Thinking about video marketing this year? That’s a smart decision. After all, three-fourths of online video viewers interact with at least one video ad each month. Even more — around 80% of users — say they can remember a specific video ad they’ve seen in the last 30 days. Video has become a very important medium for successful online marketing campaigns.
Video marketing statistics show that this marketing channel is highly effective. It isn’t necessarily about working with plain marketing videos. Just think about YouTube. There are various influencers on YouTube who’ve built successful businesses based on online videos. But how do you get started in such an apparently complex, technical undertaking? Well, here’s a quick-start guide on video marketing. It will give you a solid overview and a place to start:
- Why online marketing with videos?
- Do some competitive research
- Create your YouTube channel
- Plan your first few videos
- Create your first videos
- Don’t forget to optimize and promote
- Know what makes videos go viral
Why online marketing with videos?
Start with an understanding of who your audience is and especially what kinds of content they’ll find valuable. Do they want to be motivated? Entertained? Educated? Video is a great way to accomplish all of those and more, but you have to start with your users and their specific needs in mind.
Clarify your goals next. What are your brand’s marketing goals? What do you want these videos in particular to achieve for your business or brand? For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you’ll need to focus on overcoming sales objections. Videos that solely entertain without accomplishing your business goals usually won’t help you in the long run.
Do some competitive research
Next, it’s not a bad idea to check out the competition. It’s the only way to discover what they’re doing that you can do even more effectively — always being authentic and true to your own brand — or, conversely, what they’re doing that you should stay away from. If you know who your chief competitors are, a simple YouTube search for their brand names should turn up their channels. Or you can look at their websites to see if there’s a link to a YouTube channel.
Create your YouTube channel
Now that you have a general roadmap of where you’re going with your new video marketing plan, it’s time to create your YouTube channel. You’ll need a free Google account to start (if you don’t already have one). Specific steps include creating your channel icon, your about section, and your channel cover art. Each of these items deserves a little extra attention in terms of your branding.
Plan your first few videos
When you’re planning your launch content, aim to hit prospects at various points on the buyer’s journey for your brand. A prospect at the “awareness” stage needs much different content than one who’s ready to make a purchase.
For example, if you’re selling physical products, you’ll want a mix of videos. You could start with one educational video, aimed at explaining the differences between various brands, or providing shopping-guide advice. Then add a video that targets buyers who are ready to make a purchase but just need a strong reason to buy from your brand.
Need some video ideas or video marketing tips to start with? Try a mix of any of the following to start with, until you figure out the best style for your brand:
- Record yourself doing whatever it is you do.
- Read and answer user questions — either from email or comments, solicited through social media or via an online survey, or researched on Quora.
- Conduct an interview — you can always do it in Skype and then edit it later. While Skype itself doesn’t natively support recording calls, a number of third-party apps can help you out here.
Create your first videos
You don’t need to stress yourself out researching and budgeting for expensive video equipment to start with. In fact, you can do a perfectly credible job shooting marketing videos with a good, modern smartphone. Far more important are the content of the video and the basic skill with which it’s recorded. Fortunately, those are skills you can practice and perfect. Take the time to learn how to compose and shoot better videos.
If you do want to expand into more professional gear, consider the following:
- A decent camera with at least 1080P recording capability.
- Video editing software — you can start with iMovie (Mac) or Windows Movie Maker.
- Microphone — since most on-camera mics aren’t going to be powerful enough.
Bottom line: You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create dynamic videos with the potential to go viral. It’s much more important to create videos your audience actually cares about.
Don’t forget to optimize and promote
When you upload your videos, be sure to optimize the description. Include keywords that are relevant to your video both in the description and in the title, and add a link back to your site in the description area as well. That link doesn’t have to be to your home page, by the way; if you have published more in-depth information on that topic on your WordPress blog, for example, you can link to that post. This not only helps users find more information, but also can be beneficial for SEO.
When you’ve mastered those tips, move on to incorporate more advanced tactics for optimizing your videos and making them more findable. Finally promote your videos to your other social media accounts. YouTube is an incredibly powerful search engine, but giving your videos a boost with some promotion is only smart and will pay-off on the long run.
Know what makes videos go viral
First and foremost, keep in mind that virality is by itself a meaningless metric. You need to tie it to an actual business goal if you want it to advance your brand. There are a few traits many viral videos share. Working to incorporate those traits into your own videos is no guarantee that your views will go through the roof but it’ll give you the best foundation to work from.
First, keep it short, and put your most interesting material in the first minute. Some statistics suggest that over 40% of viewers tune out within the first sixty seconds. That means if you want your audience to keep watching, hook them from the beginning of your video.
Second, keep the mood light and encouraging, if appropriate. Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, says that the most popular content evokes strong emotions. Out of all the possible strong feelings in the human emotional panoply, or the so-called “high arousal” emotions, the ones we’d categorize as positive outperformed others.
Conclusion: Video marketing to accelerate your brand
We hope that the tips in this article have been helpful to get you started with video marketing. Video content is big business and there is no better time to get started with video marketing than today. Have you embraced video marketing in the past? What have you learned while doing promotions through video? Share your best tips and insights for beginners in the comments section below.