Every business has three common objectives: building brand awareness and increasing influence, helping prospects and target audiences, and, of course, converting leads.
Unfortunately, we’re not part of the Arabian Nights and we can’t summon a wish-granting genie to take care of everything for us. It isn’t all bad news, though, because there is one thing that makes it possible to hit all three goals: video content.
We asked business owners and marketers to tell us how video has helped them along in their journey. Read on to find out what their experience with video has been like; what sort of strategies they’ve adopted and, finally, the lessons they’ve learned.
What has your experience been like with video content?
“We’re still relatively new to video, but we’re finding that we’re getting a decent number of viewers per new video.
“Our favorite strategy has been to create videos on a topic and then embed those videos into our blog content, while also posting a link to the blog article in the YouTube video description.
“This way, our blog readers get introduced to our YouTube channel, and our YouTube watchers are introduced to our written blog content!” — Meg Marrs, K9 of Mine
“Video has performed well for us, in some ways. We achieved wonderful results on YouTube where we have a video with 2.8 million views. Results like these are great, especially if you want to create and increase brand awareness.
“It’s also a great way to repurpose our blog content and that’s why we plan to make more videos. Doing this allows us to share our content again on social media in a more interactive way, and we can also improve on the visual aspects of the blog post, as well as some metrics such as time on site.” — Nikola Baldikov, Brosix
“Video continues to be some of the highest performing content across all of our channels and I plan to keep strategically using videos as much as possible. It’s important at this stage in the industry to make sure your videos are aligned with your goals and brand voice. There are many companies doing video now and you need to resonate with your target audience and provide value.” — Chris Fitzner, Appian
“Video has performed extremely well for our business. We record digital marketing videos where other business owners and marketers can learn from the advice we’re sharing. We post and optimize them on YouTube and we get a decent amount of leads from people viewing these videos on Google and YouTube. We also utilize Facebook for a lot of video content.
“During COVID-19, I’ve been investing a lot more time into creating video content. This is something that can proactively be done by yourself and help gain awareness for your business. Now is the perfect time to be investing in video content.” — Jason Parks, The Media Captain
“Buying crickets and roaches online is unusual. And many people who have never done this before have a lot of questions. So, we created tutorial videos that demonstrate the process better for our inquiring prospects. After we post the tutorial videos on our product page, we noticed a strong boost in conversions. And, our YouTube channel has almost 4000 subscribers, which has become an alternative source of revenue.” — Jeff Neal, The Critter Depot
“I truly believe that video is the future of internet content and consumption. In fact, we’ve structured our entire content strategy around video. Not only do we pay for video advertising but we also create video content ourselves.
“To cut to the chase, we create helpful YouTube videos in-house to attract viewers and (hopefully) turn them into customers.” — Matthew Ross, The Slumber Yard
“We’re new to using video, but have noticed increased engagement on social and it makes it easier to create multiple pieces of content from one asset.” — Noah Kain, Duckpin
“Video marketing has been tremendously successful for our company and has become an integral part of our marketing strategy. In addition, 57% of new leads we generate every month are traceable to our video content.” — Jane Flanagan, Tacuna Systems
“Video has performed exceptionally well for numerous clients. Most recently, during the Covid-19 shut down, we used video to promote mom-and-pop restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
“Prior to launching the video ad, which we geo-targeted a half mile around the restaurant, they were barely getting any delivery business. Once we launched the Rock this Quarantine video, the owner sent me a text to let us know they’ve never been busier with deliveries.” — Daniel Odescalchi, SAIPR
To sum it all up, our respondents—across different industries—have found videos to be useful for attracting, engaging, and converting.
Now, let’s take a look at how frequently business owners and marketers are sharing videos, what type of content they’re putting out, and which platforms are coming out on top as the most favorable for dissemination.
How many videos are you sharing per month and what kind are they? Also, which social platform has performed best for you?
“Depending on the season and on the client, we share, on average, 3 to 5 video ads per month. These videos are varied in types—anywhere from hype reels to interview-style videos.
“Generally speaking, the platforms we use the most for dissemination are YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
“In most cases, we use these platforms to drive landing page views, and it has been successful based on the demographics from each platform. For example, the older demographics from Facebook are driven to the landing page, whereas the younger demos come from Instagram.
“So, ultimately, it is all dependent on the campaign, ad placement, and most
importantly, the audience. So many variables are relative to KPI.” — Brittni Gorman, Drive Brand Studio
“Currently, we make 5 to 10 videos per month. We’ve been focusing on executive features and interviews for thought leadership, and snippets from webinars for lead generation.
“We have seen a direct correlation between the amount of video content disseminated and the increased engagement on a post or campaign, so we will continue to use video moving forward as it has proven to be an incredibly powerful tool to reach our target audiences.
“And as far as platforms go, LinkedIn has been great for us to share video content, especially content with subtitles.” — Valerie Leary, North 6th Agency
“We’re aiming for 1 video a week. We go back and forth, switching between educational training videos and product reviews. And we plan to hire several YouTube creators to produce video content for our channel.
“For dissemination, Facebook tends to perform really well, but only when videos are uploaded natively to Facebook. Sharing YouTube content on Facebook does not perform as well since the platform won’t allow the videos to directly play from within a user’s Facebook feed.” — Meg Marrs, K9 of Mine
According to the responses, the frequency of videos publishing tends to vary across businesses, but a good rule of thumb is to be consistent with your posting schedule.
With that said, it’s worth noting that it’s not just how often you post, it’s what you create that matters most.
Turns out that educational videos (how-tos, tutorials, and other value-packed content, such a thought leadership videos) are some the most popular video types for businesses. Culture and promo videos seem to do well, too.
To learn about video types, check out our post on B2B videos that’ll transform your social media game. You’ll get some ideas about what sort of content you can produce.
As for platforms, the most popular ones seem to be YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
The ‘ideal’ social platform for video content dissemination really depends on your business objectives, type of content, and your target audience; therefore, you’ll have to experiment and find out what resonates.
In our final section below, you’ll read about the lessons our respondents have learned while using video content. There’s some great advice down there, especially for those of you who are just starting out with this medium.
What lessons have you learned from using video content?
“Though it seems daunting, video marketing is actually easier than SEO right now because so few businesses are doing it. And it doesn’t even matter if you’re not good at it when you start because the competition is so low.” — Shawna Newman, Skipblast
“When it comes to sharing videos on Facebook, utilizing the closed caption feature is very important because 80% of people don’t view videos on mobile with sound. Closed captions keep engagement up on mobile, which makes a difference.” — Jason Parks, The Media Captain
“Creating YouTube content is a lot more cost efficient than strategies like PPC ads or traditional print marketing. In other words, you can get in front of potential customers that are searching for related services or products for a very low cost.
“Last year, our in-house video content attracted over 1.6 million views for a fraction of what other marketing strategies would have cost.” — Matthew Ross, The Slumber Yard
“The best lesson is to start big and divide. Focus on creating one long piece of video that is several minutes in length. From that video, you can pull out multiple smaller videos and then you can extend its promotion.” — Chris Fitzner, Appian
“Getting into video can seem like a tremendous challenge. The best advice I can give is simply to start.
“You’ll learn as you go, and within a few months you’ll certainly be embarrassed of those first video uploads, but that’s the best way to improve! However, you’ll never get there if you don’t take the plunge and accept that your first videos may not be an award-winning masterpiece.” — Meg Marrs, K9 of Mine
“One thing to note regarding producing video content is that attempting to produce something viral that will become an instant hit might be every marketer’s secret ambition, but it is rarely achievable in practice.
“Seeking virality isn’t a sound long-term approach if you’re trying to make video work for you, unless you have a virtually unlimited marketing budget and can accept a large number of misfires along the way to success.” — Polly Kay, English Blinds
“Listen to your audience. It’s easy to develop new content ideas from them alone.” — Greg Birch, Drop Ship Lifestyle
“I’ve learned that it’s best to upload the video directly into the social media platform versus just a link to the video that’s hosted somewhere else.
“LinkedIn seems to really reward marketers that are posting content within and not causing people to leave. I notice more views, comments and interaction when done this way.” — Julie Bonner, Freefall Aerospace
“Production value has little correlation to virality and audience engagement. It is the intent, the message, and the execution that matter. However, even when the intent, messaging and execution is on point, organic reach can be poor. And since good content deserves to be consumed, it is unavoidable to use paid channels to get your message in front of the right people.
“The entire Facebook ecosystem is at your disposal and it may feel dirty to have to pay to play but it’s worth it because when sponsored content is placed in a strategic funnel, even interruption-based videos perform very well. Therefore, ensure that you have the necessary tracking codes/tags on your website to get maximum value and exposure from your video content.” — Daniel K Cheung, HARO Liaison
“Testing is key. Have no expectations. Understand the language of your audience. Creative, content, and ad placements should all work together when creating a video campaign.” — Brittni Gorman, Drive Brand Studio
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to plan. Pre-production is extremely important because when you have a plan and a script, you can produce your video with confidence.
“You can also use the same script to help with YouTube optimization steps like correcting your transcriptions. The same script can help you with your posts and could even become a blog.
“Spending the time doing pre-production will help you in the long run.” — Taylor Wellman, Financial Potion
We’re grateful for all the insightful responses we received and hope that you’ll find this piece useful in moving forward with your very own video content strategy.
The best piece of advice for those of you haven’t tried video: go ahead and create. Don’t overthink it, just take that first step and then let us know how it goes in the comments.
If you don’t have the time or expertise to produce video content yourself, join forces with a video production agency like ours to get things rolling. We’d be happy to strategize with you.