In the digital age, video marketing is one of the most powerful opportunities that brands of all sizes have to better connect with their core, target audiences.
However, you must never make the mistake of assuming that the video format alone is enough to get the job done. These days, EVERYONE is making videos and there is more content on the Internet than ever.
If you truly want to create a successful video marketing campaign, you need to dive beneath the medium itself and instead unlock the unique properties the medium brings to the table that others do not. To get to that point, there are a few key things you should know.
It All Begins With a Thumbnail
One of the most important things to understand about video marketing is that first impressions with your audience members will begin to form in a fraction of a second. There's a reason why the most watched portion of a video is in the first few seconds, with a steep drop off happening after that - people are able to quickly determine whether content is relevant and valuable to their lives, or whether they're totally uninterested and would rather do other things.
But critically, that first impression doesn't begin once someone has clicked "Play." It actually starts a moment before that, when they see the thumbnail you've chosen to represent your video. This element, combined with the headline or video title, is a powerful opportunity to connect that you literally cannot afford to ignore.
Think about it the same way you would another piece of collateral, like a presentation. When you sit down with a presentation maker, you always make an effort to include a few "attention grabbing" slides right up front. This is so you can quickly get people to start paying attention and, if you play your cards right, you can keep them engaged for the duration of the presentation.
When you sit down with a thumbnail maker like Visme (which I founded), you should be thinking about things in the exact same way. Choose an image that quickly encapsulates everything the video is about in a way that words alone could never accomplish. If you were creating an interview video with a particularly interesting subject, try to find not only a single image of that person, but one that is filled with emotion.
You need to be thinking about ALL of your video thumbnails this way because again, people's attention is more fractured than ever. They are literally looking for an opportunity to say "you know what, never mind, no thanks" and click on something else.
The key to success is that you can never, ever give it to them.
Analytics Are Your Most Powerful Ally
Likewise, you need to acknowledge that a major key to your success in video marketing comes not from the videos themselves, but through how you're using those videos to connect with your audience. You could spend hours and massive amounts of money creating what is an objectively interesting video, but if it doesn't connect with that audience you're not going to be able to achieve anywhere near what you hope you will in terms of engagement.
Because of that, you need to be leveraging services like Respona to your advantage, which will help you use artificial intelligence to get your videos in front of the right people at precisely the right time. That's just one example of this type of service - there are many, many more. These are great ways to connect with relevant bloggers and other social media influencers to promote your brand, for example, or to track what types of content people are responding to the most.
At that point, you can take all of that actionable, analytical information and funnel it back into your campaign - using it to make better and more accurate decisions moving forward. At a certain points, your efforts will begin to generate your own momentum. It'll be easier to create valuable content because you know where your audience is and what they like. That audience will continue to grow because they know that you're a reliable provider of exactly what they're looking for.
It's a mutually beneficial scenario in the best possible way, but without that deep ability to understand and connect with your audience, you'll never be able to get there.
About the Author
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.