A picture speaks a thousand words – but video content marketing attracts and engages users even better. One study found that visitors spend 88% more time on a website with video.
If you’re a switched-on marketer, that’s one statistic you cannot afford to ignore.
Video has long been touted as one of the biggest things in marketing. It enables businesses and brands to project their personality, to showcase the very human team behind the logo, and to build a genuine connection.
It’s an opportunity to highlight the features of a product, to explain how something works in a quick, visual, easily-digestible chunk of marketing gold.
Critically, video content marketing blurs the line between entertainment and outright advertising. In short, video is convenient, video is valuable, and video is fun.
You already know all this. Perhaps you’ve already dabbled in video creation. Now, it’s about bridging the gap between the videos saved on your hard drive, or stored on your YouTube channel, and the lead-generating strategy you are attempting to execute.
Many brands have loads of videos. They just don’t know how to maximize them for impact on search and social. So the questions I want to answer today:
- Where should we post our video content?
- How to promote my YouTube videos?
- How to promote videos on LinkedIn?
Before we jump into it, here are a few quick takeaways:
- Video content marketing involves creating and distributing branded video with the goal of converting users.
- Businesses have access to many video hosting platforms beyond YouTube, many with unique offerings.
- Web pages with video are favored in search engine results, so you want to add more video to your site.
- Your video content marketing efforts will be amplified if you follow these best practices for publishing and promoting them.
What Is Video Content Marketing?
Video content marketing involves the creation and distribution of valuable, branded video content to a target audience, with the goal of raising awareness and engaging and converting leads.
Much the same as typical content marketing, video content marketing is a marketing approach that aims to fulfill buyer needs, answer their questions, and, ultimately, drive more business.
It’s about figuring out how video can be integrated into each stage of the buying process and that every channel you brand is active on. The content must be useful, valuable, and entertaining – you want your audience to engage with you again, to take the next step.
Video content marketing is strategic. It’s more than sporadically producing and publishing disconnected videos across random channels on an inconsistent schedule. Successful video marketing involves research, planning, and optimization.
But Why Video?
Video is a unique medium that lends itself fantastically to established content marketing strategies. Here are some of the stand-out features of video that make it relevant to today’s consumer:
- Video is easy to digest. Most of us scroll through our phones for, on average, 3.3 hours a day. Video stands out because it’s quick and requires no effort to consume.
- Video is entertaining. Watching someone demonstrate how a manual coffee grinder works, for example, provides greater entertainment value than, say, a text-based step-by-step guide or manual.
- Video is engaging. There’s a reason why more than half of people watch video online on a daily basis – it’s valuable and fun, two traits that lead to impressive engagement levels.
- Video is highly accessible. It can be published across all social media platforms, as well as embedded into web pages.
How to Create Videos that Convert
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula that’ll ensure your video content attracts, engages, and converts an audience. It all depends on the nature of your business and the unique aspirations, needs, and pain points of your customers.
Before you begin the creation process, you’ll want to set a specific goal. This goal will influence the types of videos you create and where those videos are shared. Keep the following in mind when goal setting:
- Be specific. Determine whether you want to generate awareness, gather new leads, or convert qualified leads into customers, as examples.
- Define the measurables. How will you determine the success of your campaign? Identify key metrics, such as views, engagements, or conversion rate.
- Consider the timing. Establishing a realistic deadline is critical to your marketing efforts. Keep possible obstacles and risks in mind and be sure to pivot your expectations accordingly.
- Identify your audience. Use demographic, behavioral, and customer journey metrics to identify the target audience of your campaign.
- Complementary assets. Will you need blog posts and social media updates to go alongside your video? Be sure to include these in your plan of action.
With goals established, you can determine the types of videos that’ll best assist you in achieving those goals. Video types include:
- Product videos that showcase features and functionalities
- Animations that are short, engaging, and playful
- Educational videos that highlight your industry expertise and authority
- Video emails that add a new dimension to your eDMs
- Testimonial videos that provide all-important social proof
- Slideshow-style videos that are quick to put together, cost-effective, and ideal for educational content
Goals are set. Video type is identified. Now, it’s time to create. Here are a few tips to guide you toward excellent video content:
- Prioritize quality. Poor-quality video doesn’t send the right message. Instead, invest in proper camera equipment and editing software (or hire someone).
- Show your personality (if it matches your brand). If you or a team member is getting in front of the camera, let your quirks show. People want to connect with people – not businesses.
- Speak slowly and add captions. If you talk too fast, it’s likely that your message will get lost. Also, keep in mind that many people watch video with the sound off – captions are essential.
- Brand your videos. Be sure the look and feel of your video content aligns with your brand.
- Add a call to action. If a viewer wants to learn more or take the next step, make it easy for them with a clear, visual CTA.
The Top Video Content Marketing Platforms
The videos you create and the strategy behind them are important, but so, too, is where those videos are published.
When comparing video hosting sites, keep an eye out for the following features:
- An intuitive interface
- Compatibility with mobile devices
- Compatibility with all types of players and browsers
- Analytics tools to measure the performance of your videos
- The ability to embed your videos on websites
- Search engine optimization tools
9 Video Content Marketing Platforms You Should Know About
Where should you publish your video content? Most of us little folks just use YouTube. But if you are looking for a more elegant solution, here are nine video platforms to explore:
YouTube is well-known, popular, and has significant existing viewership. YouTube is free and allows creators to earn money via its ad-supported monetization program. YouTube is usually the default choice for businesses, and this isn’t such a bad thing – videos hosted on YouTube are given priority in Google search results. And it is easy to promote them.
Which may be part of the problem. You don’t want to send all your traffic to YouTube so THEY can advertise to YOUR audience. You want to bring those people to your website. Which is why we wrote this article in the first place. (Don’t worry, you can jump to how to promote your YouTube video.)
Vimeo began just like YouTube – as a basic video-sharing platform. Today, its functionalities enable businesses to collaborate with team members, customize video players, and access marketing features like analytics. If collaboration is a top priority, Vimeo might be the right choice.
Wistia focuses on delivering marketing features that assist businesses in tracking their video’s performance, enabling them to optimize their campaigns to generate the highest possible return on investment. One of the platform’s flagship features is the Turnstile email collector, which allows you to collect viewers’ email addresses right from your video.
Wistia also has great resources about videos on their platform. Their article on how to use video content marketing to increase SEO traffic is golden! And I love this video about shooting video from your iPhone.
Vidyard’s selling points are its ease-of-use and excellent customer service. The Vidyard team is happy to work with you to help you create and publish high-quality content.
Brightcove offers basic customization that enables you to brand your videos consistently. You can add your business’s name, logo, colors, and more. These details can be saved and used again and again, ensuring all of your content across a campaign has the same look and feel.
6. Hippo Video
Hippo Video is unique in that it allows you to send personalized videos to your audience in bulk. You can add an individual’s name, email, and more – and then send out to as many customers or prospects as you like in one swoop.
For highly detailed analytics that shed light on your video’s progress and your viewers’ demographics and behaviors, Spotlightr (formerly, vooPlayer) is an excellent choice. The platform offers reports based on a whole host of variables, including play rate, completion, viewer location, engagement, and more.
SproutVideo helps you create basic websites – or landing pages – around your hosted video content. These websites can then be used to showcase a portfolio, share tutorials, or even provide video instructions to your team members.
Uscreen has a system in place that allows you to make money off of your videos without exposing your audience to ads. You do have to pay a flat monthly fee, however.
Video Content Marketing Best Practices
Getting the most out of your video content marketing involves following current best practices. Here are several to keep front-of-mind when embarking on your next campaign.
Add Video to More Web Pages
Videos make it easy for pages to stand out from other search results, as Google often displays a thumbnail beside pages that contain video. So, add more video to your website, including your home page, blog posts, product pages, and so on.
Self-Hosted vs. YouTube Embedding
When publishing video on your website or blog, should you host it yourself or upload it to YouTube and then embed it? Two factors are clear:
- Having a relevant video on your page is better for SEO than not having one.
- But YouTube embeds give viewers an opportunity to move away from your site to YouTube.
Video Should Be Published to YouTube And Your Website
Google favors pages with lots of text, images, and videos over a single YouTube post. That being said, YouTube is the second-largest search engine with a massive audience. It’s not a matter of publishing your video on your website or YouTube but a matter of posting it to both.
How to Promote YouTube Videos to Take Advantage of Search and Social
The video below is an intro to this article on how to promote YouTube videos on your website and on LinkedIn in order to maximize organic search traffic and social engagement on LinkedIn with your video content.
You don’t want to send all your traffic to YouTube! What you want is to unlist your YouTube videos, create SEO-optimized blog posts for each video, and embed the unlisted YouTube video in your blog post.
So your schedule goes something like this:
- Film the video and edit it.
- Create a transcript and blog post while you final edit the video.
- Upload the video to YouTube as “unlisted” and embed it into the blog post.
- Publish the blog article with the video embed.
- Upload the video directly to LinkedIn with your text.
- Add a link to blog post with video embedded in a LinkedIn comment, maybe tag some people and hasthags.
Voila: maximized video for search and social.
Link YouTube Videos to Your Website
If you click on that video and go to YouTube, you’ll see a brief description and a link back to this article.
So add a link to your site in the YouTube (or other video-sharing platform’s) description box.
Use Inline Embed
Google indexes popover embeds less often than it indexes inline embeds, so inline should always be the default. Popover may have a place, but it should be the exception. It’s also worth noting that on pages with more than one video, Google will usually only index the first video.
Never Direct a Social Post to an Off-Site Video
Do not add a link to a YouTube video or any other video hosting platform on social media, as this only complicates the customer journey. Instead, upload the video natively to the social network and link back to a relevant page on your brand’s website.
LinkedIn is especially favoring native video these days. That’s why you want to create another loop. Just as we linked from the YouTube video to the blog post, we want to link from the LinkedIn video post to the blog post.
So in order to maximize social engagement with video content marketing on LinkedIn, upload the same video you uploaded to YouTube natively to LinkedIn. Type in some of the blog post text.
Then, add a link to the blog post in a comment.
Add Captions to Videos
Captions and transcriptions can help with SEO across major video hosting platforms. It’s essential to ensure these captions are accurate, as auto-generated text often misses industry-specific jargon and key terms that your target audience could be searching for.
I’m bad at doing this. So I didn’t caption my video for this post. But I have a guy who is really good at this for clients!
Use Keywords in Video Descriptions
While the primary CTA link should sit above the fold in a YouTube description, the description should continue for about 250 words. Be sure to include as many relevant keywords as possible throughout the description and in the video’s title.
I used “promote YouTube video” in the title of the video, and “video content marketing” and “SEO-optimized blog posts” in the description.
Ready For Content Marketing?
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Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today – and generate more traffic and leads for your business.