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Content Marketing: Doing Video Right

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Even video – which is becoming a marketing behemoth – needs a strategy for SEO, and that’s for each platform

Quick high-five. That awesome piece of visual storytelling is done. Wait a minute – it’s only the first step.

Video is king of the marketing mountain. A survey of marketing professionals done by Wyzowl found that 94 percent of them believe videos help them deepen customer understanding of their product or service. Three out of four agree that video marketing increases sales. And while it may be preaching to the choir, Digital Information World assembled this great infographic of the latest statistics on video marketing.

So how do you get that video consumed?  Here’s a checklist.

Use a video-hosting platform

It’s 2019, and you really do need to stop thinking it’s all about your own website. You could put your new video on your website, but there are plenty of reasons why this may not be a good idea, and you can read about 10 of them in this Medium blog post.

Pay attention to reasons #1 and #9. Even video optimized for the web is a resource hog. If you want everybody in the world to watch your new video, you’ll go out of business when it’s hosted on your own website. Besides, sites dedicated to video hosting offer better opportunities for SEO.

The most popular video-hosting platforms are names you know:

Each hosting platform has pros and cons, and many successful marketers mix and match to take advantage of the platforms’ respective strengths. YouTube, for example, makes it easy to share video on social media platforms – and it’s free. On the other hand, an investment in a Vimeo account avoids those YouTube ads and popups, plus you get higher-quality display options.

This article from software company ConvertKit does a thorough job of comparing these four platforms.

Deciding where to place your video there is as important as who will host it. If you take a ruthless approach to being relevant, it may not even live on your website. Google doesn’t rank because of sheer popularity. It’s about relevance, and the search giant will penalize you if it can’t determine the context of the video on a web page.

That new video might actually be most impactful on a brand new dedicated landing page. Marketing software platform maker Unbounce cites a recent study by eyeviewdigital.com that shows a video used on a landing page can increase conversion by an astounding 80 percent.

Sharing is caring

Once you have your video hosted, you’ll be rewarded by each platform with a convenient URL that can and should be shared by everyone in your organization with everyone they know. Clients, for sure – but don’t stop there. Does this video help explain why your organization exists, or why it does what it does? Share it with every single person you know.

No need to be formal. Everybody in the company can get away with, “Hey, check out our new video!” and include the link. The storytelling in your video will explain everything. Maybe it might raise a few questions. Bingo. You’ve just achieved what every marketer wants: engagement.

This is one time when even humble email can emerge as a champion. Does your organization have a specific email signature format for outgoing messages? It takes just a minute or two to add “Watch our latest video,” along with the URL. Stop for a minute and consider the number of emails your team sends or replies to daily. This is an often-overlooked but powerful way to promote viewership of your videos.

Get your optimized video on YouTube

You simply can’t afford not to be on YouTube. After all, it’s a search engine just as powerful as Google. Alexa ranks YouTube as the second most popular website in the world, right behind Google.

Tweak that video first – it’s not ready for prime time on YouTube until you do. Take advantage of YouTube’s promotability factor by optimizing the video. This probably doesn’t mean what you think. YouTube will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to processing the video so it streams without glitches when watched.

In this case, “optimization” refers to positioning the video to be found in search. YouTube videos get preferential treatment and are moved to the top of Google search results. YouTube SEO isn’t difficult, but you do have to set some time aside to get it done.

SEO expert HubSpot says there are eight main steps to optimize your video for YouTube. You’ll do most from the YouTube dashboard when you upload your video. Not all are necessary, but each one adds upon the others.

Don’t forget social media – Facebook in particular

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reports that the platform is attracting upwards of 8 billion views per day. Getting your video in front of prospects has to include this social media platform. It’s not all about spending money on sponsored posts, either.

Social media marketing platform Falcon has a list of recommendations to prep videos for optimal performance on Facebook. Some of the organization’s suggestions seem counterintuitive.

For instance, how much did you spend on that music bed? Guess what? Digiday reports that 85 percent of videos on Facebook are watched with the sound on mute. So, you’ll have to add captions. Is there room? You should have done post-production in 1:1 format so there’s room for captions. Keep that in mind at the start of video production so you don’t crash into it at the end.

Here’s where you also have to start thinking mobile-first. On the mobile version of Facebook’s newsfeed, square videos (1:1) get 78% more space than landscape videos (16:9). So, you’ll need a specific square version of your video – especially when you consider that over 95 percent of Facebook users prefer to access the network with their mobile devices.

And be sure to post a native video – meaning that you upload it directly to Facebook – instead of an embedded one, where you use your YouTube or Vimeo link. Forbes magazine reports that native videos in Facebook newsfeeds earn 10 times more shares than linked videos.

Instagram and video

Instagram gets from 2% to 7% engagement on every post. That’s no typo, and it’s far higher than Facebook and Twitter. Sharing a video on this social media platform is a way to get it in front of eyeballs – but with a big caveat. You have only 60 seconds.

With one minute max, you’ll need an abridged “Instagram version” of your video. Social media marketing software company Sprout recommends using square (1:1) or vertical (4:5) formats because Instagram is a mobile-first platform, and landscape videos (16:9) get less room on the screen.

If you can’t bear to mess with the length of your longer-than-60-second video, you’ll have to use Instagram Stories. And that’s not such a bad thing: Use of Instagram Stories is exploding. Brands using Instagram report that up to 37% of their total impressions are from Instagram Stories. These can be up to 60 minutes long if it’s live video, but just 15 seconds for prerecorded video.

You can slice and dice your long-format video to use it in an Instagram Story – but the question is, should you? A wiser choice might be to create a teaser and have your bio link to your video. Hmmm. That’s probably something you should have planned for in preproduction.

Instagram feels your pain. It’s why they now offer IGTV, which allows you to upload videos up to an hour long. Your existing followers will be alerted if you upload a video to IGTV.

Your videos must be in a vertical format – either 4:5 or 9:16. Business Insider produced an easy-to-follow guide to using IGTV. The headline here is that the 9:16 format is preferred. That’s a 90-degree change in the aspect we’re used to for producing video, because it’s meant to be watched on a smartphone screen without having to turn it sideways.

Put your video to work

Video supercharges engagement, but it doesn’t have to be in the usual places. A video embedded in a sales proposal, for example, can increase engagement by 18 percent.

Video is a powerful and effective way to tell the story of your brand, but like any tool, it must be properly used. We can help. Learn more about us.

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