Video marketing entails much more than just creating a video and posting it on your website. The digital marketing strategy behind the video is just as important as the creation of it. When you put time and money into producing a video, you also want to maximize its chances for ROI — and with the right blend of video marketing strategies, you can do just that.
Below are a few ways to ensure you position your video efforts for the most successful outcome.
It can be a challenge to know what to do with your video after it has been edited, finalized and is ready to be hosted. You have spent all this time crafting the perfect script, capturing the footage and piecing it all together, but now what do you do with the exported MP4 file? How do you post it on the internet to make sure people view it, and more importantly, reach the business marketing goals and results you first set out to achieve?
While there is no guaranteed way to make sure your video is a hit, you can prioritize certain steps to improve the odds of its success.
The first step, before you do anything else, is figuring out where you will host the video. Weigh your available options and figure out what you want to accomplish. If you are going the free route and don’t want to pay for a hosting service, you will most likely use either YouTube or Vimeo. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which I’ll get into below, but these avenues are undoubtedly the most popular routes. If your video is specifically made for social media, you will want to upload it directly onto respective social channels — upload an Instagram video directly to Instagram, upload a LinkedIn video directly to LinkedIn, etc.
If you are going the paid route, then you may be hosting your video on popular services like Wistia, HubSpot or Vidyard. These video hosting platforms come with a monthly subscription cost, but offer many more features that free hosting services do not. Hosting on Wistia allows you to change player colors and add a call to action, while offering a variety of integrations from other platforms. Certain platforms like HubSpot even allow you to attach attribution reports and other data to videos so you can provide custom analytics to stakeholders on a regular basis. Again, these services come at a premium cost, but the investment can greatly benefit your video marketing strategy.
The distribution strategy on where to host videos should be discussed during the initial planning stages. You don’t want to create your video and then scramble on how to get your target audience to watch it. Where to host your video should be part of your marketing goals, whether it’s a brand awareness social video or a product demo meant to attract new leads. This is all dependent on where that video will be uploaded and live.
You really do have to weigh the pros and cons of each video hosting platform, and which one works best for your business and overall strategy. If video marketing will be a key part of your tactical plan and you want to ensure your videos are integrated with all your other marketing efforts, then you may want to look into a fully-featured CMS like HubSpot. HubSpot covers everything from customer relationship management for sales, to website design and user experience for web development, to video hosting with analytics and much more. But a CMS also comes at a cost because it is designed to be a comprehensive marketing solution.
If you are a smaller company and don’t need a platform for workflow automation, Wistia or Vidyard may better suit your needs. These services are designed strictly for video hosting and come packed with extra customizable features, like adding closed captions and CTAs, the ability to chapter videos, custom player colors and more. These less costly services could be just what your business needs to start executing your video marketing game plan.
If you have nothing extra in your digital marketing budget and are looking for free hosting, then you will most likely settle on using YouTube. There’s nothing wrong with this option, as YouTube is still powerful when it comes to certain features, like analytics and chaptering, but there isn’t much control beyond that. You are at the mercy of YouTube’s ever-changing algorithm. You never know what video is going to play or be recommended next (it could be a competitor’s product video…), or if your video will ever gain traction in rankings. Yet, if those factors are negligible and you just need somewhere to host a video at no cost, then YouTube might be the perfect solution.
Speaking of getting your video ranked…
SEO is a crucial step to optimizing your video so it has the best chance of being seen. A comprehensive SEO plan includes:
There is so much you can do to improve your video’s SEO that it can actually be overwhelming if you don’t know the proper steps to take. That’s why we’ve shared the list above as a point of reference for prioritization.
Designing your thumbnail properly will entice viewers to click on your video. It even helps if you add the video’s title text to your thumbnail, as Google can see that and rank the video higher in search results. Google has an extraordinary way of scanning for relevant keywords and stacking them up against competitor videos, so the more of these keywords you have placed in your video’s title, description and even the script, the higher you’ll be able to help push your video in the rankings.
Another powerful way to up a video’s visibility is by adding closed captions. Not only is this a valuable measure to take for overall accessibility, but Google offers extra points to videos that include these captions.
Also, make sure all your files are properly labeled. We recommend uploading your video file with a clean, clear naming convention like “Kuno_Creative_SEO_Tactics_Video” — something that a computer can easily read. Google will treat the file much better when it can understand what the video is, versus having to decipher what you hastily named it upon export.
If you keep these rules in mind when uploading your video, your ranking odds increase substantially, which will be a great thing once you start providing video analytics to your stakeholders.
How your video performs, in my mind, is the most important part of the entire video production process. After all, your main goal as a marketing professional is to meet company goals.
Did the video increase brand awareness and attract newcomers to your website? Did it solve a problem or provide a solution to one of your business offerings? Did it generate new leads? Always keep these questions in mind when creating a video. The creativity aspect is very important, because of course, a video should look as good as it can, but, at the end of the day, you still have to deliver results.
There are many different types of analytics to track, but some of the most important ones are:
Video views will tell you how many times the video has been clicked on and played. This is a base number you can provide to stakeholders to let them know how many eyes the video has caught.
Another important stat is video retention, which shares the length of viewers’ watch time. This metric helps identify when viewers may be dropping off in the watch period, providing potential insights on where a video is losing a viewer’s interest and could be improved. If the viewer retention rate is 100%, viewers made it all the way through the video and you have a great video on your hands. If the retention rate is 10%, viewers only made it through one-tenth of the video and you may need to go back to the drawing board for your next video.
Conversion rate is another important metric that shows how many viewers actually took action after watching the video. If a viewer watched the video, clicked the CTA at the end and provided an email address for further information, then your video is a home run and did exactly what it set out to do. A stakeholder will want to know this number, and if you can say 25 out of 1,000 people converted, that could still be looked at as a win if they can attribute the video to generating 25 new leads. Of course, the higher the number the better, but even a low number can be a big positive.
Finally, it’s good to keep track of social engagement: the likes, comments and shares a video gets. This indicates whether viewers are engaged enough with a video that they took time out of their day to share an opinion on it. Whether a good or bad comment, you will want to make sure that you respond to represent that you are equally engaged.
There are more video metrics beyond these examples, but if you are able to track and provide reports to your leadership team with at least these four, you are in great shape.
How you release your videos is just as important as the creation of them. Developing a detailed strategy around your videos can help you better position and sell products or services, not just so you can make a really, really, really ridiculously good-looking video.
You can spend $50,000 on a video with a crew of 10 people and embark on countless hours of post-production, but if it doesn’t move the needle of brand awareness, lead generation or new sales, you won't be able to justify a future video marketing budget. By setting up videos with the proper distribution and SEO, and tracking their performance, you can continually show your value as a marketer and build a successful relationship between you and your stakeholders.
At Kuno Creative, we offer video marketing services that cover the full spectrum of the video lifecycle, from the ideation and scripting phase to the production and distribution phase. Learn more about our video marketing services, and see examples of our work.