As of March 2018, YouTube analytics report that over 3.5 billions hours of video is viewed each month. This confluence of digitally distributed information is an ever-expanding trend, as it is projected that by 2019, over 80% of the content consumed online will be by way of video. With the inexorable shift toward video already well underway, it is only becoming increasingly relevant for advertisers to adopt a schema of marketing built around this form of data. Here are a few tips to guide you through the incomprehensibly large and incredibly competitive world of video advertising.
Finding The Right Platform
Though you may be inclined to choose the video behemoth YouTube as your platform, it is important to first consider what it is you’re trying to achieve before blithely jumping forward. For instance, if your goal is to establish a service in the vain of instructional content for specialists, you might want to consider building a subscription-based platform. Websites like Uscreen are tailor made for this, as they provide frameworks for creating video series that are advertised behind pay walls.
If you are instead providing long-form professional entertainment, like documentaries or movies, it would be smarter to market through a more popular payment based video service. Both Amazon Video and ITunes reflect this model nicely, as there is little barrier to entry for fledgling businesses, however it still has a more professional zeal than most UGC sites. Also, unlike UGC sites, you receive a sizeable portion of the spent money on your video product.
If however your desire is to maximise the exposure of your videos, default to YouTube. YouTube has by far more users and views than any of the aforementioned sites. The portion of money you can extract from the platform itself is relatively small, as only the most viral of online sensations can obtain anything from advertising monetization. However, if you are instead seeking to generate awareness, then YouTube should be your first choice.
Dedicated Landing Pages
Irrespective of what video platform you decide to use, you are able to further optimize your conversion rate by embedding links within those videos. For instance, say you post a video displaying a new line of camping equipment that your company made. In the description for that video, it would be wise to link to the page of your website that sells (or describes in further detail) that very product. It would also be a smart move to mention in the video that a link is in the description. This can be done either by employing annotations, or having the video’s narrator mention this fact.
On a side note, linking to your social media accounts in your video description can also further expand your brand. You want to create an ecosystem of advertising, as this rich tapestry can help notify people more easily, and lead to greater conversion rates.
Expansion Beyond Products
It would be a mistake to just consign yourself to videos detailing products. Particularly for more middling businesses, products when advertised on their own, with no surrounding content are unlikely to generate much interest. Let’s take YouTube for example. You are unlikely to gain any notoriety simply by mentioning what your product is in a standalone video. As such, it would behove you to create a series of supplementary videos that are either directly or tangentially related to your product. This will create interest in your channel as well as a subscriber base eager to see what videos you will produce next. It is only after you have consolidated your viewership that you should begin marketing.
For instance, let’s say you wish to market a line of jeans on YouTube. Before marketing your brand, you should consider creating a video that would generate interest on its own accord. An example would be a video detailing the weaving and manufacturing process that goes into jeans more broadly (or perhaps your product particularly). Alternatively, you could make a video where you test out the tensile strength of your brand of jeans against generic or established brands. The subject specifically doesn’t matter, what matters is that it is a video in which people unfamiliar with your product, but interested in your industry, would enjoy.
An Evolutionary Step
Though online video advertising might seem like a departure from the more traditional means of advertising, those ensconced in more conventional modes of marketing shouldn’t be convinced by this interpretation. While it is true that online marketing is a relatively new medium, video advertising is a marketing conduit in which advertisers have several decades of experience with. Much of the DNA established through TV advertising is still present in its most modern permutation. The only thing that has changed between the video distribution of the 20th and 21st centuries is a greater degree of freedom, and with the shifting business landscape, it is a freedom that needs to be embraced.
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