Let’s be honest. Your next video probably won’t go viral. In fact, it’s likely that no videos that your organization produces will ever get a fraction of the views of Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” (35 million) or Evian “Dancing Babies” (46 million). But does this mean that video on the web shouldn’t be part of your digital marketing strategy? No. Not at all.
Video on the web is an important marketing tool that can help you build awareness, create engagement and deepen your relationship with your customers or prospects. And it can do this even if your video is not the next “Dancing Babies.” (FYI, watching videos online is the most internet activity online- even more popular than using social media). Let’s look at why video on the web is a strong marketing tool even if it doesn’t “go viral.”
Let’s start with your objectives- chances are they are quite different than Old Spice or Evian. These global consumer brands use video on the web to gain awareness, which they hope will translate into sales. Your goals might be to:
- Show how to use one of your products
- Position your organization as a thought leader
- Build excitement around a recent meeting or event
- Support advertising with more in depth messaging
- Deliver customer testimonials
Video on the web can help you meet your goals even if your videos do not receive thousands of views. The key is to deliver real value to viewers. This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget. What has value? Here are a few examples.
- Industry knowledge: Tap some of the expertise that exists on your team. Have one of your engineers talk about innovation or have a researcher share trends.
- Detailed information about how to use your products or services: How many features of the products we own do we really use? Just a fraction. When you educate your customers you are helping them and thereby strengthening your connection with them.
- Customer testimonials: These deliver value because they assist prospects who are trying to decide if your product or service is right for them. This is real value.
- Views from a tradeshow or conference: Go to your yearly industry conference and document trends by interviewing attendees- not just at your booth but throughout the event. Then present your view of these trends and how your products fit in. This delivers knowledge- and therefore value- to viewers and positions your brand as an industry leader.
Once you have videos that deliver real value, post them on YouTube. Here are some keys to using YouTube effectively.
- Create a custom YouTube Channel. This enables you to create a graphic presentation that is consistent with your brand. It also enables viewers to interact in a more robust way by subscribing to your channel and receiving updates when you post new videos.
- Makes sure the videos you post are highly visible by including a transcript, a title, a detailed description and tags.
- Use annotations within your videos to create calls to action. For example, in the final frames of your video, you can include a link to your website for more information. You can also include a phone number to generate sales leads.
- Link your YouTube videos to relevant pages on your website. This enables viewers at both places to benefit from your videos.
- Promote your new videos to your community via social media. Twitter, for example, is a good way to drive traffic to your videos.
- Regularly check the traffic reports that come with your YouTube Channel to learn about activity around your videos- how many viewers, which videos, and viewer demographics. Use this data to adjust your strategy.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you can produce a viral sensation, do it. But meanwhile, remember that video on the web can do more than build broad awareness; it can also engage prospects and create the kind of deep connections that lead to sales. Want to learn more? Try searching on YouTube.