You may have heard that video is becoming a pretty big deal in digital marketing. Facebook is prioritizing video posts higher than other types of content when their algorithm determines what to show in the News Feed. And in case you didn’t realize the level of its popularity, YouTube has more than one billion users — or one third of the internet. The last breakout session I attended at the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC was presented by Jolean Olson of Scenic Road Products. She shared with us why video is so important to marketing (both internal and external) and how to develop the best strategy for your company to use video.
First she covered why video is so important.
- Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles.
- Video generates 3x as many monthly visitors to a website as other content
- Visitors spend 88% more time on a website that includes video
- Organic traffic from search engines increases by 157% with video
While it’s great to see the power of what video can do for your company, she reminded the audience that it should be used strategically. Don’t just make a video to make a video. She then outlined the steps to a video strategy:
- Listen and understand your audience
- Align with your brand or organization goals
- Create content and make it resonate
- Share. Share. Share again!
- Measure. Analyze. Understand.
So first you start by listening to your audience and understanding what they want to see from you. But how do you do that? You can use several tactics:
- Monitor social media conversations, questions and replies.
- Use customer surveys to learn about how your customers see you and what they want from your company.
- Search engines can provide you with information about what your customers want.
Once you find out what your customers want to hear, you combine it with what you want to say in your videos. The overlap of these two messages is the relevant content you should be providing in your videos. You also need to think about what change in thinking, motivation or behavior do you want your video to affect. Be clear with your call to action. You might think you’re being clear with the content in the video but your audience still might not know what they’re supposed to do as a result of the video. You can put the call to action in the middle of the video or at the end.
Next you need to pick the platform you want to use to share this video. As you develop your video strategy, you need to decide during the planning phase where the video pieces will go once they’re complete. Jolean emphasized that your platform is part of your message. The medium is the message, as the old saying goes.
She mentioned that the Facebook Live function is being used by more and more brands. It’s definitely an option for brands and companies on Facebook, but like everything else online you have to understand the medium. Since it’s live, it won’t be pitch perfect with no mistakes. Jolean told us a story about clients who were using Facebook Live and wanted to start over because one of them dropped the phone they were using to record it. She told them to keep going because that sense of spontaneity is one of the reasons people like to watch Facebook Live videos. Also, don’t worry if you don’t get a lot of views/engagement right away. Some people will go back and watch it later and you’ll end up getting more of the views then.
Another thing to consider when planning your video strategy is how to create the optimal video for the platform. Jolean covered the basics for the most popular social platforms:
Facebook: Try to keep it close 14 seconds in length, use the closed captioning function, and consider using FB Live instead of posting a pre-made video.
Twitter: Try to keep it to 30 seconds or less, post videos about events, or post quick memes.
LinkedIn: Don’t use YouTube links because LinkedIn doesn’t give those video posts high priority. Instead post the video file directly on LinkedIn.
Instagram: The image platform doesn’t necessarily translate to video so try to avoid it. However, if you’re going to post a video on Instagram, keep it in the square format.
As you are completing the planning stages of your video, you also need to determine what metrics you want to measure as the end goal for the video. Do you want to raise awareness about your brand or a new product? Are you trying to capture emails? Are you trying to increase sales? Also be sure to consider how you’re going to express your message to the audience you’ve selected and measure the number of shares or views once you have published your video. She also suggests that you remember your SEO strategy when developing a video strategy. Use video embedding when sharing the video on other sites and do your best to drive customers back to your website.
One of the biggest hurdles to a video strategy is getting executive buy-in. They will want to know ROI. But it’s a difficult situation because you can’t show them the ROI without creating a video first. One option is to find a company similar to yours that is using video well and show how it’s helping them.
When you break it down, the key things to consider with your video strategy are: the audience, the message, the platform and the proof (measurement). Stay focused on these four points throughout the entire process and you will ensure a quality video content strategy that will benefit your company.