable text and metadata to improve your SEO. And, for longer videos, you may even want to use a visible sitemap so users can skip to certain parts or return to reference sections later on.
Make an effort to research your target audience and try to put together a rough profile of your ideal user. Understanding their search intent, content goal, and where they fall in the sales funnel gives you a basis of knowledge to work with. While this information will be useful in many areas of your marketing strategy, it is particularly important when deciding when to launch your video. Choosing the right platform and coordinating the timing effectively with the rest of your campaign and marketing material will have a significant impact on its initial reception and overall success.
Call to action
Every marketing initiative relies on a strong, effective call to action to produce tangible results. Depending on which area of the marketing plan you are focusing on, the call to action could be anything from an email sign-up to click-through traffic to downloads and purchases. Regardless of what the end goal is for the video, it is crucial that you provide clear and simple options to get the user to that point.
Discounts, giveaways, free downloads, etc. are great ways to get people to watch your videos in the first place, as well as to follow the advice provided. While the hope is that your users will be satisfied enough with your overall theme and information to continue on to the next step, giving them a little extra incentive to do so can often make the difference between someone sitting on the fence and becoming a new customer.
All right, you’ve taken your trending topic, created a concise collection of intriguing content, and followed all these steps to optimize your video content. Now it is time to turn these outstanding videos into productive features of your marketing strategy. Creating effective video content and carefully formatting it for maximum effect can take a lot of time and effort and you don’t want to let that go to waste.
There are many different ways you can distribute and market video content.
- Popular public sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Periscope are obvious places to start. If you plan to make video a regular part of your marketing strategy going forward you should consider maintaining a dedicated YouTube channel.
- Social media is a non-negotiable component of any comprehensive marketing plan. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and SlideShare provide massive audiences just waiting for intriguing content. Video is even more popular on social media sites than among regular web searches, and which ones you focus on will depend on your target audience and particular product.
- Your company’s website should, of course, prominently display all current videos. Once you have built up a collection of video content it can be arranged in a way that walks users through your entire process, doling out information in exactly the method and timing you choose. This flexibility and control are advantages that can’t be offered by the larger public sites.
- If email marketing is also a part of your campaign, be sure to embed your videos in any strategic emails that you send out. Some materials that wouldn’t otherwise generate much interest may draw in more users if a video is included.
As we discussed, producing informative, high-quality video content can be time-consuming and, depending on who you have designing them, potentially expensive. Therefore, it only makes sense to make the most of this effort by tailoring your overall sales and marketing strategy to promote your videos. Much of this will overlap with your distribution options, but the important thing is to focus on the video content and target all your methods and techniques to maximize its impact.
Monitor / Analyze / Adapt
Every plan needs to be monitored on an ongoing basis. Best laid plans, and all that. Of course, you have put a lot of time and thought into your strategy and meticulously implemented each step yet, in practice, things don’t always turn out exactly as we envisioned. You can’t implement and then just hope it is all working out. It is important to keep close tabs on the results, carefully analyze them to determine what is working and what isn’t, then adapt your strategy accordingly. This applies to every marketing concept and content platform but is certainly no less true in the case of video.
It is clear that video is poised to be the frontrunner of all future marketing efforts. Getting on board with video content as it continues to increase in usage and impact is critical to establishing your place among the elite in your industry. While the content included in your videos can be similar to that on your other platforms, the optimization, distribution, and strategic methods can be considerably different. Even if you outsource the actual creation and design of your video content, increasing your knowledge of the video medium and making a special effort to maximize its overall exposure and impact will ensure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste. Properly optimized video collections can generate massive increases in website traffic and improve your customer conversion rate by leaps and bounds. The bottom line is that video is not some passing trend. It is only going to continue to increase in importance and should immediately become a key component of your marketing strategy.