In my previous post, “Using Video Content to Drive Brand Awareness, Leads, and Sales,” I took you through the first four steps of the definitive B2B video marketing strategy.
In this second post, we focus on executing your video content strategy, maximizing impact, measuring results, and ensuring that you create sustainable campaigns that add long-term value to your organization.
Step 1: Execution
Now that you’ve completed the planning stages for your video content campaign, including defining the objectives, target market, video style, length, and tone, it’s time you got the ball rolling and produced your first video. But what steps do you need to take?
The first thing you do is take your overall campaign and break it down into single, discrete messages, and hold yourself to one per video, where possible.
You then craft a storyboard around that message, with core components including:
- An attention-grabbing introduction/ initial characterization/ scene setting
- A setup/ problem/ challenge
- An action/ journey/ discovery
- A resolution/ punch line/ solution
- A call to action
With the core message laid out and a storyboard in place, it’s time to call in the professionals to help shape and refine them, and get you toward the finished product.
So who you gonna call? No, not “Ghostbusters.” As with many things, the answer is, it depends.
If you’re going to produce animation, you don’t need to hire a film crew, but you do need an animator or design studio; for customer testimonials you may not need a voiceover, but you will need one for a whiteboard illustration.
In general, you’re most likely to need some combination of the following services:
- A scriptwriter
- A studio/ animator/ film crew
- A voiceover/ interviewer
- Music and sound effects
- An editor
At this point, we’re hoping you have a well-crafted, well-targeted, high-impact video that delivers your brand message to the right market. Brilliant! Let’s go home and watch the leads and $$$ roll in, shall we?
Well, not quite. We’re only half way there at this point. Now we have this awesome video, it is time to get it properly distributed, encourage people to watch and share it, maximize its impact, and measure our success.
Step 2: Choose the right distribution channels
When considering how to get your video content out to the right audiences, you need to consider a few options. The obvious one is to place it on your own website. This should be done of course, but this alone is not enough — unless you already have a very high volume of traffic from your target market. Even then, it has its limitations, as you need to encourage new visitors, not just existing ones, to view your videos.
A second option is YouTube, which is a great free option to put your video content in front of potentially hundreds of millions of viewers. It seems like a no-brainer, but again, there are some limitations. The ability to own your conversion funnel and tailor the way you capture leads is critical to the effectiveness of your campaign, particularly if you’re trying to drive sales and define a high-quality pipeline of prospects. Unfortunately the tools to achieve this are not available on YouTube.
Therefore, you need to look for a more focused, business-centric distribution channel that gives you more control over how you capture leads, encourage direct sales, and represent your brand around the video.
You should also consider how many companies block YouTube because of its non-work related content (a point explained, in detail, by Magnet Video).
There are also the pre-roll adverts you have to consider. Do you want your audience clicking off of your videos before they’ve even begun, or having half their attention span taken up before your content kicks in?
Ideally, what you should be looking for is a hub where executives go to specifically educate themselves about new developments in their industry, watch business videos, and build connections in their market. There are probably some options specific to your industry, but cross-industry platforms that may work for you include BrightTalk, SlideShare, and Xavy.
Step 3: Encourage people to watch your videos
Once your video content has been sent out into the world through the right distribution channels, the next step is to encourage people to watch them, and this can be broken down into three distinct parts:
- Use SEO to help people find you on your chosen channels
- Tell them why they should watch it
- Offer social proof to overcome their skepticism
Let’s tackle each one in turn…
> SEO: Help viewers find your videos: The core components for getting your video found via SEO are pretty straightforward:
- Title: Make sure your title contains the keywords from your core messaging, placing the more important words towards the beginning. Keep it to 60 characters or less if you are placing it on YouTube. Also include keywords in your filename (also known as the meta-title). To find the appropriate keywords, you can use the YouTube keyword tool, Google Trends, the Google Adwords keyword tool or any one of a number of proprietary tools.
- Metadata: Because search engines can’t crawl the actual content of the video, you need to give them a helping hand, and create a description that contains your keywords. Only 55 to 70 characters will typically be displayed on YouTube, but you can write longer descriptions than that.
- Tags: Tag the video properly, again with your keywords.
- Additional text: Use additional text around your video if it’s embedded on your site, or a distribution channel that allows you to customize the real estate around your video. This helps search engines to find it and display it correctly in their results.
- Use a video site map: Even better, create a specific video site map so you can explicitly tell the search engines where and what your videos are. There’s a very useful guide to video sitemaps for major hosting platforms here.
- Choose the right thumbnails: Having the right image as your thumbnail could have a huge impact on click-throughs, so ensure that you use the best one, and test to see if it can be improved.
- Links: Again, like normal SEO, the number of links that point to your video (on YouTube or elsewhere) will help drive up its rankings across search engines.
- User behavior: Late in 2012, YouTube overhauled the basics of its ranking algorithm to specifically focus on engagement — measured by the time a viewer spends watching your video, rather than simply the number of views it gets. So consider these two things: Don’t mislead people about the content, or they’ll simply click off of it straight away and you gain very little; and make sure your content is good all the way through, and not just packed into the first 15 seconds. Comments, “likes,” and shares will all help your overall ranking, too. Read more here
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