With the vast number of videos posted online every day, it’s a challenge to continually push out uniquely branded video content that stands out in the ocean of competition for attention. Here are five ways to give your videos a better shot at getting noticed.
1. Video Optimization
The first part of marketing your video comes down to optimization, and there are three things to consider when you want to optimize your video online: 1) Video titles and SEO (search engine optimization), 2) capturing your audience in first three seconds, and 3) the thumbnail image.
Before you publish a video online, no matter what the platform, be sure to search to see what other types of successful videos are out there on your topic. Look at their titles and their tags and adapt them for your own.
To assist in boosting your video’s SEO, you can also consider using software that can help you make your video more visible to searches. VidIQ is a tool I use to maximize organic video growth on YouTube. Right now, it’s only available for YouTube, but it’s a simple Chrome extension that you add to your browser. Once you connect it with your YouTube account, it will show you trending topics, which can help you plan future content. VidIQ’s best feature is that it gives you suggested titles, descriptions, and tags based on rank. As you add VidIQ’s suggestions, it will also give you an SEO score based on the tags, titles, and descriptions you’ve added.
A screen grab of VidIQ SEO rates
While, of course, people will watch your video because they like your content, a video optimizer can help it reach people who have never seen your channel before, and help them stay.
Capture Your Audience
If your video is 2-5 minutes long, try to put the most enticing snippet at the beginning, then cut to your video intro and then back to the beginning of the story.
If you don’t have a motion designer on your team to create fancy lower thirds or intros, consider using motion graphics templates, which can help you boost your content visually. Also, keep the video pacing fast whenever possible, and use music to edit to. Pond5 also has a vast music collection you can use to enhance your video.
Featured Images and Thumbnails
It’s true, people judge a book by its cover and it’s the same with video thumbnails. Your thumbnail is the entry point to your content, so make it appealing.
Thumbnail templates from Canva
The key with a thumbnail is that it should easily tell the viewer what your video is about without a title. Focus on less words, more visuals. Canva has thumbnail templates you can work from, or you can try apps like SnapSeed or PicMonkey. Of course, if you’re comfortable in Photoshop, you can create your own branded template, which you can modify for each video.
2. Create Video Teasers
If your primary platform is YouTube or Vimeo, you’ll always want to create short teasers of your content for Instagram Stories, Instagram’s feed, Facebook, and Twitter. A teaser should feature all the “golden” content from the full video that will entice the viewer to click and watch the full video.
On Facebook, you can put ad money behind a video teaser, but while that may increase the views, it doesn’t necessarily increase engagement. So be wise with Facebook Ads, and only put money behind posts that include a clear call-to-action that’s the least “salesy” it can be.
Also, it’s important that you keep up to date with the current video requirements for each platform. For example, Instagram Stories are in a vertical format and can only be 15 seconds long, and their feed format has three different options. A great Instagram Story video-teaser strategy is to create a series of 15-second teasers that build on each other, so as the viewer watches one story, the next one plays right after, and so on. On the last story, you can require users to “swipe” up to watch the full video.
3. Supplement Your Videos With Written Posts
Anyone can create a video, but will it get hits? Likely not, if you’re just starting out. I recommend looking for bigger platforms that relate to your videos and becoming a contributor if you can.
When I started writing for Pond5, I was just at 1,000 subscribers on YouTube. I’m now at nearly 50k. Of course, writing for Pond5 was not the sole reason I increased my video engagement — but it’s definitely helped. Meanwhile, I’m able to share my knowledge with the community of creators and professionals that share my interests and passions here.
4. Develop Partnerships
If you want your video to spread, create partnerships with other creators or businesses that can amplify your content. When reaching out to partners, show the value you can give to them and share a genuine interest in their platforms. People want partnerships that can be mutually beneficial.
Business-to-business video partnerships don’t have to be based on monetary sponsorships. They can be a purely cross-promotional or social-media based collaboration. For example, each week, you might email your partner when you have a new video and they can share your video on their platforms and vice versa.
There are also many other ways to collaborate. Here are some ideas:
– Do a live Q&A on Facebook or Livestream with your partner
– Promote a partner’s product in your video and send to them to share
– Do a collaborative pre-recorded video; one for your channel, and one for theirs
– Run a giveaway together and create a promo video about the giveaway
– Create a podcast together and promote it in a video
The key is that, whoever you partner with, you don’t want it to be a one-time thing. You should collaborate often, in multiple videos, which will eventually extend the life of your video content.
You can learn more about how to grow your audiences in a video interview I recorded with YouTube Certified Expert Tim Schmoyer at this year’s Social Media Marketing World conference.
Have you been using any of these strategies? Are they working? What else are you doing to market your video content that isn’t mentioned here? Tell us in the comments!