There’s no disputing it: many people prefer to consume content via videos. That’s why more and more businesses are investing in a video marketing strategy.
Video has become so popular that:
- it accounts for about 80% of all consumer internet traffic
- the volume of mobile video consumption increases by 100% every year.
Video allows you to connect with your ideal clients and develop stronger relationships with them more effectively. People respond well to video as it humanizes you and allows your prospects to get to know you more intimately.
Videos, allowing the viewers to see your face, body language and surroundings and hear your tone of voice, can often help you create a more compelling story than articles, graphics or email can. It is a powerful medium for storytelling.
It also can set you apart from your competition, especially those who have yet to add video marketing to their overall marketing strategy.
Remember: people buy from people, not companies. Your videos show your ideal clients the person behind the company. They see with whom they are dealing, which helps them to know, like and trust you.
According to research, 79% of consumers agree video is the easiest way to get to know a brand online.
Most importantly, nearly three-quarters (74%) of consumers pointed to a connection between watching a video on social media and their purchasing decision-making process.
In fact, roughly half (46%) of consumers said they have made a purchase as a result of watching a brand video on social media, and another third (32%) have considered doing so.
If you are like many businesses or social sellers, you might be extremely hesitant to create and share your own videos, but I can assure you the benefits are worth it.
Studies suggest that for lead generation purposes, businesses and sellers get better results when they create videos themselves.
A video of yourself can leave you feeling a bit vulnerable, giving your video a level of authenticity lacking in high-quality marketing videos. Those slick marketing videos are more likely to be ignored than in-house videos featuring you.
Emails that contain video receive four times the clickthrough rate compared to emails without video.
Further, video is one of the best ways for you to establish authority on your topic and in your niche. People relate to video, and science shows the brain is hard-wired to trust the human face.
In this article, I share eight ways you can improve your video marketing strategy and increase your engagement with your ideal clients.
8 Steps to Improve Your Video Marketing Strategy
1. Know your audience
If you try to market to everyone, you ultimately market to no one.
This notion holds true for video marketing. While having a viral video that everyone loves may be great social proof of your online popularity, your video marketing strategy and the videos you create should help you achieve your business or marketing goals, i.e., drive awareness, sales, traffic, etc.
To make these videos effective, begin with your ideal clients in mind.
First, research your audience’s needs and preferences. Identify:
- channels they use to consume video
- challenges or needs they have for which you can provide solutions
- language they use to describe their problems.
If you understand their motivations and speak their language, you’ll be able to connect with them in a meaningful way.
A video specific to your audience’s questions or needs will provide better outcomes for your business and be more useful to your audience.
2. Consistently brand your videos
Whether you create live videos on the fly or professionally scripted and edited webinars, be consistent with your digital branding.
This makes it easier for people to recognize you when they see your video. It also conveys a sense of professionalism that over time helps build trust.
Decide what branding element(s) you will include in all your videos, which will help your viewers recognize them.
These branding elements could take any form, for example:
- a unique item of clothing you always wear when recording
- a brand logo in the same corner
- a short intro or outro.
3. Make the video topic clear
Tons of videos are competing for the attention of your ideal clients at any given time.
It is essential you quickly create interest and clearly communicate the topic of the video with your title and description.
You must provide enough information with your title and description so people can decide whether they want to watch your video or not. Often, viewers will decide whether or not to watch your video based on your title alone.
If you want viewers to commit to a lengthier video, five minutes or longer, you need to provide them with an accurate and informative synopsis.
In the synopsis, highlight two or three benefits the viewers will get from watching the video or provide the main plot points if it is a narrative.
It can also be helpful to transcribe your videos. This allows viewers to skim the content if they prefer, and it can help search engines crawl your video content.
4. Tell stories with your video
Storytelling is vital to successful video marketing. Viewers may forget the stats you shared, but they will remember a funny or inspirational anecdote with which they connected emotionally.
People use stories every day to help them understand the world around them. Stories are also often used to help simplify a complex idea.
Here are five ways you can incorporate storytelling into videos:
1. Showcase your expertise:
(a) share customer success stories to demonstrate to your potential clients how you helped others overcome challenges similar to theirs
(b) create deep dive videos on a topic of interest to your viewers to highlight your expertise.
2. Explain a trend: join the conversation on hot or new topics in your industry by sharing your opinion or your unique take on the trend.
3. Show a process:
(a) make viewers feel like a brand insider with a behind the scenes view of your processes
(b) help them solve a problem using a video that shows a step-by-step process.
4. Inspire: share an inspirational or aspirational story that captures viewers’ attention and invokes positive feelings, which they will then associate with your brand.
5. Get personal: help viewers get to know the people behind your brand, promoting a sense of connection to you
5. Use social proof
Social proof is a key influencer in people’s decision-making when they choose with whom to do business.
In other words, social proof helps people make decisions when they are uncertain, based on the experiences and choices others have made.
That’s why reviews, testimonials and endorsements have been so powerful for businesses.
Social proof can also take the form of likes, votes, views or comments on your videos.
It can also be very effective to share customer testimonial and case study videos.
Depending on your budget, you may also want to consider incorporating experts or influencers into your video marketing strategy.
6. Optimize your videos
To watch your videos, people need to find them first. This is essential for YouTube marketing as it is the second largest search engine after Google.
When optimizing videos for social media channels, first get familiar with the current best practices for video on each platform.
A retargeting company Criteo recommends the following approaches for use of video on different social media platforms:
- Facebook: Keep videos short, upload videos directly to Facebook and add captions.
- YouTube: Wait two weeks after the video launches to make any tweaks or refine the target audience.
- Twitter: Upload videos directly, keep them short and find a balance between fine-tuned targeting (interests, keywords, devices) and not over targeting to accurately track results.
As well as optimizing your videos for each channel, you also need to optimize them for SEO.
Keep these tips in mind when creating your videos so your ideal clients can find them when they search for that topic:
- plan your keywords for your video, just as you would for a blog post
- include your keywords in the title and description
- keep titles short as well as informative, fewer than 60 characters is ideal
- include a link to your website
- use tags with different keyword variations
- work to build backlinks to your videos naturally
- use eye-catching, branded, high-quality thumbnails
- optimize videos for viewing on mobile devices.
LinkedIn Native Video
LinkedIn makes posting videos easy. You can upload and share videos directly from your mobile phone, allowing your network to enjoy unique and original video content that’s relevant and of interest to them.
You can also see how well your videos are performing: you can check the number of views they’re getting (defined as any instance wherein the video is played for longer than three seconds) as well as the level of engagement your videos receive.
7. Include a call-to-action
Your video marketing strategy must include specific actions you want viewers of your videos to take. That’s why you must always include a call to action in your video.
Your call to action tells your viewers what you want them to do next. Without it, most viewers will leave your video without taking any action even if they enjoyed it and derived value from it.
Adding a simple and powerful CTA to your videos can encourage meaningful engagement from interested viewers.
If they’ve watched your video to completion, they’ve demonstrated clear interest. This is where you prompt them to act with your CTA.
CTAs can come in different forms and have different purposes. Inspire your users to take action with different calls to action, such as:
- ask a question they can answer in the comments below
- direct them to another piece of content
- suggest another related video
- send them to a landing page
- direct them to your website
- get them to subscribe to your newsletter or YouTube channel
- ask them to connect with you on other social media channels
- offer a free trial
8. Analyze your video performance
Just like with your website and other social media efforts, you want to track and analyze your video campaign results.
It is important to know that the time, effort and money you are investing into your video marketing strategy are helping you achieve the goals you set when you started.
A/B testing can be a great way to determine which specific elements are working and which are not. Test and re-test to help you figure out the optimal content and timing of your videos.
You can measure your success with different metrics, for example:
Engagement rate: How many interactions is your video getting? How long are people watching the video? This number will indicate the quality of the content and whether the video is too long.
View count: How many times was the video watched? Be sure to understand how each platform counts views (YouTube 30+ seconds vs Facebook 3+ seconds).
Play rate: How many unique visitors clicked Play on each of the different platforms (website, social media channels, etc.)? This can give you information about your audience and their use of the platform. Note that the play rate can be influenced by the thumbnail, copy or size of the video.
Social sharing: How many times has your video been shared by viewers on social media? People share content only if they find it interesting or valuable. If your videos are getting lots of shares, your content is resonating with your ideal clients.
Comments: What kinds of comments are your videos getting? People have to be moved strongly either in a positive or negative way to leave a comment on your video. Use this feedback to help you create new videos that will perform well with your viewers.
Pro video marketing tips
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when creating videos for your business:
- Keep videos short. Unless you have something of value to share, keep videos under a minute. Even for a complex subject or demo, try to limit it to 7 or 8 minutes.
- Use good lighting so the viewer can see your face. A helpful trick is to face a window and have the camera above your eyesight so that it’s aiming down towards you.
- Be professional. Approach the video the same way you would approach a conversation with a client in a professional setting.
- Be authentic and personable. Avoid scripts or templates for live videos as this can diminish your authenticity. It is your authenticity that allows your viewers to connect with you emotionally and moves them to learn more about you and what you do.
- Choose the right thumbnail for your video. This is the image people see on the social platform or in your email. It is as important as the title. When choosing your thumbnail, ensure its Play button does not cover your face.
- When you send the video in an email or message, mention the length of the video so your potential viewer understands the time commitment. This can give you higher click-through rates. For best results, in your email also include a value statement (three lines or fewer), explaining who you are and why you are reaching out. Plus, add a call to action asking them to watch your video.
Start with your ideal client in mind to improve your video marketing strategy
Video has become an incredibly important part of digital marketing as it allows you to create a more personal connection with your prospects and clients.
Video marketing, when done right, gives your viewers a chance to get to know you and your business in a way that other forms of content marketing can’t – because it closely simulates the experience of a face-to-face interaction.
Creating video content has never been easier. Many affordable and easy-to-use tools, apps and mobile devices are available to video creators today.
With a little time, effort and a planned video marketing strategy, you too can begin sharing valuable video content that also generates new leads for your business and shortens your sales cycle.