Now that fast, accessible internet is the norm, consumers’ appetite for video content has become insatiable. Online video consumption is predicted to hit 100 minutes per day per person by 2021, and Cisco reports that video traffic will make up 82% of all online traffic by 2022. Brands can’t afford to leave that much consumer activity untapped. And thanks to better smartphones, cameras, and social media platforms, the barrier to entry for creating video content is historically low. Although those ingredients have made video marketing a smart strategy, they’ve also given some marketers the wrong idea.
A few clicks around YouTube is all it takes to see that some brands think they can throw a video ad together in 10 minutes and expect great results.
Often, those brands try to cover up weak planning or production with household-name talent. Video marketing is an interdisciplinary and multidimensional tactic; it doesn’t rest entirely on Oscar-worthy acting or directing. Everything from copywriting to set design deserves at least a modest investment.
As you learn to shoot like Scorsese, remember to maintain a broad perspective on the factors that shape your success. Use these tips to make the most of every filmed moment:
Videos work well because they capture and keep an audience’s attention for a long period of time. However, videos can’t engage anyone if no one clicks “Play.” In addition to eye-catching thumbnails, take time to develop awesome copy to accompany your videos.
Titles, taglines, and written copy matter as much in video marketing as they do for articles, blog posts, and other written content. Recognizable faces don’t make videos educational or entertaining; the plot and message keep viewers engaged.
Go for short headlines that make bold claims. Refer to big-name brands or recent events. Promise viewers a benefit of some sort, like a new skill or perspective, and be sure the content can deliver on that claim.
Just as importantly, keep SEO in mind as you develop titles and descriptions. Many, if not most, users find video content via search. Research keywords related to your topic, and organically include them in your video’s title and description. When possible, pair videos with written content to create a richer experience.
People with disabilities watch videos, too. You may not consider being hard of hearing or having less-than-perfect eyesight to be disabilities, but if your audience can’t see or hear your videos, you’ll wish you had done things differently.
People with disabilities are the largest minority group in the U.S. Around 20% of Americans are either deaf or have difficulty hearing, according to 3PlayMedia. About half that number suffer some degree of vision loss.
Do the math: That’s tens of millions of audience members in the U.S. alone. Ensure your videos can reach these audience segments by using bold colors and clear shapes. Create captions or post a transcript below the video so users with hearing challenges can follow along.
Publishers also have a legal reason to make their content accessible. The Americans with Disabilities Act covers online spaces as well as physical ones. If you host videos on your own site — particularly health or education videos — make sure that site is ADA-compliant.
Even if you’re legally in the clear, accessibility can deliver brand benefits. People with disabilities will appreciate the inclusion, and some who wouldn’t have been able to see or understand your videos could become your brand’s biggest fans.
Remember when performance metrics took over the online advertising world? One company, TubeScience, expects performance video to define the next generation of successful video marketing.
Best practices, even the ones listed here, can’t replace the real-world insights you get from your own campaigns. If everyone tells you to include a video in your email signature, yet your cold email sales numbers triple when you remove the video, make the sensible choice.
With that said, there’s a reason scientists run multiple trials: Don’t abandon potentially successful campaigns based on short-term findings. Give your videos a fighting chance before deciding you know better than the experts.
Maybe you do — but if you only post your videos on one social channel and don’t promote them, you’ll never know how valuable your video content might have been.
Lights, camera, action — then measure, evaluate, and optimize. Video marketing involves much more than snappy scripts and good-looking faces. If you want your campaigns to deliver real, replicable results, you have to take every step of the process seriously.
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