How’s your company’s YouTube presence these days?
Whole books have been written on video marketing do’s and don’ts for small businesses and big brands alike. But these eight tips — four negatives, four positive — offer a good start. Use them to spark some much-needed huddle room conversation about your video marketing efforts.
Do #1: Run Content Series
Why stop with a single video? Keep your audience engaged — and encourage them to return time and again — with linear content series playing up your brand and/or its products and services. The stars of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” have a wildly popular interior design series, for instance; it’s perfect for DIY enthusiasts who don’t have the Gaineses on speed dial.
Do #2: Take Viewers Behind the Scenes
Nothing sells as a sneak peek. Use your YouTube channel to take your fans “behind the scenes” — however you happen to define that term. Depending on what your company does and how much you’re willing to show off the sausage getting made, ideas in this vein might include tours of your offices, a deep dive into your fabrication process, profiles of your suppliers, You can buy likes and shares to promote your content or interviews with your designers.
Do #3: Incorporate Consistent Branding
No matter what kinds of content you choose to run on your YouTube channel, keep your branding consistent across its entire breadth. For example, visitors to Bixler University’s YouTube page can tell immediately that the company uses its YouTube channel to reinforce the essence of its brand: finely crafted collegiate jewelry for graduates of elite higher education institutions.
Do #4: Show, Don’t Tell
Your marketing videos should “tell” stories. But that doesn’t mean plopping a narrator in front of a whiteboard or syncing her disembodied voice with a standard-issue slideshow.
Go above and beyond with TV-quality segments focusing on brand-faithful stories. Outdoor gear manufacturer Patagonia has literally hundreds of YouTube videos about far-flung adventure destinations and extreme sports enthusiasts. Your brand surely has a comparable well of compelling stories to draw on.
Don’t #1: Inappropriate or Absent Tags and Titles
Never, ever forget to title and tag your YouTube videos. Many novice marketers underestimate the importance of these basic SEO factors in video content. If anything, it’s more important to optimize your YouTube channel’s limited textual components than to think up the perfect SEO title for your latest blog post.
Don’t #2: Hard Sells and Blatant CTAs
Dial back on the salesy language and visual calls to action. Amp up the poetic touches, the forceful brand statements, the arresting imagery instead. Save the hard sells for your website’s contact page.
Don’t #3: Poor Editing
Brevity is the soul of wit. It’s also the essence of effective video marketing, particularly on YouTube. The ideal video length varies by format, but basic advertorial content shouldn’t last much more than a minute, and story-driven shorts should top out around five. There’s a place for longer-form video work, but it’s likely to remain niche-bound absent extenuating circumstances.
Don’t #4: Amateurish Production Values
While you probably lack the equipment to produce truly professional-grade YouTube videos, you need to do the best you can with what you have. That means spending substantial amounts of time in post-production, trimming extraneous frames and touching up AV issues. It means incorporating the right mix of color and sound into your videos in the first place, so that you’re not stuck with something you can’t work with after the fact. And it means devoting time and attention to writing and delivery — no hokey lines or monotones allowed.
What’s Your Video Marketing Formula?
If you’re following any of the four do’s outlined above, or avoiding any of the four don’ts, you’re already on the right track. With time, you might just land on the ideal video marketing formula for your needs. When that day arrives, feel free to share it with the wider world — or keep your fans guessing, your choice.