This past February 179 U.S. Internet users watched almost 38 billion online videos. That’s a lot of zeroes to go around, which is probably why 76% of marketers are planning to increase their video strategies this year.
1. Don’t get Caught in the Quality Trap
At the Nonprofit Technology Conference last week, Danny Alpert and Michael Hoffman of See3 discussed how to get started with video. One of the first rules? “Don’t feel boxed in by quality,” explained Danny.
Take a look at Funny Cats in Water, which has 18 million views. This is not a professional production – the clips here are shot with digital cameras, flip cameras, and smartphones. YouTube has established a new norm of quality: sleek video almost always takes a backseat to compelling content, whether it makes viewers laugh or cry or both.
2. Know your Audience
When marketers want something to “go viral,” they often don’t think about why people will watch the video… or who will watch it. To frame your video, you need to think about who will watch and what they will get from it. How long do you watch a YouTube clip before finding something else interesting? 30 seconds? You have half that time to engage the viewer.
3. Keep it Simple
Danny Alpert says that keeping a video simple means keeping it focused. “Every video doesn’t have to tell the whole story.” Stay relentlessly focused on that one topic for the whole video.
4. Step out of the Limelight
It may be tempting to put your organization in the center stage of a video because, after all, it’s your video. Be satisfied with being the moon while your prospects and patients are the sun.
5. Include a Call to Action
Not having a call to action in a video is a major omission. Viewers should be encouraged to do something after watching, because otherwise they may forget about the clip as soon as they watch the next one. Linking to social media can be a natural next step, particularly if you’ve created a theme that carries over to Facebook, whether that’s an initiative, a special deal, or an event.
6. Share the Video
YouTube is a go-to destination for videos, but it’s not necessarily a place where your video will be touted as The Next Big Thing. Don’t forget to promote your video to existing places where you connect with clients and prospects. This is where both email marketing and social media come into play.
If you have Social Campaigns, you can like-gate a video and make it exclusive for fans of your Facebook Page. If not, you can showcase your videos through emails, like Stephen Quick of Splintered Studios. Stephen embeds YouTube videos in some newsletters, and sometimes shows off a virtual gallery at the bottom his emails. In fact, Stephen makes sure that videos are visible on all of Splintered Studios’ available channels: Facebook, YouTube, his blog, and the studio’s website. As a result, some of his videos have gotten over 100,000 views.
7. Capitalize on the Contemporary
What’s happening right now is what you should try to film. If you can develop a strategy for capitalizing on the contemporary, that’s going to boost SEO, visibility, and engagement.
8. Don’t Expect to go Viral
Going viral isn’t a strategy, it’s a result of a strategy… and it’s about as easy to predict as the internet itself.