It is that time of year when budgets are submitted. New marketing plans are made. Is this the year your company will finally start using video or, if your company has already been using video, will it be the year that you start being strategic with your video? Only a small amount of companies are using video in a way to acquire and qualify leads to drive sales. There is still great opportunity for companies who choose to use videos strategically to stand out from the competition.
Here are 4 tips that will help you make better decisions with how to spend your online video budget.
- Keep your video short. – There is a lot of uncertainty as to what short means and there is no easy answer. It depends on your content and your target audience. To figure this out, it takes some testing. When you are getting started, a simple rule to follow is to look at where your video falls in the buying process. If this is the first video that your target audience will see from your company, it should be 30 – 90 seconds long. If you feel you have more to say than will fit into a 90 second video, create a series of videos. This is also a great way to qualify leads. The more people are interested in what you have to say, the more videos they will watch. If they choose not to watch those videos, they would have never watched your 10 minute video, either. Keeping videos short also shows that you respect your audience’s time. If the video is going to be used in the middle of your buying process, it can be longer, but longer doesn’t mean boring. We are seeing good engagement from videos that are over 10 minutes long if they are used properly in the right part of the selling process.
- Don’t break the rules if you don’t know the rules. – I saw it again recently. It was a company introduction video that broke the rules of good video production. They interviewed all of the principles of the company with the camera only showing the side of the people’s faces, similar to how you would shoot a mug shot. Not only was this unflattering for this ‘over 30’ group of people, but it made the audience uneasy and makes the company itself seem untrustworthy. What makes the company seem untrustworthy? It’s because the viewer can only see one of the speaker’s eyes while they are talking. Even on video we want to connect with people’s eyes. Both of them. Sure, this company may say, “Well, it is a new style!” The thing is, it isn’t a new style. Yes, it has its place, like in a horror movie, or when showing the bad guy for the first time in a film, to name a couple. You can’t ignore the psychology of an image, especially if you are trying to connect with someone for sales or marketing purposes. There is a time to break this rule, but if your goal is to build a relationship with the viewer, this is not the time to try it. If your goal is to look untrustworthy and amateur, then go for it.
- Don’t forget to post videos on Instagram. – Instagram recently passed Twitter in monthly traffic. The challenge is that Instagram only allows for 15 seconds of video, so in addition to creating great videos just for Instagram, you can also create shorter teaser versions of your longer videos and use Instagram to lead your audience to view the longer content on other websites. Please note that even though these are short videos, these videos should be strategic and not just something that is thrown together by the interns.
- Don’t be afraid to make friends. – When it comes to social media, you need to interact with your audience, hence the word “social”. Social video is no different. Your video content must continually be a part of the conversation, and if your goal is to get an ROI out of YouTube, you will need more than one video. YouTube recommends that, to start a YouTube page, you will need 8 pieces of content. Social media is a great place to start your conversation, but you need to lead your audience somewhere. Ideally, lead your audience to your website where they can watch more videos and then contact you to buy your product or service.
How will you use video in 2015? Feel free to share some tips and hints in the comments.