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7 things you should know about video content marketing

video-editing-in-FCPX

Video what? It might sound like a mouthful, but video content marketing is simply an umbrella term, used to describe a number of video-related activities, approaches and formats: promos, corporate messages, online series, instructional or product-focused videos. This list goes on. But the aim is the same: to promote or sell a product, brand, thought, idea, recipe, etc. using video.

With the rise of social media and decline of more traditional forms of online marketing and promotion, video marketing (or video content in general) has been embraced by those who’ve until recently didn’t even think they needed video as part of their online presence.

Some do it well, others – sadly – repeat the traditional let-me-bore-you-to-death-with-my-10-minute-company-history approach to video. Others don’t do it because of a number of misconceptions about promotional videos (no, they don’t need to be long, expensive, super-shiny or feature celebs).

So whether you are already trying online video, or just thinking about creating your first video, these are the seven most important things to consider before commissioning or creating your next piece of content:

1. Know your audience and what it needs.

There are many questions you need to answer before commissioning your first video, but this one is probably one of the most important ones: who is your target audience? This is crucial. Is it your existing audience? If so, what do they expect? Inspiration, instructions, news, regular updates, entertainment? Because certainly not a hard sell as they already know you or your product.

Or are you chasing a new audience? If so, are you trying to reinforce the brand, convert them, or showcase a product or service? You need to be able to define the strategy very clearly as this  will determine your approach.

2. Be specific.

There’s nothing worse than a wishy-washy piece of content. Specificity will help you get your message across. And telling a story can help you stay specific. Also, a story can grab your audience’s attention and often create that crucial emotional response you’ll need if you want your video to work.

Define exactly what your video is trying to achieve. It’ll help you frame your story and be specific with your message.

3. Choose the right format.

Once you know your audience and your goals, define what type of video would work best in that context. Is a corporate message appropriate if your audience is more likely to remember you or buy from you when you share your expertise through a useful how-to video? This should also be discussed before the video is shot as you need to match the format to the message.

4. Invest in quality.

But quality can mean a lot of things. The technical quality of the video is important, but the quality of the message itself is probably more important. Don’t be tempted to invest in a super-expensive production if your message is not clear, precise, engaging or convincing. Then there are things like the quality of the audio, the talent involved and the overall quality of the execution.

 5. Get the timing right.

Remember that the longer your video, the fewer people will watch it all the way through. (Which doesn’t necessarily mean that only short form works.) Create an emotional attachment or response, and ideally create it early. It’s not always possible, of course, but as most people click away rather soon, do it early. Again, the length is dependent on what you’re trying to achieve and the format you’ve chosen, but a rule of thumb is up to 2-3 minutes is acceptable. Sometimes though, really short works best. For some audiences however, even 15 minutes+ can work.

6. Optimise your videos.

You would optimise your written content, your landing pages, your articles. Why would you ignore SEO for video? If you choose to share your video on Vimeo, YouTube or other video-sharing sites, make sure you provide – as a minimum – a good description, several relevant tags or keywords, and a link to your site and potentially your social sites. Also, don’t forget about your branding within and around the video. If the video is embedded on a third-party site, will people know who’s behind it? Can they see your brand or a link to your site? You can use YouTube’s annotations to cross-promote other content or Vimeo’s related videos feature to send viewers to other videos you’ve published. It all counts.

7. Don’t expect instant results.

This should be understood in two ways. Firstly, a video on its own is unlikely to yield instant results. You can’t engineer a viral hit. You’ll also need a well-defined content and social strategy if you’re after a one-off hit. Secondly, a single video won’t work as well as a consistently and regularly produced series of videos. This approach is likely to work well when you are considering creating instructional (or ‘how-to’) videos, video reviews, or educational videos.

If you’re thinking of creating a video contact us to see how we could help.