Into Your Content Strategy:

Truly powerful content marketing consists of more than just blog posts. In order to make your content stand out and engage users, you need to create content in a variety of formats. Video is a major part of the equation. More than 80 percent of Internet users watch digital video — it has become an established part of our everyday lives.

But even if you know you’re ready to begin investing in video marketing, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. Videos take more planning, time and resource expenditure to create than a simple blog post does, which means you want to do as much as you can to ensure success. If you’re just getting started with video, take a look at some dos and don’ts that will help you on your way.

Getting Started

Before you jump into creating video content, you need to have a clear idea of what your goals are. In order to assess the success of your efforts, it’s important to do have a set of objectives to measure your performance against. Having an established set of goals will help ensure that your efforts stay on track; because without clear objectives, it’s easy to become distracted and go too far down a path that isn’t ultimately worthwhile.

As with any marketing initiative, video marketing should begin with a strategy. With your goals defined, you can begin to map out content ideas that support those goals. You can also set micro-goals and schedule review periods to assess performance to-date and make adjustments, if necessary.

Dos and Don’ts

If you have a strategy in-hand, you’re ready to get started creating and sharing your videos. But there are many pitfalls to be avoided along the way. Video creation is far from cheap; so you want to make sure you’re making the most of it by following a few key dos and don’ts.

• Do: Invest in Quality

Creating videos involves a high level of expertise. That means unless you have a background in video, you aren’t going to be able to create high-quality videos all by yourself. Recognize your limitations and rely on the experts where necessary. It’s better to invest in quality upfront in order to get an result you’re happy with than to cut corners and end up with something that doesn’t represent your brand appropriately.

• Do: Track Video Metrics

If you want to know whether your videos are getting results, you need to have tracking in place. You’ll need to set up tracking on your own website. Video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo will provide their own metrics, and you should be paying attention to those. How does your audience engage with videos on those channels? Which videos get the longest watch times? Which kinds of videos send the most referral visits? What about the most referral visits that convert? Pay attention to these metrics as your campaigns progress, looking for takeaways that will help optimize performance.

• Do: Make Videos Mobile-Friendly

Mobile users love to watch videos, and if your videos aren’t functional on mobile, you’ll be losing out on valuable viewers. Make sure players on your website are responsive to different screen sizes. Test your videos across platforms and devices to ensure you catch any issues or difficulties engaging with them on mobile.

• Don’t: Ramble On and On

Attention spans are short — especially so on the Internet. Keep this in mind when developing your video content. Thirty seconds is generally held to be the sweet spot in terms of video length. That doesn’t mean audiences won’t sit still for longer videos — but if you’re going past one minute, your content had better be riveting. Consider what your audience needs and wants to know, and focus on delivering those things in a memorable way. Cut out information that feels unnecessary or doesn’t serve a clear purpose.

• Do: Include Branding Elements

Your videos can and should appear in places other than on your own website and social channels. You’ll want to encourage people to share your videos and possibly even embed them on their own websites. Even if your videos will likely be viewed outside of the context of one of your brand properties, you still want them to be associated with your brand. It’s essential that you include brand elements — logo, brand name and identifiable brand aesthetics — in your videos so that they are linked to your brand, regardless of the context in which they are seen.

• Do: Support Your Videos

If you’re going to invest time and money in creating video content, you want to make sure those videos actually get seen by your audience. You’ll need to do more than just post them to your website to ensure that happens. Support your video content by promoting it on your social channels and investing some advertising spend behind it. You can create short teasers out of longer videos that will work for social audiences. You can also incorporate videos into your email marketing and display advertising campaigns.

• Don’t: Forget to Tell a Story

Humans respond powerfully to storytelling — it’s what makes it such a useful marketing technique. Stories are what allow people to connect with an idea or concept on a meaningful level. And when they’re able to connect to an idea, they’re more likely to remember it long after the fact. I believe video is the best medium with which to tell a story. Successful videos contain the shape of a story — whether it’s a customer recounting the story of how a product improved her life, or the story of how a brand was created.

In Conclusion

Videos represent some of the most engaging content a brand can create. They have the power to capture user attention and increase recall. But you can’t enter into video marketing without a plan or a basic understanding of the elements of successful video campaigns. Keep these tips in mind as you embark on the next phase of your content

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