You see a page loaded with text, you ignore. But you if see a video on a web page, you tend to pause and take notice.
Videos have their own charm and a way of attracting human brains. So how could marketers resist the power of this wonderful engagement hook?
If you are looking for quick and effective ways to increase the performance of your video marketing efforts you are on the right page. Video is the most convenient type of content to consume by your audience regardless of the vertical. Anybody from a stay at home mom to a CEO watches a product video before actually making the purchase.
So regardless if you are a small business owner or an individual looking to build a personal brand, read on and you can take away a handful of highly actionable tips that will step up the quality and effectiveness of your videos.
Tip #1 Tell a story
A great marker should be a great creator. Marketing means being creative and thinking outside the box, yet we often seem to forget that and get caught up in the technical aspects of it such as reports, metrics and all kind of different tools that are supposed to increase the ROI.
But at the very foundation of a solid video campaign is nothing more than a good storyline. Remember that at the other end of your campaign will be a human being who needs to relate to your story and that’s what your focus should be on.
As per this presentation which is based on YouTube’s studies, 70% of the effectiveness of your campaign will depend on how good is the story behind your video. That’s how important this very first step is and if you get it wrong, you will have a flimsy foundation to build your campaign on. It doesn’t matter if you shoot in 4K, have the best videographer and the video editor or if you laser target your audience. It all comes down to the story.
The storyline will have to be somehow dependent on your brand and there are no specific guidelines, but generally speaking, videos that are either funny or emotional (or both) tend to perform better.
So definitely put the majority of your time and efforts into building a solid script before you actually start shot the video.
Tip #2 Show rather than tell
The whole purpose of the video is to actually show your viewers who you are, what you can do and how your service or product works. If a picture is worth a thousand words a video should worth a million.
Get as specific and as explicit as you can with your video. Be totally transparent and let your audience see what it is that you will provide them. Don’t just have someone in a suit behind a desk talking for 2 minutes straight about your company profile. Nobody is interested in that. Instead, show them what you can do for them.
Zappos, which is one of the biggest retailers specialized in skiing equipment has increased conversion with as much as 25% just by adding demo videos to each of their product. So if you’re selling a physical product that’s a great way to boost sales.
If you’re selling services or digital products, you can include B-rolls of your team while working at your headquarters or while hosting an event for your clients. Anything that adds credibility to you as a business will work. Customer testimonials are also a great way to building trust.
Tip #3 Focus on video quality
Nobody wants to launch their campaign with an average looking video, right? Yeah, I know that we have all these fancy cameras nowadays which can shoot in 4K, can color correct and so on and so forth and are not that expensive to buy. Heck, even a high-end smartphone can produce amazing looking videos.
But, if your video requires a lot of camera movement, and different type of shots which you are not comfortable filming yourself, then, by all means, hire a videographer. According to this study over here, the quality of your video will greatly influence the way people perceive your brand.
To be more specific, 62% of the consumers will have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor quality video. So definitely make sure the video quality is spot on, otherwise, your campaign will actually hurt your brand instead of promoting it.
For most businesses, the easiest, less expensive and most convenient thing to do is to shoot a green screen video and then outsource everything to a video editing company. This way you can add any backdrop later on in the video editing stage, there will probably be no camera movement which eliminates the shaky footage issue and you can literally shoot these videos anywhere. No need to worry about what’s in the background anymore.
This is especially important if there’s a lot of post-production work needed. You will be better off by having someone else do it for you while you spend time on actually creating more content for your business.
Tip #4 Target a platform
One mistake that we’ve seen many businesses do is to simply take the same video and throw it on all social media platforms. While that will probably get you some results, it is definitely not the optimal way of handling it.
And it’s not just us saying that. Mark McMaster said in the same presentation cited above that 44% of the campaigns they analyzed were not optimized for the platform they run on. And when we say platform we pretty much refer to just YouTube and Facebook as these two giants take up 86% of all online video view (not taking into account Instagram views which runs through Facebook ads too).
YouTube works like a search engine and people go to YouTube to get answers to specific questions, watch how-to videos, product reviews, and tutorials and so on and so forth. The content they want to watch is informational or educational most of the times. So if you plan on running your campaign on YouTube keep that in mind and make your videos more informational and maybe a little bit less funny.
Facebook, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. There is no intent based. The majority of people go on Facebook so simply distract themselves from work and just to chill. They connect with their friends, and they enjoy watching funny videos or pictures. And that’s what you need to keep in mind if you’re targeting Facebook.
So if the goal of your campaign is to laser target women looking to buy mascara products for example, then YouTube is great for that. But if you want to go after a broad audience, such as women interested in the beauty industry, because you want them to know about your company or your product, that’s what Facebook is great for.
Yes, filming and editing two videos instead of just one will probably cost twice as much, but if you set up your campaign right, the ROI will be better in the end.
Tip #5 Keep it short
When we are online our attention span is just 3 to 5 seconds. That’s it! So you literally have just a few seconds to grab people’s attention before they are gone. No time for fluff. Your video needs to be short and to the point.
The opening scenes should be intriguing, super funny or even shocking (if that works or your brand), and keep the viewer watching.
There are no specific guidelines in terms of how long a video should be exactly, but generally speaking, YouTube videos used for commercial/advertising purposes should not surpass the 2-minute mark. On Facebook, you’re looking at 60 to 90 seconds tops. Obviously, if you plan on running your video through Instagram as well, you’ll need to keep it under 60 seconds – the maximum duration allowed by the platform.
Using a snappy, fast-paced video editing style is a quick and effective trick to help you keep the duration down. On top of that, this type of videos tends to get more views and perform better overall.
Tip #6 Use copy pull-outs
Given the fact the 85% of all Facebook videos are played with no sound, getting your message “heard” becomes an issue, if you are relying on audio. Of course, you can always use CC or subtitles, but that’s so last year.
What you can do instead is to add catchy and highly animated copy pull-outs. The purpose of these is to get your message across in an engaging way even when there’s no sound.
As opposed to subtitles, copy pull-outs will not be a full transcript of your video. Instead, copy pull-outs will be just summary of the voice-over, a bunch of keywords that are enough to make the viewer understand what the video is about if there’s no audio playing. And when they turn on the audio, the text overlays should complement the audio message nicely.
There are plenty of video editing tools which allow you to add copy pull-outs, but one that really stands out from the crowd is Adobe After Effects. So if you want to get your feet wet with video editing you should definitely give it a try. It looks a bit intimidating at first but you’ll get used to it quickly.
Tip #7 Optimize for all screens
Since 51% of all video views are coming from mobile devices now, you want to make sure your videos are easy to watch regardless of the device. There are a few tricks you can easily implement right away in order to do that.
First and foremost, use big and bold, easy to read text. There’s nothing more annoying than struggling to read small text. In fact, we know this from this study over here that the typography in general and font size, in particular, has a great impact on web pages bounce rate. In kind of works the same way for videos as well.
If you are doing a product review make sure to include plenty of close-up shots. The basics of cinematography or filmmaking teach us that a combination of wide, medium and tight shots works best for keeping the viewer’s interest and attention on the subject.
The same principle applies to small screens, but including more tight, close-up shots of your product (especially of the features that are more important) will be beneficial. You can easily handle this in the video editing stage provided that you have plenty of close-up footage.
Lastly but not least don’t use those cinematic bars you see at the top and at the end of the video. These work great on big screens, but on mobile take away precious space and don’t really being any added value to the video.
And that’s pretty much all there is to it. Just make sure to get the storyline right, have something funny or emotional that will click with the viewers and be totally transparent and honest with them.
Avoid the standard sales pitch and try to add value to your brand with your videos. Remember to make the video really snappy and catchy right from the beginning, keep it short and you should be good.