Abdul Muhammad|Sep 18, 2014

Did you know that 100 million Internet users watch an online video every day? In fact, a third of all online activity is spent doing just that.

You may think this equates to millennials watching funny YouTube videos or Vine loops all day, but the truth is far more interesting than that. According to Digital Sherpa in 2014, 50 percent of users watch business-related videos on YouTube once a week, and 75 percent of users visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video.

The fact of the matter is that it’s becoming more important for brands to include videos in their content marketing mix. As such, I’d like to share 10 tactics for creating successful online videos.

1. Have a single, focused message presented in a concise manner

Two minutes or less is best! In a world of short attention spans and lust for instant gratification, you need to make sure your content is short, sweet and memorable.

2.  Couple creativity with commerce

Videos that contain surveys, games and other interactive features that engage users are best for enrolling others to share. They also provide opportunities to include supporting copy and links to sell and drive traffic to relevant products or services.

3. Be true to the brand voice across all distribution channels

Your video content should support an integrated marketing initiative that’s consistent across all communication channels. The brand voice on Twitter when you tweet about your video, or the display ad driving traffic to it, should have the same look, feel and voice. This ties it all together and enhances the user experience.

4. Build a narrative around your images that will be memorable to your audience

Tell a compelling story and people will spend time with it.

“If the story comes first, not all of the visual content you create has to be of the highest production value in order for it to resonate. For example, the Ritz Carlton used Instagram to tell the story of a stuffed giraffe that got lost on a family vacation, which strayed from the usual hi-res images of luxury getaways that audiences might normally associate with their brand, but told a memorable story that others would want to share.” ~ Shannon Ramlochan, PR Newswire

5. Use BOTH earned and paid media

With the dramatic increase in the number of videos being developed by brands and individuals daily, there’s a lot of competition for eyeballs. Leverage all existing earned media profiles, like your brand’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vimeo accounts, along with Reddit, blogs and forums. Once posted, it’s best to amplify the awareness with a nominal paid media budget to ensure it reaches the target audience.

6. Leverage influencer content

In this day and age, it makes sense to leverage the personal brands of celebrities and influencers. Condé Nast Entertainment introduced a digital video series across several of its publications featuring people like actress and fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker and fashion blogger Leandra Medine, and they created big buzz by doing so. More brands should jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of influencer marketing.

7. Interest Targeting

BuzzFeed is an example of a brand that has mastered “interest targeting,” as all their content appeals to a very specific persona. They feature trending topics that inspire social sharing. When it comes to interest targeting, remember these three commandments:

“Content is shared because of three principal reasons: Identity (you relate to it), Emotional Gift (you understand it and it makes you feel something), and Information (you learned something new).” ~ Ze Frank, EVP of video for Buzzfeed

8. Do not make a video for the sake of making a video

Take time to do the research to determine if a video is the best way to present your content before you jump into production. For example, does your intended audience prefer to consume certain information via video? If so, on which platform? Without answering these questions first, you run the risk of wasting time and money producing a video that goes unseen.

9. Create videos with a clear call to action for the intended audience

One of the largest values of online videos is that they generate awareness with the intention to shift behavior or evoke emotion. You have an opportunity to take it one step further by adding a call to action that transcends the initial engagement. For instance, after watching the video you may ask a user to visit your site for a deeper experience, which could potentially generate a lead.

10. Make your videos sharable

Encourage others to share your video content by making it easily accessible with embed codes and social sharing APIs to increase your video’s potential reach. Keep an eye on your analytics, too, to track the success of your videos across the web and use that insight to enhance future productions.


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