Ask any marketer what’s on his or her mind this year, and video will likely be at the top of the list. Last December alone, Americans watched over 50 billion online videos, and statistics show that landing pages incorporating video convert over 80% better than those without. According to Forbes, if given the choice between text and video, 59% of executives would choose to absorb information through video. All trends suggest that 2014 will be the year of video marketing.
A video on your homepage or landing pages is an easy win – when it comes to calls-to-action, what’s more compelling than a “play” button? Shoe e-tailer Zappos recently pointed out that video keeps viewers on your site for an average of five minutes longer than plain text, and video increases memory retention on your products by 28%.
But although demand for video content is certainly growing, marketers still struggle to use video effectively. And according to BIA/Kelsey, just 22% of US businesses plan to post a single video within the next year. Videos usually take a big investment (of time and money) – you might spend anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 on a quality piece. If you’re going to make that investment, you want the maximum number of eyes on your video, and you want it to be seen by potential customers in every stage of the funnel. Here’s how.
Boost Time on Site and Search Rankings With Your Blog
The cornerstone of any organization’s content marketing efforts is their blog. Whether you post well-crafted content developed in-house, or guest posts from industry leaders, quality blog content establishes your company as a thought leader in your space, and helps drive attention to your brand. When looking to repurpose your video content, blog posts are a great place to start.
Time-on-site is an important metric for measuring how engaged your readers are, and video is a powerful and easy way to increase this for your blog. If the average reader spends one minute on your plain-text blog, adding a two-minute video will keep readers around even longer.
Whole Foods Market regularly posts videos to “Whole Story,” their popular company blog. By posting a four-minute video, as shown below, they guarantee that anyone who watches the video until the end will spend at least four minutes on the site. Of course, this is where quality counts – if your video isn’t compelling, your audience will probably bounce.
Posting videos to your blog also allows you to incorporate video into your site map, meaning Google will include your videos in search results. This creates a compelling visual queue for readers who find your blog through search engines:
Here are four ideas for creating/repurposing video content for your blog:
- Break a recorded webinar into smaller, 2-3 minute videos and craft individual blog posts around each topic. On the one hand, your videos will keep readers engaged, and you can transcribe the video content with text to improve your search rank. On the other hand, your webinar has now built you a number of new blog posts – content re-use for the win!
- Interview thought leaders in your space, and craft blog content from the interviews. Chances are your team is attending conferences with some of the brightest minds in your industry. Reach out to see if you can interview them, and craft compelling video content for new blog posts.
- Include videos in new feature announcements. Nothing helps your customers and prospects understand your product better than video, and including explainer content in your announcements means people who are excited about your updates or new features can start viewing helpful content right away.
- Interview customers about how they are using your product. Every customer likes getting more attention to their brand, and this is your opportunity to make your customers into celebrities on your blog. Interview your clients about the problems they were facing, outline how your platform solved the problem, and put everything together into a compelling blog post.
Embed Video in Your Email Sends
Despite pundits repeatedly declaring its death over the past few years, few marketing tactics are as tried, true, and effective as email. A video on your website is compelling; a well-placed, timely, relevant video in your email send is irresistible.
That said, due to the wide variety of email clients used by your audience, you may find that embedding video content within emails is a challenge. If you can’t get it right, don’t bother — a video that won’t play is much worse than no video at all.
YouTube videos show in the footer of emails opened in Gmail, but both Gmail and Outlook block streaming for most embedded players. One popular workaround is to include a screenshot of the splash screen of your video, which then links to a video embedded on a landing page. This method offers two major benefits:
- Almost all email clients will load images, meaning your play button shows up loud and clear. Recent changes to Gmail and Google Apps email accounts mean that images are loaded by default, so your video image shows up for everyone who receives your email, not just those that click ‘show images’.
- Landing pages give you more opportunities to engage and convert. Having someone watch your video in their email is great, but what happens when the video is over? When a reader is sent directly to a landing page, you can offer him or her more content, prompt viewers to fill out forms, and track all of this data in your marketing automation platform. Landing pages are easy to set up, and you’ll have a clear picture of how viewers received your content from email open, to video view, to conversion.
If you don’t want to build a landing page, you can use this method to link to your video wherever it is hosted. Uber, a San Francisco-based taxi company, recently used this method to share a Valentine’s Day-themed video. When you click ‘play’ within your inbox, you’re taken to the video’s page on Vimeo:
According to Implix, adding video to your introductory email can increase the click-through rate by 96%. Selecting video content to share in your email campaigns depends on your overall marketing goals, but in general, you should limit video content to fun, educational, early-stage material.
Leverage Video on Social
2014 is already shaping up to be a big year for video in the social media space. Looking past Instagram and Vine, almost every social network is incorporating video into their feeds, and giving users more opportunities to share video with their followers.
While you don’t necessarily have to create custom content for your social initiatives, understanding what makes a video share-worthy is important:
- Length plays a big role. While you don’t have to limit yourselves to 6-seconds of Vine, there’s a reason the most shared videos aren’t terribly long. Take a cue from movie trailers and build short, compelling content.
- Know your audience. Talking head interviews may not be compelling to your Twitter audience, but splicing together key points into a short, 30 second retrospective video will give people the chance to consume your content on their own schedule, and hopefully share it with their followers as well.
- Have fun. Thinking of doing a holiday blog post? Showing off your team’s Halloween costumes? Record a quick video, and share it with your social community – social media is meant to be – well – social, and it’s a great place to show off your company culture while raising awareness about your brand.
When sharing your videos on social, make sure your videos will play in social streams. YouTube and Vidyard players can be played in-line from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, meaning your followers won’t have to leave their social stream to consume your content and are thereby more likely to view it in the first place. But if you do make viewers leave your social page to watch the video, you have the potential to collect more information, offer additional CTAs, or drive traffic to the site.
Here are two different videos posted to Marketo’s Facebook page. The video on the left is hosted on YouTube, so viewers can watch it from Marketo’s page. The video on the right redirects viewers to the event’s main page, increasing site traffic.
Closing The Gap
No matter what your content plans are, video has the unique ability to be compelling on almost any marketing channel. If you’re serious about adding video to your marketing toolkit this year, make sure you look at how your video will fit into every aspect of your marketing so you get the most exposure and the most value from your video assets.
Hosting your videos on YouTube is great if you are only counting views, but by incorporating video into email campaigns, blog posts, and social feeds, you can proactively increase those views. This also allows you to accurately track whether or not your video is driving business back to your site, and in turn, whether or not you’re turning viewers into customers.
To learn more about driving ROI with video marketing, join us tomorrow on Wednesday, February 26th for a joint webinar with Marketo and Vidyard: More Clicks, More Customers: Drive ROI with Video and Marketing Automation.