Businesses are investing significant efforts in growing their online presence, and they’re creating and distributing more video as a result. Videos are being launched on a variety of channels, including social and streaming platforms, to raise brand awareness and engage online audiences. In fact, 86% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool, a 25% increase from five years ago.
In a recent survey, 71% of individuals selected YouTube as their preferred platform to consume videos. 54% of marketers selected YouTube as their favorite platform for sharing content. The argument to invest in video efforts is largely indisputable, but what makes video tricky to businesses is that it’s never one-size-fits-all. There are many factors to consider when launching video, including accessibility needs and effective engagement strategies.
Considering The Pros & Cons of Video
Video is being used regularly to drive awareness for companies’ current offerings, as well as for product releases, advertising efforts, virtual events and more. To make a mark, businesses are crafting creative, fun and impactful video strategies. However, when employing a video strategy, it’s important to consider the pros and cons.
- Different formats of video are needed to be effective: Longer-form video that works on YouTube is less likely to work on social platforms where consumers prefer short, snackable video. Smart business leaders are therefore not only reaching consumers in the environments they frequent, but are creating video of different lengths and formats. Doing so can be quite costly. Businesses should consider the costs of hiring someone in-house to manage their video content, including trimming longer videos and shooting new videos for different platforms, as well as what it might cost to outsource these efforts.
- Consumers can recognize ‘cheap’ video: Producing video content can be costly and time consuming. Consumers can easily recognize poorly produced or ‘cheap’ video from engaging, effective video. Determining your budget and how much it costs to produce each video can be key to deciding on how many videos you’re capable of creating at a quality level which will support your brand rather than harm it and devalue its offerings.
- Video vs. written content: Having a budget in mind can also help you determine what content must be video and what content can work as written, visual content. Often, blog posts or Google text ads can do the trick in terms of engagement by improving your website’s SEO and helping with your searchability. Other times, seeing things in video format can be more engaging and have a longer lasting impact on viewers.
- Helpful platform tools: Nearly every social platform has tools to help businesses launch video effectively. For example, Instagram launched Professional Dashboards recently, which is geared to attract businesses to contribute more on social and enlist best practices in doing so.
Tips To Optimize Video Content
A business can spend a great deal of money on its video strategy, but if the videos aren’t seen by their target audiences, it can be all for naught. There are tricks and tips business leaders can utilize so their videos can be discovered more easily.
- Keep most videos short: Try to keep videos under 30 seconds for brand awareness and brand consideration goals. A 2018 study by LinkedIn found that videos under 30 seconds reported a 200% lift in view completion rates. Test longer videos for demand generation.
- The beginning matters: The first few seconds of the video need to be engaging. Video content creators have roughly three seconds before they lose their viewers’ attention. The ‘endless scroll’ is very real and consumers have a ton of video content to choose from. The beginning graphics and video title should be designed to reel audiences in. Think of the first few seconds at the start of a video the same way one would an article headline. Make viewers want to see more and try to appeal to audiences on an emotional level.
- Have clear titles and descriptions: Make sure any text which accompanies videos represents the content well. Is catchy language being used that will get audiences to want to click and watch? Do the titles pique curiosity appeal to the interests of the target audience? Taking a moment to ensure the videos being uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the like are labeled properly and are more ‘searchable’ can make a significant difference.
- Use captioning: Viewers expect their videos to be captioned. Whether it’s for those who are watching videos on mute on social media or about meeting the needs of viewers who are hard of hearing or members of the Deaf community, captioning has multiple use cases. Most video views happen on mute and the user must unmute the video actively. In fact, 85% Facebook users watch video without audio and 91% of videos with subtitles are watched to completion compared to 66% of videos without captions. Captioning can therefore improve video engagement tremendously, as well as help with indexations.
- Use transcripts for longer content: Whether it’s podcasts, business marketing videos or educational videos, offering transcripts which accompany the videos can help their performance. Businesses should also consider video transcription services for SEO as transcripts can significantly help to make videos searchable. Videos will therefore show up higher in SEO rankings. They can also help to serve as ‘notes’ for easy review after watching if the viewer desires. Transcription can be used to create more appealing gated content. In addition, podcasts with transcripts mean individuals who are hard of hearing can still comprehend the content. The video to transcript process also isn’t daunting with so many integrations available now to select from, many of which are supported by Verbit for a seamless workflow.
- Make your content accessible & inclusive: In addition to merely providing captioning and video transcription with free tools and services, make sure they’re accurate enough that they’re providing an accessible experience. To adhere to ADA guidelines, captions and transcripts should meet levels of 99% accuracy, which Verbit’s solution provides. Business leaders must make sure video content designed to improve their online presence is in fact inclusive. Accessibility technologies like video captioning will make for a stronger online presence as a business’s video becomes more accessible with captions to commuters, moms with sleeping babies and even those watching content in languages which aren’t native to them.
- Go global: For greater audience reach, consider translating videos to different languages. 89% of YouTube users are based outside of the US and 80% of the global population requires translated text subtitles. Keeping this in mind and looking toward translation will help businesses reach many more individuals, making their video investment much more worthwhile.
- Use targeting capabilities: With a multitude of data available and scheduling platforms, take the time to get specific. Play around with different headlines, placeholder screens and text that accompany the same video to see what works best, target different audiences and uncover what resonates.
- Native videos reach more audiences: Native video refers to video content that is uploaded directly to (or created on) a specific channel, such as Facebook, and played in-feed. Uploading videos or creating them directly on Facebook for example, rather than posting a link to the video on Youtube or Vimeo is much preferred. Why? Native video means viewer consumption then and there without extra clicks, which translates to better engagement. Also, social media platforms have algorithms that push your videos to more audiences if they are native.
Virtually every successful company regardless of size has recognized the video content trend and is becoming a video content creator.
To get ‘good’ at video and improve video SEO, start shooting and testing to see what works. LinkedIn reported that video posts earn an average of 3x the engagement of text-based posts and articles. While businesses may not get it right or feel that their investments paid off right away, consumers want and expect video. To be successful in today’s market, business leaders must give it to them, analyze the results and keep reinventing their strategies until they find what works and resonates with their ideal audiences.
For more ideas on how to make video more accessible and engaging to a variety of audiences, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.