The following is a guest post by Agu de Marco. His bio is at the end of the article.
When we purchase products, advertising space, and even skilled services, we expect to utilize these tools to their maximum capacity, or at least until we’re satisfied. Although videos are an extremely effective and profitable tool, companies often feel that their video promotion campaigns are underutilized. Somewhere within the distribution aspect of video marketing, the anticipation and quality of work seem to go downhill resulting in underwhelming results.
It’s important to understand how video should be used in the promotion sequence. In order to prevent unsatisfactory numbers in your next video marketing campaign, here are five promotion misperceptions or mistakes that can hurt your desired results.
1. The misperception of video SEO
By now, you probably understand the basics of the term, search engine optimization (SEO), which categorizes your content, making it searchable on the Internet. The problem with video SEO is that videos that you embed on web pages are not automatically identifiable; in fact, they are invisible to search engine crawlers. In other words, your expensive video may not even be recognized by Google.
In order to make your video noticeable, you must create a video sitemap, similar to a website sitemap, which is a way to categorize the details and inform web browsers what the video is about.
Keep in mind as of July 17th, 2014, Google has removed one feature of the video sitemap that created thumbnail images for all site-mapped videos in Google searches, also known as a video snippet. So, only videos posted on YouTube and large companies now have video snippets.
However, creating a video sitemap is still very valuable. Even though you may not visually see its effects, it’s an extremely important tool for targeting the audience who is most interested in your content and getting your content crawled by search engines.
As I will mention again below, YouTube automatically sitemaps your videos, which is great. Remember the search credibility will go to YouTube rather than to your own website, which is something to consider if page ranking is one of your marketing goals.
To learn more about video SEO, here is an exceptional article from Wistia worth checking out.
2. Mindlessly using YouTube
In reference to the video snippets, uploading videos to YouTube will include those thumbnail images that make your videos more appealing in organic Google searches. On the other hand, the credit (page authority) doesn’t go to your website, but rather to YouTube itself, which stinks.
Either way, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet, so you will need to incorporate the platform into your video marketing strategy.
Notice how I used the word strategy. The problem with YouTube is that companies upload their videos, post on other social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) and then that’s the end of their campaign. If you take a step back and reflect on your goals, they most likely did not mention viral videos, so stop worrying about it. YouTube has a lot of free, great offerings to help you achieve authentic marketing campaigns.
Besides posting your video onto your YouTube channel, you can re-edit your videos and turn them into video teasers, engage with similar videos on other channels and most importantly, start a conversation. Remember that YouTube is a social media platform, so you need to not only upload your video onto the site, but also start talking about it.
3. The title is just as important as the video
The title of your video is the gateway to determining if it’s worth watching. Most people don’t realize the importance of titles, which is why it is so easy to find lousy titles with underwhelming video views all over the web.
To give you an example of a title’s impact, here are two videos I found on YouTube. Click on the title that is most appealing to you.
Now, go ahead and click the other video to compare the difference between views. Why do think the amount of views were different? Even though both videos are high quality and entertaining, one title was simply more captivating.
When creating a video title, it should represent the content in a clever and enticing way that encourages us to want to view more.
To know that you are on the right track, you need to test it. Take your time and make as many titles as you can, and then test them with your peers and friends. Their feedback should steer you into the right direction and before you post the video live, just ask yourself, “Would I click this?”
4. Non-existent marketing funnel
Not completing marketing goals happens more often than you may think. You have a video, post it on Facebook… and then what?
Before posting your videos online, you must map out the path that you want your viewers to take once they view it. For instance, when a viewer watches your video, the call to action will lead them to the next step, perhaps your homepage where you have another marketing component for them to join your newsletter.
You need a plan and most importantly a call to action. Without these components, your campaign will lack in purpose and will most likely be disengaging. Remember that social media platforms are tools to help you reach larger audiences. Your marketing plan should include those tools and find a way for them to help you achieve your end goal, whatever that may be. In other words, posting on Facebook is not the be-all and end-all; it’s just a tool to help you.
5. Posting the video once
The first offense is when people post a video with the same context for every social media platform. That’s a huge mistake. The more humanly you represent your brand, videos and content, the most human engagement you will receive. You must avoid robotically blasting out the same post for your video on every social network.
The second offense is just posting the video one time and expecting exceptional results.
To help you visualize this better, I want you to think about when you were a kid, and wanted a Lego set or Polly Pocket for your birthday. You were relentless. Every free, waking moment you had, you found a way to mention it to your parents. Now, in a less annoying manner, use this idea of continual discussion and apply it to your video promotion strategy. Make different versions of the video into teasers and find ways to keep the conversation in motion.
As you can see when we talk about videos on social media, my advice isn’t always about the platform themselves, but rather believing in your content and finding clever ways to keep the conversation alive.
If you have any additional strategies or thoughts on digital video promotion using social networks, feel free to share them in the comments and let’s keep the conversation moving.