When was the last time you watched an online video review or explanation of a product you were thinking about buying?
Or searched for a how-to video, and were excited to find a wealth of video resources on the subject provided by a company in that field?
Or even shared a marketing video with a heart-warming or empowering message with your friends on Facebook?
If your answer is anytime within the last month, then you’re just like the more than 800 million other people who watch online videos each month, watching some of the 4 billion online videos viewed every day.
To say online video is popular would be a bit of an understatement.
Video marketing is one of the most effective ways of getting your company’s message across to your target audience—which is why so many businesses are allocating more and more of their marketing budgets to video creation. However, it can also be a huge waste of time and money, if you don’t have the right strategy in place to maximize your results.
With that in mind, here are three factors you may not have thought of—but that are vital to the success of any video marketing campaign.
- Make your videos findable.
It doesn’t matter how spot-on your video content is, or how professionally produced your videos are—if they’re not appearing in the search results when your target audience is searching, they’ll never have the impact you want. Since Google owns YouTube, and since YouTube itself is the second largest search engine on the web, hosting your videos there just makes sense. But once your videos are on YouTube, you’ll want to make sure they’re optimized for search, both on Google and within YouTube itself.
How can you do this? First, make sure your video title is descriptive and contains keywords you’d like your video to pop up under. For example, someone searching for “tennis ball comparison” probably won’t see a video called “Stacy Hitting the Court” in their search results, but they probably would see “Comparing Tennis Balls: Brand A vs. Brand B.”
With the title in place, you can move on to your description. Again, it should be specific and full of the keywords you want associated with your video. Next, make sure you also tag your video with those all-important keywords, and choose the right category for it to appear under. Finally, you can upload subtitles and closed captions for some extra oomph—those are indexed as well, and contribute to search engines’ understanding of how relevant your video is to any given search.
- Pay attention to timing.
With all the time and effort you put into creating a video from start to finish, you certainly hope that your audience is watching the whole thing, and not just clicking away after a few seconds. Unfortunately, the reality is that 20 percent of your viewers will leave within the first 10 seconds. By 30 seconds in, you’re likely to lose 33 percent, and at the one-minute mark, almost half of them will have clicked away.
So how can you ensure that more viewers stick around to see what you’ve worked so hard to create? Use those view time markers as a guide to your video content. The first 10 seconds should be so attention-grabbing and relevant to the viewer’s search that they stay on to see more. Right at 30 seconds, or a little bit before, give your video something extra—something funny, something unexpected—anything to stop that finger from clicking away. At the one-minute mark, do it again—anticipate your viewers’ potential exit, and do something to prevent it.
- Make your YouTube channel engaging.
The more your target audience engages with your video content, the more likely they’ll be to eventually make a purchase from your company. To that end, you’ll want to make your YouTube channel into a resource that they’ll want to visit again and again. Take the time to customize your channel, making the background of the actual YouTube page match the branding on your own website. Your videos themselves should also be branded through music, graphics, etc., and fit together within the themes relevant to your business that your target audience is looking for.
Every video should include clickable links that lead to relevant landing pages on your website, and each one should also encourage visitors to subscribe to your YouTube channel to receive notifications of new videos and playlists. In this way, you’re doing all you can to get people to continue engaging with your company’s content for as long as possible.
If you’re looking to get a piece of the video marketing action, then using these tips in your strategy will go a long way toward ensuring that you get the results you’re looking for. Of course, the actual content and production value of your videos is vital to their success, but these little extras can mean the difference between wasting your company’s time and resources and realizing a significant ROI.
Has your company found success with video marketing? I’d love to hear your own tips for retaining viewers in the comments.