Video Production | 11 Essentials for Maximizing the Return on Your Online Video Investments
The proliferation of videos to multiple platforms and device types makes it vital in today’s always-on, socially demanding and instantaneous connections. Delivering relevant, engaging content to the right audience, the right platforms, and the right devices has become essential. Video is no exception. Consumers are seeing content delivered not only on their PCs, but also on touch screen mobile apps, web browsers, and even connected smart TV platforms.
Is your brand using online video as a channel to create brand awareness, sell a product or service, support a cause, promote a sale, obtain customer advocates, engage consumers, and monetize your target audience? Do you know how to maximize the return on your online video investments? Online video traffic has seen significant growth in recent years. Leading brands, such as AT&T, Lenovo, Sony, and Samsung, are using online video to deliver call- to- action advertisements, direct-to-consumer messages, and contextually relevant, real-time information. Online videos should be a core part of your online visibility, branding, and marketing strategy. It’s perhaps the most effective and powerful channel to drive upsell conversions such as purchase, online registration, return visits, and customer advocacy. Smart brands are using video as a method of persuasion, entertainment, product marketing, promotion, messaging, and other advertisement means.
Whatever role online video plays for your brand, there are some vital steps that you can take to increase your online visibility and viewership. To maximize your return on your online video investments and see remarkable results, Broadwave Agency recommends including the following 11 elements in your video strategy:
- On-demand and Live Videos. It’s vital to your brand’s online visibility to include a mix of on-demand and live videos as well as static content for optimal online or mobile viewing experience. Include in your video portfolios your brand’s video reel that captures the essence of your brand and differentiates you from your competitions. Consider live streams for company announcements, educational events and seminars, behind-the-scenes features, interviews, and other programming. Also consider transforming your static content into voice-enriched videos for anytime, on-demand viewing. Using SmartVideo, AT&T is offering new customers and existing ones with upgraded services unique, personalized video bills and invoice administration to reduce contact center calls and inquiries.
- Viewer’s Attention Span. People have a short attention span, and they do not have the patience or interest to sit through filler or irrelevant information. Don’t underestimate the importance of your viewer experience. You want to engage your viewers and keep their interest throughout the videos. Your videos should be the right length for the type of videos you’re delivering. For example, an educational or informational videos and tutorials should be no more than three (3) minutes long. A demo video may call for more than 20 minutes to showcase your product’s features. Also, consider providing a variety of content within the viewing experience – such as closed captioning, subtitles, and other relevantly placed content to enhance the viewer experience.
- Cross-Device Content. With the rise in popularity of an ever-expanding selections of connected TV and set-top-boxes such as Boxee, Google TV, Apple TV, and Roku, brands are tapping into this technology as another means to deliver content-rich, engaging videos. Therefore, your online video strategy should include videos optimized for mobile devices, mobile apps, smart TV platforms, and other touch screen devices. The quality of your videos is a reflection on your brand. As such, your videos need to deliver a video experience that conveys your brand commitment to a customer-centric focus that includes assets such as quality, customer experience, customer satisfaction, and social connection. Top global publishing brands such as Time Magazine and The New York Times are extending their video offerings beyond the desktop and mobile devices – tapping into the widely popular Google TV and Yahoo! to enrich the viewer experience, increase brand engagement, build loyalty, create brand stickiness, and connect consumers to their brand.
- Social Media Channels. Consumers nowadays expect to share discovered videos on their social networks. Sharable videos focus on the viewer experience. This means that when your videos are shared on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn, you want to convey that your brand can deliver a seamless, high quality viewer experience. That is, your brand should seamlessly blend content, commerce, and social context within a highly sociable context. It’s important that your videos can be posted directly to social networks. Make it easy for your viewers to share your videos. Your videos should also be part of your branded Facebook Fan Page, for example. Ensure your video is seamlessly integrated into the social media experience.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engine optimized videos (VSEO) allow discoverability. They’re essential to increasing video views, traffic, and revenue. Videos with search engine optimization allow brands to shift consumer interest away from competing sites. Consumers are likely to click on sites that are on the top of the search result page. Remember, the goal of SEO is to drive traffic to your site with viral effects while increasing your ability to convert traffic into qualified sales leads. It’s one of the means that viewers discover videos and share them with their friends and networks.
- Quantity. Create in a video library specifically for your brand, your followers, and your customers. Build a searchable library that will have your viewers returning to your site. Your video library doesn’t have to come only from an in-house production. Include licensed content from third-party providers, sharable content from your affiliates and partners, and user-generated content submitted by your viewers, consumers, customers, and followers. Encourage user-generated content by doing a contest or promotion. Who doesn’t like to have a few minutes of fame and free publicity?
- Quality. Not only is sufficient quantity of videos in your library important, but the quality of your brand-generating videos can speak volume. Quality means delivering high quality production of your video and the best user viewing experience that customers have come to expect from your brand. High quality videos are those videos that have the right balance of short buffering times and optimal video viewing quality regardless of connection speed or screen size. No one likes to view poor content, stalled stream, or poorly produced videos which open up to criticism and mockery. That’s certainly not the kind of viral attention you would want. Instead, create high quality videos that are scalable to multiple platforms and devices, connection speeds, optimal streams, and social media and smart TV viewing.
- Distribution. How does your brand build visibility and drive traffic to your site? Distribution plays an instrumental role in reaching out to your customers and consumers in all aspect of their daily lives. Heavily trafficked video hubs such as YouTube and Vimeo can help you build your brand online visibility and generate awareness. If you don’t have your own YouTube brand channel, create one and include your branded videos. Also consider other third-party sites that allow you to use your own player to syndicate your branded content. These sites, although do not match YouTube’s caliber of traffic, can allow you to target and reach a specific audience and thereby, giving you more control over the viewer experience. You want your brand to have as much online presence as possible. Multiple distribution channels allow you to increase your brand impressions and inbound links to your brand site.
- Monetization. What’s the most effective means for your brand to publish revenue-generating videos while capturing sales leads and driving conversions? Consider monetizing through various means such as advertising, premium content, promotion, sweepstake, calls-to-action, and other customer incentive programs. Depending on the type of videos you’re delivering, include with your relevant content a call-to-action that can help your brand convert viewers into buyers and customers into brand advocates.
- Analytics. Analytics is important to your ROI because it provides you with vital data and insight that will ultimately help you evaluate and optimize your online video performance, viewer engagement, and viewer experience. Not only do you want to create and share your online and mobile videos from nearly any device but you also would want to track the viewership data such as who viewed, what they viewed, when they viewed, and where they viewed. This will help you measure the effectiveness and popularity of your communications. Without this important data and insight, you are operating on intuition and best guesses. Such guesses can be detrimental to your bottom-line. Ideally, you would want to see a holistic view of how your video is affected by other types of content as well as how your videos affect the viewer experience and conversion. The right analytics will give you a way to measure and profile your viewers and determine whether you’re reaching the right audience with your content. With the right audience, you’ll increase your ability to convert traffic into real, tangible business value. Some of the actionable data that analytics can provide include:
- Frequently viewed videos. Key viewer metrics such as time spent on site and stickiness are vital to see trends and growth. They are valuable assets for monetization. Which content is the most effective in engaging your viewers? For those frequently viewed and shared videos, what was the content or the message? Tracking key trends and performance of your content will help you optimize the value of your ads and provide a definite command of high rates from advertisers, if applicable.
- Sources. How are viewers finding your videos? Search engines? Social media channels? Online ads? Email campaigns? This will provide you an insight into which sources will work best for your videos.
- Devices Used. How does viewership differ on mobile devices and platforms? Which device or platform do your videos get the most visits from? This gives you an insight into which devices your videos are commonly viewed on and the type of performance each provides.
- Numbers. When analyzing data to make your videos smarter, knowledge in number is key. The right tool will provide you with actionable data to ensure the success of your video campaigns. The data should include how many views came from iPhones, iPads, Android devices, BlackBerry, and other platforms. The data will also include unique visits as well as commonly viewed videos.
- Demographics. Analytics provide you with information about your viewer’s demographics – quantifiable statistics of your audience – gender, age, ethnicity, location, employment status, languages, and other profiling categories. Use this information to market to the right audience, customize your products and services accordingly, and provide relevant, real-time, contextualized information. Insight into this data will help you define the demographic profile for your videos. It will also help you create a clear, mental picture of this aggregate to deliver the right content and message.
- Video Production Agency. Not everyone has a full, in-house staff skilled in web development, videography, visual design, and video production. A video production agency can work with you to create a customized marketing and video strategy that will maximize the values of your videos, optimize the performance of your video initiatives, and deliver an unsurpassed viewer experience. They are specialized in providing an effective engagement for every step in your consumer journey.
Video, without a doubt, is one of the most captivating medium that brands can engage with their consumers one-to-one experiences with contextually relevant, real-time information. It’s a smart way to foster greater customer profitability, customer loyalty, brand advocacy, customer engagement, repeat purchases, and registrations. There’s no one way to do online video right – but when you consider the above essentials as part of your marketing and branding strategy, video initiatives, advertising approach, as well as your loyalty, retention, and nurturing customer-focused programs, you’ll soon discover that you’re creating brand stickiness, generating sales leads, acquiring customers, and building customer advocates.