Many marketers look at different video services and try to decide "this or that." Instead, marketers should plan to do video marketing through more than one service and leverage the strengths of each.
To gain the most success, a digital marketer needs to plan ahead and develop a clear video marketing strategy, identifying the end goal of the campaign. This plan will guide where most of the videos should live and how they should be created. It will also help define how much video creation will be “video marketing” versus “product development” (if the videos are the products). It should be recognized that there is a difference between the two, and the strategy you develop should have tactics for both.
Developing Your Video Strategy
If your goal is purely to increase brand awareness and reach new people, your tactics will lean heavily on the “video marketing” side of the spectrum, and you will want to choose a platform that excels in public, social-sharing even if this means less emphasis on linking back to your website and products. You will also want to create more videos that are fun, engaging, and shareable that fall under the “video marketing” category. Long, informational or sales videos typically have less of an effect in the “video marketing” and social categories.
If your videos are your product or you are looking to drive traffic directly to a specific product, you will need to be careful that your video marketing strategy does not take away from the value of your video product or traffic to your website. You will want to do less marketing on platforms that do not easily lead people back to your product and make sure there is some exclusivity to the videos you are using as your products. You will want to make sure the videos that are created as products are hosted on a platform where they can live within an exclusive website and allow for limiting user access based on purchase, membership, or subscription. Additionally, you will want to create separate videos or shortened versions of videos that are solely for the purpose of marketing and are not considered exclusive. These will be the videos you will use on social platforms to gain awareness and drive people to your products.
Each social platform has strengths in video marketing and hosting videos. While some of these platforms excel in the social and video marketing category, they also come with some disadvantages that may not benefit your end goals.
To give you an example of things to think about when considering whether your video creation strategy will be marketing heavy versus product heavy, below are some examples of advantages and disadvantages for three incredibly popular and powerful networks that represent three very different applications of video on social networks.
- Since YouTube is a product of Google, there are clear advantages for SEO purposes. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (Google being #1). Therefore, YouTube videos rank higher in search results over videos hosted on other platforms.
- Since YouTube is such a powerful search engine, the likeliness that your video will get found is higher. Many users have a tendency to search for information and entertainment directly in YouTube.
- It’s free.
- It’s very shareable and embeddable.
- You can create channels where your brand followers can subscribe.
- The major disadvantage – and one that should be noted if your goal is to lead people back to your website or products – is that the video lives on YouTube, not on your site. You can add a link to your site or product in the description, but overall YouTube makes it difficult for users to directly click from the YouTube video back to your website or product.
- Other videos from competitors will be displayed alongside your video and at the end of your video. Even if the video is embedded on your site, the user could still see competitor videos and navigate away from your site.
- You cannot customize the look and feel of your videos to match your website and brand.
- You cannot gate the video or install a lead capture form as a turnstile to viewing the video.
- You also cannot ask people to purchase or subscribe to your videos in exchange for payment.
Our recommendation: Use YouTube to gain brand awareness and give examples of the content and information you can offer. Gain a brand following on YouTube and give users a taste of the products you have to offer if they navigate away from YouTube go to your website. If your videos are informative and/or entertaining enough, users will want to seek out your exclusive products.
- Videos posted natively via Facebook get the most reach over all post types. If your posts are successful, this type of posting will begin increasing the reach of all of your Facebook content.
- Facebook offers the opportunity for engagement, building community, and conversation around your content and brand. The engagement factor is an incredibly powerful advantage to this platform.
- Facebook videos are easy to share.
- Facebook uses autoplay which reduces the amount of clicks required for content to get in front of a user.
Many of the disadvantages for Facebook are similar to YouTube. The three main factors are:
- The video lives on Facebook, not on your website.
- You cannot gate gate the video or install lead capture.
- Your viewers cannot buy your videos from Facebook.
Our recommendation: Use Facebook in conjunction with YouTube to increase reach and build engagement.
Instagram is a social network where it is incredibly important to know the culture. It was originally an image-sharing network where users shared their own photos and moments. This function opens up great opportunity to tell your brand story and get creative with your videos.
- Huge potential for fun, artsy short-form videos.
- Opportunity to join #Hashtag conversations.
- Like Facebook, Instagram offers a high engagement factor.
- Because the videos are short-form (15 seconds or less), embedding your Instagram video is a nice enhancement to your website content. Unlike YouTube or other similar content that has many distractions that may lead users away from your website.
- While you can link to your website on your profile and in comments, it can be difficult to get click-throughs to your website or product.
- Unless the individual post is embedded, it does not live on your website.
- Will not directly impact SEO
- Your viewers will still not be able to buy your content from Instagram.
Our recommendation: Leverage the creative cultural of Instagram and use it to show the personality of your brand. Go behind the scenes of your brand, produce creative (and short) how-to videos, and use it as a tool to build your social media presence.
Whether you are marketing products, videos for purchase, or your brand, come up with a clear strategy before you begin creating your videos. Creating one-size-fits-all videos will no longer move the needle on your video marketing campaigns. Ask a few questions before you hit record: When you’re creating your full-length videos, are there some shorter versions that can be created for marketing purposes? What videos can you create to inspire engagement and build loyal fans that are invested enough to click through from a social site to your products? Will gating all your videos get you the reach you need to gain traction?