Video Marketing: Optimizing for the Best ROI

Videos are an essential part of a successful content marketing program. Done in the right way, videos can help build awareness in your key audience, help them understand your business better, or make a decision about your products. Here are a few essential steps to help make your video marketing plan a success:
RESEARCH
Look at current videos and do some analytics before you start writing a script and hit the record button. In general you should be able to find out:

  • How many people have viewed the videos already published
  • If most people finish the videos you’ve published or if they navigate somewhere else
  • If the video was shared, how many times and the method used to share the video (ie. Email, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.)
  • Comments, if applicable

This information could help you determine your vision and goals when it comes to your video marketing; the second step in a successful video marketing program.
If you don’t have any videos and you’re thinking about starting a video marketing program, consider watching any videos published by your competitors, particularly if any of those videos have been widely shared. Of course, you don’t want to copy what your competitors are doing, but knowing what they’ve achieved and seeing their videos can give you insight into their marketing strategy. And this is gold.
PLAN
Here are some questions to consider as you build your video marketing plan:

  1. The Audience: Who are we targeting?
    1. What kinds of videos do they watch?
    2. How long do they typically spend on watching videos online?
    3. What information do they need?
    4. Can we speak to this audience in technical terms or should the language we use be more conversational?
  2. Our Purpose: What is it?
    1. Do we want an emotional reaction? Like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZXUq7Pln3g
    2. Do we want to educate? Like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSYw502dJNY
      1. If your purpose is to educate, does that also mean you’ll build a list of subscribers? Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z3Fmh6g13w
      2. What should people do after they’ve finished watching our video(s) (buy our products, cry, laugh, sign up for our newsletter, etc.)?
  1. Tactics: What will the video look / feel like in the end?
    1. What format will be consistent with our brand?
    2. What assets do we need (music, graphics, images, etc.)?
    3. Who’s involved (actors, director, CEO, employees, etc.)?
  2. Measurement: How will we do it?
    1. How will we know if what we want to happen actually happens (see question 2d)?
    2. What information do we need to measure?
    3. How will we get the information we want to measure?

Depending on your purpose, you might want to think about capturing leads through your videos. This article by the Content Marketing Institute outlines how you can build calls-to-action and lead capturing in any video marketing plan.
EXECUTE
Doing the research and building a plan is, as they say, half the battle. In creating and publishing the video there are a few best practices that will help with making sure your video is easily viewed online, and is optimized for SEO.

  1. The most common file type is mp4. If you plan on posting and sharing your videos widely (which, why not?) than using this format is your best bet.
  2. Consider reformatting videos to optimize for online publishing. There are a few free software programs that can do this for free, most notably Handbrake.
  3. Make sure to include the appropriate keywords and meta information for your videos, and have them transcribed for SEO.
  4. Share, share, share. Once your video is published on your website and any social media platforms, tell everyone in your network. Depending on your plan you might want to use major social media platforms, email, forums, your company intranet or community sites to share your video.

RESEARCH AGAIN
Going back to the first step, after your video is published you’re officially in the measurement phase of the cycle. Keep an eye on views, shares and comments to track the success of your videos and your overall marketing plan and use this information to optimize future video marketing plans.