Once upon a time, producing videos was a complicated and expensive task. Smartphones changed that.
Once upon a time, the bandwidth required to host videos limited their distribution. YouTube changed that, followed by Facebook, Vine, Instagram, and others.
Once upon a time, product videos tended to be solely how-to demonstrations. Video advertising and targeting opportunities changed that.
Video is flourishing as a way to reach new prospects and sell product.
Like other online advertising, specific techniques are required to ensure that prospects find your videos, watch them, and take action. We’ll write more about how to get your videos found and encourage prospects to take action in the Summer 2016 issue of Let’s Grow. Meanwhile, here are some tips to ensure your videos get watched.
Set Objectives. Before you start shooting footage, consider what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you want to reach new prospects? Educate customers? Reduce customer service calls? Introduce new products? Consider your objectives and target audience right from the start.
Match Content to Objectives. Your content needs to align with your goals. To educate your customers and help them succeed with your products, traditional how-to videos are perfect. But if attracting new prospects is what you want, consider “before and after” stories, case histories of individual buyers, or compilations of customer testimonials.
Consider Length. Before you start, think about where you will use your videos, and plan their lengths accordingly. Facebook recommends that videos be no more than two minutes long for best results on their platform. By contrast, one-third of all videos watched on YouTube run 20 minutes or longer.
Be Mindful of Mobile. A full 50% of YouTube views are now on mobile, and that percentage is only growing. Be sure your videos look well on a small screen.
While conventional wisdom holds that videos should be shot horizontally, test some vertical videos. Most people tend to hold their phones vertically, and don’t always rotate their screen when viewing videos. Many marketers are finding that shooting videos vertically results in more completed views.
Fine-Tune Your Thumbnails. One of the most important considerations in whether your video gets watched is the image that appears before your video starts playing, known as the thumbnail. Both YouTube and Facebook let you either choose an image from your video, or upload a different one, for your thumbnail. Make sure it’s both intriguing and relevant to your video content.
Craft Your Text. In addition to your thumbnails, potential viewers rely on video titles and descriptions to decide whether to watch your videos. Make the most of that space by presenting powerful benefits.
Polish Your Opening. Viewers take less than 5 seconds to decide whether to keep watching your video or click out of it. Immediate engagement is critical to ensure your videos get watched.
Also keep in mind that on Facebook, videos autoplay silently until clicked, so opening images assume extra importance there.
Get Started Now. No question about it, video marketing is exploding. Companies that participate now can get a running start while facing less competition. Take advantage of the upcoming growing season to test the waters. Thanks to evolving technologies and platforms, it’s never been easier or more affordable.