Many businesses start out creating videos with an abstract goal in mind of pushing people to their website. While you may succeed in getting a few eyeballs on your videos and to your website in a roundabout way, a lack of focus will kill your ability to really drive traffic.
This guide will seek to show you how to establish:
- Who will view your videos
- How you can find them
- Your channel as a unique space on the web
- Your strategies to drive them to landing pages
- How you will keep viewers coming back repeatedly
There are a few shortcuts to achieving sustainable video marketing success. Gaining YouTube subscribers can often drive more success in accomplishing brand goals than having one or two viral hits. Follow these steps so that you can create a sustainable plan for your videos on YouTube, Vine, or Vimeo!
Summarize your Goals and Target Viewers
This is no time to sound like a cheesy self-help book. You need to clearly establish what it is you want your video marketing to do. There are countless numbers of goals:
- Increase brand loyalty
- Act as a customer service tool
- Push people to your website
- Inform customers about new products or features
- Create shareable, possibly viral content
This step has to be taken first as you must know what you’re doing before you can do it! Once you have this figured out and have a plan for it in your larger marketing strategy, you can start looking at who you want watching your content.
The key points of audience identification apply to video marketing the same as anywhere else. Identify their:
- Product needs
- Preferred video content
In the first part of this, you figured out what you wanted your video marketing to do. Now, you need to determine how you’re going to do that with your audience. Established businesses can look at their websites and social media marketing efforts for information on this.
One of your biggest challenges may be deciding on which platform to use, either YouTube or Vimeo. The two are similar, with Vine being vastly different, but knowing more about your target audience will help you figure out whether they’ll be found on YouTube or Vimeo.
Create a Hook for your Video Marketing Channel
You know what you want to do and who you want to market to. You have their interests and what they like to watch. This is where you need to come up with that clearly defined ‘hook’ for your channel. Every great video marketing brand has one:
- Sephora shares lots of makeup tutorials. This allows them to feature their own products.
- GoPro focuses on user generated, first person perspective content.
- Blendtec have their infamously out-there ‘Will it Blend?’ series.
- Oreo has their incredible stop motion videos.
- Lowes have the best 6 second how to videos around.
What can you do that your viewers will remember you for? There are over 300 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute. With Vine and Vimeo only adding to that total, you have to stand out amongst that by specializing in some type of content or you’ll be forgotten!
Another hook that you can create is a catchphrase. Epic Meal Time have Harley, the host, says “Next time we eat a (something crazy)” at the end of every video. It’s fun, it’s memorable, and it’s something that makes your videos stand out. It also allows your viewers to look forward to the next video.
Strategy for Links to Landing Pages
Who doesn’t have a link they want to promote? Even the million dollar making PewDiePie has a store where you can buy BroArmy merchandise. If you don’t have something like this, give your viewers something to click, even if it’s just your blog where you don’t sell anything.
Your links can be placed in one of three locations:
- In a YouTube Annotation during the video at a key moment.
- In a YouTube Annotation at the end of the video so that viewers have their next click waiting for them.
- In the description for when they’re curious about you.
My personal preference is to see them at the end. This is because your viewers are going to do something once the video is over. It might as well be viewing some form of your content or visiting your landing pages. Links in the description are always welcome as well.
Building Video Marketing in your Total Online Marketing Strategy
You’ll never reach your video marketing goals if you let it exist on its own. You need to have a plan for your videos on social media and part of your general online marketing.
To look at an example, we’ll turn to BMW. Their current feature video is the BMW 7 series car:
On their website, the featured car is the BMW 7 series car:
On their Twitter page you’ll see that header image is, you guessed it, the BMW 7 series car:
If you’re not making your videos a part of this type of all-out online push, you’re going to create a YouTube channel which isn’t as relevant as it should be. They use their videos as part of a larger push and every online platform benefits. Anyone who visits these different online properties will feel the connection, and learn the brand’s most important piece of information.
How Will you Convert Viewers Into Customers
Turning viewers into customers is possible with the YouTube Partner Program, but if your goal is selling your own products you need to plan accordingly. Ways that brands have optimized their conversion strategies on YouTube include:
- Using calls to action that work as you monitor performance.
- Working with trusted experts and well known YouTubers to better their digital social proof.
- Always working on new linking strategies.
- Having incentives and promotions advertised in the videos to create more urgency to visit your website. Using an in-video call to action like “Use coupon code ‘YouTubeSentMe’ to enter!” would work.
Even if you don’t sell a product you are still selling your videos for ad space. You can apply the above points to boost your subscriber rates and viewership numbers.
How will you get Shares off your Content?
We’ve used sharing as a way to gain exposure for everything since well before there was a world wide web. Word of mouth is a powerful motivating factor. The difference is that we can now see how it spreads on social networks.
How you’ll get shares depends on the platform you’re using, but here are some examples:
- Using an audio cue in the video to get shares. This will typically be at the end after they’ve enjoyed your content.
- On Vine, using trending hashtags can do wonders for your Revines.
- YouTube and Vimeo are not built very well for sharing right on the platform itself, you can’t push ‘Revine’ like on Vine and have it go to other people. You need audio cues accompanied by visual cues to really push people to go through the bother of cutting and pasting the URL into another platform’s update bar.
- Pushing your videos on social is your job. You can’t rely on others to do it for you. The size of your initial seed audience, those who directly follow you on any given social platform, is always going to impact your chances of having a video go viral.
Here’s the team at The Hillywood Show pushing their video through Twitter. The video is also connected to a contest, like we were talking about in the section above:
— The Hillywood Show® (@HillywoodShow) August 25, 2015
Keeping Viewers Around and Getting Subscribers
Anyone can push someone to watch their video or be found in a few video searches with good video SEO techniques. It’s those who get those people to stick around and continue watching via subscriptions that really build successful YouTube channels.
Few channels can rival Smosh for success. How they’ve built that success is on their push for every single video to get more subscribers from new viewers. Watch the end of this silly video to see how they do it:
They tell you to subscribe while a big, fat, pink button pops up on the screen! Auditory calls to action are an important part of getting subscribers and having a visual cue is another push. The button is also up there for around 10 seconds, giving viewers more time to push the button.
Video marketing requires lots of planning and determining how you want your content perceived by the audience. Let me know in the comments below any other tips you have for video marketing!
Feature image from Maksim / Shutterstock