Video is one of, if not the most, influential communication mediums today. Platforms like YouTube, as well as smartphone and technology advancements, have made it easier and more affordable for people to create video content. It is predicted that by 2019, 80 percent of web traffic will be video. So it’s a no-brainer to try to incorporate video into your marketing strategy. Understanding a few best practices, though, is fundamental in order to make your strategy a success.
Video Content Strategy
There are many things to consider when determining video content strategy for video marketing efforts. A few prominent ones include:
- Personas: It is important to establish key user personas for your intended target audience. This helps to determine the overall tone that the video should take.
- Stage of the journey: Along the same lines of targeting the ideal persona, you’ll also need to create video that targets the right stage of the user’s journey and where they are at in the funnel. For example, video content for someone in the awareness stage may be a brief, how-to video or motivational video. Whereas content in the in the consideration phase may include testimonials and compelling CTAs.
- Topics that suite video search: It is important, when trying to rank in video results, to understand what types of content, overall, rank well for video to help a user find your content. Video results notoriously rank well for “how to” or other research-based searches. Understanding the areas where video results are high can help provide insight and guidance for additional content strategy ideas.
Define Your Goals
First, define your goals for video marketing, whether it’s to:
- Drive conversions.
- Increase backlinks.
- Spread brand awareness.
Understanding your goals is a foundational key in order to figure out exactly what you want to gain out of video marketing. Let’s dive into 10 tried-and-true tactics for video marketing for search engines.
1. Mobile Optimization
Mobile optimization is clearly not only a part of video optimization; mobile optimization is the primary focus of web optimization today. Mobile surpassed desktop views a few years ago, and only continues to grow.
In addition, a large portion of video consumption is on mobile devices. Ensure that your website is responsive and that you are uploading videos to sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
Just like you would optimize a page on a website with a fitting meta title and meta description, ensure that you have done the same for a video. Search engines will use this to identify and rank video results.
Search engines will assess the title, description, as well as tags (which should include targeted keywords) to better understand what the topic of the video is. This is simple to do and requires little time.
3. Create a Video Sitemap
If you create a large amount of video content and publish those videos to your website, but are finding it challenging to rank for them, you may want to create a separate video sitemap.
This sitemap will help to give Google a better idea of what pages have videos, and the general content focus of the video.
4. Share Across Various Channels
Share video content across various marketing channels, such as social. Upload video content to Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram and see what types of posts garner the most engagement.
Adding video to your social channels will also help encourage social sharing, thus encouraging a greater amount of backlinks that can make your site more authoritative in Google’s eyes.
5. Add the Video to Your Website
Adding video content to your site, and not only to sites like YouTube and Vimeo, can help increase engagement and user experience on your site.
As mentioned earlier, video content tends to be more engaging. You can also add things like video schema to your page to help crawlers further understand what the video content is covering.
6. Transcribe the Video
Search engine crawlers can’t actually watch video content at least not yet. Video transcriptions help to provide these crawlers with an idea of what a video is about, thus giving them a better understanding of the content.
7. Create an Engaging Thumbnail
Users have a large pool of options when it comes to deciding which video to select from search. A video thumbnail is likely the first thing that they will see in those results. This is why it is important to ensure that the thumbnail can stand out from the others in the best way possible and grab a user’s attention.
Generally, you can choose a thumbnail from the video itself or upload a separate image. Make sure that image reflects the topic of the video well.
8. Video Filename
This may be the most simplistic optimization tactic. Name video files on your computer the same way you would image files. Include a targeted keyword or accurate description about the topic of the video.
9. Keep Length in Mind
This will vary based on industry and topic, but it is important to keep duration in mind. Our attention spans in this digital age are not incredibly long whatsoever.
That being said, if you are creating educational content (e.g., a tutorial), then it would make sense for the video to be longer in duration.
However, if you’re creating an entertaining promotional video, you may want to keep it short, including the most important aspects earlier on in order to entice the user to engage with the content.
10. Encourage Likes & Comments
These are among some of the most important factors when it comes to engagement. Encourage users to like and comment on video content, particularly YouTube, by creating a compelling call-to-action.
While all these practices are well and good for essential video optimization techniques, it is important to not get so caught up in the nitty gritty of tags, titles, etc. that you lose focus on your actual goal and what the primary purpose of the video is.
A video can have an optimized title, tags, a video sitemap, an apt thumbnail, and whatnot. But if your video doesn’t entertain, educate, or help a user, is it really a success?
There’s no telling how many times a video has a catchy title and a description, but the actual video quality is subpar, the graphics don’t speak to the primary topic, or the general message is unclear.
This is not a positive experience. The job of a true digital marketer is to provide a solution to a person’s problem. This is why the content of the video is crucial. From the actual message itself, to how that message is conveyed, these are all paramount factors.
Video can be an extremely powerful marketing tool if used in the right way. By keeping a few technical best practices in mind while also maintaining a clear and concise outlook on the end goal, marketers have the potential to capture an ever-expanding group with their video messaging.