- Videos need to be short enough to sustain interest but long enough to suit the platform where they appear.
- Each video topic should be specific enough that you can provide value without taking up too much of the viewers’ time.
- Storytelling is the most effective way to get viewers engaged with your video content.
Everyone is talking about the importance of video branding. Video is being hailed as the new frontier of digital marketing. It’s the number one form of content on most social media platforms. People are saying that without video, your marketing strategy simply won’t be enough to reach your target audience.
They may be right, but only if video marketing is done well. Videos are definitely more time consuming and expensive to make, so if they’re not aligned with your business’s objectives and brand identity, you likely won’t see good results. You also need to abide by the best practices of each social media platform. Here’s what to keep in mind when crafting your video branding strategy.
Your Videos Must Grab And Sustain Attention
Unfortunately, people’s attention spans are shorter than ever. They’re constantly inundated with content, so if they don’t immediately perceive value in your video, they’ll switch away. You need to capture their interest within the first few seconds and convince them that you’re worth their time.
On the flip side, people will also switch away once they’ve gotten what they need. Once your video lures them in, make sure you keep them engaged. Don’t keep them waiting for something valuable, but don’t give away the answer upfront either.
The best videos take the viewer on a short journey by highlighting their question or pain point, getting them to think about their options or new angles, then closing with a solution. This is true whether you’re making an explainer video, product demo, or classic commercial.
So when building your video strategy, choose topics that you can explain quickly and compellingly. Tie each video into a specific marketing goal, such as demonstrating your expertise or generating interest in a product.
Keep Your Videos Short And Snappy
The best way to get people to watch your videos all the way through is to reduce their time commitment. If someone’s new to your brand, what is the likelihood that they would spend a whole 5 minutes watching your video? The shorter, the better. On platforms such as Instagram, you have no choice. The video must be under 60 seconds. This is a good length to aim for.
Video ads are especially effective when they’re short. People are eager to skip ads, but they may have a delayed reaction. If you can instantly capture their attention and conclude the ad in less than 30 seconds, you can probably get your entire message across.
For longer content such as explainer or tutorial videos, you can sustain viewers’ interest by addressing their pain point or question, then giving a brief overview of the topic. If you need several minutes to make the video work, you likely need to narrow the focus. Keep the pace quick so that viewers don’t get bored.
Focus On Story Rather Than Sales
Even in your video ads, you don’t want to be too salesy. Big brands can get away with that because they already have name recognition. And even they often use storytelling rather than overt selling. Just look at major companies’ holiday commercials or Super Bowl ads for examples.
When you tell a story in your videos, you give the viewer something to engage with. Rather than asking them to passively sit there and listen to your pitch, you invite them on a journey. And if you can entertain them as well, all the better!
Most consumers know that video creators have a greater motive in producing their content. They’re accustomed to hearing calls to action such as “Subscribe Now” or “Click the link to learn more.” But they don’t want to watch a video full of those requests. Aim to sprinkle your CTAs among valuable content at appropriate times. For short videos, a single CTA at the end is ideal. For longer videos, you can also toss a CTA into the middle.
Adapt Your Videos To Each Platform
After all the work of creating a video, it’s tempting to simply publish it everywhere. This is a common mistake. Each platform appeals to different use cases and formats. For example, people browsing YouTube are more likely to have their sound on, and they’re more willing to commit to longer videos. By contrast, people scrolling Instagram often have their sound off and will only watch a few seconds of each video.
For each video concept, customize the final cut to the platform. It’s a good idea to embed captions in “quiet” platforms such as Instagram, and be sure to cut longer videos down to 60 seconds or less. Always upload your videos natively to each platform rather than posting links to the version on YouTube. You’ll get more views if people can watch the video immediately in their app.
Great video content is tuned into Internet browsing trends and behaviors. You likely can’t convince users to watch more than a couple of minutes of a video, so make it count. The most effective videos are the ones that immediately speak to your target audience’s pain points, then provide value in an engaging way. Once the viewer is hooked into the video, use storytelling to help them connect with your brand. At the end, they’ll likely be much more intrigued by your offer and more likely to become a customer.