How to use video to market your businessApr 02, 2020
Video is quickly becoming the most-consumed form of content on the Internet. Regardless of what you’re trying to sell or share, your audience is on YouTube. I can’t even count how many times YouTube has helped me—from watching a guided yoga flow to learning how to test our sump pump.
Not only is YouTube consumed more than Netflix, but it is also the #2 top search engine, behind Google. If you have a business with something to share (heck yes, you do!), you’re missing out on reaching your target audience if video isn’t part of your marketing strategy.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I don’t have my own YouTube channel (yet!) but I’ve picked up a few video strategies along the way by marketing my own business on social media and by learning from others who are rocking the world of video content. Let’s dive into some practical strategies to leverage video content for your business and some tips to boost your video savviness.
YouTube Video Strategy
The debate continues on whether YouTube should be used as the hosting point (with social media being used as distribution channels for YouTube videos) or if you should natively upload video to social channels.
Native content = content you build that is specific to what the audience on that platform is looking for and in the file format which the application is designed to work with. For example, people typically consume videos on Facebook that are 3 minutes long or less, TikTok videos are only 15 seconds and YouTube videos are typically longer form content. Also, the aspect ratio of Facebook video is different from YouTube.
I recommend uploading videos directly into the platform as much as possible (instead of through scheduling software), in the aspect ratio that is native to each platform. Taking the time to upload to platforms now will help your videos get better ranking later. Keep in mind; however, that you will likely get more engagement on YouTube over a longer period of time vs. other social channels. For example, Facebook gets more instant engagement and loses visibility over time. Consider your marketing strategy and what tactics will work best for your objectives.
- Aim for YouTube videos to be 5 to 15 minutes long, but only as long as they need to be, to present value. To optimize your channel, have a combination of long and short videos. You need longer videos to increase watch time. This is important because the minimum threshold to monetize on YouTube is 4,000 hours of watch time and 1,000 subscribers. Also, the more time people spend on your channel, the more YouTube recommends your content.
- Consider going Live on YouTube as an alternate content idea.
- Use Playlists, which is a way your content can be organized by topic/type. People can subscribe to your Playlists, too.
- Ask for loyalty during your videos. For example, say, “Hit the subscribe button.”
- Your thumbnails and video titles are important. Make pressing play irresistible. For example, use catchy titles such as, “7 ways to do this…” Once you find your keywords, make sure your content in your titling matches your keywords (what people are actually searching for). Create content to match those keywords. Remember that YouTube is a search engine. Try to create content that’s going to get searched. Pro tip: longtail keywords and targeted content perform well on YouTube.
- Make sure videos are captioned (Google reads those). Drop active URLs in the video description to direct traffic to your website, for example.
- Transcribe! Convert the audio in your video to text. Not only do most people watch video while sitting on the toilet (I know I’m not the only one!), but subtitles are important for people with hearing impairment. There are lots of apps and digital transcription services out there, such as Rev and Otter.
- Use caution when using music in YouTube videos. If the music is copyrighted, your video will be de-ranked.
Facebook Video Strategy
We all know it’s possible to upload pre-recorded videos to Facebook, but if you want a leg-up with your marketing strategy, Facebook algorithms love Live videos. Sometimes when I mention Facebook Live to my clients, they tense up and say, “No way, Andrea! I don’t want to go live.” I hear you. Even though I’ve taken Toastmasters and am used to speaking in front of large crowds, I still get a bit jittery when I click that ominous “Live” button. Remember: action cures fear. Keep going live and trust me, you’ll get more comfortable the more you do it.
Have you tried the “Watch Party” feature on Facebook? Encourage your customers and biggest fans to click “Host a Watch Party” when you go live. This will notify their networks and will gain organic engagement with your videos. The only downside to this feature is as the presenter, you won’t be able to see their in-the-moment comments on watch parties.
The great thing about Facebook videos (either uploaded or live) is they “slow the scroll.” Facebook users typically slow down their scrolling to watch (or read on mute!) a video more often than they’ll slow to read words only. Share videos on your Facebook business page, in groups and on your personal page.
Instagram Video Strategy
Similar to Facebook, Instagram allows for uploading pre-recorded videos and for going live. Consider using IGTV as part of your marketing strategy, as it’s a newer feature that is not yet scaled on this platform, so you’ll see more organic traction.
To get on IGTV, create content that’s longer than one minute. IGTV is an Instagram feature and app that allows you to share and view video content for your business. It has a vertical format, similar to that of Instagram Stories, though IGTV allows for long-form content of up to an hour, and videos will not disappear after 24 hours.
Instagram Stories is my personal favourite! Use IG Stories to share behind-the-scenes videos, how-to’s and to connect with your followers. You can easily add text and fun GIFs, mention other accounts and add hashtags for broader reach, and use interactive features such as polls and comment boxes. Pro tip: IG Stories disappear after 24 hours, so save them to your Highlights if you want to keep them visible on your profile for longer.
Video Content Best Practices
- Focus on good video quality (content that creates value), but don’t confuse it with good production. Valuable content solves people’s problems, tells stories and engages emotions. Content quality has more value than production quality. Don’t focus on perfection. Done is better than perfect! Keep doing video and you’ll get better over time. Also, if you’re not passionate about the topic, don’t do it. Your lack of enthusiasm on a topic will show through, so only share content you actually care about.
- Sound is more important than the visual. If you want to make a video someone will actually watch, prioritize these three elements (in this order): audio, lighting, video. You don’t need to own a production studio with all the fancy equipment, but consider investing around $30 for a small lapel mic to boost audio quality.
- Focus on providing value and building trust before trying to sell to your audience. Your focus shouldn’t always be on monetization. Sell more by selling less.
- Be consistent! Create a reasonable schedule that works for you and upload videos weekly or as often as daily. Regular publishing helps grow your YouTube channel and subscribers. A lot of people stop doing video because of the time and effort it takes. Try to keep producing content often. Make as much content as possible; don’t chase perfection.
- Leverage your video content. Distribute videos on your blog, social media channels, niche industry forums and other platforms. Consider posting shorter clips and then say, “Go to my YouTube channel to see the full video.”
What’s the top takeaway or tip that you learned? I can’t wait to hear how you’re going to incorporate video into your marketing strategy. Your business has valuable information that people are ready and waiting to watch!
Keep shining bright!
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