By Adria Saracino on September 4th, 2012
Video marketing isn’t necessarily a new marketing strategy, but it’s definitely becoming a very popular one, because video in general is becoming more widely consumed by the general public. Let’s face it, people love video.
YouTube is now the second most popular search engine, just behind Google. There are over 800 million unique users who visit YouTube every month, and how they’re getting there is changing. Video is much easier to view from a mobile device than is text, and thus more than 20% of global YouTube views come from mobile devices. Not to mention that 3 hours of video is uploaded per minute from mobile devices.
If you’re a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or involved in marketing in anyway, you need to know what video marketing is, why you should use it, and how to excel at using it.
What is Video Marketing?
In its most basic form, video is the integration of aesthetic concepts: visual, aural, and conceptual; it’s music, image, and story all rolled into one. This is how video should be approached when we begin thinking about the web – not as a type of content which is an interchangeable format to text and image, but an integration of these elements, demanding full time attention from an audience.
Just to clarify, there is a big difference between marketing WITH video and marketing A video. I’m talking about marketing WITH video, which means incorporating video into your overall marketing campaign. There are several strategies you can take in video marketing: viral video marketing, video email marketing, video campaigns, mobile specific video marketing, video advertising, etc. Whichever avenue of video marketing you choose your content creation process will remain basically the same.
There are two parts of video marketing: creating a video that is relevant to your audience while maintaining your business goals, and the actual process of marketing your video. Simply throwing your video up on YouTube is not going to get you thousands of viewers; you need a specific strategy that gets your video out to your intended audience. Before you launch your video you need to prospect for blogs, sites, and people who you think would be willing to host your video. Once your video is actually launched, you then need to outreach to those prospects to see if they are able to host your video.
Why You Should Use Video Marketing
Beyond using video because of its rising popularity that I discussed earlier, there are other perks to using video in your marketing campaign, including user engagement, branding assistance, and SEO benefits.
Video as a medium allows users very little freedom in terms of consumption – it’s easy for users to skim text and decide which sections are most relevant to them. However, video offers no skimming option, you either watch the video in its entirety, or it fails to hold your attention and you stop watching. Additionally “watching” a video is a somewhat passive experience. When users decides to press “play,” they are asking to be shown something, asking to be given the content in an integrated, multi-disciplinary form rather than digging through and exploring the meaning themselves.
Video, therefore, engages your audience differently than will text or pictures. With video, the experience of comprehension is more immediate, driven by story-telling elements and a restricted timescale. The amount of information that can be displayed through one second of video vastly outnumbers the amount of information that can be read.
When using video it is much easier to create the experience of a physical interaction than it is through audio, image, or text. Through video, we can display much of who we are honestly. For branding, this is extremely important, as it allows companies to display a humanistic aspect much better than through image, audio, or text. By creating a human side and relatable characteristics, a company can build trust with their viewers much easier through video than text or images.
Due to the relative low uptake, online video can also indicate professionalism and brand quality. If a company has enough time, money, and skills to create high quality video, viewers assume they are a legitimate business with a genuine interest in providing a great service.
Video is also an extremely valuable resource for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), specifically by assisting with the following goals:
Through increasing engagement and trust, video content can be a great way of driving greater conversions, particularly on commercial pages. This is the main reason why product videos have become popular in the Ecommerce world – as a method of improving the rate at which users click “add to basket” and complete a full purchase.
Links continue to be the main metric with which search engines determine the authority of a piece of content, so link building is crucial to your website’s success. Links to a website are counted as “votes,” so the more links and social shares a website has, the more popular that page is. Search engines read that popularity as authority, so more links means more authority. Search result rankings are then based on a combination of relevancy (determined by the content and terms used on the page) and authority (determined by the number of referring inks and social shares). People link to pages with video more than to pages without, and people embed videos on their sites, which means more links and higher rankings for your website.
How to Excel at Video Marketing
As I mentioned earlier, video marketing has two parts: creating your video and marketing your video. In order to excel at video marketing as a whole, you need to be successful in both parts of this process.
Creating Your Video
Even if you have a video production team on board to actually produce your video, there is still a rigorous creative process you need to undergo in order for your video to be relevant to your viewers and your business objectives:
1. Content Gap Analysis: This basically determines who your audience is, and thus, what your approach will be. Ask these questions: What do people care about? What might work in your niche? What have other people done in different verticals?
2. Determining Success: In this step you need to outline what successes you want to achieve. Pick out key performance indicators (KPIs), and good, better, best scenarios.
3. Form Gap Analysis: In this step you will determine what form your content needs to take. Ask these questions: What style of content do you need to achieve your objectives? Should you split the content across the different KPIs or hit all KPIs with one bit of content?
4. Define the technical implementation: Hosting, embedding, integration etc.
5. Define subject and theme.
6. Pre-production: Determine level and style of product required, and script your video.
7. Production: Make your video.
Marketing Your Video
Like I said earlier, you can’t simply put your video on YouTube and expect it to go viral. There are processes involved in getting your video on YouTube successfully and getting it on other sites (blogs, informational sites, etc.).
Getting Your Video on Non-Video Search Engine Sites
1. Pre-Outreach/Prospecting: Sifting through potential sites that you can outreach to.
2. User Testing: Determine on page location, size of video, and calls to action.
3. Launch your video.
4. Outreach: Contact your prospects and ask them to host/embed your video.
Getting Your Video on a Video Search Engine Site
Every company should have some presence on YouTube, as it’s the world’s second largest search engine. YouTube is only suitable for creative, interesting content that users will want to watch voluntarily (unless you are creating ads and seeding them through YouTube advertising). YouTube should be seen primarily as an avenue for branding, reputation, notoriety and to help content “go viral.”
• Content is available to the largest audience
• Gets indexed very quickly and will typically rank well
• Content often gets socially shared, allowing great creative pieces to “go viral
• Cannot secure content
• Social shares, embeds and links will typically point to YouTube
• YouTube.com may often rank instead of your domain, especially if the content is very successful
This is only a taste of the who, what’s and why’s of video marketing. Distilled created a guide to video marketing, which is a your comprehensive handbook for creating and marketing your video as a part of your marketing campaign. You can download the PDF guide below:
With over 800 million unique users visiting YouTube every month, video is obviously incredibly popular, and if you’re involved in any sort of marketing campaign or small business, it would be wise of you to utilize video’s popularity. By using video you can better reach mobile users, as well, as video is much easier to view from a mobile device than is text. Take advantage of a captive audience now that you know what exactly video marketing is, why you should use it, and how to excel at using it.