Video content is exploding right now! Up to 80% of all traffic comes from it, and 85% of people want to see even more video content from their favorite brands today.
Long story short:
If you don’t use video content as a part of your marketing strategy, you’ll lose the battle for your brand’s authority, target audience, and overall search engine rankings.
If you use video content but don’t organize and optimize it accordingly, you’ll lose the battle for your brand’s authority, target audience, rankings, and conversions.
In this post, we’ll discuss the role of video content for your marketing success in 2021, the core principles of its organization for better engagement, and the rules of optimizing it on different social media platforms for better visibility, rankings, and conversion.
Table of Contents
- Why Video Content is Your Must-Have in 2021
- Organizing Video Content for Different Channels
- Optimizing Video Content for Different Channels
- Wrapping Up
Why Video Content is Your Must-Have in 2021
The first and foremost reason:
People WANT to see and consume video content. In 2021, the average person spends about 100 minutes watching online videos. More than that:
- 80% of consumers “would rather watch a live video than read a blog.”
- 72% say they’d rather watch a video than read about a product.
- Viewers retain up to 95% of a message when watching it compared to 10% when reading it in a text.
- 85% would like to see more videos from brands in 2021.
Video content hooks attention because the human brain retains information through visuals, stories, and emotions, not words, facts, and statistics. This format is naturally engaging because most people perceive information through pictures.
Video content provides more context, making it more conversational: Elements like body language, color psychology, sounds, or inflection are impossible to communicate via text.
From the marketing point of view, here goes another (huge!) reason to consider video content a part of your strategy:
Videos drive more traffic and conversions than traditional SEO content.
Nothing personal, just numbers:
- 86% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website. No wonder: Cisco predicts that up to 82% of all online traffic will be from videos by 2022.
- Videos increase conversions by 80%. No wonder: 95% of people watch explainer videos to learn more about a product/service; 84% of consumers say they’ve been convinced to buy after watching a brand’s video about a product/service.
Is there anyone to blame for such a video content explosion and its influence on brands’ overall ROI?
YouTube has turned into the second-largest search engine globally. With over 2 billion monthly users watching over a billion hours of video daily, it’s the #1 purchase driver. 83% of consumers choose YouTube to search for a brand- and user-generated content, and it behaves a lot like a traditional search engine today.
For brands, it means the battle for winning YouTube Suggest and Google’s video results.
It’s not enough to film a video, publish it on your website, YouTube, or any social media platform, and wait for the audience to find it and convert it into your followers. Now you need to consider:
- Proper organization of your video content for better engagement
- Video strategy on what (video types), when, and where to publish for better visibility
- Proper optimization (video SEO) of your clips for better rankings, traffic, and conversion
Below are the tips on how you’ll solve this.
Organizing Video Content for Different Channels
Sure, the idea of producing video content seems excellent and worth trying. But if you want it to generate ROI, you need to do everything for it to complement your overall marketing strategy. With no goals and a precise plan on organizing the whole process of video creation and distribution, you’ll do nothing but spend time and budget in vain.
So, here goes the first thing for you to do:
Define Video Goals
Answer the question on what you want to get out of your video content. Not only will it help conceptualize a video production, but it will also allow you to reach the audience and engage your targets in the desired action.
From the marketing point of view, the goals of your videos can be as follows:
1) Introduce your brand to the audience (Awareness)
This stage is for educating the audience about you, your brand mission, product, or services. You’ll need to generate informative yet emotional content revealing your brand story. Explainer videos work best here.
2) Grow people’s curiosity to learn more about you (Interest)
Now that people know who you are and what you offer, it’s time to grow their curiosity and show how your brand can help them. Why do they need your product or services? Video tutorials will help here: Appeal to your targets’ pain points, interests, and values; let them know they can relate to your brand and that it will help them solve problems.
3) Influence the audience’s intention to buy from you (Decision)
Here the time comes for testimonials and product demos. Now you need to help the audience decide whether they want to purchase from your brand. Share videos that build loyalty and trust, appealing to feelings yet relevant and influential enough.
4) Convert the targets into leads (Action)
Now that the audience is ready to purchase from you, it’s time to convince them even further. Share videos on why they need to choose you among other superb alternatives on the market: Give them a reason to act right now. Video formats to try here are about us, behind-the-scenes, a brand story, company culture, etc.
From the SEO point, your video goals are two: build links (generate social shares) and boost conversions.
As for the former (links), you need to create a truly exceptional video and prepare a heavy outreach campaign for its promotion. It should be a video most viewers and reputable media would like to share, therefore providing you with hundreds or even thousands of high-quality links.
Case in point: The oldy-moldy video ad from DollarShaveClub.com.
The trick here is to offer something to viewers. You can make them laugh, shock them, educate or amaze, or even annoy them; your task is to evoke a strong emotional reaction so viewers would want to share your video or write about it on their blogs.
As for the latter (conversions), video content can help you tremendously if placing it in the right places on your website.
- Landing pages with videos are up to 86% more convertible
- Videos with customer feedback on product pages encourage 52% of consumers to go ahead and make a purchase
- Animated explainer videos at homepages can increase conversions by 10%
With that in mind, we come to the second thing for you to do:
Decide on Video Types
The right type of video published on the proper platform is a sure-fire way to influence your rankings and overall marketing endeavors. Andy Crestodina from OrbitMedia specifies three types of marketing content to consider depending on a user’s search intent:
Post social media videos to your stream on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or whatever platform your targets prefer.
Post content marketing videos to YouTube, and once they are live there — embed them into blog posts on your website where relevant. It will increase their chances of getting ranked in both Google and YouTube and being discovered by more people.
Post conversion videos on your website’s most popular pages for maximum visibility. Types of videos to consider here are about us, explainer videos, product videos, testimonials, FAQs videos, customer feedback, etc.
With chosen video types and platforms in the pocket, it’s time for the most challenging yet exciting part:
Write a Script
You need a document that would outline how your video is going to run. Known as a video script, it conveys the narrative and message and includes the elements like:
- Scene descriptions (the context)
- Directions (the actions your characters will perform)
- Camera cues and post-production notes (illustrations of how to film and edit your video content afterward)
A video script matters as it directly impacts the audience’s retention and the time they’ll spend watching your content. Both are significant ranking factors on search engines. As YouTube mentions, “videos with consistently high audience retention and watch time have the potential to show up more frequently in Search and Suggested locations.”
To hook viewers and engage them to watch your videos, try writing your scripts with the principles of video storytelling in mind.
You know that storytelling is a writing technique of guiding the audience through narrative-based content that engages them in desired actions by evoking emotional connections. Given that a story is the only way to make the human brain notice and remember information, writing your video scripts accordingly seems worth trying, huh?
How to make storytelling work in your video scripts? Please write them with the following details in mind:
- A hero. Each story should have three core elements to succeed: set-up, narrative arc, and resolution. It’s a journey your protagonist comes through, turning into a hero your audience can relate to. It should be easy for the viewers to associate themselves with your hero: Remember about the pain points, fears, emotions, and cultural backgrounds of your targets when writing a script.
- Context. Video storytelling offers tons of alternative instruments (other than words) to communicate your message to the audience. Colors, background music, filters, screen composition, background elements, and the overall environment in the shoot — everything can influence the mood, evoke particular emotions, and trigger associations. Pay attention to details and prescribe them in a script.
- The element of surprise. It’s something that helps you capture attention, make the viewers yell “Wow!” or “WTF?” and continue watching to find out what it’s all about: a random character, plot twist, color, or anything else people don’t expect to see in your video. Examples: a purple cow in Milka’s ad, a bear in the above-mentioned video from DollarShaveClub, or a panda in the ad of cheese:
Organize into Sections
Okay, let’s make it clear:
Entertaining content with funny animals, plot twists, and your brand integrated into the context is not the only video type you’ll use for your marketing campaign, right? Your video tutorials, testimonials, behind-the-scenes, and product videos need (and can) be original and high-retention too.
To keep people watching and therefore influence your retention and rankings in search results, organize content marketing videos into sections:
- Start with a summary to help viewers understand they are at the right place to watch.
- Avoid lengthy introductions and jump right to the content (Attention span is super short today, and no one will spend time listening to your blah-blah-blah.)
- Add tiny previews of upcoming parts to encourage further viewing.
Clear sections help Google understand your video content and use its different clips for ranking accordingly. Plus, it’s your super chance to get into Video Featured Snippets:
Prepare a Transcript
A transcript and closed captions are critical text elements of YouTube SEO: They can help you rank higher by highlighting all the related keywords. Understanding the context of your video, search engines will rank it accordingly and highlight it in user’s queries.
Sure, YouTube creates a transcription file automatically. However, it’s far from perfect, missing or misspelling some words, and misleading or confusing the audience that way.
All you need to do is write transcripts yourself and upload them to the corresponding file. In the case of YouTube, here’s how to do that:
- Go to the list of your videos and choose the one to edit.
- Go to the “Subtitles” tab.
- Paste the transcript.
- Ensure all the words match those from a speaker.
Not only does this trick help SEO, but it also serves your audience’s benefit.
As you know, over 85% of users prefer watching videos with sounds off. It’s especially true for videos on Facebook and Instagram. So your closed captions are an instrument to communicate the message to your audience.
Transcripts also help those with hearing disabilities to understand you. Plus, if you have a multicultural audience and most of them use English as a second language, closed captions will become their chance to get your message right. (It’s often much more accessible for non-native speakers to read a message than comprehend it by ear.)
Optimizing Video Content for Different Channels
Video optimization is all about SEO: The higher a link to your video is in search, the more views it’ll get. Just as text content can be SEO-optimized for better results, video content can be for your website, emails or newsletters, social media platforms, and search engines, too.
As defined by Technopedia, video optimization “involves creating video metadata that is relevant to what people are searching for as well as building video content that generates traffic for a specific website.”
With that in mind, here’s what you can do for optimizing your video content at different channels.
Optimizing For YouTube
- Choose target keywords that have search volume on YouTube, not Google. People use these two search engines differently, and a keyword with 15k searches on Google may get only 15 searches on YouTube. Consider YouTube Suggest, Google’s video results, your YouTube Studio stats, and popular channels in your niche for video keyword research. Some YouTube keyword tools can help too.
- Name a video file with your target keyword. YouTube can “read” file names after uploading, so your “optimizing-video-for-web.mov” has more chances of getting ranked than “new-video-00730FINAL.wmv.”
- Optimize video titles. Keep a title short yet highlighting the benefit for users to know it’s worth their time. Don’t forget to include your target keyword in the title.
- Optimize video descriptions. Make them longer (200+ words) for YouTube to “understand” it and rank accordingly. Again, include a target keyword and related keywords to it.
- Add tags and categories for every video.
- Organize videos into sections (previously mentioned here) and add transcripts and timecodes for a better user experience. (Google loves it!)
- Create custom thumbnails for every video: They are the first thing users see when deciding to click, influencing your video CTR by far.
- Add cards and end screens to influence your channel’s visibility, retention, watch time, and rankings. But beware of stuffing: Choose the most relevant and those providing added value to your audience.
And don’t hesitate to promote your YouTube videos via other channels.
Optimizing for Facebook
- Make your Facebook videos square since it fits mobile screens best, encouraging higher engagement.
- Add closed captions since most viewers prefer watching Facebook videos with sound off.
- Don’t make your videos too long since users scroll their feeds with no intention to make a sustained stop. One study found that 2 to 5-minute videos bring the highest engagement on Facebook.
- Add branded cards or logos at the end of a clip or place them in the corner of your video. This way, they won’t distract viewers from the content itself.
- Try Facebook Live to introduce new products, share your behind-the-scenes story, answer users’ FAQs, etc. Live videos bring more engagement on Facebook, and you can get more marketing benefits from them.
Optimizing for Instagram
- Keep your feed videos around 30 seconds: It’s the most optimal length for engaging and encouraging more comments.
- You can string together a few 15-second Instagram Stories or Reels but focus on the hook in the first few seconds to ensure a video watch completion.
- Start a video with a solid visual theme (eye-catching, beautiful image) to win the struggle for users’ attention in their news feeds.
- Use relevant hashtags to maximize the visibility of your video for a broader audience. Instagram direct publishing tools can help organize and optimize them through different videos and regular posts.
Optimizing for LinkedIn
This social media channel can be the best choice for B2B organizations whose target audience is less receptive to entertaining videos on Facebook or Instagram. LinkedIn allows you to record videos directly in their mobile app or upload pre-loaded clips.
Video types like product demos, event announcements, live streams and interviews with niche experts, and how-to’s work best here.
- The ideal video length depends on your objective. For brand awareness, videos under 30 seconds bring a 200% lift in completion; for more in-depth content, LinkedIn offers the maximum length of ten minutes.
- Ensure your videos look highly professional. Pay precise attention to editing unless you’re sharing content from live events where post-production is impossible. Yet, do your best to squeeze the most out of your phone and operator skills anyway.
- Remember about video descriptions. You have up to 700 characters to optimize it for better readability and engagement. Include a call to action and relevant links if appropriate.
Now that you know the whole process of organizing a video creation and optimizing your clips for ranking success on different online platforms, let’s recap for greater certainty:
- Video content is a must-have for your marketing success in 2021: People want to see even more videos from brands, so it’s your sure-fire way to get rankings, traffic, and conversions.
- If you’re going to generate ROI from your video marketing endeavors, do your best to define video goals, decide on video formats to help you reach those goals, and determine the best publishing platforms for each video format.
- Write video scripts that would make your clips both engaging and properly organized for higher retention and watch time.
- Remember SEO principles when optimizing your videos for better rankings: target keywords, metadata, transcripts, closed captions, visual elements like custom thumbnails or branded hashtags — everything works to your benefit here.
- Keep in mind the best practices of video optimization for different social media channels. What is solid for YouTube could fail on Facebook, leaving you with poor engagement rates and wasted opportunities.
If you put time and effort into crafting and organizing video content, don’t be lazy to go the extra mile to optimize it according to the latest video SEO strategies and your target platforms’ best practices.