Wednesday, 13 November 2019

A content marketer’s guide to video distribution

Okay, seriously, get on the video train. Do it. Write a script, shoot some interviews and put it online.
Where online? Oh, isn’t that the question.

For all the fuss we’ve made about video  – and we’re serious, by the way. Make one. – your inner Ava Duvernay doesn’t mean diddly if people don’t show up to the box office. Making videos is important, but where, when and how you distribute those videos matters, too.
59 percent of senior executives prefer videos over lots of text. But you can probably bet those C-suite types aren’t Googling “videos on best EHR solution” (or whatever your business offers). They want the movies to come to them.
And you, my darling marketer? You have the power to hand-deliver this content right to their desk.

The video platforms you need to utilize

When video is part of your marketing strategy, the first thing you need to do is decide where these files will live. The channels you use will define elements like duration, resolution, orientation (i.e., portrait versus landscape) and more.
So with that in mind, here’s a list of the major players:

The hosting platforms: YouTube, Vimeo

You already know about YouTube. With more than  a billion users and a reach greater than any cable network, this site is the OG of video distribution. It’s owned by Google, so you know that YouTube understands your marketing goals. It’s also very user friendly, as it’s super easy to upload and embed video content.
If YouTube isn’t your jam, consider Vimeo. It calls itself “the high-quality home for video hosting and watching,” and users agree thanks to its sleek design and lack of memes.
Beyond that, however, Vimeo is more supportive of content creation than YouTube. It’s got a nice supply of stock footage and great audience engagement tools to use during live streaming. It’s not a household name like YouTube, but you might find you’re able to do more.
That said, neither of these are really the best place for B2B video discovery. Remember, decision-makers don’t seek out video, so they’re not going to these websites when searching for your content. If you’re gonna use YouTube or Vimeo, you’ve got to embed your video somewhere else.
I suggest an optimized spot on your website — whether a blog post or a landing page — that will allow you to target related keywords. Google will have a much easier time crawling through your content, and your site will be 53 percent more likely to show up on the first page of results.

“Should I have a separate landing page for every video?”

Well, that depends. On the one hand, it’s great for SEO. You can target keywords based on a single video’s content (rather than trying to mention every single one), making it easier for search engines to understand everything that’s on the page.
On the other, it adds a lot of infrastructure to your website. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to be aware of. Also, if you do decide to post each video on a unique page, make sure navigation is really easy. No one’s going to dive deep into your website looking for content that lasts 90 seconds max.

The social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Snapchat

Posting videos on social media gives your profiles a dynamic edge, interspersing moving content with static pictures and text. Plus, the sharing aspect can increase your reach by leaps and bounds.
Social media is now a top advertising platform, so of course these companies are going to do what they can to help you promote your videos. Sometimes this means paid ads (and you can get pretty targeted with tools on Facebook and Instagram); other times it means posting organically at the right moment.
Also, don’t forget about influencers, who work well for both paid and organic strategies. Influencers are great for increasing brand awareness and recognition, connecting you to a large audience of new, potential customers.

The streaming platforms: Twitch, webinars

Livestreaming is a great way for B2B companies to interact with their audience. Showcase your experience at an industry convention, show a little behind-the-scenes action or host a short Q&A with various employees. Most livestreaming platforms let viewers comment in real time, which gets them more engaged with your business.
Twitch is arguably the most well-known streaming platform. To be fair, it hosts a lot of gaming content, but businesses of all types are finding it very helpful for their video marketing strategies.
Webinars are related to livestreams in that they’re filmed in real time and allow for viewer interaction. However, they’re a bit more useful in terms of marketing. Most webinars can be hosted or embedded on your website, making it easier for viewers to navigate through your content (and hopefully to your sales page). Additionally, you can make users register for your webinar and capture helpful data like email addresses. You can then filter this information and design additional marketing materials based on the different interests of your viewers.

The sharing platforms: Email, guest posts

These distribution methods are often overlooked, but they’re quite powerful! With email, you can send a preview of your video to everyone on your newsletter mailing list. Include screenshots and/or gifs so viewers get a taste of what they’re in for. Having imagery makes your newsletters that much more appealing, anyway.
As for guest posts, well, what blog isn’t enhanced with a little video? If you have the opportunity to write for an influencer’s website or industry publication, embed a video within the copy to boost engagement.

SEO and video: Yes, they do work together

Google can’t crawl a video (remember how bad those YouTube automatic captions were?), but it can review the details around one. Search engines treat your video’s title and description like an image’s metadata and caption. This means that, yes, optimization is an important part of your video distribution strategy.
But how do you make your videos support your SEO strategy? Just include the following:
  • Keywords: I already noted that you should use them wisely on your landing page, but don’t forget about the video itself. Include keywords in your video’s title and description for better SEO. Remember, Google will place relevant videos toward the top of the search results page if they reflect the user’s query.

Look at those videos. I’ll forgive you if you spend the next 20 minutes watching kittens on YouTube.
  • Calls-to-action: You don’t want to leave viewers with nothing to do after they finish your video. At the very least, you want them to come back to your website. Include a call-to-action at the end of the video itself (by displaying your company contact information, for example) so your audience has reason to stay engaged with your brand.
  • Video seeding: Building backlinks organically is neither fast nor easy, but video seeding helps the process greatly. This concept involves reaching out to specific websites or blogs with target audiences interested in your products or services. If everything works as planned, other reputable sites will see your content and want to post it on their pages.

When to post your videos

Time isn’t the biggest factor when it comes to increasing views, but it certainly holds a bit of influence. Keep these easy tips in mind:
  • If you’re using YouTube or Vimeo to host your videos, or you’re posting this content on your website, you can use a posting schedule similar to that of your blog.
  • Going the social media route? Post your videos during times that see high engagement.
  • As for webinars? These are usually held during business hours. They’re designed for professionals, and even the best of us don’t like staying after hours.

The proper way to add video to your marketing strategy

So what am I saying with all of these words? Don’t take video lightly; it’s a very useful tool, but great production means nothing if you have no distribution strategy. Choose your platforms wisely and script and orient your video accordingly. Post at the right times and in the right places. Do things right, and you’ll be the Steven Spielberg (or Akira Kurosawa or Spike Lee or Kathryn Bigelow or … ) of your industry.

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