Content is king… and one of the best ways to get your message across is through video in 2022′. Over the last five years, video content has dominated cross-platform reach, whether it’s YouTube, Facebook, Linkedin or TikTok, people are consuming video at a staggering rate.
Then we have the question of optimisation. An optimised video increases the chance of your brand being on the front page of a Google search engine result. Don’t forget Google owns YouTube and there has been a significant improvement in how video watching influences search engine results pages (SERP).
So, it’s by no means an understatement to say that video and video strategy should be taking priory in your business.
Why is video content marketing important?
Data shows that in 2022, the amount of video content watched per person per week has doubled since 2018. More eyeballs mean more opportunity.
As a brand or business, if you can get your video content and storytelling right, then this could pave the way to greater success. Better brand reach, lead generation and conversions or simply building an engaged social media following, video can be used to achieve tremendous things.
Video marketing strategy
While there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to content marketing and video production, there are some important factors to keep in mind. Get these right and your video storytelling will develop into a smoother and easier process.
1. Be authentic
The first rule of any type of storytelling, be authentic and talk about what you know.
The disingenuous and inauthentic will be particularly exposed on video. Trying to be something you’re not, or force an issue around a topic on which you have no experience or authority, is never a good thing.
When creating video content, consider your band values and yourself ‘is this piece of content in line with those values.’
If your business doesn’t have a set of established band values, don’t worry, they’re not a pre-requiste to creating video content. Simply consider the messaging you want to portray, and how you want to portray them. Always have them in mind as your plan out your production.
2. Know your platform
Having a clear understanding of the platform, or platforms, you are using and how they each utilise video in their different ways is very important from a technical and target audience perspective.
Across your various channels, content is utilised and optimised in various different ways. From a technical specification perspective, each channel has its own requirement that you need to be aware of.
Facebook Live, for example, has often been a point of much debate within content marketing circles. It comes with its own technical requirements. The main being the requirement for a solid, uninterrupted signal.
The weak signal on a Facebook Live video means you’re going to be broadcasting nothing but pixels to your audience. And always, make sure that the phone you’re using is on silent and that your contacts know not to call or message you. This can and will disrupt your live videos.
Then we have Twitter, which has perhaps one of the most rigorous specs to adhere to, with minimum resolutions, strict time limits, frame rate and format requirements.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter hasn’t had the most successful relationship with live videos. Periscope, for those of you who remember, was a brief flash in the pan, before being discontinued in 2021 due to continually sinking usage figures.
Understanding the audience breakdowns for each platform is just as important as the technical requirements.
Right now, you wouldn’t take a piece of corporate content marketing built for a channel such as Linkedin, and post it on Tik Tok or Snapchat. So, take the time to consider the different platforms and applications available and pick the ones that work for you. Or, better still, consult with experts in video production and content strategy to develop an ongoing best practice around your video content.
3. Timing is everything
It’s important to understand that there isn’t one answer to this, the question of ‘how long should my social media videos be?’ raises more questions than it answers. The first question is, which channel are you posting to? Because depending on the video platforms your using, the answer will be different.
The most effective Facebook videos can be anything from 10 seconds to two minutes. A piece of viral content will tend to be on the shorter side, whereas longer content performs better for more episodic storytelling purposes.
Linkedin offers native video content posting of up to 1o minutes in length, but according to Linkedin’s own data, the optimum length for video content on its platform is between 30 and 90 seconds.
Twitter, as we’ve mentioned above, caps its video length, but for optimised video content on Twitter, you’re looking at something in the region of 45 seconds to a minute, accompanied by short captions.
YouTube videos are some of the most notoriously difficult to strategise and plan for. The channel states that the optimum length is between 7 and 15 minutes. But, these stats are built around the monetisation of accounts, with 8 minutes being the minimum requirement for a video to start earning ad revenue. But the key to Youtube isn’t in video length, it’s all in the thumbnail!
The nascent Tik Tok recently expanded its max video length. At one point it was limited to 60 seconds, but now clips range from 5 seconds to three minutes. The top performing posts however tend to be between 9 and 15 seconds, which indicates that the Tik Tok algorithms are geared towards quick viral content.
Last, but by no means least, we have Instagram.
As the platform pushes its users into watching videos rather than image scrolling, it has reached an interesting and some may say dangerous point in its lifespan. Stories, IGTV and grid videos all have their own optimum timings. However, Instagram’s algorithmic changes and its efforts to compete with Tik Tok are causing reverberations within its user base.
The current offerings of IGTV, Reels and feed video content may become more and more like Tik Tok, or the channel may revert back to its bread and butter amidst major user backlash…. only time will tell.
4. Work within your budget
Many people are mistakenly held back by the idea that video production requires a big budget.
While a big budget can, of course, help when creating video content. Streamers, YouTubers, content creators and video marketing professionals can produce quality content without a Hollywood budget.
For the most part, the joy of social media is that your audience won’t be expected the most highly polished professional production. Naturally, there are some exceptions to this, namely in some of the world’s top YouTubers whose huge net worth and Youtube revenue streams allow them to put resources back into their production.
But, for the most part, a lot of quality video marketing content can be produced on a phone or a relatively inexpensive camera set up. Whatever your budget, you can work within this to make your video content the best it can be.
5. Post effectively and appropriately
If you’ve spent significant time, effort and money creating new content, it would be a sin to fall at the final hurdle and not have that piece of content marketing used to maximum effect.
You may see articles and bylines online which proclaim to tell you ‘here are the best times to post.’ Following the advice of these articles is not the best way to utilise your video content.
Each platform provides its own in-built analytics. To make the most out of your video content strategy, you need to be studying these carefully in order to assess your own audience patterns. Look for spikes in activity, track your content around these and you will begin to see organic growth.
If you’re posting across multiple channels, one of the most effective things you can do is stagger your content across platforms, rather than post it out all in one go.
Remember also to properly caption and optimise your new video content. Properly optimised social content feeds into your overall ORM and SERP strategy, so make sure all these elements are aligned in your marketing strategy.
6. Stretch your assets
Another point that links back to the budget, if you’ve decided to get some professional content created either through a content agency or video production service, then make sure you’re utilising these assets to the max.
This doesn’t mean simply posting and reposting the same video, that would be counterproductive to your marketing goals, as repetition shows complacency and complacency leads to negative brand perception.
Creating multiple assets, or different versions of one core asset can be a way of this mixing things up.
If you are looking to outsource your content creation and get professional content made by an external content agency or production house, then it’s incredibly important to be crystal clear in the briefing stage as to what your requirements and expectations are.
7. Plan. Plan. Plan.
The key to getting the most out of any video content is to plan, plan and plan. This starts with the early ideation phase, what are you trying to say and how do you want to say it? It doesn’t matter if you’re making ‘how to’ videos, explainer videos, animated videos, product or service content or customer testimonial videos, it all starts here.
Once you have a solid foundation, it’s time to start storyboarding, scripting and generally planning your shoots. Now working with a video production partner, they can help you with your shoot planning, but they can’t do everything. You need to feed them themes, ideas and concepts. They can help you create a shot list and rough storyboard if you haven’t done it before, but the spoken words, that’s up to you.
To make the most out of a filming day, it’s a good practice to have every line prepared in advance. Bring that script to the filming location and make sure you’re adhering to it, once you have the scripted elements down, then you can be creative with your video footage and improvise a little.
Even before you begin filming, map out where transitions, b-roll, graphics and interstitial text will go. All this early effort will yield a much better end result.
We’ve also talked about making the assets work for you, well think about how you can enhance your shooting days beyond just that. Consider creating social media clips behind the scenes, maybe a blog post documenting the experience, or you could even make an entire video about the creation of your new video.
If you’re working with an external agency, be it content production or videographers. Then what is really important is the communication around expectations and the end product. If you want multiple edits and cuts from the same shoot, communicate this, and build it into your budget and the shooting plan.
8. Use real people
Who are the best people to tell your story? Your staff of course! Find people within your organisation who are happy to be on camera and this will add to the credibility and authenticity of your video content.
If you’re concerned about your staff not having the right experience, or the nerves of being on camera. Then working with an experienced video partner will always help subdue the stage fright and get the most out of your new content stars.
Content marketing 101
From building audiences, leveraging brand equity and driving lead generation and sales, video can enhance your business in more ways than you may realise.
marketing videos, when tied in with your wider marketing and PR strategies, can become an incredibly powerful tool in helping you to achieve your business goals.
At AMBITIOUS we offer a range of content creation and video content marketing services, which can be tied into wider PR and marketing for even greater effect. If you’d like to start a conversation about developing a powerful video content marketing strategy then get in touch.