In 2015, consumers spent an average of 5.5 hours a day watching video content. More astounding is that Cisco predicts by 2017, videos will account for a whopping 69% of all consumer internet traffic. These staggering figures related to a worldwide surge in screen time have created a powerful imperative for small businesses to identify where video marketing fits into their own business plan.
As a small business owner (and consumer yourself), we’re sure you, too, have noticed the increase of video in your industry. You might be asking yourself “Could video marketing help my business?”
The short answer to your question is yes—video marketing works.
According to a recent survey from Animoto, 84% of consumers have liked a branded video in their social media news feed, and 56% have watched company videos deployed through email. Videos give you the opportunity to interact with and engage your customers by allowing them to get to know you and your brand and to feel comfortable with you.
Despite industry consensus that video is highly effective and offers great ROI, many small businesses haven’t adopted the medium. According to a report from Ascend2, half of all companies had no video marketing strategy. And we absolutely get it. Creating a professional video can seem daunting to a small business owner with an even smaller budget.
“Creating video for my website” is a common search among small business owners. As consumers continue to clamor for video content, you cannot afford to miss the train. Read on for our crash course in video marketing with eight simple steps to help get you stop pausing and start playing.
Get your tools in place
Perhaps you’ve flirted with the idea of video marketing. You’ve wanted to take advantage of the power of video to explode your conversions in ways you couldn’t have imagined before, but you’ve been held back by the idea that you need to buy an expensive digital camera. Then, you’d have to find the time to learn how to use lighting, sound, filters and composition settings to create a high-quality video. That alone is been enough to deter you from saying, “Action!”
The truth of the matter is video can be an inexpensive channel for even the smallest of businesses. If you have a smartphone, you can make an incredible video. Even a one-minute video highlighting the things that make your business unique could become your best customer acquisition tool. To make it even easier and more professional, invest in a tripod, possibly some lights, and a microphone for clear, crisp audio. You can also get creative with free online video creators like Biteable or RenderForest.
Get creative and let your personality shine
To really take advantage of your video’s potential, you’ll need to get creative. Personality is key to ensuring a strong connection on camera, and ultimately a successful marketing video. This is your opportunity to speak directly to your audience. They should get a better sense of who you are, your product or service, and why they would want to do business with you.
While this point might seem obvious, many videos miss the mark entirely with impersonal shots of landscapes or assembly lines. Those images aren’t going to grab a viewer’s attention as much an authentic person speaking to a camera.
An example of a creative video full of personality is Dollar Shave Club’s Our Blades Are F***ing Great. In this short, yet effective, video, Michael Dubin, the company’s chief executive officer, crafted a captivating and funny post that made it hard to click away. Dubin let his outgoing and humorous personality shine while explaining why viewers should subscribe to the Dollar Shave Club. As a result, the video went viral with more than 23 million views, it crashed the site, and the blades sold out in six hours. Just four years later, the unique razor brand was purchased by Unilever for a smooth $1 billion.
Keep it short
Consumers view video content in more places by more brands than ever before. As a result, expectations are growing, but attention spans are getting shorter. As a brand, you have a mere 10 seconds to capture your audience before they click away. If you have not fully engaged your audience after the first 30 seconds, it’s likely you’ve lost 33% of viewers. After one minute a whopping 45% of viewers have moved on.
NewsWhip did a recent analysis of the 10 most shared videos for popular Facebook sites over 30 days. The pages analyzed were: BuzzFeed Food; NowThis; AJ+; BBC News; Daily Mail; and The Guardian. What they found was the average length for four of the six videos were well below the minute mark.
In fact, in late 2015, BuzzFeed Food’s average Facebook video length was just 24 seconds. Don’t believe us? Learn how to make chili cheese bread dip in just 29 seconds. In an effort to tackle the battle for attention and win, these marketers have learned to master the biggest of the social media video tips: grab ‘em and go.
Know your platform
While we just told you to keep your marketing videos short and sweet, there are always exceptions. Strong marketers will tell you that there is no one-size-fits-all tactic when creating and optimizing your video content. How long your video should depends on your marketing goals and the platform where your video will play.
Ultimately, video length should be less about the actual time and more about your marketing goals. Consider what type of content you’re offering. Yes, a humorous video is best in a shorter, easily digestible length, while something like documentary-style content for branding can be a little longer. Don’t forget—you can always break up longer form videos in a way that makes sense to create several episodes.
It’s also imperative to tailor your video length to each distribution platform. This is one of the most important considerations when determining how long your video should be. As mentioned previously, when sharing on social media, a best practice is to create 30- to 45-second videos. This length is optimal for Facebook’s auto-playback feature.
Other social sites like Snapchat, Vine and Instagram have made 15-second micro-videos. With regard to video hosts like YouTube or Vimeo, and even your company blog or website, viewers are likely more apt to watching longer, more stylized videos. Knowing your platform allows you to assess the benefits and considerations of each channel.
Know how to upload videos
You’ve done it—the video is complete, it’s amazing, and you’re ready for it to go live! Uploading videos has become so commonplace, this can be done in a few simple steps. Make sure to give your video an appropriate, concise search-optimized title, tag it with a topic (on platforms that enable tagging), then promote it and share with your friends.
We’ve provided video upload instruction links for the most common platforms:
Understand Video Search Engine Optimization
Many people think the term “search engine optimization,” or SEO for short, is synonymous with Google. Because, when it comes to search engines, Google is clearly king with 64% of the market share. But, when it comes to videos, YouTube is the search engine you should optimize for to maximize your company’s reach.
In addition to being the largest video hosting platform, YouTube is also the second largest search engine in the world. So, when you’re looking to get exposure for your brand’s video, you’ll want to make sure it’s optimized for YouTube search.
Luckily, the tactics used for video SEO are universal regardless which platform is hosting your video. They’re also fairly simple. First, you need to think like a customer and choose the “keywords” to describe your video they are most likely to use when searching for information. Google provides a couple of free tools that can help you with this step:
- Keyword suggestions: Put in a few seed keywords into the Google Keyword Planner to generate some ideas, and see if your audience is actually searching for those terms.
- Auto-suggestions: In addition to the keyword tool, checking both YouTube and Google’s auto-suggestions will give you an SEO edge on competitors. These are the suggested searches that populate when you start typing into the search bar. Auto-suggestions are incredibly helpful as they are based on real searches. A great tool to discover auto-suggested searches across multiple platforms at once is Soovle.
Once you’ve identified the best keyword(s) to describe your video, you need to use them in the right places to tell the search engines how to categorize the content. Make sure all the below are optimized with valuable keywords to best increase your exposure:
- Video Filename
- Video Title
You can get deeper into search engine optimization for YouTube in this ultimate guide.
Optimize for mobile
Now that 80% of consumers are watching video on their mobile devices, it’s becoming critical to optimize your video for mobile. YouTube’s default video encoding will format your video for viewing across all devices, however, other video platforms may not automatically encode your video for mobile responsiveness. Ensure that your videos are uploaded in an MP4 format for desktop and mobile viewing. Consider a vertically shot video as opposed to horizontal.
Track your results
Last, but certainly not least, keep an eye on how your video is performing. Watch your views, impressions, and click-throughs. Having this measurable data will help you analyze what worked and what didn’t. It will also enable you to make more educated marketing decisions for future campaigns.
Most video hosts offer basic analytic insights including:
- Number of times a video is loaded
- Number of times a video is played
- Percentage of visitors who clicked Play
- Average percentage of video watched
- The countries from which videos are viewed
YouTube also offers a very helpful graph that shows viewer drop-off throughout a video. You can use this revealing information to conclude if you need a stronger intro, or at least discover which part of your video is least interesting to viewers.
Additionally, using data from Google Analytics will help you answer important bottom line questions like:
- Do visitors who view our video buy more often?
- Are they more likely to complete a lead form?
- Do they buy more or less?
- How does their buying behavior change if they only watch part of a video?
- Which videos seem to generate more sales?
If you’ve discovered less-than-stellar video performance results, consider looking at your call-to-action (CTA). Compelling CTAs in your videos can help you acquire prospects and leads to ultimately boost your revenue. Download Valpak’s free eBook, “How to Make Digital CTAs That Work!” to learn more.
Now that you’ve seen how video is used as an integral part of a digital marketing strategy, here’s how you can start making video work for your business today.
Get Started Today:
- Brainstorm video ideas, storylines, and products you want to promote
- Set a marketing goal for each video and each video platform you will use
- Use SEO best practices to give your video the best chance of discovery (both desktop and mobile)
- Track results to gain valuable insight into your marketing efforts