Video Marketing: An Essential Guide

video marketing
Video marketing is not a new concept but many don’t fully comprehend just how powerful it is. Videos appeal to all the major senses of sight and sound and require little effort to ‘consume’. In addition, modern technology has also made it incredibly easy to share. That’s why many videos go viral and those that don’t, still get viewed and shared.

The ever increasing popularity of online video proves that many people prefer to watch a video that shows them how to do something rather than reading about it.  As a result, video delivers a much higher response rate and creates better informed customers.

Whichever way we look at it, video marketing as a strategy is the future, more than most other types of content. In this guide we reveal some of our top tips to help you create inspiring and actionable online videos.

Have A Purpose And Target Audience In Mind

First and foremost, you need to understand the purpose of your video and what you are hoping to achieve. What do you want viewers to do as a result of watching it? This will help you with the preparation of your content.

You must also identify who you are targeting. Knowing the likes and dislikes of your target audience will help determine the content and tone of your video and greatly depends on whether the video is educational or a sales promotion. Another vital consideration is how and where your audience will watch the video. If they predominantly use mobile devices, it could also impact what the content should be.

Focus On The Story, Not The Sale

With the digital world filled with annoying heaps of sales and marketing clutter, make sure your video centres on the story and not the sale. Not only does this apply to online videos, it also forms part of written content. Brands should always concentrate on providing value to their customers and make the most of the emotive power of video.

Appeal to your consumers’ needs and desires, answer their burning questions with quality content and the views will follow. For added impact, place a clear, strategic and relevant call to action with a tracked URL at the end of your video. Don’t use random wording, make sure that it still fits in with your overall story and video marketing strategy.

Keep It Short But Powerful

While engagement rates tend to fall the longer a video plays, there are some good reasons for longer videos. A good example is “How To” instruction videos but, where possible, keep your video content short and to the point.

In terms of the video’s purpose, don’t make viewers wait until the last few seconds to understand the message. Get right to the point and manage audience expectation from the start, ideally within the first 5 to 10 seconds. Ask questions to generate interest and satisfy their curiosity using teasers to grab their attention straightaway. Videos should convey value immediately and answer the question, “why should I watch it?” Will the video make them laugh, inspire them to act or teach them something new?

Where possible, use clear and conversational language in your video and avoid complex sentence structures and suggestive clauses. Write in the first person and use visual language to connect with your audience and don’t use jargon and buzzwords.

Transcribe Your Script

While Google is fairly proficient at working out the meaning of video text, transcribing your video content will certainly help. For the most part, spur of the moment clips, cat videos or video blogging (vlogging) stories don’t always need a script. However, most business videos require some sort of script which is where quality video marketing planning and execution come in. Start writing your video script with an outline, just as you would when writing a blog post. From there, list all your key points and order them in logical manner.

The majority of video scripts are short so check your script length as you write and edit accordingly. Remember that words on paper or your screen sound a lot different when you read them out loud. Involve a few people in testing and reading the video script several times before publishing. If anything seems out of place or not in context, change the language to make it sound more natural.

Think Outside The Box And Don’t Be Boring

Typically, videos that are solely focused on marketing or selling a brand don’t perform too well. While bringing the brand message across is important, it shouldn’t just be about business. Many viewers want to escape their 9-5 lives even just for a minute so make them laugh or inspire them with something thought-provoking.

Too often, brands are afraid of using humour but the secret to success is standing out. Don’t conform to or feel limited by what your competitors are doing; take a calculated risk and be funny (in good taste of course). Take a look at some really impressive video campaigns.

Get It SEO Ready

We all know how important SEO is for websites and it’s no different for videos. After all, isn’t the whole point to ensure that people find your videos much easier in search engines? A great place to start is hosting the video on your own domain as it adds to your video’s SEO value. Next is enabling video embed to increase the likelihood of driving inbound marketing links. Something not many people know about, or how to implement, is creating video sitemaps. Read this handy Google document explaining exactly how to create a video sitemap.

In a similar fashion to web design, descriptions mean more than you realise in video SEO. Unlike images or videos themselves, descriptions allow Google’s search spiders to understand the context and content. Make sure to tag your videos with all the relevant keywords, a detailed description and unique titles.

Prove Your Worth

One of the most powerful ways to educate people and prove your brand’s expertise is through video. It has changed how brands market their goods and services as well as how consumers shop. An added benefit is how salespeople now connect with and convert their prospects, and how service teams support and service customers. They can use on-boarding videos, meet the team videos, knowledge-based videos, support video calls, and customer stories.

Brands can even create a webinar to showcase their industry knowledge and position themselves as a thought leader or influencer. This can add real value to your consumers while collecting leads in the process. To summarise, video marketing is an incredibly powerful tool throughout the entire buyer’s journey, and is not only for improving brand awareness.

With the exception of funny cat videos, what type of video content do you prefer watching the most ? Have you implemented a video marketing element into your integrated digital marketing strategy? If not, please get in touch to book a free consultation with our digital marketing experts.