Video content is on a constant rise. It holds the headlines of all digital marketing studies for a couple of years now. Adelie Studios put together a study and found out that adding a video to your landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
That makes a ton of sense because videos add more credibility to your business and showcase your products and services better.
Additionally, having videos on the homepage can increase conversion rates by more than 20%. By the end of the year, 74% of all the Internet traffic will be video. 68% of consumers would prefer to watch a video in order to resolve a product related issue. And we can go on and on with the headlines.
My point is that video content and video marketing are on big horses. Yet, so many marketers are leaving money on the table with their video campaigns. If you’re looking to step up your video marketing game and cash in, you are on the right page. Down below we have outlined the top tips that will increase the performance of your video marketing campaigns.
This is the very first stage of any video marketing campaign and you want to make sure you get it right. The success of your campaign will highly depend on what happens in the video production stage. If you screw this up, you are throwing your money out the window.
#1 Storyline & concept
As per research conducted by YouTube together with the folks over at Dynamic Logic, it looks like the 70% of a campaign’s effectiveness will depend solely on how well executed the creation part was.
So the concept and storyline of your video will play a humongous role on how the campaign is going to perform. That’s something we already knew, but we seem to forget when we get lost in technical details. Take a moment to put this into perspective.
Let’s say you walk out of a movie theater with your friends and you are discussing the movie. Here are things you never hear people say: “I didn’t like that sliding shoot in the park, I think it could’ve been smother” or “the audio levels where slightly spiking” or “the lighting was too bright on that guy’s forehead”.
What you hear people saying is stuff like “Man that took forever to pick up” or “I didn’t understand it at all” or “I absolutely loved how things took a different turn right before the ending”. All these things are story related. The storyline is all that people relate to. And that’s where the majority of your focus should be at as a video marketer.
I know, being creative is hard and there’s no manual that is going to teach you to be creative. I guess that’s the difficult part of being a great marketer. Don’t rush through the concept & storyline stage of your video production. Take the time to really get it nailed down before moving forward.
#2 Show rather than tell
A video is a great way of showcasing your products and services. That’s what adds credibility to your brand and to what you are offering. That’s why viewers who completed a product video were 25% more likely to convert then passive visitors.
So instead of having an actor or boring salesperson (no offense to sales guys) do a 2-minute speech behind a desk, show off your products, get your customers testimonials on camera, add footage of an event you attended, give a behind the scenes tour of your headquarters or your team.
Get away from the standard sales video template and think outside the box. Show people what you do and how you do it, don’t just read a script.
When it comes to the actual filming, if you have a budget for it, hire a video production company or a videographer for a day to shoot your videos. They have the right cameras, lighting and know how. If you don’t have a budget though, that’s not a show stopper. With today’s gadgets, there are plenty of options to handle the filming in-house.
#3 Call to action
Every video marketing campaign needs to have a clear and well-defined purpose. What do you want to achieve with your video? What do you want your viewers to do after they are done watching the video? These are questions that you should answer for yourself in the early stages of the video production process.
The call to action needs to be bold, short and to the point. The best ways to achieve that is by including a verbal call to action reinforced by video editing elements which support your CTA. On-screen text pop-ups or engaging animations are great ways of doing that.
Additionally, it should be easy for the viewers to take the action you want them to. Make sure to make your links easy to find. Usually, the description box of the video does the job really well and there’s no need to use features such as annotations which are often annoying for the viewers.
If you are using video hosting services for your marketing campaigns, you can use built-in features that allow you to embed your links inside the video itself, such as custom post-play screens, clickable elements or even HTML forms.
The issue with call to action messages is that, most of the time, you need to place them at the very end of the video when there’s hardly anyone watching. As you may know, the audience retention rates for online videos are not that great.
As per the findings of this study, one-third of your viewers will bounce after the 30 seconds mark. There goes your call to action. What you need to do is hold on to your audience as long as you can. A quick an easy way of increasing the average watch time duration is to offer incentives such as free stuff or discount coupon codes. Tell your audience about the free stuff right from the start, but don’t actually disclose anything until the end of the video.
If you can include your call to action message early on without making it look too pushy or like you are desperately trying to sell them something, that will work too.
Next, we are going to be getting into the post-production or video editing aspects of things. If you thought that you are done after you’ve finished recording, you are in for a big letdown.
Video editing can be just as time-consuming as the filming itself. If you can outsource it to someone else definitely go ahead. Use your time on producing more content or focusing on your core business instead of editing videos. You will most likely end up with a better-looking video anyway if it’s handled by professionals.
All you need to do is make your requirements very clear and give your video editing guys specific instructions about how you want the video edited, what title to use, lower thirds, end credits, audio effects, soundtrack, animations, text overlays and so on and so forth. Make a list of everything and pass it along.
#2 Mobile friendly
Given the fact that more than half of the video plays are on mobile devices, you want to make sure your message gets doesn’t get distorted by a smaller screen. That’s why we recommend using close up shots of people, things, and places you are showcasing in your videos.
Text font and size should be easy to read. Use few words at once and have them stay long enough on the screen. Speaking of text, that is an absolute must for all your videos. 85% of all the Facebook videos are played with no sound. That’s how Facebook (and Instagram) decided to auto play videos. Using text overlays will get your message across even when there’s no sound.
#3 Add stock footage B-roll
A quick and easy way of making your video look more professional is by using stock footage that goes well with your story and adds value to your message. You will not be able to capture specific scenes such as an aerial overview of some mountains unless you buy a drone and do some traveling. Same thing goes for taking a time-lapse scene – it can take hours of filming.
I’m guessing that’s not feasible for most businesses, therefore stock footage is a great alternative. Depending on what kind of shots you need, you can find royalty free footage or clips that start from just $8 per license. Places such as Video Hive or Adobe are great to start with.
#4 Cut it for the platform
The same person will have a different behavior (or mood) depending on which platform he’s at. Facebook, for example, is a platform that people use to kill some time and distract themselves from whatever there is that they were doing. You go on Facebook when you want to see something funny, right?
People seem to have a shorter attention span when they are on Facebook too. So if you plan on uploading to Facebook, make your video shorter (60-90 seconds at most) and funnier.
YouTube, on the other hand, works more like a search engine and people go on YouTube when they need an answer to a question or when they want to see how a product works. So for YouTube, informational type of videos will perform better. Also, the attention span tends to be higher which means you can have longer videos on YouTube.
The takeaway point here is that taking the same video and shove it across all platforms is not optimal. Try to have it edited slightly different so that you get the most of the platform you’re using it on.
Bonus Tip: Leverage live streaming
Before we wrap this up, I wanted to touch a bit on the live streaming topic which is getting plenty of attention from all the platforms right now. I don’t claim to know how YouTube’s or Facebook’s algorithm work, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that live streaming is getting somehow favored when it comes to driving traffic.
Both YouTube and Facebook seem to promote live videos more than another type of content, so that’s a quick and easy way of gaining more exposure. For many businesses, stuff like live webinars or live Q&As could work really well. On top of that, you get rid of all the hustle of doing video editing, uploading or creating thumbnails. You just set up your camera and you are ready to do.
Over to you
Setting up a good video marketing campaign is a real hustle, I’ll give you that. But having a systematic approach such as putting more effort into the creative aspects of it and following at least a couple of the tips outlined above is very likely to result in a better return on investment.
Cristian is the founder of Veedyou Media, a video editing services company working remotely with businesses and individuals all over the globe. Over at Veedyou, they handle anything ranging from dead serious corporate video production to not so serious, wedding video editing or GoPro reels.