It’s the biggest brand trend of the 21st century – video is booming as a marketing tool. But the frightening truth is much of the video content businesses produce each year goes unloved and unwatched. So how do you know if your video is the killer brand building app you want it to be?
There are two measures you need to know…
The first is straightforward enough – total views. If lots of people are finding it and hitting play, your video has real potential as a marketing tool. But even an impressive number of views counts for nought if most people click out shortly afterwards. Your goal is to make a real connection between your brand and your audience and that only happens if they watch most – preferably all – of your video. So your second goal is to drive up Total Watch Time. That’s not as easy as it sounds, so to make the right connection, start with these Watch Time Hacks.
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It’s the story that counts.
All great videos have one thing in common – they tell a great story and that means you need a great script. In Hollywood, scripts take years to get right, so if you are new to this, you’ll find it harder than you expect. But the good news is almost anyone can deliver a great script if they keep a few pointers in mind. First, you’re writing a story, not a report, so keep it conversational and to the point. Start with the common ground you share with your audience and make sure you deliver the answers to their questions. If you want to know if your script is lively and entertaining, read it out loud – to yourself, to your colleague, to your ten-year-old daughter – and if they seem engaged, you’re probably on the right track.
Keep your opening short.
Research tells us you have just 6 seconds to get your audience interested or they will click out and leave. So don’t spend too much time setting the scene, get into the action quickly.
Entice, intrigue, seduce
Now we have them watching, your audience needs a compelling reason to watch to the end. Injecting a sense of intrigue is the key here and the best way to drive up your total watch time. So let them know up front that the answer to their burning question is coming – later. If it’s a how-to video, tell them how many parts there are, then number them so they have to stick around to see the full list. And make sure you include a call to action – like a special offer which will encourage your audience to pass the link around.
Real life stories provide real marketing power, so incorporating customer testimonials into your video is generally a good idea. Keep your customer’s story focused on the “I had a problem, they found me the solution” format and ensure your delivery of the solution is in line with your brand’s value. And keep it authentic – if your customer looks genuine, that’s what your audience will see – a real life brand ambassador they can relate to.
If you are fronting your video, don’t fuss too much about your looks or makeup, instead practice looking at the camera as if it’s an old friend. Before the action starts, breathe in and out slowly, and remember to smile, vary the tone of your voice and use plenty of energy in your pitch.
A great brand video will use a few visual effects, moving from footage, to animations and graphics to keep it interesting. Pay plenty of attention to the editing to ensure you present a polished finish and choose the right upbeat music – nothing cheesy.
Copy and paste your video code (by clicking on the share button) and embed it into your website, then set your video to autoplay, removing the controls. You can also post your video to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts – a now popular way for people to find content. These tips can lift your average view time and may also improve your website’s search ranking.
It’s up, but doesn’t seem to be tracking well
Popular sites like YouTube come with a bevy of stats – including where viewers drop out. If you’re losing significant numbers at a particular point, take a hardnosed look at what is happening around about then. Chances are you’re repeating yourself or telling them something they already know. So get to work and sharpen the content right to the bone and keep your viewers engaged.
The right video is a great brand tool for businesses large and small. Just keep yours true to your brand values and fun to watch, and you’ll have a marketing tool to drive your business.
According to Mashable, 9 out of the top 10 viral videos on YouTube in 2012 were professionally created. For more information on how to integrate video messaging into your branding strategy, contact the brand agency Liquid Creativity team today.