As people spend more time online, the adage that every company is a media company is more true than ever. Simply put, creating media surrounding your business helps create interest and attention, which is good for business. We see this with corporate magazines, social media updates, blog posts, and late-night infomercials. Video, while often ignored by companies, is an excellent way to educate customers, increase site traffic, and drive sales.
With two-thirds of American adults in 2010 being connected by broadband Internet, many people are able to seek out online videos to research products and services. More than 3 billion YouTube videos, for instance, are viewed every day.
With the rise of the Internet, businesses now have to compete for audience attention on various platforms. Thankfully, creating media helps garner more links, traffic and attention. And while organizations have a lot to gain from video, companies need to deal with new ways to tell stories.
We know how hard it is to shoot and edit a video, so to get the most impact out of your videos we put together the following list of guidelines.
1. Your video should provide value and serve a purpose
There is more video content being created and shared than ever before. Two days worth of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and nearly eight years of footage is uploaded every day. In order to stand out, your videos should provide value to those watching.
Have trouble coming up with ideas for video? Here are some surefire ways to keep your YouTube page interesting:
- Interviews - Seek out people in your company or industry who are able to answer questions that are important to your target audience. If a trade show is coming up, be sure to bring a video camera because it’s an excellent opportunity to film interviews with experts when they’re all in the same place.
- Insights - Your video can show your expertise or insight into on a particular topic. The San Francisco Chronicle’s David Baker, for instance, shares his thoughts on a particular issue or topic on YouTube. A recent video in which he talks about the oil and natural gas industry and its impact on clean tech companies helps establish his knowledge and credibility.
- Tutorials - Video tutorials are a great way to show your expertise, and to create content people search for. Ideas for how-to’s should be easy to come up with: demonstrate how to use your product, showcase useful features, provide tips and tricks. A great way to provide step-by-step instructions (especially for software products) is to use a screen capture program like Camtasia to show exactly what’s on the screen.
- Lifestyles - Lifestyle marketing is about associating your brand with an image, and video is a great way to add depth to the picture your brand aims to represent. For instance, Marshall Headphones presented a series of videos on roadies, which fits into the on-the-road, rock’n'roll lifestyle the brand wants to tap into.
2. Grab their attention
The first 15 seconds of your video is make or break time. That time span is often when many viewers decide if they are going to keep watching your video, according to YouTube’s Creator Playbook (PDF). YouTube recommends grabbing their attention with a riveting into, a video teaser or preview of what to expect, or something else that will convince viewers to continue watching.
3. Keep it short
Wpromote founder and CEO Michael Mothner notes that viewers can easily abandon your online video — all it takes is one quick click. “Personally, I consider 10 minutes to be a bit too long, as I am prone to tune out after more than 3 minutes unless the content I’m watching is truly awesome,” he writes. He suggests breaking down longer video clips into shorter segments, which not only keeps viewers engaged, but also helps you optimize each video to a more specific topic for better search rankings.
4. Make your video search engine friendly
Like any online marketing material, it’s important that your videos get found online. Mothner writes that because there are fewer videos online (compared to blog post or websites) it can be easier to rank highly in searches. Also, many online videos are shunned by search engines because of poor optimization, tagging, and referencing. Don’t make the same mistake.
Mothner recommends giving your video a title and description that is appealing to viewers, descriptive, and includes keywords. Also, search engines are blind, so including a transcript of your video helps ensure search engines understand what your video is about, and index it accordingly.
In order to get people to notice your video, make sure to mention it on your Twitter account, your company’s Facebook Page, and other social network on which you’re active. If you have an email newsletter, be sure to include a link to the video. Also, consider submitting your video to social bookmarking sites like del.icio.us and StumbleUpon, where users looking at similar content may “stumble upon” your video.
6. Track your demos (that’s TV lingo for audience)
We think creating measurable business goals is important in any marketing endeavour, and online video is no exception. Luckily, many video hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo collect data on your content, audience, and programming. Use these statistics to help your future online videos connect with your audience.
If your goal is to drive more traffic to your website or a particular landing page, be sure to use an analytics suite like Google Analytics and pay attention to the traffic coming from your video site, or even setup an automated metricbased on where visitors came from.
7. Think about branding outside the video
- The YouTube channel for French fashion house Chanel features strong branding outside the videos themselves.
Most people don’t bother customizing their page on YouTube or other video network. But, as Fashionably Marketing notes, a branded YouTube page is an opportunity to enhance user engagement.
Branding your YouTube page could mean just adjusting the colour scheme or adding a top banner, or completing a whole YouTube page redesign with a custom background. A well-designed YouTube page can encapsulate what the brand is all about, and reinforce that message to viewers.
Online video is truly capturing the spotlight in digital marketing, but be mindful not to limit yourself to video only. Successful marketing depends on many channels working together to create an overall impression. We recommend using every channel at your disposal – including video – to connect with customers, educate them, resolve problems, and show your corporate culture.
Creating an online video channel for your business? Kobayashi Online can help your company become a better media company with digital marketing solutions for your company’s video channel, social media and website