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Eight Ways To Include Video In Your Marketing Strategy Noticed how video has blown up on Facebook? Don't get left behind!

By Alexander Rauser

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Video marketing is the talk of the town in digital marketing right now and rightly so. An effective video strategy has proven to drive higher engagement rates on social media, higher conversions rates in ecommerce and increased brand awareness online via YouTube video ads.

Brand advertisers used to turn to TV advertising first when aiming to reach their target audience; however, Google has reported that by 2025, half of viewers under the age of 32 will not subscribe to a paid TV service. 6 out of 10 people prefer online video compared to live TV, and the platform they turn to the most is YouTube, where the time spent on the platform increased by 74% in 2015.

Meanwhile, Facebook's video traffic has surpassed 4 billion daily views, meaning Facebook is the first real contender to YouTube for video digital ad money. The reason why? Facebook's engineers have made it easier than ever to watch and share videos, and with the rise of mobile, and users turning to their mobile phones to do pretty much everything, Facebook video has soared in popularity.

Needless to say, the opportunities in video are growing, and if you aren't already considering a video marketing strategy for your business, now is the time to start.

Why video?

There are a few really good reasons why you should consider video marketing for your business.

1. Video is powerful Video is one of the most powerful mediums online. YouTube, the world's second largest search engine, has one billion users, billions of daily views and reaches more 18-34 year olds than any cable network company in the U.S. Facebook newsfeeds are flooded with videos, and Facebook has reported that video receives a whopping 800 billion views per day on the platform. Instagram is starting to record higher engagement from video posts compared to images, with videos generating more comments.

2. Video is personable Video delivers information in a way that is easy for the human brain to process. It helps to develop a more personal relationship with your customers, which leads to a stronger sense of trust between the consumer and the brand. The impact that a well-crafted video can have on a customer long outlives a plain text message especially when the customer reaches the point when they are ready to make a buying decision.

3. Video is accessible Video is accessible to all businesses, from huge corporations to small businesses. Over the last 50 years, larger brands have dominated TV ad slots because they could afford the huge price tag. But over the last 5-10 years, small businesses have been finding ways to enter into the video advertising space. YouTube uses a cost-per-view bidding strategy that enables smaller businesses to bid and win on certain audiences and demographics. In addition, with the technology available today, businesses of any size can participate in video marketing even if they have zero experience in producing videos. In fact, you don't have to be a video genius to develop top quality videos for your brand. Here are some resources to get you started:

  • YouTube (Small businesses get free video ad production)
  • Boomerang
  • Facebook Power Editor
  • Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro

Thus, the argument in favor of a video marketing strategy is strong. If you are looking to either increase the performance of your online ads, to drive brand awareness for your business or product, to increase foot traffic to your retail location, to increase social media engagement with your followers and/or to increase organic search results for your local business, then video is a strategy you need to explore.

Related: How To Make Your Business Messaging Effective In The Age Of Video

A step-by-step guide to video marketing

Step 1: Establish your goals

Firstly, you need to establish the "why" of your video marketing effort. This will be the foundation from which you build your video strategy. Determine between 1-3 specific goals you want to achieve with your video campaigns. Perhaps you would like to improve the click through rate of your ads online? Or you are seeking to increase the amount of foot traffic to your physical store? Maybe you want to use video SEO to improve how you rank organically within the search results? It is important to set appropriate goals and KPIs so you can measure them later and gauge the success of your video campaigns.

Step 2: Identify your content requirements

This steps requires some self-reflection. How much decent video content do you already have? And what gaps or opportunities do you have within video? Carefully consider your user journey during this step: are you meeting the needs of your consumer at each milestone along their journey with your brand? Take note, if you are not offering the content your buyers need at the right moment, chances are they will be on to the next competitor without a second thought for you. So what questions do they need answering, and do you currently have the content to support those micro-moments?

Step 3: Explore all opportunities

Based on the data and information you gathered in Step 2, decipher which type of video will fulfill each gap to maintain that relationship with your consumer. Maybe it is a "How to" video, a video testimonial, webinar or product demo. Link each video in your funnel to the goals and KPIs discussed in Step 1 to ensure all the elements of your campaign tie together.

Step 4: Build campaign rules

This step helps to improve the overall branding of your video strategy and encourages consistency amongst a digital team. It is important to produce a video style guide, so that each video portrays the same look/feel and brings brand consistency, especially as we are dealing with so many different channels. Your consumer will develop trust with your brand if they feel safe, and consistent branding helps to build this confidence. Make sure everyone on your team understands the circumstances under which you would produce a video over a blog. Communicate how CTA's should be used along with other in-video elements. Don't forget the finishing touches, such as video introductory text, cover images and more. Defining this from the start will take away any confusion at a later date and ensure a smooth experience for your customer.

Nicola Mendohlson, Vice President, Facebook EMEA speaking at 'Video Unplugged' event in UAE. Image credit: Facebook

Step 5: Understanding your channels

Each channel will deliver upon different goals, so understanding what each channel has to offer is vital to your success. For example, Facebook video will help to increase brand awareness and engagement on the social platform; however, YouTube acts as a huge signal to Google in terms of video SEO.

  • YouTube YouTube offers several different types of video ads. For the purpose of this article, we are going to look at YouTube Trueview ads and Google Preferred.
  • Trueview Trueview ads are built on the premise that an advertiser will only pay for an ad if the user chooses to watch the video. So you know you are getting a more qualified audience, because they haven't skipped the ad. These are especially good ads to run to capture the mid-to-low funnel customer who is trying to make final decisions about your brand. Imagine you are a travel brand and a consumer has been considering your destination over your competitors. You video highlighting how epic the surf is in your destination could be the push the consumer needed to book in your location.
  • Google Preferred Brands that select Google Preferred can choose from 12 packages of categories, such as fashion or beauty, and share their message alongside some of the most engaging content on YouTube. In this program, brands get access to the top 5% of content on YouTube.
  • Facebook As the title of this article suggests, Facebook is blowing up right now with video and mainly due to their CPM based model of video advertising.
  • CPM CPM video advertising on Facebook is based on impressions, meaning your video starts to play as soon as the users scrolls to it in their newsfeed. Presuming you have a compelling first 5 seconds of your video, this is a huge opportunity to capture the interest of new customers
  • CPC The CPC video advertising model on Facebook means you pay if a user actually clicks on your video to play the content. This will serve a different type of user, who is much more qualified, and is more likely to meet your conversion goals.

Step 6: Targeting

Both YouTube and Facebook offer sophisticated targeting. YouTube has everything that the mighty Google has to offer in terms of data on customers, and Facebook brags an enormous amount of interest-based information. Here is how you can target on both platforms:

  • YouTube You can target your audience on YouTube based on demographics, interests, topics, keywords and affinity - an audience that Google matches to you regardless of their browsing behavior on YouTube.
  • Facebook Facebook video ads can be targeted based on location, age, gender, interests.

Video targeting is something you can test for success. Break out your target audiences into segments and test which content performs the highest.

Step 7: Viewing behavior

You can learn a lot about your audience by their viewing behavior, and luckily for marketers, video comes with an enormous amount of data. You can track how much video a viewer watches, where they skip the video and what they re-watch. You can understand which topics they enjoy the most and which videos are flops. This data can become apart of your measurements for success.

Step 8: Measure success

As with any marketing effort, measuring the success and failure of the campaign is vital towards the growth of your business. A regular misconception about measuring video is that you only need to measure views. Marketers that are only measuring views are missing out on so much opportunity to see a better ROI. Hopefully you outlined fairly granular goals all the way back at Step 1. The difference between goals and KPIs is that KPIs are metrics you can measure for success, such as CTR. Ensure you look for the lift your video marketing strategy offers to all areas of your business from online ads to foot traffic to SEO.

Use the additional viewing behavior data to determine the success of your content and to identify potential leads. Say a video gets 10,000 views but 75% of those viewers only watch for 5 seconds and under. On the view count front, all looks good, but the length of video watched metric tells a different story. Use this information to help you determine the high quality conversions from the rubbish.

Related: Boosting Online Retail In The Middle East With Video Marketing

Alexander Rauser

CEO, Prototype

Alexander Rauser has over 15 years of experience in the digital media industry with both a creative and a technical background. He studied media engineering in Germany with a double major in online and offline media. After heading the digital division of a Dubai-based agency for five years, he fulfilled his long ambition to found Prototype Interactive in 2010, an interactive agency specializing in digital solutions for web, mobile and social media. The company is now considered as one of the top digital agencies in the country working with international and regional brands. Talk to him on Twitter at @ARauser.
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