A Guide to Video Marketing
COVID-19 has, in many ways, been an accelerator of web trends and digital marketing. This is especially true in the world of video. As people have had more time to consume content, the length of the content being consumed has gone up, with longer forms such as 'how-to's, webinars, and podcasts increasing in popularity throughout the last year. Viewers are watching an extra two hours of video per week on average compared to twelve months ago. So with this in mind, we take a look at how to market your video content to promote increased traffic to your site.
What are the best forms of video content?
Social media is a key platform on which video marketing can be shared. This is as a result of two factors: firstly, all social media platforms, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube or TikTok, support video content, with most now focusing on it. Secondly, today's population favours video content over all other forms, which makes it a key part of traffic acquisition online. But what kinds of content work best in video marketing for websites and social media?
About us videos:
Usually lasting 2-3 minutes, these explain a company's culture as well as its product/service. It is important to put your employees at the front and centre of this type of video, as this breaks the barriers between consumer and business. Adding a personal face to your business displays an openness about your company's ethos and personality.
Usually lasting between 60-90 seconds, these provide quick, easy-to-understand introductions to the company's product/service. It is important to ensure the narrator is an expert in the product as this builds trust with customers and can contribute towards backlinks from other websites referring to your expertise.
These 1-5 minute-long videos are simply there to answer any queries or issues (FAQs) concerning products or services. Tone is key with this format, as it is important not to patronise the viewer while providing information that is straightforward to follow.
‘How to’ videos:
These can last anywhere between 1-20 minutes depending on the process being followed. A mixture of talking head with close ups and screencasts works particularly well with this form of video. Having someone explaining something verbally, along with relevant visuals, makes the process easier to understand and creates much higher engagement when compared to a long-form text piece.
These are between 3-10 minutes long, and are scripted, single shot videos which provide a quick and easy way to support your existing blog strategy. Vlogs are a versatile form of video that can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, if appropriate to your business, you could inject humour into your marketing, or relate your brand to its employees through a 'day in the life' style vlog.
With no specific limit on timings, these videos usually last between 20-60 minutes. Commonly in the form of podcasts, webinars, interviews or stories, long-form is a creative, more conversational form of video marketing. It is highly focused and usually targets a niche audience.
When to spend on high production videos
Initially, we would recommend undertaking training or seeking expert help with your first few videos to set you on the right path with your video content creation. With technology advances powering smartphone cameras to perform almost as well as some video cameras, it is more achievable for businesses to create their own videos internally with a professional-looking product.
For social media and more informal or short-lived forms of video content, experimenting in-house with these can save you both time and money. However, when creating a video that requires a professional finish and post-production, outsourcing your requirements to an agency or specialist will ensure a high quality return on investment. These are videos which demand a more specialised, varied skillset as well as more expensive hardware. Therefore an external party adds a great deal of value to your project in these instances.
We suggest the following division between in-house and outsourced video:
- Support videos
- How to videos
- About us video
- Product videos
- Adverts or campaign videos
How to optimise your videos:
Optimising a video is essential, in the same way as any content, to maximise its chances of appearing in search results. By paying attention to the metadata, or information that is used to describe the data, you can add the relevant details that influence search engine ranking positions. Enhance your video marketing by consulting the list below when you are creating videos.
What video metadata should I consider?
- Title - Less than 60 characters. This should be an editorial title, aimed at generating clicks. However, avoid what is known as 'clickbait', where the title does not reflect the content of the video. The thumbnail should also be relevant to the video's theme, and encapsulate what viewers can expect to see if they view it.
- Description - From 100-150 characters. This should be a clear, plainly written explanation of the video's content, and could include useful links to your own website or to associated resources. Put yourself in the position of the viewer in order to understand what information would be useful for them to know.
- Duration - It is always best to cut the video to an appropriate length, depending on the content type in question. For videos where the subject matter is not traditionally engaging, such as a product related video, shorter and snappier video lengths can maximise the attention of the viewer for a shorter duration.
- Captions - There are several tools available online, such as Descript, which generate captions automatically from audio or video. Although these tools are constantly improving, they are not foolproof, and often require correction, particularly if the speakers in a video are not speaking clearly. For higher-budget videos, you could commission a professional transcript and include the structured data so the viewer has somewhere to go afterwards.
- Upload date - Recency bias usually applies to video, meaning the newer it is, the more likely it is to be seen. A regular update of your content or even just a re-upload can provide a more relevant experience for the user, and also encourage Google to boost its position in the search results.
How to distribute your video content
The old model for content distribution, whereby the full extent of your content is distributed to all digital channels simultaneously, can drive traffic to your site. However, there is a more efficient way.
In this new model, the full-length version of your content is reserved for your website only, while shorter, easier to digest clips, trailers or montages are distributed throughout your social channels. By hinting at the existence of longer, more valuable content elsewhere (i.e. on your website), you will drive more people from social media to your website through the promise of more value and engagement.
This model also benefits your social media performance. Shorter, 'summary' content is more compatible with the shorter attention spans of viewers on social media. Optimising for these platforms encourages people to think about their next stage of engagement, therefore improving their overall experience.
How to measure your video SEO
A final, critical part of optimisation is measuring the results of your work and the returns being made by your content. The best tool for achieving this is Google Search Console. This allows you to segment your traffic across vertical search (web, video & images), thereby viewing the traffic you are getting across Video Vertical search, as well as which pages. You can therefore track performance over time and see the impact of the optimisations you have made.
For more information on how video marketing can work for your business, see our video production services. Get in touch with our friendly team on 01787 388038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.