Using video for marketing online has become the fastest growing form of marketing and looks to top all forms of marketing. As a result many newcomers to video and marketing are trying their hand at it. It is for this reason I have decided to share some knowledge and insight into how social media video works and how to make it work better for your business marketing.
The first thing to do is define what social media video is. But before that we need to know what social media is. Many people think that social media is only platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Truth is that almost all video you see online is on a social media site. If it’s not a web site like your own webpage or a business listing then it’s probably on a social media network. Social media networks include YouTube, Facebook and in fact even Vimeo can be seen as a social media network if used in a certain way. There is a different term for some of these platforms, and that is a video hosting site. Vimeo fits into both of these categories. You can use Vimeo like a social media network but most people and companies simply host their videos on Vimeo and mostly don’t let the public see the videos. The videos on Vimeo can be limited to be shared with only selected people. Even if used on public pages the Vimeo network can be used to help protect the video from being stolen.
Before you start posting to either social media or video hosting platforms, you need to know what you want to achieve with your marketing. Yes it’s true that being everywhere doesn’t hurt your marketing but it can take up time and energy that is not correctly focused. Videos on social media are not just posted and forgotten about. They need to be maintained. You may ask why maintenance is needed. The reason is that people from the public will comment on the videos and they may even try communicate with your business through that social media network.
Having a great video that is watched by many can be damaged by a nasty comment by a viewer which is left unchecked. Not only can it be unpleasant and bad for your company image, some social media companies might even remove your video because nasty comments are not cleaned up.
The important thing to know about using video online on any platform is to know that not all videos are alike and not all videos are appropriate. The idea of marketing with video is not just dumping any old video online and hoping it works. Each and every video posted should have a specific and purposeful message with a specific target market and an intended outcome. That means if you want to market your business it makes no sense to put out puppy and kitten videos with your logo across it.
Even if the video is specifically about your business offering it needs to be done in a way that works best. An example is the “About Us” video which is great for your first company video and excellent for your business website. It however mostly doesn’t work well for targeted marketing. An “About Us” video is an informative video that helps potential clients to understand your company and its services and products. This type of video, however, is intended for people who are already looking at your business as an option. People who don’t know about your company and are not looking for your exact product or service at that time, will not watch your “About Us” video. This is where the marketing video comes in. Although the video should target the correct audience, the video should be an attraction to watch even if the audience has never heard of your company. An “About Us” video, while excellent in the right place, is not useful to do this kind of “cold” audience marketing. .
To attract a new audience to your business marketing videos, you need to do a few things:
1) Attract their attention with the thumb nail image.
2) Create interest with an attractive title.
3) Provide something of value to the audience..
This is where many business marketers go wrong. They often spend all their video minutes talking about themselves. The viewer doesn’t care what you have to say about your company. It may seem selfish but the viewers only care about how your video and your services and products will benefit them. So the important thing to do with your video is to attract the attention of the right people and then give them what they want. You might ask “but what do they want”? If you are asking this question, you are on the right track. What they want is the most important part of your marketing, and of your videos. The content of your video should be no different to your best marketing. Just because it’s video does not mean you suddenly change how marketing works. Video really is a more energized version of normal marketing. .
If you were to post a print advert you would be asking the questions:
1) Where do our potential clients hang out?
2) What will attract our potential clients?
3) What will convince them?
4) What will make them take action?
This question is asked a lot by newcomers to video marketing. In some ways the length is critical and in others it can go completely against the standard rules of marketing. To cut to the good stuff, the simple answer is 90 seconds for an “About Us” video, 30 Seconds for an advert and 12 seconds or less for a social media paid-for commercial.
At this point many seasoned video marketers may be screaming “That’s not true”. The reason for this is that online video can completely sidestep the broadcast norms and do something completely different. This however is only a path that should be taken by very experienced online video marketers. The reason is that these lengths of video have been found to be the most effective on average and work well as a starting point. The reason many marketing companies may tell you different is because there are certain ways to get the attention of potential clients on platforms, such as YouTube, which go completely against this time frame. The perfect examples are the 5 second, 3 minute and 30 minute marks. I will explain these, not to offer them as a suggestion for your new marketing campaign but rather as a way for you to know why and how these video lengths can work outside of the most common lengths.
Firstly the 5 second length was created because YouTube has a 5 second period where you have to wait before you can click “skip ad” to watch the video you intended to watch. This meant that your message would reach the audience whether they wanted it or not. Another reason for this was that many people believed that they would not be charged for the advert as YouTube requires 30 seconds of the advert to be played for there to be a charge. I stand to be corrected but as far as I know YouTube is wise to this and will charge for the advert even if its 5 seconds long as long as it plays to the end of the video. So if advert are 5 seconds long or even 29 seconds long it will still be charged for even though it doesn’t reach the 30 second mark. An advert which is 40 seconds long though will not be charged for if the viewer only watches to 29 seconds and then clicks “skip ad”. The 3 minute video is often used for music videos. The idea is not to promote the music video but rather to promote the artist. The music video is free to watch, and if it’s your kind of music, you will probably follow the artist if you like the song. The music video is purely a marketing video and the musician advertising will only be charged as if the advert was 30 seconds long even though it’s 3 minutes long.
The 30-minute video, which can be shorter or longer than 30 minutes, is in fact a full video that you would see on YouTube. An example would be a “How Too” video or a documentary video which can play for minutes and even hours. The advertiser is till only charged for the 30 second advert. This is where online video marketing really steers away from traditional broadcast video advertising. As you can see though, this is not something to try on your first go. Rather focus on getting the 90 second, 30 seconds and 12 seconds right first before moving on to more adventurous videos. .
Although the “About Us” video is technically not a marketing video it does form part of what is called the “funnel”. This is a term used to describe how a wider group of people are funnelled and filtered out to reach the point of being buyers.
In most online marketing this is seen as a sequence of targeted adverts or points of contact and call to action. For example a video can lead a person to a web page. The web page collects email address from willing viewers. These people are then emailed and the email takes them to a new web page. The web page leads a person to a special offer. The special offer leads the person to another offer and so on.
This is not how most business marketing is done. There is a specific technique used in Facebook advertising which uses this type of directing but in most cases video marketing for business is really about the video being seen by the right audience who need your products or services.
That said, the “About Us” video should be as it says. Be about your business including whatever visually appealing parts of your business need to be highlighted. If parts of your business are unattractive, these should not be included. Potential clients don’t need to see your dirty laundry. They need to see the things that are of interest or of value to them. The “About Us” video is not a documentary. It is a video about your company that helps new potential clients to understand, and relate to, your business.
The advert, or commercial, which will be shown to new "cold" clients must grab their attention immediately and speak to them as well as their needs immediately.
Even if YouTube didnt have a 5 second waiting period, many viewers would click away within the first 5 seconds anyway as this is the length of time most people will give in order to evaluate whether the commercial is worth watching or not.
Many people think that all adverts will be clicked away as people generally hate adverts. This is not true. You may have found yourself totally engrossed in watching a commercial because it was talking about something you care about or are interested in or the marketers were so clever that they caught your attention even if you have no interest in the product or service.Gone are the days when TV advertsing was all about playing the same boring advert over and over untill people hate seeing it in the hope that the brand awareness would be the outcome.Hatred for your brand is not brand awareness, it's just hatred for your brand..
Keep in mind that even for people who are interested in you products and services and in your amazing advert, time is against you. Even the most captivated person will lose interest eventually. Make sure your message is clear, speaks to the "pain point" or desire of the viewer in as short a time as possible.30 second should be the maximum here but you should infact have the "sold" in the first 10 seconds. So 5 seconds to convinvce them to keep watching and 5 seconds to convince them.The final 20 seconds should be about wrapping it all up with either a call to action or simply making your brand memorable.
Future articles will cover more in-depth analysis of the video and it's production.