*UPDATED FOR 2019*
OK, you’re on the right track, you have invested in video advertising. Your shiny new video is engaging, it’s entertaining, it’s informative, It’s perfect!… but now what? Unfortunately all of those things don’t mean that people are going to watch it.
In order to get the most out of your investment there are many things to be done in terms of sharing that video and setting it up properly for the best chance at success.
In this blog post I will focus on 3 main areas including your website, Facebook, and youtube. There are of course, hundreds, even thousands of other places, to share your video outside of these. In an effort to keep this fairly short and simple, however, I will touch briefly on some of those other areas but focusing on what I think should be your top priority as well as some things you can do over the long term, to stretch your ROI . And it may seem like a long list of action items but everything on this list I do for all of our videos in a matter of a few hours and complete on day one of releasing any video. So here is what you need to do:
Having video on your website can increase engagement and boost your Search Engine Ranking. It is an incredible tool that can convey a great deal of information in a short amount of time. However, the location, design, and functionality all need to be considered in order to use the video in order to help your website instead of hurt it. For example, if no one can find it or if the file size is too large that it loads slowly, you
- Uploading vs. Embedding Your Video – If you already have a youtube channel, a vimeo account or even a facebook page, you may consider uploading your video there first and embedding it into your website. Embedding involves copying a piece of code from the original loacation and pasting onto your website so that it displays that video which links to the original account. You can also upload to your website directly, say if you have a wordpress website, however other websites like youtube will compress the video for optimum size and speed while wordpress does not. so if you upload a full hd video directly to your website this could slow it down significantly. If you do plan on uploading to your website, be sure to let your video producer know in advance so they can provide an optimized version for web.
- Location – this is key but sometimes an afterthought for some as the video is created long after the website is designed and live. If you need to go back to your designer to help place your video properly, I might suggest doing that. Basically you want it to be at the top of the page either as soon as a user lands on your website or on the product/video page that it is speaking directly about. Try to keep it above the fold which means the user does not have to scroll down in order to see it. Oh and never auto play. If a user lands on your web page and the video starts playing automatically with sound, that is a major turn off.
- Think about your funnel – If the purpose of your video is to entice viewers to buy now, you want to make sure that the buy now option is really close by. Essentially you want to make it very easy for them to follow through with your call to action, whether that’s a donation, sign up for a newsletter, or enroll in a course. If they have to go looking for that once the video is over, you may lose them.
- Refine your embedding options – If you do embed your video from another platform, keep in mind that things like frame size and player style are often customizable. Have a look at your options and make sure you choose the ones that are best for your needs. Unfortunately YouTube not long ago removed the ability to disable “suggested videos” This means that when your video ends, the user will see a bunch of other video thumbnails that usually have no relation to your brand. This is actually terrible and why I have a hard time suggesting this as an option anymore because it can completely remove the user from your message and experience. Facebook can actually be a better option, especially because most of my clients don’t even have a youtube channel in the first place but most don’t know that you can even embed facebook videos.
In recent years, Facebook has really made a push to encourage users to upload video content directly, instead of sharing it from YouTube and it is working. You will notice that a YouTube video will show on a Facebook feed only as a thumbnail link but native videos will start playing (without sound) as soon as you scroll up to them in your feed. This is really important to note because if you want as many people to watch your video as possible, here is what you need to do:
- Upload your video to Facebook – Like I said, don’t just share the YouTube link because it won’t get nearly as many views. If you have a business page, be sure to upload it there and not to your personal profile. When you do upload, make sure you give thought to the title, keywords, and Thumbnail. Don’t just use the name of the file that your video producer sent to you, use something more descriptive. The poster frame is the still image or thumbnail that shows before the video plays. Often you can select that frame from the video but a custom image might be best.
- Don’t forget the post – When you upload your video, by default it will show up in your feed as a post. Make sure to write a post about the video to help get people’s attention. Here are a few more things to consider when writing that post:
- Tag Tag Tag – make sure to tag any other person or business in your video so that they will see it and most likely help to share it.
- Hashtags – Ok people still have mixed feelings about using hashtags on Facebook but I say if it’s relevant and could help people find you then go for it. Just don’t get carried away with it though. Because at the end of the day, it’s still a Facebook hashtag.
- Captions are key! – Remember that part about videos on Facebook always playing without sound until you click on them? Well if you want to increase your chances of people clicking on your video, then you should add captions. Let’s not forget all those people who are on Facebook while at work or school. To avoid being caught, they can’t click on your video so subtitles will ensure that they will still get the message too. Subtitles are simply a must have and something we always provide to our clients. (Want to learn how to add Captions to your Facebook video? here’s a quick how to)
- Share it – If you’ve uploaded it to your business page, start by sharing it on your own wall. Not everyone who likes the page will even see the video so this will help get the ball rolling. If you have employees, customers, family, tell them about the video and get them all to share it too. The more times the video is shared, the larger the audience will be. This bump in popularity gives a boost to your visibility too as Facebook will show your post more because it is being shared, liked, and commented on. So once that ball starts rolling it can really gain some serious momentum.
Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world so if you have video advertising that is not on youtube then you are missing out on a massive audience. Here are a few small things (without getting too advanced) that you should do once your video is uploaded to help people find it:
- Fill in all the boxes – I would say on Youtube, your title, description, keywords, are even more important than facebook. That’s because your video can show up in google searches based on that information. So again, don’t just use what the file from your producer is labeled, think about what someone, searching for you or the subject of your video, might type into google. The same goes for the description. Make sure to add links to your website or other relevant pages so that people can learn more or buy now.
- Custom Thumbnail is key – Again, more important than facebook your youtube the thumbnail or poster frame is essential in getting users to click on your video. Usually the ones they give you as an option are terrible with your mouth wide open, or mid blink. You want something that looks professional and gives the viewer a sample of what they are about to watch. If you want some inspiration, just go to youtube and look at the recommended videos to see a wide range of examples that will include screen grabs or fully designed titles with text. NOTE that if you do not see the option to upload a custom thumbnail (in your video settings) it means that your account is not verified. Visit the channel settings page and go through the easy process of verifying your account to unlock this and other features.
- Share Share Share: Without getting too carried away with other platforms here is where we can talk about other places to share your youtube video. This is another reason you want to make sure your channel is set up properly in terms of your branding and links in your description so that traffic you drive to the video can find more information about you, your company, and your website. So think about all the other social media accounts you might have and share away. Twitter, Linkedin, even your Google My Business listing will all allow you to share your video. If your video is less than 60 seconds then consider posting you your instagram feed as well. If your video is over 1 minute, maybe leave a link in the description or in your bio that will take viewers to the full version. Personally I wouldn’t recommend uploading your video to IGTV unless it is a vertical composition.
Stretching that ROI
So again, everything that I’ve mentioned here I will do in a few hours on day one of releasing my video. If the video is on your website, then there is a likelihood that it will continue getting traffic as long as people are visiting your website. On social media however, that momentum can die off quickly but you should not just forget about it after the dust has settled.
- Consider boosting your Facebook post – Long after your video has been posted, that post still exists and should be stretched as far as it can go. For a very reasonable fee you are able to put that video in front of a very targeted audience. Choose how much you want to spend from a minimum of $1 per day for any length of time to create a campaign. I recommend doing this over the course of a year either quarterly or monthly depending on your marketing seasonality and budget.
- Advertise on Youtube – This is also a highly effective and targeted form of advertising. Once your video is uploaded you can pay to have it run before other videos as an advertisement. I would recommend doing this only if your video is very short and designed with this channel in mind because you often only have 5 seconds to catch someone’s attention and you might only be able to hold it for another 10.
We definitely recommend planning as much of this as you can before even going into production. It is our preference to help in the development of that campaign so that we know exactly what needs to be created and why. However, if you’re just getting to it after your video has been finalized and delivered, don’t fret. Take a deep breath, try to tackle each of these things one at a time, and remember that we are always here to help.