By Jeanne Sheehy, Chief Marketing Officer
Videos are quickly becoming the most engaging type of content in digital marketing for associations and other non-profit organizations. Using interactive video content to tell the story of your organization creates an awareness that is imprinted in the viewer’s mind with both a visual and an audio brand association.
But in the fast-paced world of live streaming and on-the-go video sharing, how can you ensure that your content catches the eye of potential association members and customers? Consider the following strategies to better connect and engage with those you are targeting in your organization’s digital marketing efforts.
- Invest in Quality – Starting out by creating video content typically requires investing in quality video production software and equipment, and can sometimes include investing in talent as well. Fortunately, today’s smartphones are capable of recording high-quality video for mobile devices, but not necessarily for viewing on laptops or projection screens. However, it’s likely someone on your team has a point-and-shoot digital camera that shoots excellent video. Elect a marketing team member to write the scripts and edit the videos with iMovie or another affordable video editing program. Try to use staff members or customers before hiring out professionals to act in the videos you create. Tripods and microphones are inexpensive and important investments to make to ensure that you’re capturing the video as effectively as possible. Lighting is also important, but a studio isn’t necessary – find a bright, clean space to shoot.
- Short and Sweet – Social media platforms such as Instagram force brands to keep their video content to the point, only allowing users to upload videos that are 60 seconds or less in duration. This strategy should be applied across all platforms, as viewers aren’t likely to watch the entirety of a long video (tapping out as soon as they get bored), or even open the video at all if they know it is several minutes in length. Short videos are also more conducive to sharing. The only exception to this strategy is live streaming and education videos. Typically, it is recommended that your live stream videos be at least five minutes in duration to attract a live audience. Pro Tip: Have a lot of video content that you simply can’t pare down? Share it separately in “episodes” to engage your potential customers over a longer span of time without eliminating essential content.
- Understand Your Audience – Knowing what your viewers will choose to engage with is the key to getting your message across. An interesting thumbnail – the image preview of your video that users see before they tap or click the video to play it – plays a large role in whether they will open the video or scroll past it. And the tone of your video, whether lighthearted and funny or serious and informational, should emotionally appeal to your audience so that they watch the entire video, creating a lasting brand impression and potentially driving engagement.
- Play on Emotions – Storytelling is the key to building a brand. What story can your organization share, and how can you present it in a way that pulls on the heartstrings of viewers? Highlight the emotional heavy lifting that your organization does with video content. Video interviews with current members, for example, are a great way to capture the emotional impact that your organization has and attract potential customers. This video content should be polished and professional, captured in a bright, clean environment with high-quality cameras and audio equipment.
- Feature the Everyday – On-the-go video content creation like Instagram Stories and Facebook Live are a great way to exhibit the relatable side of your organization. These videos don’t necessarily have to be polished or professional quality. They give viewers an inside look at the behind the scenes of your organization. Live streaming attracts potential customers by sending out a notification to your followers when you “go live”, and provides strong engagement by allowing them to ask questions or give commentary while the live stream is taking place.
- Easy Engagement – Build your audience with videos that typically gain a large viewership and easily engage audiences. While informational videos are useful, they can turn away potential customers if the content isn’t exciting. Kick-start your video content with how-to guides, interviews, content promotion (i.e., promotion of your white papers or case studies), webinars, event promotion, testimonials, and product demos.
- Use Your Brand – While this may seem obvious, it slips many video creators’ minds to incorporate aspects of your organization’s brand, including logo, colors, fonts, and other design factors, in the videos they create. Consistent, cohesive branding includes your organization’s videos that are posted online – if your videos don’t reflect your brand, they will seem unrelated to the rest of your digital messaging.
- Search Engine Optimization (i.e., SEO) – To ensure that your videos not only reach the audiences you’ve pushed them out to but also pull in new audiences of potential members, sponsors and customers, implement SEO strategies such as keyword research, mobile optimization, and proper tagging. Start by identifying the best keywords for your industry and organization, based on search volume and competition. Next, be sure your video content is optimized for mobile viewing – for example, if the video file is too large, slow buffering will turn viewers away. Find the sweet spot between quality and mobile optimization. Once you’ve created the video, coming up with an engaging description and tags is important. Including words like “tutorial” and “how-to” in the description (if applicable) will help to determine which videos users actually watch. To create optimal tags, start with a longer summary of the video and then narrow it down to short phrases and individual words.
- Recycle Content – Create video content that can not only be shared to engage followers on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+, but also posted on various pages of your website and included in email campaigns. This increases the efficiency of the video content, spreading the financial and time investment across multiple viewing platforms and allowing accessibility to the content from a variety of channels. Cross-posting also increases your SEO engagement (see #10).
- Promote It – Converting your video into an advertisement on social media is as easy as promoting, sponsoring, or boosting the post with the video content in it. Be sure to include an eye-catching caption, hashtags, emojis, and a call to action so that the promoted post (i.e., ad) is strategically positioned to capture the attention of those who perhaps aren’t following you yet or know of your organization at all. Be sure you are creating a customized target for these promoted posts so that they are reaching the potential members and customers you hope to convert.