Every minute, 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. Video concept and creation may seem like the biggest hurdles, but ultimately getting your video seen is a far greater challenge (and less within your power to control). Video is a great medium for storytelling, marketing and overall communication; which is why it is crucial for marketers to learn how to leverage a video’s impact. You want to set your brand’s video content up for success from the very beginning. Factors like length, quality and the platform you choose to upload it to will affect your viewers’ attitude toward your content and whether or not they follow through on your call-to-action.
Check out our guide below to give your content the best chance for success.
While it’s not uncommon to start the process thinking about the kind of video you want to make, it pays to begin thinking about your audience and asking what they will best respond to. Demographics (age, gender, location) are a good place to start, but ultimately you want to begin with psychographics, or market research. What does your audience think and feel about your product or service? What do they think about themselves, their lives and their need for what you’re selling? What is value it would play in their lives? What are they thinking before and after they see your video? Do they know your product exists? If so, do they know you exist? Answering these questions will help your creative team come up with the most effective ideas to reach your intended audience.
Much like audience, the intended use for your video may come as an afterthought if you aren’t intentional in the early stages. One size does not fit all with video. Consider the purpose of your video (brand awareness, sales, audience building) and once you answer this, you will then need to answer the question: how are we using it?
- Placing it on your website
- Presenting it in-person during presentations or sales pitches
- Ad on the web (but what platform?)
- TV commercial (local or national?)
- Playing it on a loop at trade shows
- Playing it on the screen in your business foyer
Have you considered that many of the above-mentioned uses won’t allow for audio? You’ll need to make sure the story or information in your video is accessible by audiences who are watching without sound. And while subtitles may feel like the obvious solution, there are many ways to facilitate the viewing of silent video and your creative team will advise you on the best solution for your audience and platform.
Your video will land better with a strategy behind it and this includes the length. Are you placing your video as a pre-roll ad on YouTube or are you anticipating that it will be the main video they’re searching for? Are you using if on Facebook or Instagram?
Will they be watching it at a trade show or be shown your video as part of a sales pitch?
Research on video length is important, as it ensures you’re doing the research that’s pertinent to the type of video (and intended use) you’re actually making.
Different platforms have different audiences in different mindsets. A video made specifically for YouTube behaviors may be more valuable for you than a catch-all you intend on uploading anywhere and everywhere.
Did you know that many viewers of video on Facebook tend to drop out around the 23-second mark? So make sure something interesting is happening just around then if you want viewers to follow through to the end.
4. Give Your Content Legs
You can get more bang for buck by making multiple versions of the same video. Give your piece of content legs by editing multiple lengths. Many content creators will have this in mind when they are writing the story/script for your video and an experienced creative team will be able to recommend the right length for your video’s intended use.
As video people, we are regularly approached by clients with something like this: “We want to make a short video. Like 5 minutes.” In marketing, we would say that even a 3-minute video will feel like a feature-length film to your audience! This length may work if they’re being forced to watch it during a presentation, but not if they’re casually browsing the web.
Don’t attempt to pack every piece of information into your one video. If you do it right, you’ll be converting scrolling viewers into an audience. They will see your other videos either organically or through remarketing, so don’t sweat it if you can’t get everything you want into the one video.
5. Future Proof
For a small or medium-sized business, your videos may be a significant time and financial investment. Be sure to write your video in a way which prevents it from becoming dated. Keep your content relevant, evergreen and future-proof by avoiding prices, statistics which may change, or including people who are likely to move on from the company.
Your creative team should have your back on this. For example, we recently had a client who included the fact that they were 25 years old in their PR & marketing before we came along. We said, “what happens next year when you’re 26?”
Videos are one the most versatile strategies for your business. Editing allows for various possibilities so your brand can shine no matter the platform. While a regular calendar of video content may feel out of reach for your small or medium-sized business, having at least 1 robust video asset for your marketing team to use is vital in this age. We hope the above thoughts got your creative process off to a stellar start.