Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
If the successes of YouTube creators like Jimmy Donaldson (who boasts 153 million subscribers as MrBeast) and Felix Kjellberg (also known as PewDiePie, with 111 million subscribers) are any clue, video is in a class all its own when it comes to marketing and gaining reach. As a result, video has become a favorite form of media for marketers. Here’s a quick guide to harnessing the power of video marketing for yourself.
What video marketing can deliver
Video integrates seamlessly with smartphones and other small mobile devices, providing a full range of benefits such as increased recall and buying intent. Because it’s more engaging than white papers or articles, it typically improves the amount of time people spend on your website. And the longer people remain in your corner of the web, the more likely they are to buy or explore your other offers — meaning there’s a correlation between video content and your ability to sell.
Because video works so well, the market is admittedly saturated — but it’s a fixture of the current online landscape, and people want more. The prevalence of video means that your content has to be top-notch to stand out. When the first creators began to pioneer video content, it didn’t have to be groundbreaking to get noticed. Now, there’s so much available video content that you have to set yourself apart; otherwise, people won’t be drawn to your site or YouTube channel. Make the most of your expertise and ensure the quality of every video you produce is high.
Standalone, omnichannel and video
Does the success of video mean you shouldn’t produce articles, white papers, infographics or other media such as podcasts? Not at all. You’ll always have some customers or clients interested in a different media option, and repurposing your content in various formats allows you to employ an omnichannel strategy to reach more people. In my experience, videos earn more engagement when compared to other content types.
Before you start, consider whether your video will serve as a standalone piece of content or be part of a larger, multi-touchpoint campaign. There might be specific cases where it makes perfect sense to create only video, depending on your goals and the market you’re working in. But overall, we develop video as another option for engagement rather than having it work in an isolated or siloed way.
As you decide if your video should be standalone or part of a bigger campaign, keep in mind that there is an array of options for video. You can get creative and utilize features — like voiceovers, digital animation or AI integration — or opt for live video for a change of pace and if your budget allows. Some videos will be less expensive than others. If you are looking to produce live videos, then a dedicated studio and staff will help keep the work focused and well-produced. This will be your most expensive option, and smaller marketing teams should look at digital animation as a great alternative.
Measuring your video’s success
Video content is like any other form of media in that there are metrics that can show how well you’re doing, such as the click-through rate and time on site. The most significant metric we measure is how many people visited the video. Factors such as the quality of your thumbnail image or placement of the video on your website can dramatically impact your results.
The second most important metric is how long viewers watch your video. Our team found that after 90 to 120 seconds, people stop viewing. With that in mind, keep your video short, designing your script so that appealing information or visual shifts keep visitors engaged.
Finally, track whether people are sharing the video. If they are, the content is resonating with your audience. People won’t share what they don’t connect with. Just remember that elements like the platform’s algorithm can greatly influence the initial impressions you get. A greater number of initial impressions means that more people have the potential to watch and, subsequently, share your content.
Your basic video content game plan
You might want to develop specific video-creation protocols within your company to provide consistency and accountability. Here are some basic steps to follow:
- Decide how much you’ll spend. Can you afford to hire professional talent? Do you need to spend extra for makeup or editing? Even small budgets can yield fantastic content. Be realistic about how much money you can put toward the video to help narrow down vendor and tool options. Be clear about what the budget is based on.
- Choose a length. A limit of two minutes is a good general rule, as explained above — but the length you choose may vary depending on the channel or goal. A video you post directly to Twitter can’t exceed two minutes and 20 seconds, whereas one on Instagram can be up to 60 minutes long. The more omnichannel your approach, the shorter the content you’ll probably need to produce so as not to exceed limits — unless you plan to create multiple versions of the video.
- Write your script. Writing an engaging script can be a challenge. Will you hire an outside writer or stay in-house? Either way, the tone of the script has to match your brand and adhere to the length — and budget — you set.
- Strategize your video distribution. Will you post your video solely on your website, or social media, too? More distribution channels will likely increase promotion costs. If most of your customers or clients use a specific channel, it’s okay to focus there rather than trying to cover every avenue.
- Prepare your captions and transcript. Including transcripts and captions is an American Disabilities Act best practice that can increase SEO reach and viewership regardless of where you distribute. Be mindful of positioning your captions so you don’t block important video elements.
Aim high and enjoy yourself
Video is one of the most widely used media forms available for marketing, and for good reason: People are 52% more likely to share a video than any other type of content. If you’re not already making video part of your marketing strategy, now could be your chance.
Creating videos doesn’t need to break the bank, but set a high bar for quality to ensure your videos have the biggest reach and ROI possible. After that, have fun within the guardrails of your brand. The more you enjoy producing the content, the more viewers will probably enjoy watching it, too.