1. Clearly Define Your Message
Before you hit record, you need to know the answers to the following 3 questions:
What are you trying to communicate?
Who are your talking to?
What are you trying to get these people to do?
If you don’t have a clear answer for these three questions, then you don’t have a proper foundation on which to build your video campaign. Ask yourself what your customers care about, how you can help them, and what micro-moments they are experiencing. Micro-moments are when people are turning to devices to find answers, discover new things, or make decisions. Knowing your customers, and the problems they are facing, will help you know what helpful information you can provide them.
Knowing what are trying to get people to do will give you a clear and trackable goal. Maybe you want them to come into your store to take advantage of a deal, or maybe you want them to visit your website for more information. Whatever it might be, having a clearly defined action you want your customers to take will keep your efforts focused, and give you a metric for gauging success.
2. Think Long Term
With more video being uploaded every 30 days than the top three U.S. TV networks have created in the past 30 years, it’s unrealistic to expect one video to have a huge impact. That’s why it’s imperative to think long term with your video strategy. Publishing shorter videos over a long period of time will allow you to build a relationship with viewers. A long-term approach will also allow you to focus on specific topics in bite-sized chunks which can be more easily searched. Users are also more likely to watch a video that’s part of a series they’ve already enjoyed in the past.
3. Don’t Overthink It
Many people think they need the best camera, the “perfect” idea, or the ideal location before they start. You don’t need any of those things, you just need to start…NOW. Authenticity is a huge buzz-word right now, but it is very important when it comes to video. What does it mean to be authentic? “True to one’s own personality, spirit, or character”, “Conforming to reality and therefore worthy of trust, reliance, or belief”, “Not false or copied”. Although there’s a place for slick production-values, what’s most important is connecting to your audience in a way that feels human and personal. Luckily for you, this means mistakes are acceptable, your content will be more authentic than if it were perfectly produced. Of course, there are exceptions to this such as casinos and hotel resorts which are selling escapism, and therefore call for a higher level of polish. However, it’s still the human connection, the authenticity which is going to set your brand apart.
4. Keep it Short
We all know that attention spans are small online. A fifth of users will stop watching your video within 10 seconds, and 60% will click away after 2 minutes. This means that you need to convey “Why should I watch this?” immediately, giving the value and answer within the first 10 seconds. Don’t try to say everything! Distill information into the most valuable, knowing that this is the first of many interactions you hope to have.
5. End With Purpose
The biggest mistake marketers make is creating a great video without ending it with a call to action. This is a huge opportunity lost. The viewer has watched your video all the way to the end, they are clearly interested, so what now? Consider offering a coupon code or mentioning a deal. If you’d like to educate them more, consider building a custom landing page on your website which is a continuation of the video, where they can get more information. Remember, this is a vital step in the video creation process, and should not be overlooked.
6. Cross-Platform Distribution is Essential
You’ve created a strong video campaign, now what? Where do you put this thing? Uploading to YouTube is an obvious choice, and a great place to start, but you shouldn’t end there. Uploading directly to Facebook’s player is very smart, as these videos auto-play as users scroll. Facebook also rewards you with greater visibility when you use their player as opposed to embedding a YouTube video. Instagram now allows you to upload up to 60 seconds of video, and also auto-plays as users scroll, making it a great place to upload the full version, or a teaser, which will drive traffic to the full version. Embedding the video on your website, and allowing users to embed the video on their websites will increase the number of places where your video can be seen. Also consider including a link to the video in an email. Emails that incorporate video links can increase your email’s CTR and open rate. Expect video content and email to increasingly meld together in 2017. Email audiences appreciate video because it’s concise, convenient and interesting, if done right.