Anyone even remotely related to the field of marketing today has heard it before — video marketing is an absolute must. And it’s true. The statistics back it up:
5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day
1200% more shares are generated by social videos than text and images combined
Marketers who use video receive 41% more web traffic from search than non-users
52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI
What’s more, video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year and achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness.
In other words, if you are wondering whether video marketing is worth all the effort and investment, then go ahead and put your doubts to rest. Because it’s definitely worth it. The only question is, how do you do it effectively?
On the face of it, video marketing is simple: record and post videos with the intention of moving toward your business goals. The videos can be of various types depending on the stage of the marketing funnel, including but not limited to:
Behind the scenes
Plus, video production is more cost-effective than ever before — you can shoot a high-quality, 4K video with your smartphone. But, everyone can do that. You need a solid video marketing strategy in place if you wish to stand out.
And once you develop a concrete strategy aligned with your goals, there are certain things you can do to boost your video’s effectiveness. Here are five research-backed tips to make your video marketing efforts even more worthwhile.
1. Tell a story, don’t be salesy
You might say this is the golden rule of any form of content marketing, be it written, audio, or visual. You need to focus on adding value to your audience’s lives by providing actionable advice instead of directly promoting your products or services.
As with blog posts, video marketing is the perfect opportunity to leverage the power of storytelling and ignite strong emotions. For example, you can present real-life examples of how your product helped a customer solve a pressing problem.
In fact, research suggests that nearly 80% of people prefer brands that tell stories as part of their marketing.
80% of people prefer brands that tell stories as part of their marketing
Sure, you can also create product videos specifically for the purpose of showcasing your product’s features without beating around the bush. But leave that for paid advertising placements only. And truth be told, even for paid promotions, you should opt for creating a video that narrates a fascinating story rather than simply shoving your product’s features down the audience’s throats.
Your audience is sick and tired of being constantly interrupted by advertisements and promotional nonsense. So your best bet is to avoid being that kind of a brand. It is only going to repel them and stir up negative brand image.
2. Make the first 10 seconds count
Don’t bother creating an Oscar-worthy video if you can’t manage to can’t hook the audience within the first 10 seconds. Why?
Because the average internet user has a shorter attention span than that of a goldfish. Boring won’t work, plain and simple. And so, about one-fifth of your audience will click away from the video within the first 10 seconds, unless you make it crystal-clear right from the start as to what they’ll gain from watching your content.
To answer your audience’s obligatory subconscious question “What’s in it for me?” (or WIIFM), you can:
Display the end result, proving your video’s value
Ask an enticing, difficult question
Introduce a problem and promise a solution
State a startling fact
Use the words “what if” or “imagine”
Simply put, do whatever it takes to hook them right off the bat, or your video will go unwatched.
3. Include closed captions
According to the same infographic by Renderforest, 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. The trends are along the same lines for Instagram and Twitter.
Now, Facebook generates well over 8 billion video views per day and these posts have 135% higher organic reach than regular photo posts, according to this study. So rest assured, a huge chunk of your video marketing ROI will come from Facebook.
Furthermore, research from Facebook themselves suggests there’s a chance nobody understands your videos, as the mobile social media experience is designed for sound off.
So, if you think you’re already nailing your social media marketing with stunning video posts, odds are you can further improve your ROI by adding closed captions (or subtitles). This way you’ll increase engagement, click-throughs, and leads.
Check out this A/B test which found out how closed captioning Facebook videos can improve viewership.
Closed captioning will aid your YouTube marketing efforts too, as it:
Makes your videos accessible to a much wider audience: Over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – has disabling hearing loss. Closed captions allow them to better enjoy your content. Moreover, you can translate your captions and have multilingual subtitles for the non-English speaking audience, further increasing the scope of your content.
Lets viewers watch videos in inopportune moments or unsuitable environments, such as while studying in a library, riding a noisy train, and so on.
4. Optimize your video for search
Closed captioning serves another critical purpose: search engine optimization (SEO).
Arguably, search engine marketing (both, paid and organic) forms a big part of any digital marketing strategy. While text content such as blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies are tailor-made for achieving high rankings on Google, there is a lot you can do to get your video content up there as well.
Not to mention, YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Thus, optimizing your video content for the top 2 search engines can take your video marketing ROI to a whole new level.
So, how do you do that? Here are a few pointers to get started with YouTube SEO:
Choose a highly relevant title incorporating keywords (do not clickbait!)
Write a comprehensive video description similar to the top performing videos in your niche
Add all relevant tags
Add a keyword rich transcript
And of course, add closed captions.
One thing you might have noticed is that each pointer talks about doing some text-related activity. You see, Google’s crawlers (or spiders/bots) can’t watch or understand video content. But they can crawl textual content to understand what your video is all about.
So, doing all this will not only help achieve higher rankings on YouTube, but your video will also stand a better chance to appear in the video results on Google SERP.
Additionally, to reap the maximum SEO value from your video, host it on your own domain before uploading it to any of the social sharing platforms.
By the way, Google can now extract specific snippets of your video and display it for relevant search queries. Consequently, having keyword rich transcriptions is a must.
5. End with a call-to-action (CTA)
This is important. Chances are, viewers who stick around and watch the entire video are now genuinely interested in your offerings. You might even call them “qualified leads”.
Now is your chance to guide them to perform some desired action such as browse your product catalog, start a free trial, subscribe, consume more of your content, and so on.
Therefore, always end your videos with a call-to-action button and let your audience know exactly what they have to do next. For example, add end-screen annotations to your YouTube videos such as a “Subscribe” button, or ask them to answer a poll.
Besides, when it specifically comes to hosting the video on your own domain, the CTA doesn’t have to be at the end of the video either. According to a study conducted by KISSmetrics, adding a single CTA within a video generates as much as 380% more clicks than a CTA on the sidebar of the same page. So, consider adding CTAs judiciously throughout the video.
To wind up, your big-picture goal with video marketing should always be to educate customers and ultimately, establish thought leadership in your sphere.
Also, don’t forget to shamelessly share your content on whichever social space your audience hangs out. Onwards and upwards!
Credit: Pratik Dholakiya