6 Lessons Video Marketing Can Take From Regular Ol’ Content

Remember when infographics were the new and hyped thing?

Content marketers thought the shareability code was finally cracked! All you had to do was turn a bucket of “boring data” into an attractive image with flat icons and digestible stats, and people will share it out to viral status.

But people tend to do silly things with new and hyped things.

We get hit with an overwhelming sense of FOMO (“fear of missing out”) and blindly rush towards what’s hot and shiny. The result? Marketers have made silly infographics out of just about everything with not a lot of thought towards whether it made sense, whether the return was worth the investment, and whether it was of any real value to their audience.

Enter the exciting new medium of video

Video marketing is getting more and more attention every year. Globally, the amount of video in Facebook’s News Feed has increased 3.6x year-over-year with a whopping 76% of B2B marketers using video content marketing as a core piece in their strategy.

I can feel the mad rush: “We need video marketing, and we need it now.”

In order for us to avoid making the same rookie mistakes as last time, here’s a list of tried-and-true lessons from good ol’ content marketing that can be – and should be – applied to video marketing.

1. The average attention span of a human is now shorter than that of a goldfish

Putting aside what that shocking stat could mean for the future of humankind, one thing is obvious: Time is the most precious currency for today’s Internet users. If they don’t find what they’re looking for in the first 50 words, they’ll go back to their search results and try another source.

For video, this is the first 10 seconds. According to a study by Visible Measures, 20% of viewers will click out of a video in 10 seconds or less. YouTube gives sponsored advertisers just 5 seconds to hook their audience during auto-play.

Lesson #1: Skip over the intro. Identify your best story or the most compelling benefit of your product or service and use it as a hook from the start. Build the rest of your script by delivering bite-sized information in 8-second segments (around 20 words) in order to maintain the viewer’s attention.

2. “Going viral” isn’t a KPI

Let’s be honest: We all hope that our next piece of content is The One that goes viral. But no matter what people claim, virality can’t be distilled down to a simple science. Most of it is based on luck which is neither replicable or scalable.

“But it worked for Dollar Shave Club. Why not us?”

If you have this mindset from the beginning, your brainstorming session will circle around things like humor, shock value, and somehow figuring out a way to tap into the zeitgeist of our digital time. What do they all have in common? They don’t touch on the utility of the content.

Regular content marketing has taught us that a valuable post is one that speaks to a common pain point of our target audience. The more helpful you are, the more credible you are.

This doesn’t mean that a helpful video can’t achieve massive reach and shares. According to a New York Times study called The Psychology of Sharing, 94% of participants carefully consider how the information they share will be useful to the recipient.

Lesson #2: Instead of trying to write a script that will “go viral”, build on a known problem that your qualified audience faces. Treat it like an inside joke and appeal to their motivation to connect with others that will “get it”. An example of a brand that has successfully (and delightfully) done this is Slack, who plays up the common complication of inter-office communication in their intro video.

3. Create (or re-create) with ROI in mind

With regular content, we all know that there’s a wide range of content types we can create. But some (like ebooks, how-to guides, and even infographics) require a bigger commitment in time, resource, and coordination than others.

This gradient of investment exists for video types as well. For example, creating a video interview requires far less scripting and post-production work than an animated product walk-through. Or posting a recording of your webinar or demo is an easier way to take advantage of video than creating a separate how-to series.

Sorting your list of options by ROI is especially important for new content marketing teams that are pressed for quick results or working with a strained budget. Do an audit of your existing content to identify which topics can get repurposed for video use. Not only will this cut down on the amount of research you’ll have to do, but it’ll give you an indicator of what topics will work well with your audience.

Lesson #3: Being able to show positive returns is as important as generating those results. To secure continued buy-in, first try to knock out the types of videos that have the highest ROI compared to the investment. This includes user-generated videos for B2C companies and even curated third-party videos that may be relevant to your audience.

4. Bolster up the soft spots in your sales funnel

Content Marketing 101 has taught us that one of the most efficient ways to create content is to map it to your buyer’s journey: infographics and vertical-centric blog posts are top-of-the-funnel while comparative reports and testimonials hit further down, at the evaluation stage. These assets are then sprinkled throughout the website so that the most relevant information is delivered to the right people at the right time.

With more than 70% of marketing professionals reporting that video converts better than any other medium, we can strategically create and place video content at the weakest points of conversion.

To identify these soft spots, dive into Google Analytics and analyze your User Flow and Bounced Sessions. Determine the biggest point of drop-off and create custom videos that offer extremely focused information that’s relevant to that page.

For example, if a significant portion of your traffic is bouncing on the pricing page, reinforce it with a video that explains your pricing breakdown or one that highlights the cost-saving features of your service or product. If people are leaving right before the point of sale, place short testimonial videos before checkout to encourage them forward.

Lesson #4: In the same way that content is strategically used to encourage leads along a sales path, take advantage of video’s converting power by creating answer-packed clips for the weakest points of your website. Re-purpose these videos for your emails and nurture campaigns!

5. Don’t build your brand on rented land

When social networks like Facebook and Twitter became too big to ignore, many made the mistake of building their brands on properties that were not their own. They pushed their content on stream-based networks and nurtured communities that were off-site.

It’s only recently that content marketers are seeing the problem with this approach: there’s a lack of control and reliability, engagement doesn’t tether back to your home domain, and you miss out on deeper customer insight opportunities.

The same thing applies to video. While great for distribution and attracting new audiences, gigantic platforms like YouTube and Vimeo shouldn’t be the sole place where you host your videos. Not only do they lack the tools to extract deeper data based on individual views, there’s really no reason for your viewers to come back to your website for more.

Lesson #5: Instead of going to where the people are, focus on building a brand on your own domain. Memorialize your video content instead of pushing them out on streams, and integrate video analytics with your CRM to maximize your learnings and returns.

6. Storytelling (still) wins

This is a no-brainer but a lesson that I firmly believe applies to every type of marketing: Storytelling works. And it doesn’t do it by tricking you, or by using buzzwords and platitude. It’s simply how we appeal to our natural instinct for empathy and become better communicators.

From explaining your value prop to showcasing your happiest customer, take every opportunity to tell stories that get remembered. Tell it how you want to be remembered: fun, helpful, skilled, sentimental, honest, or whichever qualities fit your brand. Be someone that people want to talk to. Make them want to take their shoes off and stay awhile.

Lesson #6: With such a dynamic medium as video, storytelling becomes even more important and powerful. Don’t just make a video for the sake of making a video. Take every second to identify with your audience and grow a loyal community around your brand.

What are some of your tried-and-true video marketing lessons?

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Incorporating Video into Your Marketing Automation Platform

The digital age is among us. And without a doubt, it’s changing how we consume content. Specifically, the digital age has breathed new life into how we consume video. Gone are the days when video was only something that could be watched on a television screen from our La-Z-Boy or in a movie theater with popcorn (and Red Vines) in hand. Now, we can watch video on our computers, smartphones, mobile devices, and even larger-than-life digital billboards. No longer are we restricted by location, like being within eyesight of the family room television, nor are we restricted by time, like that dictated by the movie theater schedule. The digital age is revolutionizing the meaning of location and time by enabling us to consume video wherever we want and whenever we want it.

This level of flexibility is opening the door to more digital video content being created—and viewed. According to Nielsen, digital video viewing among adult audiences has more than doubled—from 13 minutes per day in 2012 to 27 minutes per day in 2014. That means that nearly 2% of people’s days are spent doing nothing else than watching video online. Marketers, take note. If video is not already a part of your digital marketing strategy, now’s the time to jump on board and grab ahold of some of that 2%. It’s clear your potential customers want to watch video, so, I say, give it to them!

As a content marketer, there’s nothing more important to me than producing quality content that is engaging and inspiring and overall supports my marketing team’s demand generation efforts. This is my M.O. Therefore the content I produce must not only be of high quality, but it must also be varied in medium in order to appeal to a wide range of tastes. Enter, video. With the rapid rise in the popularity of video (Cisco predicts that nearly 80% of internet traffic will be video-based by 2018—less than three years from now!), it’s a no-brainer that your marketing strategy should—no, no…MUST—include video content. Simply put, your company cannot afford not to produce video content. It’s the way of the future, so there’s no time like the present to get a jumpstart! Let’s explore…

It’s no secret that video production is more intricate and time-consuming of a process than producing content in other forms. With that being said, marketers have to make sure that they’re getting their money’s worth: generating quality leads and securing solid ROI. So, what’s the best way to ensure that the results you’re getting match the efforts you’re putting in? The answer is to incorporate video into your company’s marketing automation platform. With nearly 70% of businesses using (or currently implementing) a marketing automation platform, according to the Aberdeen Group’s State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce, video and marketing automation can go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly. (Side note: If your company has yet to jump aboard the marketing automation train, that’s a whole other discussion! Bottom line: Do it.)

By incorporating video into your marketing automation efforts, you will be able to gauge buyer interest and market to individual prospects tailored to their particular level of interest. How? Marketing automation allows you to view the detailed video-watching behaviors of your prospects, collect these insights in the form of data, and then make sense of the data. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t! Seriously—you can track which videos your leads have watched, how far through the video they watched, and whether they replayed certain parts of the video.

In capturing these unique pieces of data, marketing automation further enables you to score these leads based on your assessment of their readiness to buy. Video must be a part of your lead scoring strategy, otherwise data collected from your leads’ video-watching will not be incorporated into their overall scores based on all their interactions with your content and website. This may backfire in that the leads may be considered lower quality (or higher quality) than they really are. Therefore, if you want to get the most accurate assessment of your leads’ potential to convert (you do), it’s imperative to score your leads based not just on downloads of readable content, but also on their video-watching behaviors. It’s all content and it’s all telling of your prospect’s intentions when it comes to your product.

Moreover, if you’re going to produce video content in the first place, then you must marry it with your marketing automation strategy in order to obtain the highest possible return on investment. It’s that simple.

Interested in learning some tips and tricks on getting the most out of the coupling of your video content and marketing automation platform? Download the all new ebook, How to Use Video Content and Marketing Automation to Better Engage, Qualify, and Convert Your Buyers, a joint venture of Marketo and Vidyard.

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Video SEO Making You Craz-EO? Try These Helpful Tips!

SEO. It’s serious business, and ultra-important. Why else would it get the “acronym” treatment? You know, when only the “big deal” concepts can be shortened into just a few letters because everyone knows what they are without having to bother saying the whole word.

Search Engine Optimization – SEO – is such a big deal because it helps you market your business, be found by potential customers, and rake in tons of revenue. But only if you’re doing it well.

SEO is more than just being found on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Yes, it’s about being found, but it’s also about being being chosen, and then keeping the interest of those who picked you so they don’t bounce back to Google and try again. Video can help you accomplish all three things.

I’ll give you some proof:

Pages with video are 53 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results, according to one Forrester Research study. Not only will video help you be found more easily, it will help make sure your website or content is chosen by searchers, since search results with video have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text, according to an aimClear study. Once prospects land on your page, video will keep them interested in sticking around: 17% of people spend less than four seconds on a website without video, but people will often spend 2.7 minutes watching an online video.

Here’s how you can use video to get the most out of your SEO efforts:

Keywords

Traditional techniques, like keywords and metadata are as vital with video as they are for text content. So, in the same way that you would optimize text content, make sure you’re utilizing keywords in your titles, video descriptions, and even your YouTube channel description, as well as using tags so Google can easily find and rank content. Choose 5 to 6 keywords using the Google AdWords tool to improve opportunities for your video content to be ranked highly.

If you’re trying to decide what keywords to use in a YouTube video, check out what YouTube search auto-suggests for your video’s topic (just do this by starting to type in the topic of your video, and see what auto-populates for you). Choose keywords that are more specific rather than highly competitive and generic ones. For example, countless videos could be ranked for ‘how to play guitar’, and yours could drown amongst them. But you could rank near the top for video searches on how to play a certain type of guitar, chords, or songs.

Sitemaps and Transcripts

You should also be making sure to tell Google about the videos on your site by submitting a site map. Check out this awesomely informative post if you’re unsure how to do that. (If you have a video marketing platform like Vidyard, you don’t need to worry about it since VIdyard takes care of that for you.)

Search engines cannot “watch” your video in order to determine what topics are actually covered in your content. Video transcripts provide that information. You can post a transcript somewhere on your page, or post the transcript as a written blog post to accompany your video. Also consider the closed captioning option on YouTube; it acts as a searchable transcript!

Your videos work in partnership with all of your content to improve your SEO results. Include them in pages that offer a variety of other media types, like text and images, since these diverse pages receive better rankings in search.

Content

You could be an SEO master at getting people to click on your page. But if your content doesn’t back up what you’re selling, it could be driving people away and breaking trust with potential customers.

So how do you make sure people will be interested in your content? Evidence suggests that 80% of video content that appears in search engine results pages are informational videos. Think about creating some explainer videos for your product or service; not only is it an engaging way to explain why people should want to purchase your product, these videos will also help your chances of your content appearing on top search pages.

Keep your videos simple; content that includes too many topics or key points likely won’t appear in search as easily as if you focused on just one key area. So don’t be afraid to specialize in a certain topic to attract searchers.

Also, don’t forget that well-done content also means well-chosen content titles and thumbnails. Don’t be tempted to use click-bait to get more hits and drive up your chances of appearing in search results. Audiences won’t thank you for it, and in the end it will only hurt your SEO efforts when viewers stop returning to your pages.

User Experience

A viewer’s experience of you doesn’t have to stop with one well-done video. An awesome experience of your brand is the perfect complement to your strong content. Think about the big picture surrounding your video content.

For example, where should you place your video on your webpage or landing page? Make sure it’s “above the fold” so viewers don’t have to scroll and won’t be tempted to click off your page. On most browsers, that means your video should appear within the first 600 pixels.

If your video content is part of a branded channel on YouTube, you can create playlists to keep people watching your content, rather than being tempted to watch unrelated (or your competitors’) recommended videos. On your website, you can suggest other videos by adding calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout or at the end of your video. Not only will this help with SEO (“time on page” will be off the charts!), it’s a great way to use video to help push viewers along a content journey and through the sales funnel.

Your niche, converting content will be so engaging that it could spread like wildfire through audiences, only helping your SEO efforts. Strong content is like the popular kid at a party who everyone wants to spend time with; welcome to the social side of SEO.

Social Impact

You don’t have to do all the work yourself to get your content and brand out there. Great content is shared and embedded on other sites, which drive visits and back-links to your original content. This cross-platform promotion, natural discovery and sharing of your content will encourage more views, increasing its popularity and the likelihood it will end up in search pages.

Video continues to prove its worth as the modern marketer’s perfect medium for helping you be found by your target audience, engage with them better than ever before, and convert them into customers. How is video helping your SEO efforts?

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