Video camera

Gone are the days when a corporate video was a dull and drab 8-minute message from the CEO on a company website. With high-speed internet and downloading speeds, videos are now the most popular and effective way for a business to cultivate and captivate audiences, boost brand awareness and ultimately impact the bottom line. Mungo Park, Co-founder, Blueprint.tv, tells more.

You only need to dip into Facebook to see how impactful videos can be in your feed. The number of views on the social media channel doubled from four billion per day to eight billion in just seven months in 2015 alone. Nearly 85 per cent of video on Facebook is watched without audio so more videos are now using subtitles.

But the video component of a business’s marketing campaign must have a strategic and targeted purpose if the rewards are to be reaped. And there are several key factors to bear in mind.

Firstly, what are your business objectives? Is it to educate your audience, generate new leads, promote a certain product or service, or a combination of all three?

Virgin Media Business, for example, launched its Generation IP:2025 campaign to look at what’s in store for the data economy. Their innovative film, produced by Blueprint.tv, received over 50,000 views. The interactive film presented their brand, showcased their services and technology, educated people on activities in their sector and used thought leadership to shape the future. The campaign was mainly focused on CTOs and CIOs but resulted in coverage from the BBC, Huffington Post and the Guardian. But this rarely happens. When corporate or B2B content goes is any way viral, it is usually for the wrong reasons.

Secondly, you need to pinpoint your target audiences. The key here is to not cast your net as far and wide as possible but to hone in on specific individuals or organisations and keep them interested. Would you prefer 5000 views from complete strangers or 200 views from exactly the right people you are looking to reach? The focus should be on quality over quantity. When determining your audiences, ensure to include existing data, newly researched data and then also build fresh data during the campaign.

Next, is your communications objective or, put simply, what do you want to say? Beyond just the messaging, this includes the tone, style and narration, all of which will be influenced by who you are looking to reach.

When thinking about where and how your audience will see your video, it is important to have a bird’s eye view over the user journey and structure it in a holistic way. Although video should be the showpiece, there will be other sources of content worth integrating into the user experience such as blogs, splash images or infographics.

The length of a video you are marketing should never exceed 90 seconds. In fact, according to Animoto, nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer video under 60 seconds. If you want to run a native video on Twitter, 90 seconds in the limit and the shortest videos always have the most views.

Once the content has been produced and is ready to use, it is vital to maximise its compatibility with internet use. This requires a combination of structured data (the format and type of information being provided), file optimisation (making it easier to read your content files) and metadata (data that describes other data). The European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA - now Invest Europe) got ranked second on Google for the term ‘Private Equity’ using these methods.

YouTube has become a highly effective way to optimise SEO on Google and YouTube itself. After all, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and its popularity is infectious – 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute and almost five billion videos are watched every single day. When a video appears in universal search on Google, 80 per cent of the time it is a YouTube video.

Seeding is a term that has become commonplace within the content marketing space over the past few years. This essentially entails targeting influencers, customers or certain demographics. It relates back to the idea of using a highly selective approach to reaching the right audiences – or niche marketing.

The pay-per- click (‘PPC’) mechanism can provide a substantial boost to your campaign. Previously, marketers chose PPC or content marketing. However, combining the two adds speed and scale to generate leads and significantly ramps up your conversion rate. This can be done in a variety of ways, whether by using AdWords, Display, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Conversion tracking helps reveal what happens when someone clicks on an ad; whether it led to a purchase, download, or sign-up. Each PPC channel allows conversion tracking codes to be collated. This helps to build audience lists for display remarketing.

Ultimately, beyond being just educational or promotional, the goal is to get as many conversions as possible. This can be more easily achieved by embedding videos on the landing pages or using calls to action to drive people to sign-up forms. Each video should bear the potential for a conversion – translated into a transaction or new relationship.

Finally, the success of a video marketing campaign should be measured in three key ways -conversions, mentions/interactions and data/audience build. Another technique is using reverse IP lookup, which is essentially looking at the IP address to identify companies who visit the video page on your site. This information can prove to be invaluable for conversions down the line or for business development.

According to research company Aberdeen, businesses that use video can expect to see 41 per cent more web traffic from search than non-video users. Furthermore, Forbes estimates that adding video to emails can increase click-through rates by up to 300 per cent. With the stats speaking for themselves, no business should consider themselves exempt from the benefits from a well-structured video content marketing campaign.