The Marketing Edge – Telling your story with video marketing

Here are 10 ways to show and tell your brand’s story through video:

Find your audience. Although television advertisements still have a place in your overall marketing strategy, they may not reach as many people as an online video would. This is especially true with young viewers; it is estimated that YouTube reaches more young adults ages 18-34 than any cable television network. Before you adopt any new marketing strategy, you should consider where your target audience views content and what they are looking for.

Show and tell. If your video isn’t engaging, it won’t matter how much great information it contains about your products or service. Like any content you create, your video needs to inform the viewer while telling a compelling story. Take advantage of the opportunity presented by video and give your viewers a demonstration of your product or service. Instructional videos are the most frequently searched for and consumed content on YouTube with over 100 million hours viewed in 2015 alone. A good video begins with a script.

Shorter is sweeter. Even though you can upload over 15 minutes of video on YouTube with their permission, your viewers will have likely tuned out by then. You only have 10 seconds to grab your viewers’ attention and that attention will wane as your video goes on if you don’t keep them engaged. Every venue has different specifications for video length, as does every type of content. While you should be mindful of this, it is more important to focus on the content of the video, its target audience, and where it will be viewed. For example, a vlog is a longer format than a social media video advertisement. However, your viewer is likely taking the time to watch a vlog that is of interest to them rather than just scrolling past your video ad in their newsfeed on social media.

Go mobile. Smartphone owners are using their devices to consume video more than ever before. Half of all online video views occur on mobile devices. With that in mind, your videos should accommodate the needs of these viewers. Mobile video viewers prefer shorter content, as do the devices themselves since larger file sizes take longer to load. If your videos are featured on your website, make sure you use responsive design elements that allow them to adjust to the screen size they’re being viewed on.

Get found. Did you know that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine? You may not think of it that way, but it processes over 3 billion searches per month. Like any other search engine, there are rules that apply to its ranking. For video, the title, number of views, description, and ratings matter along with traditional search engine optimization (SEO) requirements like keywords.

Be social. Most social media platforms have their own form of native video. The platform you use will determine your video strategy. Snapchat videos are 10 seconds or less, limiting the time you have to share your message. Meanwhile, other platforms allow for longer videos but may have other limitations. Recently, Twitter changed their requirements so that videos no longer take up characters in tweets, leaving users all 140 to write a message with. Regardless of the platform you use, you should design with its specifications in mind in order to be successful.

Sharing is caring. Social media is about sharing everything, including videos. Your followers are sharing relevant content that you’ve created and you should return the favor. Even if you’ve created a video for another format, social media provides an opportunity for you to reach a wider audience through sharing.

Pay up. You want to use video advertising but are afraid it will be too expensive? It won’t be if you use YouTube or social media. Along with placing ads before videos on YouTube, social media platforms allow you to use video as part of their paid advertising features. Best of all, you can pay as much or as little as you’d like, making these options budget-friendly.

Go live. With the launch of live video services like Facebook Live and Periscope, marketers have a new video marketing tool available to them. These features can enhance events at your business by giving viewers a behind the scenes look. Be aware that timing is key with live video. Announce when the broadcast will be happening so your viewers won’t miss it.  

Analyze this. Like any other marketing strategy, collecting and analyzing data about your video informs your overall strategy. YouTube has its own free analytics feature built in that allows to you to customize reports for a set time period. Video data to collect and analyze includes the number of views, viewer demographics, and the view duration. To be most effective, only track data that is relevant to your goals.

As the most consumed content online, video can be one of the most valuable tools in your marketing toolbox. You have the opportunity to capture your viewers’ eyes, hearts, and minds through compelling visual content.

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