Natural Benefit of Video Content
There is no other form of content that is quite as engaging and personable as video content is. This is because video (often) combines the use of multiple senses (audio/visual) which helps catch more attention and makes the experience more interesting.
Think about it, the more senses you add to the mix, the more interesting and engaging an experience becomes.
After all, there is a reason why they create 3D (and in some areas 4D) theaters! These theaters include things like smell or touch to represent the environment on screen.
Disadvantages of Video Content
Although there are obvious advantages to video-based content marketing, there are, unfortunately, some disadvantages as well.
Video is naturally expensive and time consuming to make. More or less depending on the style of video, the content you want to include, and the editing process.
There are also the costs of the hardware and software limitations you may experience, considering that video requires lots of storage space and computing power to handle and edit.
And relative to other content-marketing formats (blogs, podcasts, images, emails, etc.) corporate-grade video production usually starts at a minimum investment of $500-$1,000.
That’s usually for the camera ALONE.
That being said, I’m here to help you create better videos for less money!
Hopefully, after sharing some of these tips and tricks, you’ll have a much better understanding of what goes into making engaging and influential videos for your brand!
How to Create Excellent Video Content
I’m going to assume that you know how to pull out your camera and press the record button! (A bold assumption of me?) That being said, what I want to discuss are the things you could be doing to 1) See more results from your strategy, and 2) Make higher-quality content.
With that being said, let’s dive right into the first tip for bettering your content strategy!
SEO for Video Content
I’m sure you know what SEO is, but in case you don’t, it stands for Search Engine Optimization and has been one of the hottest marketing keywords since the rise of the internet.
SEO is your ability to make your video naturally and organically findable in search engines, it’s that simple.
Over time, the more SEO that you have optimized will lead to more success and more views of your videos, that way, you can experience the full impact of having a strategy that is affected by compounding returns.
The best way to optimize your videos for SEO is by doing keyword research to find related keywords to your niche, and choosing ones that have adequate search volume, but little competition.
Search volume is easy to discover in the keyword tracking tool, but competition is a little more difficult.
To track the competition of your keyword, you want to search for that specific keyword or phrase and check out what results are shown on the top of the search page. Find out why they would be the top results, and what makes them appealing to somebody searching for that keyphrase.
You also need to consider whether you should try to outrank them. You can do this by A/B testing their content to yours.
Do they have deeper, more informative, or well-planned content? Is their site running smoothly? Are they authoritative? All of these things make a difference to SEO.
Ultimately, once you find that keyword or phrase that you feel comfortable tackling, you can begin the next step of the video SEO process.
Optimizing Titles: The keywords and phrases that you want to rank for need to be in the title of the video naturally (and preferably at the beginning).
The titles need to explain in no uncertain terms what the video is about, and it also needs to be short and sweet to keep the interest of the potential audience.
Generally, due to the character count for titles on youtube, 60 characters or less is the limit that will show up in the title area.
Next, add keywords and tags appropriately to the tag area as well as the description.
Your keywords need to be relevant and something that your audience might search to find your content, otherwise it’s a waste of everybody’s time.
Keep in mind not to “keyword stuff” in the description of your video. Instead, those keywords need to be naturally added throughout the keep the interest and explanation behind the video intact and continuous.
Keyword stuffing is generally considered tacky and may harm your SEO!
Use Catchy Titles and Thumbnails:
Note: I said use CATCHY titles NOT click-bait titles!
There is a huge (and sometimes hilarious) difference between the two.
Catchy titles explain the topic of the video in a simple, thoughtful, and engaging way. Whether you want to use alliteration, rhymes, CTA’s, whatever is up to you!
Clickbait on the other hand is purposefully meant to persuade in a way that is not truthful or generally meant to deceive one about the true contents of the video.
For example, what If I titled this very blog post something like “How To Become Video-Famous in 5 Days!” Kinda ruins it doesn’t it?
Not that you can’t become video famous in five days with the right amount of luck and exposure, but that’s not my point.
The importance of the title is to hook your readers attention, so make sure you do it right and be relevant to the topic of the video.
Thumbnails are also important. They are the small photographs that give you a better idea as to the contents of the video itself.
Generally, the best practice when it comes to thumbnails is to make them colorful, eye-catching, and also relevant to the video.
Imagine If i had a thumbnail of myself standing close to a Lamborghini when my video was on the topic of astrophysics. Weird, huh?
The Power of Good Lighting in Videos
Lighting is the single most important factor in video-creation. With bad lighting, you can make the most expensive camera in the world look awful. But with good lighting, you can make the cheapest camera look relatively good.
Lighting can be tricky when you don’t know how to work it, but let’s discuss some key points of consideration.
Generally, on a video-set, there are three main lights. There is a key light, a fill light, and what is called a hair light (or background light).
The key light is the big light that fills most of the room, the fill light is supposed to balance out the shadows that the key-light creates to keep things from becoming too dramatic, and the hair light comes in from behind to keep the figure and silhouette of the product or person-outlined.
Let me give you a diagram from student filmmakers magazine:
Notice the positions and purposes of each of these lights, this is the best way to get great video lighting in a consistent and controlled environment.
That being said, what if there is no room in the budget for buying dedicated lights? In that case, the best thing you can do is get a small fill-light and use a large window as your key light.
Although windows are not always preferable because they change lighting characteristics due to clouds, cars, and what not, they are far better than nothing!
In fact, The large YouTuber Silicon Valley Girl began her youtube journey ONLY using her window for lighting.
Include Proof of Your Value:
I’m assuming that if you are employing content-strategies then you are also trying to make a sale of some kind.
Proof of value, sometimes called social proof, is what happens when you include external references to the value and worth of your product in your content to show that you are not just blowing steam by saying that your product is amazing.
After all, there is a reason why popular authors have quotes on their books by New York Times, Huffington post, and other endorsees.
Including proof of your value helps you further engage with the trust that you’ve developed in your audience because they will view that social proof as evidence that you can aid them in their problems.
In fact, statistics by Animoto blog stated that 50% of customers found video-testimonials useful in making the buying decision!
Offer a CTA:
One of the best ways to begin monetizing your content (assuming you have now gathered an audience) is to begin offering small but helpful CTA’s towards various business landing pages or offerings. CTAs stand for Calls To Action.
Keep in mind that your CTA should be clear, concise, but NOT a sales pitch.
People don’t like listening to salespeople, especially not in the world in which they control their own engagement like the internet.
One of the best ways to make the most out of your exposure (and consequently your CTA) is to post your videos at the right times.
There will be a time at which your audience is more free and willing to watch certain videos in the week.
For example, I’ve researched that a business-based channel will do best to release their videos at (roughly) 5-7 pm EST. Considering it takes YouTube about 3 hours to list videos well, that means posting about 11 am-12 pm PST (where I live).
It’s these small considerations and adjustments that really make the difference.
Maximize the Output Potential:
Output potential has to do with the videos reach and the impact that your video can have. Be sure to engage with your audience to show that you and your brand are ful of people and not robots!
Another thing you can do is consider promoting your video on various promotion channels like social media and various blog posts to create more engaging content.
Engaging with your viewers should definitely be part of your overall marketing campaign because it is so useful in gathering trust and feedback.
This feedback can further help you improve your offer or streamline your value-delivery process.
Choose the Right Distribution Channels:
Yes, I mentioned YouTube many times throughout this post, that’s just because it’s easier for me to post to YouTube and upload links than it is to optimize full videos for web-performance on this website.
That being said, you might want to do something totally different! Often times larger websites with more infrastructure and site-optimization will host their very own videos to drive traffic to their site instead of a third party.
That being said, what you choose to do and where you choose to post to are entirely up to you, just don’t forget that there are some very real benefits to posting content directly on your site (like increased exposure) but there are also disadvantages (large file sizes, less support, more upkeep, etc.)
Overall, keep in mind that videos can be difficult to make, but only in the beginning once you start learning the ropes!
Perhaps you are already a video-content marketer, and wish to make the most out of your content, these tips can hep you do exactly that!
With some small considerations like lighting and thumbnail/title design, you can vastly increase the outreach and potential audience of your videos, and increase your brand recognition and perception in the process.
Thanks for reading!
Work With Austin
-Austin Denison is a management consultant and coach from Southern California and founder/CEO of Denison Success Systems LLC. He is the author of The Essential Change Management Guidebook: Master The Art of Organizational Change as well as The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life, and, coming soon: KICK*SS Content Marketing, How to Boost Your Brand and Gather a Following.