Take a few minutes to browse OnlineVideo.net and you’ll find countless articles providing tips and tricks on how to improve an online video strategy. By now, most marketers understand the importance of online video in a successful content strategy. Yet, many brands creating online videos probably aren’t seeing the results they expected.
Wondering how to troubleshoot your next campaign? Here are five of the most common issues our agency sees working with video publishers.
- You Don’t Have a Formal Online Video Strategy
Several large companies still haven’t formally created and outlined an online video strategy.
In today’s fast-paced, 24-hour media cycle, many companies feel pressured to publish videos on their website and social channels, but they don’t stop to consider the bigger picture. This approach can lead to diluted branding, mixed messages, and confusion among your audience.
Treat online video as an extension of your overall marketing strategy. It needs to align with proper campaign goals. Additionally, the quality of the video content should be reflective of your brand. Your videos should have the same tone, voice, branding, and production value as the rest of your customer-facing content.
We recommend companies discuss their online video strategy when they meet in quarterly or annual strategy sessions. Think of video as an extension of everything you’re already distributing. Your game plan should be documented and accessible to all contributors.
Successful online video strategies include elements like video publishing schedules, distribution platforms, and social media promotion and production calendars.
- You’re Creating One-Size-Fits-All Videos
Another common mistake is brands producing video that try to be too much to too many people. They think they can reach every single person on the planet. This is not an effective approach!
Video marketing can be an expensive investment, but it’s not efficient to try and target everyone. What’s more effective is identifying your primary and secondary audiences, and doing so early in pre-production. Then, tailor the video so is speaks directly to those people. Check out this past article on targeting your audience by creating niche video content.
Think about how people are searching for the pain points and issues in your industry. Think about your company’s solutions and how can you highlight those in an online video. You can be proactive or reactive when it comes to creating this type of content. The goal is for your video to show up in search results when people look for help on these topics.
Sure, it’s great to have a broad corporate “about us” video, but simplifying your video topics into searchable content will provide more value to your audience and customers in the long run.
- You’re Using YouTube for the Wrong Reasons
This is potentially the biggest pitfall with companies’ online video strategies. While some companies still don’t use YouTube, many do. It’s the biggest online video platform, so it’s worth mentioning.
On a daily basis, we speak with brands that are disappointed with the results they see on YouTube. They’re not happy with their view count, engagement, or lead generation from videos.
Some of the most common reasons why companies struggle with YouTube are because they take a set-it-and-forget-it approach, a post-and-pray model, or they are simply use YouTube as a video player and nothing more. As with anything else, YouTube needs to be given time, effort, and dedication to achieve organic success.
It’s often an afterthought, but YouTube is a social media platform with an engaged user community. YouTube videos need to encourage social responses if you want them to be liked, commented on, and shared. Additionally, YouTube has a lot of call-to-action features that some miss out on. These are amazing tools that can drive people back to your website or further along a content journey.
Another missing link we’ve seen in our YouTube audits are channels that aren’t optimized. Or, leaving out of important items like channel art, metadata, keywords, publishing frequency, and channel trailers.
Take the time to populate all the fields on your YouTube channel and for each video. These elements matter because they make it easier for YouTube’s algorithm to find your content.
With almost one-third of all everyone online spending their time on YouTube, publishers should be doing everything possible to help their videos stand out from the noise. Appoint a dedicated expert in-house, or hire an outside company that understands the ins and outs of YouTube.
- You’re Not Speaking Natively to Social Media Channels
You can’t create a single video and expect it to work across multiple channels.
Avoid making the mistake of taking a video and throwing it on every single social media platform. While Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Periscope, and SnapChat may have similarities, they are all different from one another and have their own languages. The user experience, user base, and functionality of each network varies drastically.
Even in you have an audience across all of these channels, you shouldn’t make a video for every single one. Unless you have a huge video team, it’s hard to get good and consistent results when supporting so many platforms. Instead, take the best two performing channels and create video content tailored for those audiences.
For example, if Instagram is a major destination for you, look at what’s working on that platform and create a video for that channel. That could mean producing something visual, short, and fast-paced, as well as making use of relevant hashtags.
Or, you can think about using Periscope live streaming to promote your next big company announcement. Creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity can be a great way to generate buzz around your video.
Less can be more when it comes to social media. Take the time to see which platforms make the most sense for your brand and which engage your target audience. Then, focus on creating killer video content that speaks natively to those channels.
- You’re Treating Video as an Accessory
One final bad habit we’ve seen is not giving videos the right kind of exposure. If you’re taking the time to create online videos, then why bury them on webpages or show them in a tiny thumbnail-sized video player?
As this past article notes, it’s important to give your videos good placement. One solution that works is the video-everywhere model. Rather than having one designated page or portal for videos, include them on multiple pages on your company website. Treat videos as major pieces rather than accessories. Think about how video can complement product, service, or FAQ pages. This can increase engagement and keep people on your site for longer periods of time.
Finally, be a little flexible with your online video strategy. Viewing habits change often. Be prepared to change with them. Frequent communication, platform evaluation, and metric reviews are critical for a successful online video strategy.