10 Actionable Tips to Make Your First Video Marketing Campaign A Success

Maybe you've already read a lot about video marketing, or maybe you're starting from scratch. Regardless, there's a lot of information and advice out there. What advice do you really need to follow? How can you make sure your first video marketing campaign is a success? If you only follow a single article, this should be the one. Here are 10 actionable tips to make your first video marketing campaign a success.

1. Make Each of Your Videos a Story

100 million users watch an online video every day. Videos are engaging not because they present facts or information, but rather because they reach out to your audience on a deep, empathic level. Don't just tell your audience statistics: give them a story about your company, your products, and your customers. Show what your business and brand means to you.

An excellent example of this is the Thai insurance commercial campaign. Thai insurance commercials are shared around the globe because they provoke an incredible array of emotions: sadness, despair, happiness, and hope. These commercials go beyond insurance -- they enter into the realm of human empathy. They show that the company is about more than just selling their product, that the company truly understands what it's like to be a father, a mother, a child, a friend, or a romantic partner.

No one will remember most insurance commercials. They will remember these because of the artistry of their story.

2. Take Advantage of Paid Advertising

You don't want to blow thousands of dollars advertising your first video marketing campaign... but you want to spend some money. There's no point in spending thousands of dollars creating a video and nothing promoting it. Paid advertising is still very effective, both in the form of PPC campaigns and promoted social media posts.

PPC campaigns can direct an audience to your videos through search engine traffic. If you're looking to create a large push for traffic, a PPC campaign can help. You can target PPC campaigns geographically and by demographic, interest, and hobbies.

Promoted posts on social media platforms operate similarly, but the posts are only promoted on the platform itself. These promoted post will be shown to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram users, in-line with other posts. This can be a great way to select a very specific audience.

3. Work on a Great Call to Action

What do you want your customers to do after they view your video? Are you trying to get them to like and subscribe? Or are you trying to get them to make a purchase? Would you rather they contact you now? Or do you want them to read more information about your product?

A call to action tells your customers what to do next. Without a solid call to action, your customers will see a great video, shrug, and then move on with their lives. You want to make sure your customers know what to do next -- and that they know why they should do it. That's why a good call to action also includes a value proposition. It isn't "Click on like and subscribe!" it's "For more great information like this, click on like and subscribe!"

Tell your customer what they're going to get in exchange for their time and effort, and remember that your call to action has to be appropriate to the level of content you're providing. If you're providing top of the funnel content -- content to only vaguely interested customers -- your call to action is going to be very different from the call to action you'll provide to bottom of the funnel customers -- customers that are about ready to commit.

Top of the funnel content builds trust and encourages customers to interact more with your brand. This is very general content: content that would be interesting to those who could later be interested in your product. Bottom of the funnel content is specific information about your brand, your products, and your services. Not only is the content different, but the call to action is, too.

4. Focus on the First 15 Seconds

Online video viewers quit within the first 30 seconds. But that's not all. Consider traditional commercial advertising. Most commercials are either 15 to 30 seconds, and there's a reason for that: most people aren't going to view a video for longer than that. Your videos should be short and sweet, and even if they are longer than that, they need to pack their most important information within the first 15 seconds. Don't lead up to something interesting. Grab them immediately.

Viewers can be on board for much longer than 15 seconds or 30 seconds. They can watch videos that are hours long. But they need to know why they should continue viewing, and that begins with a compelling introduction. Don't waste your time with an image of your logo or a lengthy, repeated introduction. Launch directly into the meat of your video with something compelling, interesting, and fun.

The first 15 seconds of your video needs to be the best 15 seconds from your video -- and from there, you should still work on making the video as concise and compelling as you can. You want anything extraneous to be cut out. The modern audience has a short attention span, for a reason: their time is at a premium. Most people simply don't have the time to focus on a video for longer than a few minutes at a time: they're working, taking care of their family, and trying to fit their hobbies in.

5. Share Your Videos on Social Media

Social media is by far the best venue to share video marketing today. Not only do you want to share your videos on YouTube -- the largest video platform -- but you also want to share links to them through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any other social media venue that your company interacts with. Your audiences on each of these platforms are going to vary, with each social media platform catering to slightly different demographics. By sharing your videos on all of these different venues, you reach out to different audience demographics.

You also increase the chances that your videos are going to be shared and interacted with. Video that go "viral" can expand your marketing reach significantly, but there's no real way of ensuring that something goes viral -- large corporations have tried in the past and failed miserably. It requires that you strike a chord at the right time, which often happens due to timing and exposure. If you put out enough content, you'll eventually have a post that goes "viral" to some degree -- but that means that you need to keep putting out high quality content, and that you need to be consistent at it.

Every platform is a little different. Before sharing your videos on social media, you also need to build up your credibility and your follower count. Some platforms, such as Instagram, make it easier to get likes and follows from people you don't interact with. Other platforms, such as Facebook, make it harder for your posts to be seen organically unless you promote them and directly connect with your followers.

6. Improve the Interactivity of Your Videos

Today's videos utilize more and more 3D, 360, virtual reality, and augmented reality. They include polls, mini-games, and more. There's a reason why many news sites have transitioned towards interactive articles: articles that "unfold" in front of the user's eyes. Consider the Washington Post's widely shared feature, "Scaling Everest." This infographic article was, in many ways, ahead of its time, letting readers interact with the article as they read it.

Your audience is more likely to retain information if they interact with it. If they can click on something in your video, respond to a comment, or answer a poll, they are likely to remember your brand. People enjoy adding their own thoughts: they want to be heard. And they want to know that your company is listening.

On the technical side, new technology makes it easier than ever to create 360 videos and 3D videos. Even if you don't want to go that far, you can still produce live videos and interact in real-time with your audience. In the area of video marketing, every little bit helps.

7. Make Your Videos Entertaining

This may sound like a given, but this means something very specific: don't make your videos dry. There is the temptation to create videos that are boring and corporate: videos that could not possibly be offensive or alienating to anyone. Unfortunately, when you do this, you create a video that is mediocre or forgettable. You want to have some personality: you want a unique voice to your videos. This is where your brand identity comes in.

Figure out what the hallmarks of your brand identity is. Is your brand identity witty? Sarcastic? Funny? Absurd? Whatever your brand identity is, that's what you need to push and promote. Eventually, you're going to build an audience that agrees with this brand identity. It is better to resonate strongly with an audience of 5,000 than to connect very weakly with an audience of 20,000. That weak, 20,000 audience isn't likely to commit; the 5,000 audience is.

It's all about your brand, your voice, and your identity. Take some time to outline the aspects of your brad that really make it special. What sets your brand apart from the competition? What is the personality of the people who initially started the brand? What was the mission of the brand when it first became a reality -- and how has that mission changed over time? All of these things are going to be important.

8. Maintain Your Brand Consistency

After you've established your brand, you need to make it consistent. This is important. Your brand has to remain the same in tone throughout all of your video marketing content. The same tone has to be included in the rest of your content marketing: social media posts, blog posts, and more. This consistent branding tells your customers what they should expect from you. If your branding isn't consistent, it will be dissonant. You may lose the customers you have because they aren't getting what they expected.

Think about how you can display your brand and its identity through your video. This is the reason why many brands have a single spokesperson who they feel epitomizes the feel of their brand. The spokesperson, in some aspects, becomes the brand. The audience connects with them and connects their positive feelings regarding them with the brand itself. Though this may seem like something complex, it doesn't have to be that hard. It can be something as simple as your logo, a jingle, and a type of music that is often played when your videos begin.

The "feel" of your videos generally needs to be the same, with consistent shooting techniques, video technology, and sound quality. The more consistent every aspect of your video is, the more your audience will be able to connect with it. A lot of marketing lie in giving your audience what they want, and what they want and what they expect -- in meeting their expectations and their needs.

9. Invest in Search Engine Optimization

Most people are familiar with "search engine optimization" as relates to Google or Bing. But there are other search engines at play here... such as the search engine in YouTube. When you post your videos to a social media platform, you're entering your videos into their own internal search engine. You need to make sure that your video can be found by users on that platform.

There are three major things you need to pay attention to: categories, tags, and titles.

Categories. Platforms like YouTube broadly categorize each post into a specific category, such as "Music" or "Computers." You need to make sure your video is in the right category, as many users may browse on a category by category basis. Being in the wrong category is going to drive your video down. People may click on it and then "bounce" off of it, which will tell the platform that your video is not relevant and shouldn't be promoted.

Tags. Many platforms today use tags, such as #gaming or #movies. These tags operate essentially as keywords; they are incredibly important. On Instagram, people can use dozens upon dozen of tags, as Instagram controls what you see on your feed primarily by tags. On Twitter, it's more polite to use just one or two, but the trending streams are still organized by tag -- making them very important.

Titles. Titles aren't just for users; in many search engines, the titles are given priority over tags. When titling something like a YouTube video, you want to make sure to add in your major keywords, as this is going to ensure that your video pops up when people search for a given subject. Of course, you also don't want to sacrifice readability when it comes to your optimization.

And, of course, it's important to note that SEO isn't the only way that your videos can be found. SEO works best when used with intelligent, carefully considered paid advertising -- as mentioned above.

10. Check Your Analytics

Analytic data is likely the most important aspect of a video marketing campaign. Your analytic data is going to tell you whether your marketing campaign is truly a success or whether you might be moving in the wrong direction. Analytic data will tell you what content you should be creating next (which videos are getting the most hits?) and which content you should avoid (which are getting the least hits?). It will tell you which marketing demographics you need to focus on, and which marketing demographics are most difficult to reach.

Each platform you distribute your video on will have is own metrics, but you can invest in a marketing platform that will take all of these metrics and combine them into a single comprehensive report. You need to be able to see how your videos are performing to know what you need to change. Often, this takes the form of split testing.

Split testing involves creating multiple versions of your advertising to see which performs better. Of course, with video marketing, you don't want to have to create multiple versions of each video. Instead, you create different types of video with different calls to action or different products. You then see which does better. Over time, your optimal strategies will emerge. You'll see what your audience likes and doesn't, and you'll be able to modify your strategy accordingly.

There's no one way to create a marketing campaign that's going to be successful for any business, and that's why testing is so important. A great deal of video marketing lies in finding out what works and what doesn't, and that means creating a comprehensive strategy that can push you towards the ideal marketing setup.

A video marketing campaign doesn't occur in a vacuum. Video campaigns evolve over time. Remember that your first campaign may be a little rough -- you'll be able to learn from it moving forward, and to build upon its success. The more content you put out -- and the more you interact with your audience -- the more successful you will be. You just need to pay attention to your analytics and keep performing your market research.

Article by Joe Forte, owner and producer at D-Mak Productions, a full service creative agency specializing in video production based in Phoenix, Arizona.
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