September 11, 2013 E3

Is Video Optimization Part of Your SEO Strategy?

A successful SEO campaign has to be diverse in order to be successful.  As “SEO” is becoming more and more synonymous with “content marketing,” many businesses are slowly beginning to catch on. But they are typically putting out text-based content like e-books and white papers.  There is nothing wrong with these forms of content marketing, but if you scan the websites and blogs of your industry, you’ll probably find the same information rehashed over and over again. In a saturated marketplace, you have to come up with new ways to capture attention.

One of the most effective ways to differentiate yourself is through video optimization.  Agencies have responded  to calls to diversify by pushing image marketing with infographics and other types of pictures. Video optimization, despite tons of research on its effectiveness, isn’t usually in someone’s bag of marketing tricks. And that’s understandable. Words and pictures are far more economical to create. Video takes time, energy, and money.  But adopting a solid video optimization strategy now can put you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors.

Video is in Demand

Over 100 million people watch online videos in a single day and almost 50% of all internet users watch at least one video per month.  The more active the internet user, the more that demand for video increases. The demand is so large, that YouTube is now the second largest search engine behind Google. When people are looking for information, they are seeking out video.

And there is strong evidence that video actually impacts decision making; 90% of online shoppers have indicated that video is helpful when choosing products. And in the B2B world, 75% of executives watch work related videos at least once per week. According to the Online Publishers Association, 80% of Internet users remember an online video ad they saw over the past 30 days, and an impressive 46% took some type of action after viewing that advertisement. So whether you are marketing to consumers or to other business people, you need to be speaking to them through well-produced video.

The First Steps in Incorporating Video Optimization Into Your Content Strategy

One of the biggest issues companies have when adopting a video optimization strategy is how to execute it. The very first step must be to plan.

What is Your Purpose?

You have to know why you’re creating videos before you can do anything else. Understanding your purpose can save you time and money in the long run.  Without a clearly defined purpose your videos will be aimless and likely ineffective. But if you drill down your target audience and understand what you want to communicate to them, you’ll have a higher success rate.

To define the purpose of your video, you have to define what you are trying to achieve and what you’re going to use to measure success.  The purpose of your videos could be:

  • To generate leads
  • To make sales
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Demonstrate a product in action
  • To teach a skill
  • Entertainment

When you’ve figured out a clear purpose for your videos, you’ll have to determine your target market. Are you aiming for consumers of a specific demographic group? C-Level executives? Small business owners? Attorneys? Dog Sitters in the Portland area? Drill down your target as much as you can so that you can tailor your message directly to them.

Match Your Video Format to Your Purpose

Once you’ve narrowed your purpose and your target audience, you need to choose the type of videos that you will create.

Will it be animated? Live action? Interview format? A product demo? Case study?  Match the right format to your audience. If your subject matter is serious and your target audience responds more to success stories and data than abstract ideas, a cartoon animation might not be the best choice. Think logically when choosing format and consider your own brand, as well. You want the personality and culture of your business to come through in your content so that viewers will get a feel for who you are. In many cases your video will be their first association with your brand, so even though you must target your video to your audience, you still want to be yourself and let the uniqueness of your brand shine through.

A Word About Length

Once you’ve defined your purpose and your audience and you’ve settled on a video format, your next step is to develop a script. In order to develop a good script, you need to settle on a length for your video.

According to a Forbes Insight report, titled Video in the C-Suite, a majority of executives prefer videos that are three to five minutes long, while only 9% say they prefer content that is longer than five minutes. But 36% still prefer videos that are one to three minutes in length.

So what does that tell you? Mostly, that everyone is different and there is no one “perfect” video length. The best way to set your length is to use as much time as you need to in order to achieve your purpose (without going too far over four minutes).  That means if you can get it done in one minute, great. But if you need three and half minutes to tell your story, it’s not the end of the world.

Choose a Video Optimization Partner

Once you’ve gotten your planning done, it’s time to create the actual video.  You can produce it yourself if you own high quality equipment and have a team that can properly mix and edit the content. But if you don’t, you’ll need to hire professionals. The fastest way to undo all of the planning and work you’ve done is to create low-quality videos. Even if the content is solid, people won’t watch videos that are dark and hard to see or hear.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your video optimization strategy, it can help to work with a film production company that specializes in SEO and content marketing.  Traditional production companies are great, but they won’t help you incorporate video optimization techniques.  Working with a company that focuses on marketing your videos will help you get the most return on your dollar.  They will know where to place your video in order to be found, and will understand how to utilize SEO techniques to market your content to your audience.

A picture is worth a thousand words but one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.  Make sure your video content is remarkable and be thoughtful about the strategy you put behind it.

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