This is a guest post from Neil Davidson.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of video people watch on the Internet. Any forward thinking business will do well to take note and use video to their advantage.
But where do you start? Surely, video marketing must be really expensive, time consuming, and technical? Actually, none of those concerns are necessarily worth the worry. The growth of affordable, digital technology means that anyone can make a video and put it online, instantly widening their audience base beyond anything we could have imagined 10 years ago.
The key is strategy. Even on a limited budget, if you plan well, maximize your resources and invest some creative energy it is possible to build professional business videos and a video marketing campaign that will take your business to the next level.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Have clear goals
There is no use investing the time and money in creating a video marketing strategy if you don’t know what you want at the end of it. Are you trying to build awareness of your brand? Maybe you want visitors to stay on your website for longer and reduce your bounce rate? Or perhaps you just want to turn those page views into sales.
Knowing your goals will help you measure the success of your strategy throughout its development. In the process, you will also become aware of any weaknesses that need attention in future.
Create your video
If you have the skills in your team, you can produce and edit a video yourself. If not, there are video production companies who can do it for you and not necessarily at a killer expense. This can be a really exciting part of the process.
Do your research. Find a handful of production companies and compare their prices, what they are offering, and ultimately, their attitude; you want to work with the team that shows almost as much enthusiasm as you for your project. Be involved in the process and guide it to be sure you are getting what you want.
Your video doesn’t have to look like a Steven Spielberg production. Think about what you want your audience to see and hear about your business and the video solution will quite possibly be under your nose. You may want to shoot your employees in action, your products in action, or a combination of the two. This video by Inspired Bicycles is a great example of using the resources around you to create a video that works for your niche audience.
Market your video
You will have invested a lot in making your video and it is important that you do it justice by investing equally in its marketing and distribution. Your own website is a great starting point for placing your video. But how do customers find your website?
There are more tools than ever at your disposal. An understanding of sharing sites, social networking, and search engines is essential if you want to maximize your presence on the Internet. Covering all bases will make it easier for people to find and engage with your business.
Set up a YouTube Channel
You can store your video’s on your channel and then embed them on your website using the embed codes generated by YouTube when you upload a video. This is not only easy to do, it also has the added bonus of making your video available throughout the Internet – not just your own site. Be sure to set your video as ‘public’ and that the ‘embed function’ is enabled. This means that other people can share your video too.
Below is a YouTube Video about embedding:
Do everything you can to get ‘Google juice’. Google juice is another term for PageRank. One way that Google measures the relevance of the content on your site is by looking at the amount of and the quality of the links to your site. The more links to you and the better quality they are (judged by domain relevance and quality), the higher you appear in search results.
With the right titles and tags, you can optimize the exposure of your videos. Google likes video and other media content. When uploading your videos to YouTube, fill in all of the fields and think carefully about your keywords. Imagine what your customers might type in to the search bar when looking for the services you have to offer. This will make your video easier to find. See our recent article on search engine optimization for more information.
Social networking is one of the best ways to grow your audience and keep customers engaged with your business. Be creative. You can use social networking to your advantage for next to nothing. Look at how other businesses utilize social networking. It may mean setting up a Facebook page that viewers can ‘like’. You may want to run competitions to engage your audience. Think outside the box.
Evaluate your strategy
How can you measure your success? This is where you come back to where you started and remind yourself what you set out to achieve.
There are ways to gather quantitative data about your videos. YouTube analytics counts the amount of times a video has been watched, how many likes, dislikes, and shares it has had, which is a fantastic way to understand what does and does not work:
Google Analytics is a great way to gather information about how users interact with your site. For example, you can see how long people are staying on your website in comparison to before you had any video content:
Analytics also generates handy graphs so that you can see the number of visitors and any relative increase or decline in the number of page views your site is achieving.
A more reliable way to test the effect of your videos is to use technology such as Google Optimizer to A/B test your page with and without video.
Social networking sites have a range of ways to measure the impact of your presence, whether that be the number of ‘friends’, ‘likes’, ‘followers’ or ‘retweets’ you manage to collect.
Evaluating your strategy is the best way to decide how to move forward. Learn you’re your successes and failures and review your strategy regularly to ensure you stay with the times and don’t waste any time.
What results can I expect to see from video?
This is a tricky answer as it depends on your execution of all of the above. But what we can tell you is that there are incredible results to be had if you take the time and effort to commit to using video well.
Here are just a few specific examples of the improvements that our clients have seen in website performance over the last year using video:
- Virgin Holidays saw a year on year 30% uplift in seat upgrades, which translated to £3 million revenue
- A credit card company got a 10% increase on take up for a corporate card
- National IT Learning Centre doubled their online sales conversions
- A hotel group had a 170% increase in room upgrades
The results are there for the taking but only if you can determine the right strategy to suit your website visitors.
Neil Davidson is the Founder of My Web Presenters, who are a leading Online Video Production specialist. They work with businesses of all sizes to create and market compelling and emotive corporate video that helps them to communicate with their specific audience.