YouTube is the second most popular search engine so it is no surprise that it’s a top resource for people seeking information or entertainment. With more than 1 billion unique users each month, it makes sense for businesses to spend some time there as well.
Businesses who ignore video and do not include it in their overall marketing strategy are missing out on a potentially large audience. Even smaller businesses with a tiny budget can use this medium. Costs to create video are low and technical expertise is not necessarily required to create a successful video. If you are ready to begin marketing with videos, work through the below questions as you decide what it is you want to share.
Who is your audience?
It really isn’t “everyone”. Is what you are creating something your target market would even want to watch? You can determine what interests your audience by reviewing data from your other channels.
Are product demos popular on your website? If so, make sure you spend time showing prospects how to use your product in videos you create. Is the “tips and tricks” section of your email newsletter the most popular thing with readers? It could be that your audience really appreciates suggestions on productivity and would be drawn to videos that help them do everyday tasks a bit better.
What is your story?
The lead for your video should be a story rather than what you sell in order to pull people in. Most people are trained to tune out when someone goes straight to selling. You can avoid this if you step away from the thought process of developing a traditional commercial.
You will have better results if you are entertaining or providing insight on a problem many people want to solve. There is still a place to talk about your business when you can demonstrate you are an expert about something. But saying “I have the solution” isn’t enough. Make sure your video really tells the story of how you can help.
What is the format?
One size does not fit all. You can try a mix of video types: customer testimonials, excerpts from speaking engagements, webinars, product demos and whatever else you can think of. It keeps it interesting for viewers if you are presenting information in different formats. They will be more likely to come back to see what you have next.
Can you demonstrate your product or service?
Telling may not be enough. Is there a way you can demonstrate how your product or service solves a problem? It could be computer animation or a real person showing what the product can do. The “Will it Blend?” videos by Blendtec are entertaining and easily show how powerful the blender is through their demonstrations.
Who is doing the talking?
It is great if you have clients who can speak on your behalf. If you don’t have these relationships, start working on them now so you have natural sounding speakers who can evangelize for you. The most knowledgeable staff person in your company is not always the best person to talk about a product or service. You want someone who is engaging and comfortable with public speaking.
How long will it be?
Time spans are limited on the internet. Engagement can drop after only 30 seconds. If you have a longer video you want to create, find breakpoints in the original video and present it as a series – Part I, Part II, etc… so you can keep the user’s attention for the entire clip.
Does it fit with your brand?
Everybody appreciates humor, but you should not go with silly caricatures if you are a suit and tie type of business. That approach goes against your brand as a whole and can dilute other messages. Remember your company’s overall tone when you develop the video.
Did you pay attention to SEO?
Use keywords and descriptions that explain what your video is about and take advantage of appropriate keywords. Stay away from any internal lingo and go with general terms the majority of people are likely to know.
Take the steps to link your Google Plus profile to your YouTube account to further increase your chances of appearing in the search results.
Where will you promote it?
Do not forget your other social media channels and use those to promote your videos. You want to make it easy for people to find and share your content.
What is the call to action?
What you don’t want is for people to view the video and go about their day. Is there a way you can keep the conversation going? You can invite them to subscribe to your YouTube channel or visit a specific page on your website for more information. YouTube annotations are one way to point people to the next step. The call-to-action can also be mentioned by the speaker at the end of the video.
If you keep this checklist handy when you get ready to create and launch your YouTube videos, you’ll find your chances of success are much higher than simply throwing something out there.