chapter 9

Videography | Unlocking the Power of Video Marketing

Today, more than ever, brands and businesses understand the power of video. Video consumption is at an all-time high. Facebook recently reported that they see over 8 billion video views per day, and the number of hours people spend watching YouTube videos is up 60% over the last year. As a result, small businesses across all industries are embracing video.

Luckily for you, as a freelancer or small agency, adding video marketing as an additional service to your arsenal has become increasingly easy with video builders such as Animoto. Luckily for your clients, video will help get their store and products in front of more eyeballs.

In the following sections, we’ll take a look at the logistics of building a video strategy. But first—how do you convince your clients that they should pay you for video services? If the following stats won’t convince them, nothing will:

  • A video commerce report released by Liveclicker last year showed that 88% of surveyed businesses saw increased sales after adding video to product pages. Additionally, websites with video on a majority of product pages saw 68% larger average order value (AOV) than those without. 
  • According to a 2015 Animoto survey:
    • 4x as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.
    • 4 in 5 consumers say it’s important to have a video showing how a product works.

Plain and simple: video drives customers down the sales funnel. Once your client is on board—and it shouldn’t be too difficult to convince them—you’re ready to get started with video.

Developing a video strategy for your client

Before you pick up a video camera, you’ll want to sit down and develop a strategy. We’ll break this process down into three easy-to-digest steps: determining your objectives, deciding what type of videos work best for these objectives, and coming up with a promotional plan.

DETERMINING YOUR OBJECTIVES

Make a list of your objectives for using video with your client. Odds are that you’re interested in driving more conversions and sales, but these aren’t the only benefits of video marketing. You may also be interested in one, or several, of the following:

  • Increasing online engagement 
  • Increasing brand awareness 
  • Increasing website traffic 
  • Increasing customer education

DECIDING WHAT VIDEO TYPES FIT YOUR OBJECTIVES

Once you’ve determined your objectives, it’s time to start thinking about the types of videos that work best for your purposes. We’ll dive into the five most popular types of business videos and what works best for each.

Product videos

These videos show the ins and outs of a product or service, and are great not only for increasing sales, but also for increasing customer education. The more a customer learns from a product video, the better equipped they’ll be to make a decision to buy.

About us / explainer videos

These videos serve to introduce your client’s business as a whole. Including videos like this on a website will lead to higher placement in search results, and videos featuring the people behind the product also create a more trustworthy environment, specifically for online-only retailers.

Thought leadership & educational videos

Your client’s industry experience likely means that they’ve got tips and advice to share. Creating videos around this expertise is a great way to increase brand awareness, nurture new leads, foster engagement and trust, and increase conversion—especially when you share this content via social media.

Customer testimonial videos

Speaking of trust, buyers love seeking out advice from their peers. Including customer testimonial videos from satisfied buyers is a good way to make future buyers feel more comfortable, which could lead to increased sales.

Promotional videos

Promotional videos can be used to let customers know about special deals, tease thought leadership content, promote events, and more. Ultimately, this type of video is helpful for generating buzz and driving sales.

Building a promotional plan

Once you’ve decided on which type of video(s) you’ll be making, it’s time to decide where to publish them. Do you want to post to your client’s website or store? On their social profiles? If so, which ones? On YouTube? We’ll dive into distribution in the next section.

DISTRIBUTING YOUR CLIENTS’ VIDEOS FOR SUCCESS

No matter how amazing your videos are, nobody will see them if you don’t post them in the right places and optimize them for sharing. Before we get into the where, let’s take a quick look at video optimization.

Here are a few tips for optimizing your video content:

  • Make sure videos play on mobile devices. 
  • Add relevant metadata (such as titles, descriptions, and tags) to make your content discoverable in text search results. 
  • Select a vibrant cover image that will make viewers want to watch. 
  • Hook viewers in the first few seconds, and keep video content as short as possible—today’s viewers have short attention spans.

Once your video content is optimized and ready to go, it’s time to distribute it. There are a variety of platforms to consider.

Website or ecommerce store

Your client’s website or ecommerce store is a great place to feature About Us videos, product videos, customer testimonials, and any other video content that would be helpful for customers that are trying to decide whether or not to make a purchase.

PRO TIP: Make sure videos are easy to spot on the home page or on product pages. If they get buried in the design, customers may never notice them and will miss out on possible sales.

Social media and video sharing sites

Sharing videos on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube is a great way to drive engagement (not to mention YouTube’s SEO benefits). Rather than straight-up sales videos, the type of content that does well on social platforms is content that entertains or educates, so stick to fun behind-the-scenes videos or videos showcasing your client’s expertise.

PRO TIP: Create different versions of videos for different platforms. For instance, on Facebook you may opt to use titles so that viewers can understand what’s happening in your video as they scroll through the news feed without audio. For Instagram, you may decide to create a 15-second teaser.

Boost email with video

Did you know that, according to BombBomb, emails that contain video convert 68% more leads than traditional emails? While you can’t actually play video in emails, including links to product videos about new offerings, or videos about promotions and events, is a great way to boost your open rates and conversions.

PRO TIP: Try mentioning the video in your subject line, or linking out from an animated gif or image with a play button so that it’s clear that your email contains a video.

Offline

There are also opportunities to showcase video content offline. If your client will be showcasing their products at a tradeshow, they can set up a television screen looping their video or, if they have a brick and mortar store, they may want to loop their video in the window to attract foot traffic.

PRO TIP: When videos are shown in loud places, it’s important to make sure audio isn’t necessary for viewers to understand what’s happening. Avoid using customer testimonials or videos with talking heads, and if you must, make sure you include captions.

Measuring results

Once your videos are out in the wild, your job isn’t done. You’ll want to monitor their performance and see whether or not they’re accomplishing the objectives you set for them. In the early days of online video, views were the be-all-end-all of measuring results but, in fact, there are many metrics that contribute to a successful video campaign beyond just views. Some of those include:

  • Engagement: How many shares, likes, and comments is the video content getting? 
  • Conversions: How many viewers actually took action and made a purchase or signed up for a mailing list after watching a video? 
  • Watch time: How much of a video are people watching before they leave the page? 
  • Click-through rates: How many people are clicking on call-to-action buttons or links alongside the video?

The good news is that you’ve already got a number of tools at your disposal to help you measure the success of your video campaigns. Facebook Insights provides tons of information about the videos you upload and share (including views, watch time, social engagement, and more); YouTube analytics lets you take a deep dive into the performance of videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube; and Google Analytics can help you understand how much traffic your clients are getting as a result of your video marketing efforts. Plus, there are a number of other video hosting providers that can provide an additional layer of analytics for videos hosted on your client’s website.

Seeing how certain videos are performing can help you adjust your strategy to get more bang for your client’s buck going forward (and help you show your client that what you’re doing is working).

Selling video as a service

Ready to start offering video as a service? We recommend starting with your best and worst critic—yourself. Create a series of videos for your agency or freelance business, including an About Us video that tells potential clients who you are; a video showcasing your marketing expertise; and a customer testimonial video if you’ve got a happy client that’s up for helping out. You can use these videos to start building out a portfolio of your work that you can share with clients going forward.

Lastly, don’t forget to add video to your list of services, your LinkedIn profile, your resume, and anywhere else you currently promote yourself.

Happy video making!


About the author

Megan O'Neill is the Content Marketing Manager at Animoto, an online service that makes it easy for businesses to create powerful and professional videos.

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