Making Your Video Marketing Efforts Work
A successful online video can boost your brand, product or message into the stratosphere. But thousands – maybe even tens of thousands – of businesses release promotional videos each week. How can you make yours stand out and get noticed?
The truth is there’s no easy answer. What works for one company isn’t guaranteed to work for another. Even worse, a blatant attempt to use ideas similar to those found in a successful video will often be derided by the internet as a shameless copy-cat. So viral success is often far more complicated than simply finding an existing video and saying, “Let’s just do what they’re doing.”
Be Different … While Following the Rules
But here’s the twist: Just because your video needs to be original doesn’t mean you should go completely outside the box. I’ve worked in the video content industry for years and have seen a lot of popular trends come and go. There are some rules which never go out of style.
Here are some elements which are always a good idea to use when making a video:
- Keep it Short and Sweet
A marketing video isn’t a television show. Your video should be no longer than three minutes, max. This is especially true if you’re not a brand known for videos.
- Hook Your Viewers in Quickly
Keep your video short but also get to the point as quickly as possible. If the viewer doesn’t have a pretty clear idea of what your video is about within the first few seconds, they’ll likely press stop and find something else online.
- Give Viewers an Incentive
Ideally, your video will be engaging enough to create buzz around your brand. But what you really want is to get your viewers to take action. Insert a brief call to action into the beginning. Mention the call to action a few times — again, briefly – during the video. Finally, at the very end of the video, present a very clear call of action. This can be a link to your site, an opt-in for a special promotion or whatever else is dictated by your marketing needs.
- Don’t Forget to ID Yourself
If an online video goes viral, but nobody knows who you are, that’s not going to help with your marketing. You need your name or the name of your organization directly in the video. This can be done with voice-overs, dialogue in the video, titles, captions or links. Personally, I recommend having the name printed on-screen in some way at least once – you can never guarantee your viewers will have the sound turned on.
- Don’t be Tone-Deaf
If you’re a bank, you probably want to stay away from risqué or offensive humor. But that’s the exact type of comedy you might want to consider if you’re, say, a liquor company. The point is to always understand your company’s image – and be very careful when straying too far from that.
- Have a Professional Look and Sound
Even if the image of your organization is low-tech and homegrown, you still want professional production quality. This means the video is clear, free from clutter and not plastered with on-screen graphics. Also, the audio should be properly balanced – dialogue should be easy to understand and background music should be set to an appropriate level.
- Keep the Title Clear and Understandable
“OMG MOST AMAZING VIDEO EVER!!1!” isn’t going to cut it. You need to give your video a clear, descriptive title. You can still be creative, just make sure the name of your product or organization is easily identifiable. Also, make sure the description is brief, informative and contains relevant keywords.
A list of rules might seem to run counter to creating a creative and original video, but that’s not really the case. Viewers respond to videos which have a professional look, clear titles and a message which is instantly understandable. These six rules should give you a great framework. But within that framework, you can be as creative as possible! Who knows – your next video could end up becoming the latest viral sensation.