The stats on video in the digital space are impressive. Some of them you've probably seen or heard, like
- YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. (Yes the WORLD)
- YouTube wins more than 1 billion unique visitors a month (YouTube)
- An Internet user watches 186 videos on average each month. (Comscore)
- 60% of visitors watch video content before reading text on the same webpage. (eMarketer)
- With proper optimization, video content increases the chance of front-page Google results by 53 times. (Forrester)
- Mobile Video will represent 66% of global mobile data traffic by 2017. (Cisco)
- 87% of marketers in the U.S. use video for content marketing. (Uberflip)
Why is video so valuable?Video allows us to generate an instant emotional connection with an audience, helping to build influencers much more quickly and efficiently than a paragraph of text or a series of images. The key takeaway here and moving forward is instant emotion. Those creating videos should always seek to achieve the intended, instant emotional engagement with their target audience. And more often than not, we want to produce the emotions that lead to positive user engagement or brand awareness. So where do we start? And what are some of the best ways to incorporate video into your marketing mix?
First, address the following:
- 1. What are the short and long term goals? More specifically, are we looking to acquire new customers, leads, or subscribers? Raise awareness for the brand? Or increase customer loyalty, retention and lifetime value?
- 2. Who is my target audience?
- 3. What do they need, want, or value the most?
- 4. How will we connect our brand, product or service to these needs in a way that will compel the viewer to action or simply give them a positive experience?
Videos for Brand Growth & User Acquisition:For goals that hinge on customer acquisition and growing awareness, the ideal emotional elements to consider aligning your brand or products with should be creativity, humor, wonder, fear, and nostalgia. One or a mix of these is mostly likely to compel an audience to become active and create a positive connection with the story, resulting in people sharing it, revisiting it, or buying into it.
The Elevator PitchFor when value propositions are complex or there is a need to tell a convincing story about the business, a specific product, or solution, consider a well-placed introductory or product video.
- Keep it brief. Cap it at 90 to 120 seconds.
- Remember to define the target audience, what is important to them, and some common verbiage (keywords) used within the industry.
- Focus on an engaging storyboard and script that answer the following questions:
- What does the business, product, or service do?
- What problems does it address? What unique solutions does it offer?
- What features are most important to the target audience?
- Are there case studies, testimonials, or other proof elements that can be shared?
- What is the call to action or next step for the viewer?
- Shop around for experts who can produce the video, supply the audio and voice overs, and maybe even help distribute it.
- Product / service landing pages (videos for specific products/services)
- Social media. Think LinkedIn profiles and Twitter posts.
- Google Adwords Account (use sparingly on branded or exact match keyword terms)
- Google Play - Android's app store products
Video pitch examples:"Things" for iPad From Culture Code Nest The learning thermostat Vimeo "This is the new Vimeo" Google Drive
Video & SEOVideo offers a variety of positive signals to search engines which ultimately contributes to acquiring new customers and sales. More specifically:
- Increasing organic traffic with rich snippets. Implementing the proper technical mark-up on web pages with video can add an image on Google's search results pages - resulting in higher click through rates and more web traffic.
- Transcribe video to text. This practice is better aligned for video guides and tutorials. Nonetheless, transcribing the actual dialogue of a video has shown to significantly improve the likelihood of ranking in search engines.
- On average, pages that contain rich media such as video and images, receive a higher volume of link citations and social mentions from outside sources. In other words, the richer the content, the more votes of confidence from peers and the more referral traffic earned. And since links and social shares still play a vital role in search engine optimization, there is good reason to include this into a long-term acquisition strategy.
Video AdsIn terms of acquisition and brand strategy, if you can pay to play, do it! The evolution of "big data" and ad platforms gives advertisers the ability to target audiences with an incredible level of accuracy. In terms of targeting capabilities, think and at times combine audience:
- Interests (affinities)
- Demographic (age, gender, income)
- Browsing behavior
- Recent search behavior
- Device (desktop, mobile, tablet)
- Keep them short. Especially if they are "pre-roll" or "in-stream" ads.
- Get your key value propositions in front.
- End with a strong call to action
- Google Display Network and YouTube's TrueView ads
- DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA) - minimum spend required
- LinkedIn and Twitter
- Mobile ad networks like admob, iAds, etc.
Example of YouTube's TrueView ad formats
Videos for Brand Equity and RetentionVideos focusing on growing trust, loyalty, and lifetime customer value generally follow a different set of rules. For one, they do not necessarily need to contain brevity. Nor do they necessarily need to be wildly creative (unless this is one of your core value propositions). Unlike videos for acquisition and awareness, equity and retention videos can focus on providing unique and sustained value for existing audience members. Examples:
- Guides, How-To's & Tutorials - straightforward information that addresses frequently asked questions.
- Interviews - profiling individuals with an interesting talent or point of view.
- Series - consistent production and continued value. Pace and position the brand as a subject matter expert.
- Brand story - the history, evolution, and key components of what makes the brand different and the subtle elements of what connects the brand with its target audience.
- Research and listen to your target audience. Learn what they need and value most. Are there gaps that your business or product can fill?
- Avoid reinventing the wheel. Unless you make a better wheel. Then tell everyone.
- Identify popular search keywords that are relevant to the topic at hand. Implement these in the video titles, descriptions, and on web pages.
- Again - transcribing videos is a great way to align the keyword strategy for a landing page and can significantly improve search engine rankings.
- And finally, always remember what emotionally connects your brand to your target audience. Think brand pillars and value propositions.