So, you've put your blood sweat and tears into making a video that you can be proud of. Congratulations! Not only is video one of the most engaging mediums for marketing your product and your passion, customers absolutely love it. But making a video is only part of the process. After you’ve created it, the next essential step is getting it out there in front of the eyes of your customers, prospects, and online community!
You see, content that exists without proper publicity doesn't reach people and doesn't improve your business. Furthermore, content shared in one place only reaches a few of the people it should. In a world spread out across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and whatever pops up next month, putting your hard work out there everywhere is the name of the game. So let's take a look at how to make your video the best that it can be.
Alright, before we start sharing, let's nail down the basics of video. There are three factors that affect the success of video, even after their initial posting: diversity, volume, and sharing.
Videos and blogs run on something called "organic" traffic. This means that some random person, not specifically looking for your content, stumbled upon it because it was relevant and visible in Google's search results. First of all, in order to grab this kind of traffic, you need a diverse range of videos that fit people's needs. According to research, the top 25% of YouTube marketers had an average of 181 videos, with the bottom 25% producing only 29. The YouTube winners also had videos ranging from 30 seconds to 20 minutes! Now that's diversity. When putting together your channel, focus on making videos that cover topic you possibly can, long and short, so that people can find you.
The second factor that will get your videos seen by the masses is volume. The way search engines work is they look at a website, analyze how many times other people have linked to it, and how many times it's linked to other websites. These connections tell Google that the website is popular, and therefore probably pretty helpful. Making a large number of videos means that others who find your videos, and have their own blog, can reference it if they think it's valuable. It's a bit like fishing: you have to throw out a lot of lines to get a bite, but after a while you know which bait to use.
Finally, as we promised, sharing is what we're after. You can make the best video in the world but, if no one notices it, you're left with some personal satisfaction, but no customer conversion! In order to encourage sharing, it's important to understand that users share items that reflect values they wish to be associated with. You know your brand, you know your goals, and you definitely know your customers, so make videos that either teach them something useful, or represent a characteristic that resonates with them (fun, happy, warm, creative, etc.).
Now picture the modern user. They're probably on their mobile phone at work, iPad at the coffee shop, watching TV at night with a laptop in their lap, and checking the desktop computer before bed to answer emails. While they're using all of these devices, they're on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, various websites (both mobile and desktop), and various applications. With this kind of divided attention, marketers have figured out that users are making their judgments about a particular business based on the experiences they have across all of these.
An example of a good, multi-channel marketing effort may look something like this: A major company, let's say a clothing manufacturer, maintains a consistently branded Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube page. The organization creates video content and publishes it to Facebook and Twitter, and uses stills from the photo shoots to share on Instagram. Each time customers see the content, the message and tags are the same, but each post is tailored for the specific platform. Facebook posts have a YouTube video and request shares and comments, Twitter has a link to the video with a hashtag identifying the message of the post and asking viewers to retweet, and the Instagram post asks users viewing the content to submit their own pictures and get involved.
The cool thing about this plan is that it realizes the strengths and weaknesses of each social network and maximizes its effectiveness to help the video content. This is very important because each channel allows users to do certain things, and, for that reason, attracts certain kinds of activity. Twitter easily displays pictures but requires some extra help for video content. Facebook lets users interact through comments and likes but doesn't allow video replies. In order to make your video spread, we're going to recognize each of these possibilities and limitations and work with them.
So, you’ve got a well-stocked channel and an understanding of the importance of sharing in multiple channels. The next step is to put it all into practice. Consider what your goal is when producing content. Is it to demo a product? Do you wish to improve brand perception? Think about what you want to accomplish and tailor your content toward that purpose.
Next, create a distribution plan for your content. Include an entry in each network on which you have presence and consider how to maximize their respective strengths. For Facebook, focus on a call-to-action that promotes sharing and discussion. For Twitter, invite feedback and create a hashtag that enshrines the values of the piece produced. For YouTube, make sure your tagging is correct and include annotations that promote your social networks and encourage viewing of additional content. For each avenue, understand your engagement goal.
Then, follow through. Unless you have a well-established marketing presence, you will need to help pedal to get your content going. Engage those who interact with your posts actively. Respond to Facebook comments and favorite particularly enjoyable tweets. In doing so, you put a human face on your content and foster the perception that your content is a part of an active conversation, not a piece of static advertising to be digested in the blind hope for more revenue.
Above all, understand that social networking is exactly what it says: social. Plan your video content and distribution plan around the concept of social engagement and expect good things in return.
With mountains of video being uploaded to the Internet every day, standing out can be tough, but it’s definitely not impossible with the right know-how. Put together a channel full of diverse content that you can be proud of. Make sure that your message and brand are consistent everywhere they're viewed. Finally, use each social network to its fullest potential and talk to your people. Making great videos is only part of the picture, the rest is being charming and available to the hungry viewers and new customers you'll make along the way.
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