Online video has come a long way since the early days when all companies had to do was slap a video player on their website.
As recently as five years ago, it may have been enough to have a single “About Us” video on your company’s site. These videos most likely tried to cover everything about your company in an attempt to address all possible audiences.
These days, the one-off video approach simply won’t cut it. Between “video everywhere” and 24-hour distribution channels, brands and publishers need to think about developing a dynamic online video strategy. Here are 5 tips for getting the most out of your online video strategy.
Create a Content Journey
Online audiences are connecting with brands in different ways than in the past. They’re not only looking to learn about your mission statement and elevator pitch, but also want to dig deeper and get to know what’s at the core of your brand. Rather than taking the entire budget and creating an amazing sizzle reel, publishers should use that money to create multiple videos focusing on more niche topics.
Search plays a big role in how viewers watch your videos. The more detailed you can get with your content, the more likely it is that you will reach a target audience or customer who will take an action after watching. Think about how a potential customer might search for the topics in your industry, then create a content journey for said customer. Be sure to include videos for every part of the process, from introduction to conversion.
Adorama, a photography store in New York City, does an excellent job creating video content journeys for potential customers.
The store offers several curated playlists across its YouTube channel, covering multiple photography topics. These videos strike a nice balance between offering free educational value and promoting products viewers can purchase through the Adorama site. New videos are released continually, and viewers are encouraged to subscribe for notifications. This approach keeps viewers coming back and wanting more.
Use All Company Channels
A big part of what we do at Clear Online Video is work with brands to tailor the video experience for each of their distribution channels. Every video needs to be produced with its final distribution model in mind. This is too often an afterthought, leading to videos that are poorly executed.
For example, say you’re creating a video that will ultimately live on Facebook. While that may be the primary goal of a campaign, it doesn’t mean that Facebook has to be the only channel you use for that video.
If your company is using multiple channels, whether they’re social media or something else, think about how you can leverage these destinations during the entire process. You could use Periscope to live stream behind-the-scenes footage of the production process. Or, use Twitter or Instagram to poll fans and encourage feedback during pre-production. Share teasers and samples during the post-production phase on Snapchat.
Keep in mind that content needs to speak the native language of each channel. However, all of these ideas can be put into place if you think about it ahead of time. This allows for a massive amount of content spread across multiple channels, encouraging your audience to follow your brand along a content journey.
Make a Series, Not a Movie
Does your company create long-form or educational content? If so, you should experiment with creating chapter-style videos rather than longer videos. Not only does this approach provide you with more content to spread out over time, it’s also more likely that your audience will stay engaged.
While online video retention has increased over the last few years, it’s still wise to keep online content on the shorter side. Actual time ranges depend on the platform that you’re using, but many social channels—including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram—average between 15 seconds and 3 minutes on the higher end.
Lynda.com is a great example of a company excelling in chapter-style videos. Its in-depth topics are broken down into short videos that follow an easy-to-watch hierarchy. Users have the ability to view all series videos at once or watch them over time. This approach respects the viewer’s schedule.
Use Internal Assets
One of the best ways to avoid the one-off video model is to look within your company for resources. These days, most companies have influencers and experts who are blogging, public-speaking, training, and sharing their knowledge with customers. Take these company rock-stars and discuss potential ideas for turning what they’re doing into a video series.
Microchip Technology did a nice job with this when it turned some of its software white papers into an educational video series called MPLAB X TV.
The series was broken down into chapter-style video lessons, and episodes were released over time. This kept users engaged and allowed them to interact with the show’s host through YouTube comments.
The best part of this campaign was all the content had essentially been written ahead of time. While the scripts needed reformatted for video, the heavy lifting had already been done.
Take a Combined Front
Continuing the idea of using internal resources, gather all the company’s key players and content marketers together to brainstorm video ideas. It’s surprising how many companies fail to do this.
While each department or team may have its own marketing goals, take a unified approach with online videos. Often, these groups can share insights from different backgrounds to make videos more powerful.
This also creates opportunities to introduce viewers to different parts of your business. This video from FoodTube is a solid example of how different video creators from the same organization can work together to collaborate.
Take the time to think about how one video could turn into more than a single piece of content. With the right creativity and execution, you can get a lot more from one idea. These concepts can help your company eliminate the one-off video approach and might even turn your brand into an online video destination.