More than half of marketers say video is on the top of the charts for supporting social media marketing objectives. And 93% of companies have acquired customers through a social media video.
Sprout Social reported those findings earlier this year. It may not be shocking news to marketers as brands put out more content via voice and video models vs. traditional SEO tactics and website content. And don't get us wrong. The latter is still the backbone of many content marketing programs.
Nonetheless, brands should clearly have a video marketing and optimization strategy for supporting KPIs for growth. In other words, go beyond the proverbial, “We should do more video.”
Here are some considerations:
Make Your Video Title, Description Appealing
One way to ensure video optimization is to have a captivating and interesting title, according to David Rowland, head of digital marketing at EcoOnline. “Something that has your target audience's attention and makes them click on your video,” Rowland said. “Your title should have your main keyword and be short and memorable."
Your main description in videos is a chance to grab the attention of your audience. Add SEO tags, keywords and hashtags to your video description. These can help you reach your target demographic and increase views. “Adding and optimizing tags will help your video get seen by those on social media who are actively searching for videos with a similar keyword,” he added.
SEO gets a bit tricky when it comes to video content, but you can succeed here, according to Thomas Hawkins, head of marketing at Electrician Apprentice HQ. “Consider transcribing your video in the form of a blog post,” he said. “You might not necessarily get a lot of hits on it, but SEO will be very friendly if you take that step.”
Related Article: 5 Ways for Marketers to Improve Their Video Literacy
Don’t Forget About Quality
Too many marketing departments are anxious to get video campaigns rolling and fail to do a quality check.
Steven Walker, CEO of Spylix, reminds marketers to check if the video is properly recorded or not. Check the lighting, particularly. “Light is a very important aspect to check,” Walker said. “Also, check if the background is clean or not. Check the voice. If your voice is not clean or properly recorded, your video is not good enough. So after recording, check all the aspects of your video.”
Quality videos should be live on social media platforms when possible, Walker added. Viewers like live streaming, and YouTube is also a great place for live streaming. Viewers spent 548.7 billion hours on mobile live streaming apps globally in 2021, according to Statista.
Include a Call to Action
Hawkins said video content is similar to blogs or articles, and therefore, you need a call to action (CTA).
“Don't just end your video,” Hawkins added. “Let your viewers know what they need to do next. Bonus points if your video includes a QR code, which makes that process much easier for the folks viewing your video.”
Add in a follow-up resource, too. In addition to a CTA, you also need a portion of your video to include ways potential customers can follow up with your company. “You might mention an email address in your video, or direct them to your Contact Us page,” Hawkins said. “This also helps with the longevity of your video content, so to speak.”
Decide on Video Creation Objectives
Vera Tarlov, marketing manager for FORTVISION, said marketers need to decide on the purpose of the video. What do you want to gain out of it? Is it brand awareness, product launch, lead generation?
“Once decided, record and edit the video accordingly to support this goal,” she said. “Add opening and outro screens, captions and background music. Then, upload your video to the relevant platforms.”
YouTube Is a Place to Start Posting Videos
Tarlov recommends YouTube as a place to start posting videos. Just make sure you work on your account's SEO to reach as many viewers as possible. Add any information you can to both the account and each video: title, description, tags, CTA + link, contact info, video subtitles where applicable, thumbnails, etc., according to Tarlov.
Chris Grayson, who manages the content plan for StreamScheme, which has about 150,000 subscribers, said if you want to get the most out of your video content, you need to optimize it for YouTube. YouTube should be the first pick when you're deciding where to upload, he added.
Grayson added tips for uploading a video to YouTube:
- Use an attention-grabbing thumbnail image that will make people want to click on your video. This image can be a still from the video itself or something completely different that represents the content of the video.
- Create transcripts of your videos so that people can read them even if they can't watch the videos. This also makes your videos more accessible to people with hearing impairments.
- Use the right keywords in the title and description and ensure that the site's architecture is set up so that search engines can easily find and index your video.
Recognize Life Outside of YouTube
There is life beyond YouTube. Social media video marketing continues to expand on practically every platform, according to Marcus Clarke, who runs a digital marketing agency, Searchant.co.
“Companies can post videos to their native feeds so that people who stumble upon their profiles can learn more about who they are and what they do, which is perfect for building brand awareness,” said Clarke. “Companies can now also take advantage of paid/promoted social media posts where you can target certain people and accounts, ultimately, infiltrating their feeds.”
Platforms that offer paid advertising include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat Paid. Video ads are great in the awareness stage as more people shop on social media, he added.
“More people are stumbling across new brands or products on social media, which opens another avenue to finding new prospects,” Clarke said. “It can be a very good strategy to include influential personalities in your videos, since these people have their own built-in followings. An endorsement from an influencer is another way of generating trust for your company, and encouraging followers to engage with your company, and perhaps to make a purchase.”
Upload Videos Natively to Social Media Platforms
When uploading the video to other social media platforms beyond YouTube, make sure you upload the video and not share the YouTube link, as social media algorithms prefer to keep the user on the platform, Tarlov added. “Videos are great for social media as they drive better impressions and engagement,” she said. “If possible, cut the video into different resolutions for each of the platforms you're interested in. Also, upload it to your site and add an alt text and a video title that will help your SEO.”
After finishing with the free options, you can move on to the paid ones. Your options are advertising platforms like Google's DV, GDN, Taboola, Outbrain, etc., advertising optimization software, social media ads and direct advertisement on sites.
“The most important thing to keep in mind is targeting and segmentation,” Tarlov said. “Know who your audience is to target when advertising.”
The Verdict: Video Is a Must
Video is around for the long haul, and brands who've yet to optimize their video marketing strategies could fall behind the curve in terms of content. These seven tips offer up tried-and-true ways to improve your videos, expand your reach and drive engagement.