Trends & Features

10 proven ways to create compelling online video content

By Dave Howell

1. Short video messages
Consumers want bite-sized videos they can watch quickly and share across their social media networks. Hone your videos until they have just the essential information watchers need.

One of the most successful videos was created by the Dollar Shave Club. Be careful when using humour, though, as it can easily backfire.

2. Personalise your videos
Personalisation is a powerful marketing tool, especially when it comes to video.

Videos embedded into emails that are then personalised to their recipients are a highly effective means of reaching targeted groups with your marketing messages. Make sure the video speaks directly to them.

3. Define your objectives

Have a clear vision of why you’re creating a video and what you hope it will deliver. You then have a goal you can measure your video’s success against.

Research by information and measurement company Nielsen and Facebook shows watching just three seconds of a video – Facebook’s definition of a video view – increases advert recall by 47 per cent and brand awareness by 32 per cent. After viewing 10 seconds of a video, lift for these brand metrics rise to 74 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

4. Optimise for mobile devices
The videos you create could be viewed on many devices. The fact is, though, the vast majority of your video content is most likely to be viewed on smartphones. So optimising your videos so they play smoothly and in high quality on the leading smartphones is essential.

Test your videos on different smartphone brands to ensure they deliver the quality you need to impress your customers. And don’t forget mobile devices have many screen sizes. Try and test your videos to ensure they look great, no matter the device they are played on.

5. Don’t forget search engine optimisation

The title of your video, caption and any description you use all need to have keywords that will deliver your videos via the leading search engines.

As video is the most popular kind of online content, you could pick up new customers who are searching for products, as they will gravitate towards video content over text-based information on the search results pages they see.

SEO then becomes vitally important to ensure your video content gains a high ranking on search result pages.

6. Video builds confidence

Online stores have to make an extra effort to impress their customers enough to make a purchase. Video has been shown to be a great way to instil confidence in consumers looking for products to buy.

Invodo found that 50 per cent of customers state a product video makes them feel more confident when they make a purchase. Sales can increase by as much as 30 per cent, according to the product content specialist, when product videos are used.

Look at building video into new product launches to differentiate your business from others selling similar lines. Customers would rather buy from a page with a video than from a page with nothing more than a static image and product description.

7. Educate your audience
Not all video content has to sell something. Cloud storage service Dropbox found that after it included a video on its site’s home page that explained its services, conversion rates increased by 10 per cent.

Ensure the pages you place these videos on have strong SEO, so that potential customers find them. Once they arrive, make the page attractive and engaging with clearly defined calls to action. Don’t overload these pages with product information or other promotions, as this can annoy potential customers.

8. High production values
It’s possible to shoot HD quality video on the current crop of smartphones, but investing in professional video equipment, including lighting and microphones, will be money well spent.

Studio lighting can be bought relatively cheaply. DSLR cameras from Nikon and Canon can shoot high quality video and look at the range of shotgun microphones from Sennheiser or Rode.

Video content can be created online with a number of tools that are fast and efficient to use. Some of the leading ones include Animoto, Wideo and WeVideo. For editing on desktop computers, Apple’s iMovie and Adobe’s Premiere Pro give you the means to create professional videos.

9. YouTube vs self hosted
Your first thought might be to upload your videos to YouTube. This is a perfectly good strategy, as you can simply cut and past the video’s URL into your website’s pages. However, your videos will include adverts and the viewer could be distracted by other content.

Hosting your own videos places you in complete control. You can develop your own designs with the video players that are available, including SPRUTO, Brightcove and JW Player.

You will also benefit from direct traffic to your site when a video is returned in a search and you can have full control over the SEO of the pages your videos are embedded into, giving your business a higher search ranking.

10. Measure your videos
Creating a great video is all well and good, but how do you know it’s really working for your business?

Analysing your videos is a vital component of your marketing strategy. Facebook has one of the most comprehensive analytical services available. You can view a number of key metrics, including number of views and, more importantly, retention, which will tell you whether your videos are engaging enough.

All the social media networks that allow video content can also report metrics you can use to improve your video marketing activities.

In numbers

Including video in email marketing can boost click through rates by up to 300 per cent.

The average user spends 16 minutes watching video online each month.

80 per cent of consumers can recall a video advert they saw in the last 30 days.

36 per cent of online consumers trust the video adverts they see.

92 per cent of video consumers will share the videos they see with their social network.

After viewing a video, 64 per cent of viewers are more likely to buy a product or service online.

Sources: Forrester, comScore, Online Publishers Association, Nielsen, Invodo.

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