Video composes a vast part of the internet. People watch over one billion hours of content on YouTube every day and countless more on other platforms and websites. As such, video is an effective medium when it comes to marketing. Not only does it allow you more time to communicate your message, but you can also tell a captivating story that exemplifies your brand voice.
Using video wisely and practically, however, can be more complicated than you think. It does not have to be a daunting process—you do not need expensive equipment or technical skills thanks to free video editing software for Windows and Mac available online—but knowing how to use video effectively requires careful thought. It’s not enough to tweet a video talking about how great and affordable your products are. It’s in your best interest if video plays a key role in your campaigns, so here are a few things to keep in mind:
You need to address your audience
Video is not meant to be a replacement for banner ads. It is not enough to talk about sales, discounts, and other boring promotional material that no one is interested in unless they are a longtime customer. Instead, video is an opportunity to communicate with your audience in ways text and still images fall short.
What would your audience be interested to see and learn? Maybe you can create a how-to video that describes how to use your products or share testimonials from customers. Interviews with experts can be invaluable to shoppers. Your job is to know your niche as well as you can—so now you need to provide them with both education and amusement.
Video helps you convey your brand message
On a related note, video is useful for conveying your brand’s message and tone. How do you want people to think of you? If you want to attract millennials with a sense of humor, comedic videos are more interesting than straightforward explanations. If you’re going to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, then animations or behind-the-scenes looks at your industry can educate viewers about the gap in the market you are trying to solve and why you do it better than your competitors. Your brand probably has a message, so combining visual and aural media gives you more tools to present it.
Video is often more effective than other media
Video has been found to convert viewers into customers more often than text and still images. Online retailer StacksAndShacks.com, for instance, notes that site visitors are 144 percent more likely to purchase a product after watching a video about it than shoppers who do not. Wistia also reports that people they surveyed spend an average of 2.6x more time on website pages with video than without. Text and images are still helpful, but people can obtain more information through moving content.
Choose how you define campaign success
When it comes to social media and video marketing, you determine what success looks like depending on your goals. Are you trying to drive sales? Boost awareness? Build your reputation as an authority in your field?
There are multiple ways to measure what you are aiming for. Engagement rate, for instance, denotes how many people watch your videos and comment on them (while also accounting for whether or not they watched the entire clip or skipped around). View count is self-explanatory, but it’s important to note that each platform identifies a “view” differently—YouTube only counts views if someone watches for at least 30 seconds, while Facebook counts after three.
Measuring the play rate can help you determine which platforms are the most successful. Perhaps you have a higher play rate on Instagram than Facebook, which means you should either adapt your content for Facebook or spend more of your energy on Instagram. Social sharing keeps track of how often viewers re-share your content on their feeds—if you have a high share rate, then your content is resonating.
Consumers prefer shorter content
Something to remember when creating videos: people prefer shorter content. In fact, nearly two-thirds of consumers Animoto surveyed would prefer videos under 60 seconds. Of course, different platforms give you a bit of leeway, so remember what the format is and what your audience is accustomed to.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, it’s in your best interest if Instagram videos are 30 seconds or less. You can afford 45 seconds on Twitter, one minute on Facebook, and around 2 minutes on YouTube before people begin losing interest. When it comes to marketing, people do not have much patience, so use these timeframes to capture folks’ attention and communicate your point as soon as possible.
Video plays a crucial role in marketing, but giving yourself a competitive edge means you need to be creative and strategic with how you use them. What do you want to achieve with your video marketing strategy?