Video is one of the most versatile formats out there. With so many styles to choose from, you’ll always have room for creativity and innovation to send your message, no matter if you want to promote your new brand, launch a new product, or make an instructional how-to video. You can make a classic whiteboard video, a cute animation with a compelling storyline or even a high-tech interactive video to showcase your services.
But, like any marketing tool, video also needs to be approached from a practical point of view. You’ve spent weeks or even months filming and editing this cool footage, and it’s a wonder to look at. So what do you need to do in order for people to actually see it and gain an interest in your business?
These 7 incredibly simple video marketing strategies will help you get more views and make sure your video receives the attention it deserves.
1. Optimize your videos
Depending on the platform where your video will be posted, you can follow some optimization strategies to make sure it gets enough visibility.
YouTube is owned by Google, which makes it the top platform where you should be uploading video content. Videos can generate quick SEO results, but first, you need to check that they’re optimized properly.
- Use the target keyword in the title to make sure it pops up when users search it
- Write a concise but relevant video description
- Use keywords as tags. Include the main target keyword, as well as several others derived from it.
- Add your video in a relevant category
After YouTube, Facebook is the most powerful platform for video marketing. With an incredible 2.32 billion active users, flexible ad options and now autoplay, Facebook can really connect you to your audience. Use these tricks to optimize your Facebook videos:
- Use the square video format (1:1 ratio) unique to mobile visitors. This format takes up more space on the newsfeed and generates more views.
- Use hashtags
- Make sure the text is large enough for mobile viewing. On silent feedback, with autoplay on, the text that the user sees needs to grab the attention, so use a bold font in a large size.
You’ve created the perfect corporate video. Don’t be afraid to send it out there! Sharing keeps the Internet alive and video is the format that goes viral most often. 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others, but you shouldn’t rely just on them to do that. To expand your outreach and ensure the video is seen by as many people as possible, you should have a sharing strategy as well:
- Share your video on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to connect with your audience. You can also use a tool such as Hootsuite to post the video on all networks at the same time.
- LinkedIn is a great option if you want to share your video in a professional network. As one of the first beta-testers of the platform, together with co-founder and CTO Jean-Luc Vaillant, I have found that the company’s profile, combined with LinkedIn groups, can expand a video’s reach considerably.
- Include them in newsletters
- Include videos in the personalized emails you send to your partners and clients
- If you made a video for a major event, such as the launch of a new product, you should also include on your website, either on the homepage or on a different landing page. This way, you can increase conversions by up to 80%.
- Embed your video in a blog post. For added value, expand the topic of the video in a long-form type post. The video + text combination is unbeatable, and long form content does increase your odds of ranking higher in search results.
In the best-case scenario, your video is discovered organically, as people browse the Web looking for a keyword that’s related to your business. However, this isn’t always possible. If your niche is too competitive or, the opposite, too specialized, it may take a long time until your video is found. Paid ads can help you gain more visibility and give you a good head start.
- Google Ads provide faster results than SEO and position your video in the top search results. You can even choose multiple keywords, set custom demographics from the AdWords panel and even select a time of day when your ad will be seen by users. Check out this in-depth guide on how to start an AdWords campaign from scratch.
- Facebook ads. If your company has an active social media presence (and it should!), Facebook ads are an opportunity you shouldn’t overlook. The main benefit of sponsored ads is that Facebook users see them in their newsfeed when they’re not actively looking for your brand. According to TechCrunch, average ad revenue per user in the US shot up 50% this year, so you should give them a go. To maximize profit, make sure you follow Facebook’s recommended video specs.
4. Create a cool thumbnail
When you upload your video to YouTube, you need to check that the thumbnail is just as interesting as the video itself. Think of the thumbnail as a book cover. You shouldn’t judge the video only based on it, but a great thumbnail sure helps you get more views when the video pops up in search results or in the Recommended feed.
Your thumbnail should be relevant for the video and you can follow these tips to get the audience excited:
- Use a close-up of a person to spark emotion. According to the YouTube Creator Playbook, thumbnails depicting a person are the most effective option.
- Use bright backgrounds and contrasting colors.
- Text is not the main element in thumbnails and you should only use it when necessary. If you do, include no more than six words in a large, bold font.
Of course, one cannot address the topic of YouTube thumbnails without talking about clickbait. Needless to say, as a brand, you should stay away from all the “cheap tricks” that generate lots of clicks, because this kind of approach doesn’t age well and doesn’t make a good impression on your business partners.
5. Use cards and end screens on YouTube
You’ve followed all these tricks and your YouTube video is gaining traction. That’s great!
But what’s next? Well, user interaction shouldn’t end after the user has finished watching your video. On the contrary, you should encourage them to check out your website, subscribe to your channel and continue the interaction.
On YouTube, you can do this easily with cards and end screens, which replaced annotations.
Choose a few related videos and link to them using the end cards. You can also use YouTube analytics to identify the videos with the highest video SEO potential (videos with high Audience Retention). Make sure you include a catchy teaser text and custom message to convince viewers to click.
For best results, you can also include a verbal cue, like a call to action encouraging viewers to check out other videos as well. This way, one watched video will lead to another and your channel will gain traction.
6. Optimize for silent playback
This strategy might sound weird, considering that sound is a key element in setting the mood. However, if you think of the way most people watch videos on Facebook, optimizing your video for silent feedback makes total sense. When most Facebook users scroll down their feeds, they usually keep the sound off and if a video starts, they rarely put on their headphones – in fact, up to 85% of users watch Facebook videos on silent and 80% have a negative reaction to videos that start with sound.
So, how do you make sure you draw the viewer’s attention without sound?
- Use engaging visuals
- Include bold text
- Include captions
7. Create brilliant, compelling video content
No cheat sheet here. No matter how many tips and tricks you use to generate more video views, none of them will be of any use in the long run if your video isn’t genuinely good.
By good we mean, first of all, a video that is executed flawlessly, using the latest video production techniques. Poorly rendered animations, bad sound quality, low quality video footage, a non-convincing script will drag down your marketing strategy, so make sure you entrust your project to the right team.
Secondly, a good video is one that brings value to its viewers. No matter what you are hoping to promote, the video should help the viewer in some way: teach them something new, entertain them, move them, or just help them understand a new concept. More on creating fantastic video content, here.
Last, but not least, you can always take inspiration from the latest viral video trends and include some elements that will attract viewers. This isn’t always possible, because viral trends have a short lifespan so you’ll need to move quickly, but, from time to time, this strategy can bring in a huge influx of views.