Video is a critical website marketing tool for driving awareness, engagement and lead conversion. However, not all companies know how to optimize online video for the best results.
With that in mind, here are five of the most important strategies for increasing the effectiveness of Web video marketing, each of which stands a good chance of bringing substantial increases in traffic and, ultimately, profits to your Web property.
Educate Before You Sell
Rather than creating videos focused on selling products, publish videos that help teach prospective customers different ways in which they can improve their lives. This approach will allow your website visitors to find the educational content that best meets their specific needs. Pair this educational outreach with direct calls to action, and viewers can then be steered in the direction of products that will help them reach their ultimate goals.
Make the Most of Your Metadata
The success of online video is due in large part to effective organization. Create custom tags for each of your video clips highlighting the educational aspect and the product number if one is featured. Visitors can browse your video library or pull up playlists of instructional videos using a keyword search. Keywords help with search engine optimization as well, adding information about videos that can be picked up when search engines crawl the web.
Metadata tags also allow you to suggest content that is relevant to a particular video segment. Include information about any product featured with each clip, but also offer recommendations for further exploration through topic-specific tags.
Share and Share Alike
The ability to share video is one of the medium's biggest strengths. Give each video clip its own specific URL so that links lead directly to video playback, and not to a page where users have to search for the video they want. These individual URLs also improve search engine optimization by creating more links back to your website. Secondly, offer readily identifiable buttons with each video for sharing via email, link, embed code, Facebook and Twitter. Through these integrations, you are encouraging your visitors not only to make one-time use of your video content, but also to spread the information about your videos with others.
Brand Your Video Player
Because video is meant to be shared, it is critical for marketers to brand the experience in as many visual ways as possible. This includes branding the video player itself so that when it's embedded in other sites, viewers still associate the content with the company behind it. Skin your own video player by using company-specific colors and incorporating your logo into the "play" button. The result is that users get a unified brand experience on your site, but will also tie the video content to your brand when viewing it on another site.
Capture Key Analytics
The best video publishers learn from audience behaviors and refine their content accordingly. Capture the data on video views to determine which video clips are the most engaging, and which products and demos are most interesting to customers.
Data analysis includes not just how many hits each video receives, but also how long viewers stick with each video, and which types of content - instructional videos versus product introduction videos - perform best. This data can be compiled directly from your video player, and from integrated application acceleration technology that monitors network conditions and dynamically delivers the highest-quality playback experience.
Understanding the effectiveness of website video is critical for ongoing content development, but beyond that, viewer engagement data is valuable for defining and segmenting customer audiences. That, in turn, helps with everything from marketing and sales efforts to product development strategy.
By optimizing video content and delivery, you can expand your company's reach and increase customer and partner satisfaction. These lessons can be applied across the Web for businesses looking to improve site engagement and drive marketing success.
About the Author: Edgardo Nazario is vice president and general manager for Limelight Video Platform, which provides tools for managing, publishing and syndicating videos online and is part of a suite of integrated cloud-based services that also include Web content management, website acceleration, mobile distribution and content delivery.