A Short Guide to Video Marketing for B2B
Video is no longer just one piece of your overall marketing plan. It's central to your outreach and campaign efforts.
Video marketing is using videos to promote and market your product or service, increase engagement on your digital and social channels, educate your consumers and customers, and reach your audience with a new medium. I recently created a video series. ROI, convertions and performance were great. Here something I learnt the last couple of months.
Video is no longer just one piece of your overall marketing plan. It’s central to your outreach and campaign efforts … especially your social strategy. Video marketing has become very important on every platform and channel. Video production is more cost-effective than ever — you can shoot in high-quality, 4K video with your smartphone.
According to a report from HubSpot Research, more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands … more than any other type of content.
The 10 Types of Marketing Videos
Before you begin filming, you first need to determine the type of video(s) you want to create. Check out this list to better understand your options.
1. Demo Videos
Demo videos showcase how your product works — whether that’s taking viewers on a tour of your software and how it can be used or unboxing and putting a physical product to the test.
2. Brand Videos
Brand videos are typically created as a part of a larger advertising campaign, showcasing the company’s high-level vision, mission, or products and services. The goal of brand videos is to build awareness around your company and to intrigue and attract your target audience.
3. Event Videos
Is your business hosting a conference, round table discussion, fundraiser, or another type of event? Produce a highlight reel or release interesting interviews and presentations from the gathering.
4. Expert / Educational Videos
Videos with internal experts or thought leaders in your industry is a great way to build trust and authority with your target audience. Find the influencers in your industry — whether they share your point-of-view or not — get these discussions in front of your audience.
5. How-To Videos
Instructional videos can be used to teach your audience something new or build the foundational knowledge they’ll need to better understand your business and solutions. These videos can also be used by your sales and service teams as they work with customers.
6. Explainer Videos
This type of video is used to help your audience better understand why they need your product or service. Many explainer videos focus on a fictional journey of the company’s core buyer persona who is struggling with a problem. This person overcomes the issue by adopting or buying the business’s solution.
7. Animated Videos
Animated videos can be a great format for hard-to-grasp concepts that need strong visuals or to explain an abstract service or product.
8. Case Study and Customer Testimonial Videos
Your prospects want to know that your product can (and will) solve their specific problem. One of the best ways to prove this is by creating case study videos that feature your satisfied, loyal customers. These folks are your best advocates. Get them on-camera describing their challenges and how your company helped solve them.
9. Live Videos
Live video gives your viewers a special, behind-the-scenes look at your company. It also draws longer streams and higher engagement rates — viewers spend up to 8.1x longer with live video than with video-on-demand. Live-stream interviews, presentations, and events, and encourage viewers to comment with questions.
10. 360° & Virtual/Augmented Reality Videos
With 360° videos, viewers “scroll” around to see content from every angle — as if they were physically standing within the content. This spherical video style allows viewers to experience a location or event, such as exploring Antarctica or meeting a hammerhead shark. Virtual reality (VR) allows viewers to navigate and control their experience. These videos are usually viewed through devices such as Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard. In Augmented Reality (AR) video, a digital layer is added to what you are currently viewing in the world. For example, you can point your phone’s camera at your living room and AR would allow you to see how a couch would look in the space. The IKEA Place app is a great example of this.
How to Make a Video for Your Business
1. Planning Your Video
Before you set up, record, or edit anything, start with a conversation about the purpose of your video. Why? Every decision made during the video creation process will point back to your video’s purpose and what action you’d like your audience to complete after watching it. And, of course, without a clear purpose agreed upon by your team, you’ll find yourself in a whirlwind of re-shooting, re-framing, editing … and wasting a lot of precious time. There are typically a lot of players when making a video. How can you ensure they’re all aligned? Create a questionnaire using Google Forms or SurveyMonkey and pass it along to the stakeholders of the project. This way, you can ask the same questions of everyone and aggregate your answers in one place.
- Who’s your target audience? What buyer persona are you targeting? This may be a segment of your company’s typical buyer persona.
- What’s the goal? Is it to increase brand awareness? Sell more event tickets? Launch a new product? Ultimately, what do you want your audience to do after watching the video?
- Where’s the video going to live? On Facebook? Behind a landing page form? You should begin with one target location — where you know your audience will discover the video — before repurposing it for other channels.
- When’s it due? Always start with a timeline. A video on which you have a few months to work will have very a different budget and creative scope than a video needed in a few days.
- What’s the budget? Video can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be … if you set a budget. Do your research and set realistic parameters, especially before you answer the next question.
- What are the creative requirements? With your budget, skills, and resources in mind, think about the creative roadblocks that might arise. Do you need a designer to create lower third graphics? Are you going to create an animated video or a live-action video?
- What will constitute success for the video? Choose several key performance indicators that correspond with your video goals — or hop down to the chapter in this guide on measuring and analysing video.
2. Scripting Your Video
There’s a time and place for videos to be off-the-cuff and completely unscripted. You have tear-jerking documentaries, vlogging rants, and, of course, the holy grail: cat videos. That being said, most business videos need a script. If you skip this step, you’ll find yourself editing more than you need to, releasing a video longer than it should be, and probably losing your audience along the way. Start writing your script the way you would begin a blog post — with an outline. List out your key points and order them logically.
Do all of your drafting in Google Docs to promote collaboration and real-time commenting. Use the “Insert > Table” function to adopt one of television’s traditional script-writing practices: the two-column script. Write your audio (script) in the left column and insert matching visual ideas in the right column. Don’t make the viewer wait until the final seconds to understand the purpose of your video … we promise they won’t stick around. Similar to a piece of journalistic writing, include a hook near the beginning that states the purpose of the video, especially for educational and explainer videos.
As you begin creating videos, you’ll notice a key difference between video scripts and your typical business blog post — the language. Video language should be relaxed, clear, and conversational. Avoid using complex sentence structures and eloquent clauses. Instead, connect with your audience by writing in first person and using visual language. Keep the language concise, but avoid jargon and buzzwords.
Most video scripts are short … probably shorter than you think. Keep a script timer handy to check your script length as you write and edit. For example, a 350-word script equates to a video that is nearly 2 minutes long. Words on paper sound a lot different than they do when read out loud. That’s why we encourage organizing a table read of your script before you start filming. The point of a table read is to smooth out the kinks of the script and nail down inflection points.
Have a few people (writer and talent included) gather around a table with their laptops and read the script multiple times through. If you accidentally say a line different than what the script prescribes, think about why and consider changing the language to make it sound more natural.
3. Understanding Your Camera
Too often the fear and uncertainty of equipment keep businesses from trying out video marketing. But learning to shoot video doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s likely you have a great, easy-to-use camera right in your pocket: your iPhone (or your Android phone should a good camera if you prefer, but in this article I will mention just iPhone) . If you are a small Medium size company you don’t need a professional camera. If you are a big company with a big budget better hire a professional team of filmmakers for the production, recording and post-production.
Before filming with your iPhone, ensure your device has enough storage. Also, don’t forget to enable your iPhone’s Do Not Disturb feature to avoid distracting notifications while filming. Once you open the iPhone’s camera, flip your phone horizontally to create the best possible viewing experience. Then, move close enough to your subject so you don’t have to use the zoom feature — it often makes the final video look pixelated and blurry. Your iPhone might do a great job of focusing on the subject when you take photos, but when it comes to video the camera will continue adjusting and re-adjusting as you move around the scene. To solve this problem, lock the exposure before you press record. Hold your finger down on the subject of the video until a yellow box appears with the words “AE/AF Lock”.
4. Setting Up Your Studio
When you begin building your in-office studio, the purchases can add up quickly. Not only do you need a camera, but the more you read, the more you realize you need tripods, lights, microphones, and more. Take a breath. With a little bit of know-how, building your studio doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are plenty of cost-effective choices and DIY hacks to make sure your videos look top-of-the-line.
Always shoot with a tripod. It should go without saying, but the handheld method you use for your Snapchat story isn’t going to cut it. Tripods will ensure you maintain a steady shot and not break any expensive equipment in the process. Tripods range tremendously in price, and the quality of your tripod should depend on the level of camera and lens you have. If you’re shooting with your phone, you can get by with a table mount like the Arkon Tripod Mount or a full-size tripod like PEMOTech 50″ Phone Tripod.
If you’ve begun testing out your iphone’s video capabilities, you’ve probably noticed that it has an internal microphone to record audio … don’t use it. If you set up your camera at a reasonable distance from your subject, you’ll quickly learn that the internal microphone isn’t powerful enough to adequately record audio. Instead, you should begin investing in a few pieces of quality sound equipment.
When you’re shooting with your iPhone, there are a ton of microphone options that are all easy to use and decently cheap. For example, the Movo MA200 Omni-Directional iPhone microphone will give you a plug-and-play solution for capturing audio on the fly or better a Mic 2 Pack Microphone Set For iPhone.
You have a camera. You have audio. Now, let’s talk about lights. To outfit your studio without breaking the bank, head over to your local home improvement store. Pick up extension cords and a few clamp lights with bulbs. You’ll also need three light stands, which are available on Amazon.
The traditional setup of video lights is known as three-point lighting. As you might guess, it involves three lights placed strategically around the subject, wrapping them in light and creating appealing shadows on their face.
First, you’ll need a key light. Place this at a 45-degree angle to the left or right of the subject. Lift the light above their head and aim it downwards. As the name suggests, this is the key light and should be bright enough that it could be the only light in the scene … if it had to be.
Next, place the fill light at a 45-degree angle on the other side and lift it close to or just above eye level. The purpose of the fill is to soften the shadows created by the key, but without getting rid of them completely. Therefore, the fill should be dimmer than the key light. If you have to use the same type of light for both, scoot the fill back and diffuse it by clipping a clear shower curtain onto the clamp light with clothespins.
Finally, the backlight will add a third layer of dimension. Scoot your subject away from the background. Lift a light above the subject’s head and place it behind them and off to the side so it’s out of the frame. The light should be aimed at the back of their head, creating a subtle rim of light and separating them from the background.
Setting Up Your In-Office Studio
Now that you have all of your equipment, you’re finally ready to build your office studio. While you could always grab a closet to store your equipment in, let’s go a bit bigger and claim a conference room. By having a designated studio, you’ll save loads of prep time for each shoot. Just make sure the conference room isn’t too empty. If you have to, bring in a couch, chairs, or blankets to minimise the echos in the room. Speaking of sound, pay special attention to the hum of the air conditioning. Find a room with minimal noise or turn down the fan during recording. Consider purchasing photography paper to create a background that’s a little more appealing than a white conference room wall.
When it comes time to shoot, clear out unnecessary people from the room and turn off the overhead lights. With your three-point lighting setup, there will be no need for those harsh fluorescents. When — and only when — everything is set up, call in your talent. There’s nothing worse than being nervous, and then having to anxiously watch as lights are turned on and the camera is tested.
5. Preparing Your Talent
If you have experienced, confident actors in your company, you’re lucky. Video talent is a rare resource. But with a little bit of coaching (and a fair share of nervous laughter), you can help your teammates thrive in front of the camera.,No matter if it’s your first video or your fiftieth, remember that getting in front of the camera is scary. Schedule plenty of time and give your talent the script early — but make it clear they don’t need to memorise it.
Instead, place a laptop below the eye-line of the camera. Break the script into short paragraphs and record it section by section until you capture a great take of each. If you plan in advance when the final video will show b-roll (supplementary footage or screenshots), you can have your talent read those lines directly off the laptop like a voice over.
During the shoot, your job goes beyond pressing record. First and foremost, you need to be a coach. Balance critical feedback with support and be quick to give encouragement after each take. This is why conducting a table read during the scripting process is so important: It’s easier to give feedback when there’s not a camera in the room. Remember, be a little silly during the shoot or your talent will be on edge and uncomfortable — and it will show in the footage.
But while you’re maintaining the fun level on set, remain vigilant. It’s your job to pay attention to the little things, like making sure all of the mics are on or noticing if the lighting changes. Record each section many times and have your talent play with inflections. When you think they’ve nailed the shot … get just one more. At this point, your talent is already on a roll, and options will help tremendously during editing.
Finally, circle back to the beginning of the script at the end of your recording. Chances are your subject got more comfortable throughout the shoot. Since the beginning is often the most crucial part of the video, record that section again when they’re feeling the most confident.
There are some films that are simply beautiful. It’s not the story or even the picturesque setting. In fact, the scene might take place in the dingiest of sets, but somehow each shot just feels right. That’s the power of composition. When objects appear where they should in the frame, the quality of your video increases exponentially. For video, the rules of composition are similar to what you may have learned in a photography or art class. First, consider the rule of thirds — the idea that you can create a sense of balance by imagining the canvas with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Key elements should occur at the intersection of these lines.
For example, if you are shooting an interview or a how-to video, the subject’s eyes should align with the top horizontal line around one of the two intersections. For this “talking head” shot, you can also improve your composition by leaving enough (but not too much) headroom. This is the empty space above the person’s head.
One of the best ways to improve the look of your video is to include b-roll. B-roll is the supplementary footage included as a cutaway. This might include shots of a customer service rep talking on a phone, a designer editing your website, visuals of your office, or even screenshots of your product. The key with b-roll is to make sure each and every piece enhances the story.
When you’re collecting b-roll, include a mix of shots from varying angles and distances. In fact, film professionals use different names to describe these variations.
- Establishing Shots: Wide shots allow the viewer to see the entire scene. These are great to use when introducing the scene at the beginning of a video.
- Medium Shots: Tighter shots that focus on the subject or a portion of the scene. Your classic interview shot could be considered a medium shot.
- Close-ups: Tightly cropped shots zoomed in to show detail. These might feature someone’s hands typing on a keyboard or pouring a cup of coffee.
As practice, try telling a story with your b-roll and planning out a shot sequence. For example, your subject might open a door from the hallway, walk into their office space, sit down at their desk, open their laptop, and begin typing. Seems simple, right? But a shot sequence showing this 10-second scenario might consist of six or more different b-roll clips.
Here’s where the final lesson of composition comes in: continuity. Continuity is the process of combining shots into a sequence so that they appear to have happened at the same time and place. A key part of continuity is making sure any ancillary objects in the scene — for example, a cup of water on a desk — stay in the same place (and have the same amount of water) throughout all of the shots.
The other part of learning continuity is match on action. For the scene described above, you’d want to record the subject opening the door and walking in from both inside and outside the room. In post-production, you could then flip between the clips at the exact right time to make the cut seamless.
6. Shooting for the Edit
When it comes to video, some are better at shooting while others are better at editing. Whatever side you claim, you should understand the process and pain points of each.
For instance, as the person behind the camera, you may believe you collect ample footage and ask all the right interview questions. But to the editor, you may actually be shooting too much of one type of shot and missing out on some that would make their job easier. Filmmakers teach a valuable lesson here: shoot for the edit. By remembering that the footage you record will be edited later, you can make smarter decisions and save countless hours in the editing room.
The first step in adopting a shoot-for-the-edit mindset is remembering to leave a buffer at the beginning and the end of each clip. There are called handles and can save editors from the headache of cutting too close to an important shot. In the section on preparing talent, we discussed how to record your script in short sections. If the editor were to stitch these sections together side-by-side, the subject’s face and hands might abruptly switch between clips. This is called a jump cut, and for editors, it poses an interesting challenge. Thankfully, this is where b-roll comes in handy, to mask these jump cuts.
As a producer, your job is to capture plenty of b-roll to make sure your editor never runs out. Create a shot list of more b-roll ideas than you think you’ll need and mark them off as you record them.
To mask jump cuts, you can also shoot with two cameras, especially if you’re recording an interview without a script. Camera A would be the traditional, straight-on shot. Camera B should be angled 30 to 45-degrees to the side and capture a distinctly different shot. The editor could then flip between these two views to make the cut appear natural.
A note about shooting with two cameras: Your editor will need to sync the footage between the different views. To help them do this, clap your hands loudly in the view of both cameras right before you ask the first interview question … yes, just like an old fashion clapboard. Modern editing software has auto-sync features, but this loud clap will help you initially line up the clips.
Finally, mark your good clips. Even if you’re recording a scripted video, you might have to record each section 10 or more times. Once your subject nails the take, wave your hand in front of the lens. That way, the editor can scrub directly to this visual cue and save time on footage review.
7. Organizing Your Footage
Yes, file organization is boring. But when video editing, it just might save your project. Capturing video will force you to take a hard look at your computer and file organization habits. If you’re one of those people who work off a cluttered desktop — you know who you are — you’ll find yourself in a world of hurt.
First, video format files are incredibly large, so it’s very unlikely you’ll want to store any of them on your internal hard drive. You’ll quickly run out of storage, and your computer’s processing speed will begin lagging under the weight.
Instead, invest in an external hard drive. External hard drives come in a variety of sizes and port options (Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, etc.). Multimedia creators will use the phrase “working off of an external” to describe storing all of their project files on this hard drive. This method also makes it easier to collaborate with teammates because you can easily share the drive.
Second, video editing programs are very particular about where you keep your files. If you don’t stick with the original file structure, you may find yourself buried in error messages. (We’ll cover software options and best practices in the next section.) On your external hard drive, you should create a separate top-level folder for each project. Within this folder, there should be a prescribed set of “buckets” to store your video footage, audio, design assets, and more. Create a template project folder that you can copy and paste for each project using the image below as a guide.
When you import your footage from your camera, place it in the “footage” folder on your hard drive. For both the project folders and your editing files, follow a consistent naming structure. For example, you could start each name using YRMODA (year-month-date). So a video on Instagram Hacks might be named “180625_instagram_hacks” if it was started on June 25, 2019.
Even with a perfectly organized external hard drive, you’re not yet out of the weeds. You need to back up your files (and maybe even back up your backup files). It’s not uncommon to have an external hard drive for everyday work, another external for backups, and a third set of backups in the cloud via Dropbox or Google Drive.
8. Editing Your Video
Okay, you’ve filmed your video footage. Congrats — you’re halfway there! Now it’s time to talk about editing. We get it, video editing can be confusing. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first, especially when you see software price tags! Luckily, there are many options for video editing based on your skill level, operating system, and budget. There are even free programs and mobile apps! Let’s go over a few options.
Intermediate: Apple iMovie
iMovie is Apple’s video editing software. Compatible with Macs and other iOS devices, iMovie is simple, user-friendly, and free on all Apple products. iMovie allows you to create and edit your videos by cutting together clips, adding titles, music, sound effects, basic color correction, filters, and special effects.
The program even provides helpful templates that simplify the editing process. The platform supports high-quality clips like 4K video footage and makes it easy to share your work directly to a video hosting platform. Limited access to advanced color correction and editing features mean it isn’t commonly used by professionals, but iMovie is still a great option if you’re just starting out.
Advanced: Adobe Premiere Pro/ Final Vut Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is a leading video editing software program used by amateurs and professionals alike. With a customizable interface and numerous advanced editing tools, the platform is often called the industry standard for video editing and has been used to edit major Hollywood movies like Gone Girl and Deadpool. Premiere makes it easy to collaborate with other editors, organize your material, and sync with other programs in the Adobe suite like After Effects and Photoshop. The platform supports high-quality footage (4K and higher) and includes advanced, built-in color correction and grading tools that set it apart from cheaper or free options like iMovie.
Personally I prefer house Final Cut Pro. Much cheaper than Premiere, no subscriptions and more user friendly. Final Cut Pro is a smooth and speedy video editor for Mac OS professional users. This software helps the user to expand their knowledge and create stunning videos.Presently, Final Cut Pro is the fastest video editing tool in the world, an organised software which is easy to use and understand for a first-time user.
9. Choosing Your Music
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about video? I’m guessing the actual video footage. While it’s important to concentrate on your video footage, don’t forget to factor music into your overall plan and budget. Music is a powerful tool that can alter your video’s mood and tone — just watch the videos above! Choosing the right music often makes the difference between an amateur project and a professional piece of content. When used properly, it can help keep your viewer’s attention, evoke emotions, and define your overall editing style.
Before you start filming, set a music budget and research your local copyright laws. Copyright law can be very difficult to decipher, especially when you’re dealing with digital content. Bottom line: Most music isn’t free. If you use another artist’s music without permission or proper licensing, you risk video removal and legal action. In order to avoid copyright infringement, you’ll need to find royalty free tunes or pay a composer to create an original score. Royalty free songs aren’t free to use; they’re quality songs available for a single flat fee. This means you don’t have to worry about paying additional licensing fees or royalties in the future. YouTube, Pond5, and PremiumBeat are all great sites to find royalty free music.
Next, consider your audience and the overall mood for your production. Are you targeting a small audience that will appreciate the newest, underground hip-hop track, or do you need something that will appeal to many demographics? Are you creating a practical product tutorial or an upbeat event recap? Be sure to choose music that enhances the overall tone of your video.
In addition to considering your audience, be sure to contemplate the purpose of the music. Do you need background music or something with real impact? Will you be narrating or speaking in the video? If so, don’t let the music get in the way of your content. Sometimes the best music is the music you don’t remember at all.
After you’ve determined the type of music you need, it’s time to start analyzing potential songs. Consider the song’s pacing. Songs with a steady rhythm are easy to change to suit your video style. Hoping to include your favorite, Top 40 hit? Popular, radio songs are usually structured in 4-5 parts and can be difficult to transition. Try to choose simple songs that are easy to loop. If you’re looking for an instrumental song, be sure to find something that was recorded with real instruments. Songs made with digital samples can make your video feel unprofessional and out of date.
Finally, consider adding intro and outro music. Intro and outro music, or bookends, can serve as a theme for your content. These are a great choice if you don’t need music throughout your entire video. Bookend music can help set the tone for your video, naturally split your content into chapters, and leave your viewers feeling they had a complete experience.
While some videos feel unfinished without background music, others just need a few tunes to tie the project together. Pay attention to videos that have a similar style to see how others utilize music.
10. Recording Your Voice Over
You have your video footage and music — now it’s time to chat about voice overs. A voice over is the separate video narration that’s not spoken by the speaker on-camera. Voice overs are an effective tool that can help make your content more relatable, emotional, and fluid. It’s important to remember that video audio is just as important as video visuals. The good news is that you don’t have to be the next Don LaFontaine or hire a professional to record a great voice over. Below are a few tips to capture audio on a budget.
- Find a location. Decide on a spot to record. If you can’t go to a professional studio, try to pick a quiet room away from distracting external sounds like sirens, opening and closing doors, and people talking on the phone. Read your script aloud, and pay attention to the room’s acoustics. Does your voice echo or sound muffled? If so, consider recording in a different space or adding furniture to fill in the room.
- Prepare. Practice makes perfect! Before you record, read through your script a few times and take note of any difficult pauses, transitions, and words. On the big day, be sure to stay hydrated and avoid wearing noisy clothing or jewelry. Also, use a stand, laptop, or teleprompter while recording so you aren’t rustling through a printed script.
- Test and listen. Think you can record the perfect voice over in just one take? Think again! Invest in a good pair of headphones and keep an eye on your audio quality throughout the recording process. It’s easier to get a new take of audio than trying to fix it during the editing process. We recommend running through your script a few times, especially the first few paragraphs, to ensure that your voice is fully warmed up. If you hear popping or hissing sounds, try standing further away from the mic or invest in a pop filter.
- Relax! Be sure to read slowly, pause, and take breaks while recording your voice over. Sometimes all you need is a sip of water to get back on track.
Video Hosting Platforms
You’re ready to publish your video. You shot the footage, edited it together, added music and a voice over, and exported it for the web. Now it’s time to get your video online so your audience can start viewing, sharing, and engaging with it. You have several options for hosting videos online, and in this section, we’ll talk about some of the best ones.
When you ask your friends which online video platform they use, the answer you probably hear the most is YouTube. YouTube is the largest video hosting platform, the second largest search platform after Google, and the third most visited website in the world. Every single day, people watch over five billion videos on YouTube. It’s also free to upload your videos to YouTube and optimize them for search.
In addition to its massive audience, YouTube offers several other features that make the platform a good option for hosting your video. Because YouTube videos are hosted on individual channels, the platform allows you to build a dedicated audience of subscribers. Users who follow your channel are more likely to see additional videos you upload.
Within your channel itself, you can also organize videos into playlists, making it easy for your audience to search within your content. As a social platform, viewers can engage with your videos by liking and commenting on them, providing you another chance to interact with your audience. YouTube also offers a variety of advertising options for more sophisticated targeting.
Although YouTube offers the benefit of reaching a large audience with no cost to upload and host videos, there are several downsides to the platform. While video ads can be a great tool for promoting your own content, the number of ads on the platform from other advertisers can detract from your viewer’s experience.
YouTube is also (surprise, surprise!) highly addicting. 83% of viewers prefer YouTube over any other video platform. Once viewers are on the platform, they usually stick around to watch another video … or 20. This can make it difficult to drive traffic back to your site from the platform. Despite these barriers, YouTube is a great platform for hosting videos and growing your audience.
If your friends didn’t answer your earlier question with “YouTube” then they most likely responded with Vimeo, the second largest video hosting platform. Vimeo’s audience is significantly smaller (715 million monthly views) than YouTube’s, but there are still many benefits that make it a favorite for content creators and viewers alike.
Among these is a simpler, cleaner, user interface that makes it easier to navigate the platform. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo has very limited ads and commercials that would otherwise detract from your viewers’ experience. Videos on Vimeo also tend to be higher quality than on YouTube, and the audience on the platform is likely to be more professional.
Vimeo offers several different premium account options to better suit businesses. The premium accounts provide additional storage, advanced analytics, customer support, player customization, access to lead generation tools, and much more. In additional to premium accounts, Vimeo also partners with businesses to produce quality marketing content.
If you’re looking to showcase high quality, artistic content, Vimeo might be the platform for you. Its engaged audience and beautiful aesthetic make it a great place to host creative videos. However, if you’re focused on quantity over quality and increasing your reach, you may want to explore other platform options.
Wistia is a video hosting platform built specifically for businesses. It’s not just another option to store and manage your videos; instead, it allows you to become a fully video-enabled business.
From this portal, you’ll find all sorts of viewer insights. Discover what types of video content your audience likes and how they watch their videos. Then, channel those insights directly into your marketing automation software or CRM. For example, if that prospect you’ve been monitoring views your latest case study video, you’ll be notified straight away.
One of the coolest features of Wistia is the ability to personalise videos with the viewer’s name or company directly in the video design. This is a creative addition as you begin working video into your marketing and sales strategies.
Defining Your Goals and Analyzing Results
At this point, you know how to create a video and where to host it. You’re ready to get started, right? Not quite. Before you dive in, you need to define your video goals and identify the best metrics for determining whether you’ve accomplished those goals. Before launching any marketing campaign, it’s important to determine your primary video goal. This could be to increase brand awareness, engagement, or even conversions for a free trial. It’s crucial to pick out just one or two goals for each video. When you define more than that, your video will seem unfocused, making it difficult for viewers to determine what they should do next.
When thinking of your goals, be sure to keep your buyer persona and target audience in mind. How old are they? Where do they live? What are their interests? How do they typically consume media? What stage of the buyer’s journey are they in? All of these questions can help determine what type of video you should make and where you should post it. For example, if your target audience is not familiar with your company, you probably want to make a video that focuses on brand awareness before producing an in-depth, product video. You’ll also want to host your video on a site that already has a large reach, like YouTube.
Next, let’s talk about metrics. Understanding these will equip you to define and measure your success and set your goals. When you post a video, it’s easy to get obsessed with one metric — view count. While view count can be an important metric, there are many others that may be more relevant to your campaign.
Below are some popular metrics you’ll see when you publish and track video.
- View Count: View count is the number of times your video has been viewed — also referred to as reach. This metric is great to track if your goal is to increase brand awareness and have your content seen by as many people as possible. However, it’s important to remember that every video hosting platform measures a view differently. For example, a view on YouTube is 30 seconds while a view on Facebook is only 3 seconds. Be sure to read the fine print before reporting on your video view count.
- Play Rate: Play rate is the percentage of people who played your video divided by the number of impressions it received. This metric helps determine how relevant or appealing your video is to your audience. If thousands of people see your video, but only a handful of people play it, it’s probably time to optimize your content.
- Social Sharing and Comments: If you’re on social media, you’re probably familiar with sharing and commenting. Social shares and comments are good indicators of how relevant your content is with your target audience. If a viewer watches your video and takes the time to share it with their network, you probably created a great piece of content. Social shares are also important because the more times your video is shared, the more it’ll be viewed. If your goal is to reach a lot of people, social shares is a good metric to track.
- Video Completions: If you took the time to make a video … you probably want people to watch the whole thing, right? A video completion is the number of times a video is played in its entirety. This metric can be more reliable than view count when trying to determine your video’s success.
- Completion Rate: Completion rate is the number of people who completed your video divided by the number of people who played it. Completion rate and other engagement metrics are a great way to gauge a viewer’s reaction to your video. Do you have a low completion rate? Are people all dropping off at a certain point? This might be a sign that your video content is not resonating with your target audience.
- Click-Through Rate: Click-through rate (CTR) is the number of times your call-to-action (CTA) is clicked divided by the number of times it’s viewed. CTR is a great indicator of how effective your video is at encouraging people to take your desired action. If your CTR is low, consider revising the design or copy of your CTA.
- Conversion Rate: Conversion rate is the number of times visitors completed your desired action divided by the number of clicks on your CTA. If your goal is to have your viewers complete an action like signing up for a free trial, try adding a video to your landing page to see if your conversion rate increases.
- Bounce Rate and Time-On-Page: Are you thinking about adding a video to a web page? Take note of the page bounce rate and the amount of time people spent on the page before you add the video. Be sure to check the metrics after you place the video to see if changes the way people interact with your other content.
Ready, Set, Action!
I’m guessing you’re feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Video editing and marketing can seem daunting at first, but with a little practice and patience, you can easily produce high-quality content that is unique to your brand.
With 71% of consumers watching more video online than they were a year ago, brands can no longer ignore their growing popularity. Thankfully, creating great content has never been easier!
Try turning a written blog into a video or create a product tutorial. Using video to showcase information in a new, interesting way is sure to interest and delight your audience. Pick up a camera, start filming, and watch your engagement levels increase. It’s time to make video a key part of your marketing strategy!