Video marketing is a medium that has been increasingly influential since 2016 and hit the top of marketing tactic lists in 2017. In 2018, marketers shifted from using video as a tactic to using it as a central driving content strategy. And in 2019, with 83% of marketing and advertising professionals saying that video content is becoming increasingly relevant in advertising, the business world is poised to leverage video across all external channels.
With 53% of consumers wanting to see companies release more video content in the future, I think we can all admit we’re well beyond the wooing phase with video, and we don’t need to spend more time convincing you why you should embrace video as a strategy.
Video makes your content stand out. Most content marketers I know are very good writers but aren’t good in front of the camera. They are good in text-based content which is highly competitive, but not video. Most good video content now is created by YouTubers in their bedroom. Plus, most of them are creating B2C content which leaves the B2B space wide open for video. – Stan Tan, Digital Marketing Specialist, Selby’s
Whether you’re already deploying video marketing, or you’re considering doing so, we’re here to provide you with nine best practices for how to level up your video content in the most effective and impactful ways.
1. Incorporate Video Into Other Content As Often As Possible
Making pithy, powerful video enhances content marketing by improving the credibility (people are more likely to know, like, and trust a message when they can see the person delivering it), improving usability (let’s face it, we are more likely to watch a short video vs. read a long post), and improving visibility. I love to educate clients about the power of video content as a search optimization tactic. When video content is housed on Vimeo or YouTube (or both), the video can be embedded into the blog post and get picked up in video searches on other sites (YouTube is owned by Google!).
I tell clients that with content marketing, you need to employ a “tell them, tell them what you told them, and tell them one more time” approach. Video can be used to enhance a traditional content marketing strategy by repurposing content already created into a video series that can get embedded into blog posts, added to the video section of Facebook, or included in emails and web pages. – Lorrie Thomas Ross, CEO, Web Marketing Therapy®
Video is just another way for your audience to experience your content. Some people don’t read blog posts on topics they’re interested in every day. However, those people may check YouTube multiple times a day for new content from the creators they subscribe to.
We use these two types of content in conjunction. The video informs the blog content and vice versa. We then link to the blog post from YouTube and embed the video in the blog post. – Greg Birch, Content Manager and Search Engine Marketing Specialist, Drop Ship Lifestyle
Your marketing content strategy encompasses the entirety of your inbound and conversion efforts, and as a result, you’re likely creating content across many different mediums. Blogs, emails, guest posts with backlinks, landing pages, podcasts, and any other content you have out in the world, it can all be improved with the inclusion of video to support your message.
I recommend adding videos to blog posts that are already getting a decent amount of traffic for a few reasons. First and foremost, it helps lower the bounce rate as you know that there are going to be people who prefer watching video tutorials instead of reading. Next, it also helps increase views and engagement on videos which is important because that can boost your rankings on YouTube. This strategy allows you to not only target specific keywords but also rank for both of them at the top of Google and YouTube. It’s a great way to get more views, leads, sales, and take up more overall real estate (so to speak) for your specific niche. – James Canzanella, Owner, Isolated Marketing Nights
Adding video to content not only drastically increases on-site engagement of the content, but also can be used to significantly bring down the costs of distribution, too.
We re-published old content with better video and images and saw the following results: decreased the content exit rate by 23%, increased average session duration of SERP visitors by 280%, and decreased Facebook ad CPC for that content by 70%. – Brad Smith, Founder and CEO, Codeless
We added video to our weekly podcast and noticed a number of key benefits for our content strategy. First of all, it’s enabled us to utilize this as part of our Youtube growth: our subscriber count is up 120% since we started; however, what this also means is that we can cut clips out of our main podcast and create snippets of information to use across multiple platforms, including our blog. For example, if we talk about a specific site or service for a few minutes during our longer podcast, we cut this portion of the podcast and use it as a standalone clip.
This has worked out amazingly for us! Engagement is up across the board where these clips are used; we can easily share them on social networks to attract people to our main content, and this has overall been a great way to complement our traditional content strategy without adding too much complexity by producing a whole set of clips. – Mark Webster, Co-Founder, Authority Hacker
We saw the power of video for the first time when a blog post with a video was picked up from a person on Reddit. It made it to the homepage and now has over 4,500,000 views. It continues to bring us traffic, revenue, and links, all because of one video. We have never seen this with just content, which is why whenever we put important pieces of content together, video is always included. – Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager, Moriarty’s Gem Art
Posting videos with no context or supporting links back to your website won’t provide the impact you’re looking for, so as marketing strategies become more holistically centered around video, it’s vital that we remember that video content should permeate and enhance other content.
Our favorite strategy has been to create videos on a topic and then embed those videos into our blog content, while also posting a link to the blog article in the YouTube video description.
This way our blog readers are introducing to our YouTube channel and our YouTube viewers are introduced to our written blog content! We’ve actually found that 80% of our YouTube video views come from our video embeds within our blog content.
I’ve also found that publishing frequency matters quite a bit. Once we began posting one video each week (starting in March), we saw our video impressions increase dramatically. – Meg Marrs, Founder, K9 of Mine
2. Create Intentional Content
So the first thing a brand has to do is decide what they want to accomplish. Do they want people to learn how to use their product? That’s an explainer video. Do they want to introduce a new product, or talk about how a product can help? That’s a product or testimonial video. Maybe they want to announce an event or create a blurb for social to draw people to their site. Clearly identifying the end goal will be a huge help in figuring out what type of content to create.
A second thing to keep in mind is that the video content should match the brand in as many ways as possible. It should share the same colors, fonts, look and feel, and attitude so that it can be seamlessly integrated into their website and social channels.
We always tell clients that the script is the foundation of every video. So the third thing a brand must do is be united among all stakeholders about the messaging that will be used in the video. The length of the video should be long enough to convey that message, but short enough to keep the attention of the viewer until the call to action. – Michael Hammond, Founder and Creative Director, Storyboard Media Group
Given that your goal is to fold video content into the core of your content strategy to support and be supported by other forms of advertising, the videos you shoot need to be carefully planned.
Conceptualize your goals before you make your video. Be clear, confident, and concise about the message you want to get across. Make the audience’s life easier by letting them know directly.
Don’t create video content just for the sake of creating it. Follow strategies that work, experiment, and study your audience thoroughly. Stay up to date with the video marketing trends and create a business narrative that is tailored to your audience’s needs. – Petros Klianis, SEO Executive, MintTwist
I don’t believe that there is one type of video that works best, it depends on the content marketing strategy and upon the audience. For a B2B marketing strategy, video might be used for thought leadership or case studies. For a B2C content marketing strategy, video can be used for brand building or entertainment. Instead, I think it’s better to think of video in the context of a funnel sequence, a funnel through awareness, consideration, and decision. Different types of video content will work best at each stage, rather than there being one best type, per se. – Oren Greenberg, On-Demand CMO, Kurve
What’s the goal of the video marketing campaign? Who is the target audience? What platforms are you targeting and what type of video will work best in the specific use case? Is the video aligned with the buyer’s journey? Where in your inbound marketing strategy is the video intended to be included and is it engaging and informing effectively in order to draw viewers to the next layer of your marketing strategy? Creating the right video for the job ensures the ROI you expect.
Videos should be created with the sales funnel and audience segments in mind. Videos for the awareness stage should be broad and informative. For the interest stage, videos should provide more detail about the company, product, or service. For the intent stage, videos should include product comparisons, demos, and reviews. For the purchase stage, videos should focus on product or service setup and maintenance (training and support). Videos should also be designed for specific audiences, like buyers or decision-makers vs. influencers, or by geographic/demographic or behavioral differences when possible. – Kent Lewis, President and Founder, Anvil Media
First, you should determine your content goal before choosing a method—if you are a digital marketer, you can leverage videos through webinars and eLearning courses. Video reviews are perfect for affiliate marketers while blogs with home improvement niches can use videos to demonstrate tutorials. Home improvement brands are mainly benefitting from video content with learning materials such as how-to videos visually demonstrating their written content. – Mason Culligan, Founder and CEO, Mattress Battle Inc.
3. Don’t Go For the Hard Sell, Storytell
Video allows for an experience of showing, not telling. Furthermore, it encourages showing, not selling. No matter what you’re selling—product or service—video needs to be in your content marketing. It will massively enhance the results of your marketing efforts. – Nora Harding, Social Media Manager, Purplegator
Remember this: people bond with people they feel a connection to. Your videos, when done well, should make them know, like, and trust you. – Jonathan Sprinkles, Founder, The Connection Lab
Your videos should have a narrative beyond, “buy my product!” While it doesn’t have to have the production value or deep story of an award-winning film, it should have the basics of a dramatic narrative structure, show how your product can help solve potential customers’ problems and overall leave the viewer feeling as if they’ve had a glimpse into how your product could impact their lives.
A video that is less than 3 minutes gets consumed more on social media, and a video with subtitles will get a higher conversion rate as 85% of Facebook will watch videos with the sound off, so it’s good to bear that in mind. Always create your videos using the hook, story, and offer structure. Hook your viewers in with a catchy sentence that explains the pain, give the context of your video, and then explain your offer at the end. If you are creating educational or value-adding videos, then make sure every single video has a call to action. – Naomi Hyett, Co-Founder, Expert Unleashed
4. Push Play on Trust and Emotions
Connected to storytelling, but deserving of its own callout, video marketing works best when it elicits an emotional response from the viewer. Emotion is a significant driver of brand adoption, with studies showing consumers to be more than eight times more likely to trust a brand they have an emotional connection with, and seven times more likely to make a purchase based on this connection.
People need to feel a connection to the ads before they will interact with a brand. We are bombarded each day with so many things that try to capture our attention. Video is a great medium to get noticed and to get your story out in the world.
Traditional content marketing is static. People are impatient and don’t want to read through a wall of text to get an answer. Have you ever looked up a recipe only to have to scroll eight paragraphs between the ingredient list to the steps? It’s so annoying.
Adding a video to your blog allows viewers to access another way to consume information, even if the video is just a summary of the blog post below. Well-delivered video content can engage an audience and create trust. On-camera delivery is a great way to create a connection with viewers, but you have only three seconds to capture their attention before they swipe onto the next thing. Creating curiosity and giving value in the first few seconds is crucial. – Beth Menduni, Owner, Mkg Dept
Emotional connection is an integral piece of the modern customer journey and should be a heavily leveraged component in any marketing tool you might release.
The advantage of video marketing vs. text-based marketing is that it allows you to brand yourself and connect with your audience on a more personal level. The key to content video marketing is to make sure that it feels genuine and that you are in the video. This is so the viewer can see your face/hear your voice to help deepen the relationship and portray yourself as the leader in the industry. – Deanna Robinson, CEO, Social Impression
A great video can create a strong first impression, bringing your brand to the front of your audience’s mind and positioning your product as the go-to. A video that stands out can help viewers to associate an item with your brand, like how most of us associate cotton swabs and Q-tips. – Andre Oentoro, Founder, BreadNBeyond
5. Create Video Content That Can Be Found
Since YouTube is owned by Google, we’ve found that by creating mid-to-high funnel videos that are relevant to your audience, you can often rank on the first page organically instead of buying ads. Last year, our in-house video content attracted over 1.6 million views for a fraction of what other marketing strategies would have cost. – Matthew Ross, Co-founder and COO, The Slumber Yard
Check whether video occupies a significant place in the SERPs for keywords you’re targeting so you can choose which content should include it. Perform a search on Google for some keywords in your industry and see which queries in the first 10 results use video content. Give priority to search terms that already have content positioned on Google with video as it means that Google understands that video is important for this content. – Erico Franco, Inbound Marketing Manager, Gravity
Search engine optimization isn’t exclusive to blogs and static content pages. Marketing staff can easily incorporate keyword and competitive research into their video production process to ensure they will appear in targeted search engine queries.
Video is becoming increasingly visible on search engine results pages (SERPs). Top video results are often prominently displayed on SERPs. In some cases, a video snippet is the top result, as Google is now capable of highlighting a specific portion of a YouTube video if it thinks that video best answers the query searched. One strategy we’ve had success with is creating YouTube videos that are highly competitive and oversaturated on Google, but hardly touched on YouTube. This way, we can cut the line in a sense. Google is looking to index high-quality video content, and we’re able to provide it. – David Lynch, Content Lead, Payette Forward, Inc.
We’ve found that the best way to incorporate video into our content strategy is to use video to answer questions—preferably with shorter videos that are straight to the point and answer the question quickly.
Often the best way to start knowing what questions you should answer with videos is to jump on Google and start searching questions around your industry. If a video pops up as a result, it’s likely that Google deems a video the best way to answer that question, so you could follow suit and try to create a better video than the current results.
We keep our videos very simple so we can produce lots of them, and really that’s all you need. Too many businesses worry about production and over-the-top effects, but as long as your video is helpful, it really doesn’t matter if it looks fancy. Some of the most helpful and insightful videos ever made were recorded on a smartphone. – Sam Williamson, Owner, CBDiablo
Similarly, videos can include a transcription so that your intentionally key-word rich video dialogue becomes easily searchable and can appear in query results. Finally, video marketing can help you rank on more search engines than just Google! Appearing for searches on YouTube and Vimeo can help promote your business to a completely new group of users.
One of the best ways to make use of video as a content marketing tool is to create videos and optimize them for a specific keyword. For example, we created a video for the keyword “social proof” and uploaded it on YouTube, and it slowly started ranking on Google. We got some clicks that turned into free trials and eventually into paid customers. It can be pretty easy to do if you base your videos on your written content that is already performing well. – Nadiia Shevelieva, CMO, crowdy.ai
6. Shoot for Mobile, Scale for Other Platforms
With streaming video expected to account for about 78% of mobile data traffic in 2019, it’s vital for video marketing creators to adopt the mobile-first design approach website and application developers have already embraced in recent years. Filming content that is easily consumable on small, mobile screens, invites engagement where users are already naturally engaging with your brand. Content that easily resizes to larger screens ensures as users transition across devices, they’ll continue to share and engage with your content.
While video ads and the Google Display Network will continue to be popular ways for companies to reach global audiences, live streaming, and vertical video specifically, will arguably rise to the top as people consume more content from social media than other sources. Using live streaming means consumers will get an inside look at the companies they are purchasing from. It’s no secret that consumers want to feel good about their purchases, and increasing transparency is a great way to bridge the gap between the business and the consumer. Nevertheless, vertical videos have a 90% higher completion rate compared to horizontal content, so while marketers agree that video is king, not all video is created equally. – Nate Masterson, CMO, Maple Holistics
7. Actionable Invitations
People consume content and interact with each other differently across each digital platform—YouTube, Instagram, Snap, TikTok, etc. Brands are most successful when they embrace these differences and develop videos that lean into the unique user expectations and creative constraints of each platform. This may sound like a big undertaking, but brands can efficiently and affordably move between platforms by making small adjustments to their content like using calls to action that are native to the platform that the video is showing on (e.g. Swipe Up on IG). – Carly Potock, Co-Founder, Canvas+Co
Time and budget invested in marketing material are wasted on content that doesn’t lead your customers to take the next step. All video content should include a call to action providing direction on what a viewer’s next step should be, whether it’s to explore a product page, learn more about your services, or make a purchase. This can be accomplished as part of the script, with interactivity in the video through its native platform, or including your call to action with hyperlinks in the video description.
You need to create a process-level value proposition for why people should watch the video. Some companies just embed the video on their site with just a thumbnail. Your website visitors won’t know what value is in the video from just seeing a thumbnail, that value is hidden behind a click—an action they won’t take if they don’t understand the value.
So we make sure to write a summary article around the video, including timestamps to specific parts of the video for busy visitors. If people are unsure if it’s worth watching the video, they can scan through the text first to understand what value they will receive from watching. – Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Content and Marketing, MarketingSherpa
LinkedIn and Facebook both now offer native videos that automatically play in the browser as people are scrolling. According to Facebook’s user behavior studies, people gaze 5X longer at video than at static posts. Plus, Facebook native videos get 478% more shares than videos from other sources. That is a lot of engagement!
The best videos are natural and conversational—real people solving real problems. Don’t overthink it. On Facebook, 85% of users watch videos with the sound off. That means it is critical to have captions, callouts, and headlines overlaid on your videos so people see your message. – Ryan Kovach, CEO, Freezy Sites
8. The Right Length for the Job
There is some question as to whether the human attention span has truly decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since 2000. Marketing professionals do agree, though, that with multiple outlets constantly vying for our attention, it is becoming more of a challenge to capture consumer attention when it comes to marketing. There is support showing that of various sources of content, video is the one that they consume the most thoroughly, with 62% of people saying they consume video in full rather than skimming the content. It becomes important then to match the length of your marketing video to the platform where it will be consumed and the layer of your inbound marketing strategy it’s placed at so that it’s geared towards the habits and trends of users on that platform and customers at that level of their journey with your brand.
When it comes to using video as a way to supplement your strategies, don’t just treat it like any other piece of content. Video is its own beast, and you need something relatively short (I’d say about 10 minutes at most) that’s laser-focused on one thing. – Dan Bailey, President, WikiLawn
Our approach is capturing how-to or X tips for Y style videos in a minute or less. This short time span is perfect for social media sharing.
For example, someone is scrolling on LinkedIn and as soon as they pass our video, it immediately starts playing. They notice the video is only one-minute long and think, “Hey, I’ve got a minute to spare.” Boom! These visitors are now more aware of us and our services than they were before.
The proof is in the analytics. When we post a video on LinkedIn it performs 5X to 10X better than that of a static image and linking to a blog post on our website. To put this in perspective, a static image on LinkedIn will serve anywhere from 50-100 impressions max. Our videos, on the other hand, will start with 500 impressions and grow to 1,000 within a month of being on LinkedIn.
Why does this work? Social media users are very used to scrolling past content that does not intrigue them within the first few seconds. However, when uploading a video on LinkedIn, the video starts playing as soon as someone scrolls past it.
Video content breaks up the mundane, static images or plain-text statuses that everyone else is posting. Social media followers are more likely to stop and watch a short informational video because it’s different than the other content they are used to seeing. – Emily Carroll, Marketing Coordinator, Drive Research
9. Data-Driven Conversions and Engagement
Ultimately, using video as a part of content marketing strategy is about trial and error. What works well for one business might fall flat for another. If you’re going to try something new strategically with video, it’s always a good idea to dip your toes into the water a little at first and see if your hunches prove true. Video creation can be a highly technical and expensive investment, so finding a production and cost baseline that makes sense for the resources you have available is a solid plan of action. – Kris Hughes, Senior Content Creator, Gembah
If you took the time to incorporate every best practice we’ve talked about so far, but you didn’t study the data generated by the resulting marketing videos, you’ll have been wasting your time and advertising budget. Modern marketing tools allow you to dial deep into the analytics of your marketing campaign to track where leads originate, how your videos are leading to conversions, and insight into where you should focus future video efforts.
What many brands miss out on is how well videos can positively impact SEO, especially regarding engagement metrics.
I experimented by embedding an informational video on a client’s service page in November 2018 and found that within just a few months, the sessions almost doubled, there were many more new visitors to that specific page, average session duration increased by 30%, and the bounce rate halved.
Now, what does this mean? It means that the reach increased massively, and users were more engaged because of the YouTube video embed. The numbers don’t lie! – Itamar Blauer, SEO and Video Marketing Professional
On and off-site video marketing can majorly enhance engagement, dwell-time, and SEO. Here’s one example:
We had a SaaS client with a popular product. Their product training videos were housed inside a password-protected area on their site. They had literally hundreds of hours of walkthroughs and tutorials. After advising them to move the pages to the public-facing site, the traffic dwell time immediately went from about 1 minute on-site to just under 4 minutes. Within 8 weeks the site started to rank in the top 3 for its main keyword with over 250K unique searches per month.
The stickiness video provides for SEO is unparalleled. If you’re not using video on-site, you should be! – Nate Nead, Principal, SEO.co
Leveraging Video for Success in Your Content Strategy
Regardless of where you might be in the process of integrating video into your organization’s content marketing strategy, you can’t deny that video must play a role in order for your strategy to be successful. Follow our roadmap for effectively leveraging video content, dig into the data your videos generate, and consistently update your content to attract and convert the right clients to your brand.