- Before producing video content you should carefully think about the intended purpose, target audience, the goals/objectives of the video e.g. brand awareness, acquisition focused, or to drive traffic and performance measurement – define what success looks like
- Various tools available to help measure performance. Many social media platforms have their own analytics dashboards such as YouTube and Vimeo. Also third-party tracking and analytics platforms can be invaluable for performance measurement e.g. Google Analytics, Brightcove Web Analytics etc.
- As with any other content marketing it’s essential to analyse the data and perform iterations over time, based on the actionable insight given
Nowadays, most CMS platforms make it pretty easy to integrate video content into websites. Whether, you choose to self-host the videos or embed video content from external sources, such as YouTube or Vimeo, video content can be a very powerful tool for engaging your audience, driving brand awareness, and help generate more revenue for your business by driving sales. If the objective is brand awareness, then you probably don’t need to self-host the videos and can save a lot of time and money by looking to the likes of YouTube to extend your coverage. Uploading video content is a relatively straightforward affair, and once done your videos can reach a global audience. Platforms such as YouTube open up the potential for growth and virility for modest budgets.
All that glitters is not gold
Despite the reach YouTube has (localised in 61 countries and languages, with more than 1 billion unique visitors a month), the competition is fierce and with 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute it’s proving harder to ensure your content doesn’t get lost in the ether. Of course, you could spend £1,000’s of pounds for featured ads to deliver traffic to your videos/channel, or you could look to other strategies which aren’t reliant on a third-party hosting solution.
This is often the preferred option for brands who want to use the video content to drive traffic to an owned domain and improve conversions, rather than directing it straight to YouTube. Although, the infrastructure costs are higher than the aforementioned strategy, self-hosting videos will help you win in Search as anyone reposting/embedding the videos will be helping build up authority through natural link earning. There other implications to consider before committing to self-hosting videos, namely site speed especially if you’re self-hosting a lot of video content. Ensuring HTML 5 compliancy, asynchronous loading etc. can all help reduce page load times and optimise site speed.
If you don’t want to run the risk of slowing down your site, there are alternative options which can still help you own the Search results for your video content via rich snippets and direct users to your domain rather than YouTube or Vimeo. A number of paid secure hosting options are available such as Amazon S3 , Brightcove, Wistia, Vzaar. A word of caution if you opt for Amazon S3 – it’s important you keep the bitrates low to avoid escalating bandwith costs. Brightcove offers its own web analytics SDK which can help you gain valuable insight to the videos performance and help you develop your video content marketing strategy.
Measure for Measure
It amazes me how many brands will launch a whole series of videos, put them up on YouTube and not track their performance or make iterations to their content marketing strategies based on the data. Indeed, the level of granularity for performance measurement has never been better, to the extent that now you can find out how many people got past the first 10 seconds of the video, how many people clicked on embedded links or interactive elements, which browsers/devices people are using to view the content and so forth. Not tracking performance for your videos is like buying shares and not checking if they’ve risen or fallen. Gaining insight into video performance and how the content is resonating with your audience, helps iterative development and refinement for your wider marketing strategy. Again, there are some great tools to help you here such as BuzzSumo – an invaluable content marketing performance tool, as well as commonly used analytics platforms such as Google Analytics, Omniture/Site Catalyst, WebTrends, Brightcove’s Web Analytics.
Video content should always be produced with the target audience in mind and a clear goal e.g. drive traffic and conversions, increase brand awareness etc. This will help you decide where the video content should be hosted/uploaded to. Tracking performance is essential to success, helps gain key insights and ensures ROI is maximised.