Video Marketing Takeaways from the Professionals

The government is urging small businesses to move online. Business is Great is currently providing free advice for business owners who have not yet cultivated an online presence, including how to build a website, how to set up social media profiles and guidance on starting an online shop. But in today’s online global marketplace, the competition to promote your products and attract a loyal customer base.

Hyperfine Media is a Manchester based video production company who assist businesses in creating video content that promotes their products and services, but the act of creating content is not enough. You need to make sure it is reaching the most relevant audience.

In order to find out how to maximise the video content you are producing, Hyperfine have spoken to digital marketing professionals in order to get actionable advice for small businesses who looking to take their marketing efforts to the next level.

First up we have brand insights from Joel Stein, Search and Media Manager at Code Computerlove and Editor and Co-Founder of Manchester La La La.

If content is king, then video content is the intergalactic overlord of the online marketing space. The most-shared content on some of the web’s most popular sites is consistently video-heavy, and with production costs lower than ever, small businesses should be asking how they can get in on the action.

Broadly speaking, there are 3 main reasons to create a video for your business, which correspond with different stages of the marketing funnel:

  1. Raising awareness of your brand
  2. Moving people from awareness to consideration of your brand
  3. Persuading people to convert

If you’re creating a ‘brand awareness’ video, you’re generally looking for something fun and shareable that reflects a core message or brand value. This is where creativity and storytelling can come to the fore, but remember that shorter videos often get the most views. This should be hosted on YouTube for maximum exposure.

If you’re creating a ‘consideration’ video, you’re looking to demonstrate some authority in your niche. This is usually content that people will link to or share because it’s useful and solves a problem. This could be anything from tutorials and how-to guides to a data-driven animation showcasing insightful stats on a topic your audience cares about. In most cases, YouTube hosting is the best option for this kind of video content.

If you’re creating a ‘conversion’ video, it’s all about explaining exactly what makes your product or service special. This should be a slick, clearly-presented piece of content that lives on your website, and is served to visitors on a page where you want them to submit an enquiry or make a purchase. This could be a product demo, or a testimonial from a happy client. Ideally, conversion videos should be self-hosted with a secure platform like Wistia for maximum insight, customisation potential and SEO benefit.

If you want to know more about video SEO, Phil Nottingham from Distilled is the undisputed authority on this – check out his post Video SEO in Post-Rich Snippet World from the Moz blog.

Next we have advice on the importance of Google from Laura Hampton, digital marketing manager at Impression Digital.

The way we search the web is evolving. With the growth of voice search and services such as Google Now, Google is investing in its search capabilities to make the results, and the way it delivers those results, more personalised and more immediate for its end users.

Part of this has been to improve the search engine’s ability to parse rich content, such as images or video. In recent months, Google has made great strides in how it understands images and is starting to recognise objects in images, as well as delivering a more developed image search result.

Moving forward, Google is working hard on its ability to understand what’s happening in a video, so it can better index video content. Google recognises that videos can often provide a valuable result for a user’s search query and it is investing in how well it is able to serve those video results.

So it follows that video content will become easier for Google to understand in the coming years. This means that we can expect to see more videos appearing in the search results, with a more mature algorithm for ranking these videos (which previously relied on accompanying text such as titles and descriptions to ascertain what the video is about). In the future, Google will ‘watch’ our videos and know what is being portrayed and the messages therein.

For SMEs, this means rich content like videos and images has never been more important. Rich content like video is valued by Google so investing in it now could pay dividends for businesses in the future. It’s not just about Google though; Google’s mission is to better organise the world’s information and that means making that information as easy as possible for searchers to find and use.

When investing in their own video content, SMEs should be focused on their end user and how useful that content is to them. Consider how your users search and what they might be searching for; videos which answer questions traditionally do particularly well, but product or service overviews can also serve as a valuable tool for aiding your customer’s understanding of what you do. Savvy marketers will invest in high quality video which engages their audience and answers their search queries.

Finally we have technical YouTube expertise from Jamie Faulkner, Content Manager and Search Consultant at FireCask.

Any good SEO strategy starts with understanding what affects rankings and click-through rates. For YouTube it’s technically a heady mix of subscriptions, shares, interactions, channel authority, view count, keyword relevance and many other metrics, known and unknown.

On a very basic level, the eye is drawn to a compelling thumbnail image, so pick the best, descriptive still from your video reel; you can turn on custom thumbnails in the Channel Settings>Status & Features once your account is “verified and in good standing”. Even reiterating the title of the video, using eye-catching typography within the snippet can be a simple but effective tactic.

Given that subscriptions and interactions are important ranking signals, it’s surprising how few people explicitly ask users to subscribe to a channel or like a video. Though I’m loathe to say it…you don’t ask you don’t get! Just don’t overdo it. Annotate videos with links to your site if your aim is to drive traffic (you’ll need to enable External Annotations in Channel Settings).

If awareness and consideration are your goals, why not create playlists around topics to maximise engagement, provide easy user experience and create a keyword-rich pool of videos? A good example: I’m heading to Thailand soon and wanted to get some tips on local cuisine. I clicked a playlist entitled “Thai Street Food” by Mark Wiens, then binge-watched all the videos because the content was relevant and well-made. Now I’m a subscriber.

Next, get a feel for the competition. Are there already videos ranking in Google for your given term? See how many there are in YouTube and Google’s results, then see what you can learn from them. Search through comments on popular videos to find areas for improvement.

Finally, much of what holds true for technical on-page SEO applies to YouTube: relevant keywords in the title and description. Ensure the filename is optimised and you’re tagging correctly.

If you are looking to effectively create and promote video marketing content, use the advice from these digital marketing professionals to maximise the reach and relevance of your rich media.

Image: Video via Shutterstock