Most people know that video is an absolute necessity if you want to grow a successful brand. People see other brands growing and engaging their audience with video, and they want to reap those same rewards and benefits. All too often, however, brands enter the video game without a clear plan for how they are going to achieve their goal.
Instead of developing a coherent strategy for their videos, tactics often amount to little more than “throw it at the wall and see what sticks.” Video is pushed out everywhere, without any identifiable goals to measure success. While that may be better than creating no video at all, getting the most out of video requires an understood, well thought out strategy.
Understand Your Video Strategy Goals
Not all video is made for the same purpose, so ask yourself what you’re hoping to get from the video you are producing. Is the goal to grow and engage your social following? Is it to drive traffic from social media to your brand’s website? Or is your goal to engage viewers already going to your website, to get them to spend more time in your world? Are you trying to make money from video, or is it simply about brand awareness?
Clear answers to those questions will provide you with goals, and with those goals in mind you can consider the content, pace and style of your video and the best way to present it to your audience.
Video for Social vs Video for Your Website
Video made for social media should be aimed at growing and engaging your audience. Social Media video should be short – to match attention spans – and work to develop the character of your brand, fostering familiarity. It can also be a tool to drive followers to your website. Host these videos on YouTube and take advantage of all the SEO opportunities.
However, videos on your site should be especially aimed at your existing audience. The content should be engaging and offer real value and aim to hold people on your page for longer.
Videos on your website must not be hosted by YouTube as you have little or no control over what appears before during and after your video has played. YouTube can, and frequently does, change the rules without telling you leaving you with the possibility of your nearest rival’s video appearing on your website. Use Vimeo to host your website videos and retain control and quality.
Your Website is still Your Shopfront
Everyone seems singularly focused on social media these days, and while a strong social media presence is undoubtedly crucial, it doesn’t mean that your website is useless. In fact, a website has a very important place in any brand’s ecosystem as a home for premium content and as a revenue generator (through ads, product sales, or other conversions).
Remember that videos on social media can be a partner to the videos on your own site, driving followers to lengthier content housed on your page. That more substantial content should really shine, making it valuable to your audience so they return to your site for new material on a regular basis. An engaged follower who frequents your site is much more likely to convert to a customer than someone who gets dropped on your page through a traditional advertisement, because they already know and trust your brand. A few quick tips to keep in mind when putting video on your website:
Always place your videos at the top of the page, never at the bottom or in a sidebar – because in those areas, users might confuse them with ads!
Consider using video on your landing page. It’s an easy way to immediately catch attention and keep folks on your site. Videos are great for product pages, too, allowing you to quickly show off the most exciting features in a compelling way.
Always make sure your video players work for mobile viewing – you don’t want to drive a mobile user to your site to find it doesn’t function properly on their mobile device.
Your Video Strategy Should be Your Own
You shouldn’t try to imitate the strategies of others. Your brand, your content, and your audience are unique entities, and you understand better than anyone what your followers will engage with and respond to.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from the strategies of other publishers, just don’t think that because someone else does it you have to do it, too. There are no set rules for a one-size-fits-all video strategy – everyone is trying to sort out the best video strategy possible for their unique brand, and those efforts are regularly evolving. You must be nimble and ready to evolve as well.
Your strategy exists to give you a plan for your content and to allow you to measure what works against what doesn’t. Your strategy is not meant to be set in stone. If something isn’t working or stops working along the way, don’t be afraid to change it up. You’ll need to constantly explore and experiment to find what brings the best results for you and your brand, but the first thing you need to do is get a strategy in place!
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