There is no doubt that video content is becoming increasingly key part of your content marketing plan. As a medium, it offers flexibility, a vast creative canvas, and is becoming cheaper to produce. However, with so many brands vying for those audience numbers, how do you stand out from the crowd?
Here are five ways to ensure your next video project ticks the right boxes, for you and your audience.
Do something that people will care about
What’s the goal of your video? To go viral, right?
Lots of people will claim that they can make a video “go viral”, and lots of clients go to agencies and ask for “a viral”, as if one can just be sold off the peg. The truth is, there is absolutely no guarantee that any content will go viral, and even less likely without an extremely aggressive media buying strategy being associated to it.
However, there are things you can do to improve your chances.
- Try and target as broad an audience as feasibly possible, and that includes the media. Look at how you can focus your content towards your audience, while also offering something that the media will want to redistribute because it works for their audience.
- Try and add an edge or a difference to your content, but remember that there is a fine line between edgy and controversial. Be bold, and drive attention, but don't go too far. Remember, you're trying to reach people with something original, creative and ultimately shareable.
- And release your content as part of a considered creative campaign, including a strategy for advertising and SEO. Just releasing your video and hoping for the best will work 0.1% of the time; every good idea deserves a little push.
Get the length right
There’s no blanket rule, but keep it to the point and don’t go on for any longer than necessary. Get the message across, in the most simple, visually appealing manner and allow the viewer to explore further, at their leisure.
As a general rule, marketing messages that go on for more than 60 seconds are too long, as are product or service reviews that go on for more than 90 – although there are, of course, exceptions to the rule.
If you are creating longer content (such as interviews, reviews, educational pieces or entertainment content) that will not fall within these chronological bounds, consider creating a series of videos or delivering multiple versions of this one piece, editing and presenting them as individual videos. This allows the viewer to break up their engagement and consume the information sporadically. This will increase the percentage of viewer engagement in your content, but will also increase the potential SEO benefit for your brand from each individual content piece.
Find the right location, and shoot it properly
The production value of your content is extremely important in ensuring your piece gets the engagement you deserve and retains this viewer connection throughout your message.
If you are planning on shooting regularly, it may be better to film most of your content locally, in your office, or (if you have the budget for it) a freely available local studio. This level of control and familiarity can help your camera crew and your performers settle into a rhythm when filming subsequent content pieces and it ensures that your content has a consistent backdrop and production value. If you need to localise your content geographically, don’t be afraid to use good stock footage as B roll. These cuts will help localise you and your message, building validity in you and your content.
If you are filming on location, remember to create a good shot list, prior to shoot day. This will help focus the production crew and ensure that you capture exactly what you need. In addition to your scripted shot list, try adding a secondary camera to capture location content and artistic cut sections - these will all help in the editing process.
Try using a mid-range DSLR to capture your video. Using a DSLR photographic camera (over a consumer camcorder or phone) has become common place in recent years as these cameras allow you to replace lenses, add accessories and configure a wide range of settings to offer a more creative and production friendly content pipeline. Couple this kit with a few additional accessories, such as a "constant lighting" rig, off-camera audio, and a good edit and post production colour grade, and you will be serving up great content in no time!
Host and distribute
So you have filmed, edited, colour corrected and rendered your masterpiece; now you are ready to upload and distribute.
Where to host your content can be a tricky decision, and one we have blogged about before. Local HTML / flash players offer lots of versatility and search-friendly rich snippets, but platforms like YouTube have the audience.
Most brands will go with YouTube at the very least, so let’s make sure we cover the basics on that.
Uploading your content to YouTube is easy, and the standard share functions are very simple, but dig a little deeper and you will find a full gamut of advanced embed and creative customisation functionality, all designed to help your content be as visible as possible.
Make sure that you add as much content and information as you possibly can. This includes:
- Adding custom thumbnails
- Optimised and accurate title and description content
- Creating annotations and closed captions
- Using effective seeding tags, and custom group / channel inclusion
- Custom / channel and profile branding
These will all help your content reach the largest possible audience, so this checklist should be at the heart of any campaign strategy.
Measure the success
Most hosting services offer a wide range of monitoring and analytical tools, specifically designed to demonstrate the success of your content through various metrics. Such as:
- Number of views (how many people watched your content)
- Number of loads (how many people loaded your post / page / or video)
- Viewer demographics (who is watching your video, this will be more effective with social connections, but can offer basic age, gender, and social connection data).
- Traffic source (where your viewers are geographically located)
- Device source (what are viewers using to watch your content? – laptops, tablets, mobile phones)
- Viewer engagement levels (how much of your video are viewers watching, if they are falling off at 32 secs, why is this, and how can we improve this?)
These are highly effective tools for understanding how your viewers are reacting to your content, where you are engaging well, and what your viewers want from your future productions.
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