Video marketing is taking the world by storm, thanks in part to the rapid rise of Facebook Live, Instagram Video, Snapchat, and, of course, the ever-popular YouTube. With more people consuming video content than ever before — for everything from sheer entertainment to education and researching products and companies to inform buying decisions — it’s no surprise that marketers are turning to video to reach new audiences and engage customers.
Videos, however, take many forms. From short, 10-second clips to full-length feature films, videos run the gamut from short, attention-grabbing clips to longer, informational experiences. So what’s the secret to video marketing success? Does it require a professional video production studio, or merely a smartphone? What’s the magic length for engaging viewers without boring them?
We reached out to a panel of video marketing experts and marketing professionals to get some insider tips, asking them to answer this question:
“What’s your #1 video marketing tip for creating compelling and engaging videos that will resonate with your target audience?”
Meet Our Panel of Video Marketing Experts and Marketing Pros:
Read on to find out what our experts had to say below to learn how you can take your marketing strategy to the next level by tapping into the power of video.
Chris Madden is the co-founder of Matchnode, a Digital Marketing Agency in Chicago helping companies increase traffic and improve conversion rates.
“Our #1 tip for marketing videos recently has been…”
To create a mobile optimized version that is in a Square ration (1:1) versus the standard Landscape (16:9).
On mobile devices, a square video can take up to 78% more real estate than the standard landscape video.
As more and more traffic turns to mobile, everything must be thought of in mobile-first terms – video included.
Chad Reid is the Director of Communications for JotForm.
“I think the best way to appeal to your target audience is through…”
Testimonial videos. A key component to our video marketing strategy focuses on letting users in key segments tell their story about how they use our software. They can do the heavy lifting and tell the story far better than we ever could, and it makes our key selling points so much more believable.
Zondra is the Founder of Blu Skin Care, LLC.
“To get more eyes glued to your video…”
The first step is to create content that will help or educate your customers. The more hours you put into your video content, the better it’s going to be. Even if you’re doing a live video on any of the several social media platforms, take time to plan out what you’re doing and execute it.
The first 3-5 seconds are where videos see the highest drop-off rates, so pay attention to your message early on. Use this time to tease content and present value about your product or service.
Scott Marquart owns and operates Stringjoy Guitar Strings in Nashville, TN, and is the head of digital marketing at Superfuzz Marketing & Branding.
“The biggest inflection point in our video marketing efforts has come from…”
Increasing the length of our videos, and focusing them more on telling our story and educating our customers, rather than hard-selling. Shorter videos certainly work as a nice complement to longer-form videos—but there’s really no substitute for a video that takes a potential customer from having been unfamiliar with the problem you’re solving, to being fired up about the solution you’re offering—all in the space of 3-8 minutes.
Caitlin is a freelance writer and editor and chief writer for the tech blog Watchdog Reviews. She’s spent the past 10+ years reviewing products and creating exceptional tech and lifestyle content for major Canadian and American news organizations. She has a special interest in smart home technology.
“To be successful with video marketing today, marketers need to…”
Get personal. While major studio-quality video production certainly has its place, the popularity of Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Instagram Video has made it possible for brands to connect with and engage their audiences with a more casual, personalized approach to video marketing.
Give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your company or a glimpse into the real you. After all, customers don’t buy from brands; they buy from people – so let them get to know you on a more personal level and build an authentic connection.
Eric Anthony is the Founder of StreamingObserver.com, where they report on streaming news and offer tips for streaming and cord-cutting. He also has over 10 years of digital marketing experience.
“My best video marketing tips are to…”
Keep it brief and post it to Facebook. When making a promotional video, it can be easy to get carried away and want to include all of the content you shot, but remember to keep them wanting more. Additionally, when you’re posting your video, be sure to include Facebook. FB likes videos, so they organically perform a lot better than regular non-video posts. You’ll get a lot of viewership without even needing to boost.
Travis is the Video Producer, Director of Photography, and Editor at Provid Films, Minneapolis MN.
“My biggest tip to create compelling and engaging videos that will resonate with a target audience is…”
To start with your audience. Start with your audience’s point of view to determine what their pain points are, what problems they have, how you can entertain and educate. Ultimately to be compelling and engaging, video content needs to be one of those two things: entertaining or educational. Find out what your audience enjoys or wants – and create it.
Even for people that have successful YouTube channels with millions of subscribers, they still edit their videos to make sure they fit one of those two criteria. Pick one – pick both – either way, your videos will be better.
Robert Barrows is the President of R.M. Barrows, Inc. Advertising and Public Relations.
“My top tips for successful video marketing are…”
1) Do your video like a commercial. Keep it short and simple and right to the point.
2) Don’t promise something grand and make somebody watch a lengthy video that waits until the last few minutes to get to the point. People have a very short attention span, especially online.
3) Say it with videos that really know how to sell. Hire a pro to write and produce your videos.
Jonathan is an Account Director at BrightHaus digital marketing in San Diego.
“My top tip for effective video marketing is to…”
Use text. It sounds crazy to ask people to read a video, but the digital world we live in demands it! So much of video is consumed on mobile devices and through social media networks, and the audio aspect is often irrelevant. To maximize engagement and communicate effectively, use text on your videos to allow all users to follow along. This can range from closed captions to textual highlights adding in during post-production.
Bryan Koontz is the CEO and Founder of Guidefitter. Prior to Guidefitter, Mr. Koontz served as the Vice President of Vast, a web search and analytics company providing consumer search solutions for companies such as Yahoo, AOL, and Southwest Airlines.
“When considering that online video accounts for over 55% of internet traffic…”
Incorporating video marketing is crucial for success. However, in order to reap the benefits of this strategy, or merely stay afloat among your competition, you must optimize your videos for search engines and keep them short. This means: use your focused keyword in the title and description of the video, and always use relevant tags. Within the description, make sure to include links for contact information, discounts, or anywhere you want to direct your viewers and accelerate the sales cycle. Keep in mind, the average human attention span is around 8 seconds, so imagine what happens once your videos surpasses 60 seconds! Spoiler alert: your viewers have clicked away. I prefer all videos stay below one minute to keep viewers interested while also providing value.
Bradley Shaw has 20 Years in Digital and Internet Marketing.
“Great video marketing requires you to…”
Know your audience and understand your value proposition.
- Develop an appealing story for your video. An inspiring story is an excellent way to connect with your audience and create authenticity.
- Your video must end with a clear call to action. Never end your video abruptly or just by fading to black. A call to action is essential!
Drew Cerullo is a serial entrepreneur and a nationally-recognized but low-profile business growth and marketing expert. He owns Better Profit Growth, which helps small to medium-sized business owners gain significant growth over competitors in their markets—using proprietary research methods and specific data-driven strategies proven to increase their bottom lines.
“Although I had trouble narrowing this down, my #1 video marketing tip is to…”
Leave an “open loop” at the beginning. That is, start an interesting idea, then don’t finish it immediately. Go on to another subject and come back to it later.
For example, in a video to homeowners looking to move in a specific geographical area, you could say, “There’s one thing the mayor of (insert town) told me privately that will disrupt the entire housing market in (insert town) this year. And I’ll get to that in a second. But first…”
Then you talk about something related, but don’t give them the payoff of the original idea yet. So it would be something like, “But first, why was I talking to him about this at all? Well, we were both eating next to each other at a charity function…”
When an idea is set up like that, and the “payoff” doesn’t come immediately; it puts the person watching the video on the edge of his or her seat. Better yet, as they’re waiting for it with curiosity, they become more receptive to your marketing message, which you can sneak in between your story about the mayor.
It’s human nature to want to seek out a conclusion to an “open loop.” The ways you can use this are endless.
AJ Saleem is the Director of Suprex Tutors Houston, a leading private tutoring and test prep company based in Houston. AJ has created a big dent in the private tutoring market by offering well-trained, highly qualified teachers who are also dynamic instructors. The company also operates in New York and Chicago.
“My number one marketing tip for creating a compelling video is to…”
Offer authentic information. For example, since I run a tutoring company, I offer authentic and useful SAT advice. This advice allows me to get customers that benefit from my services.
Ulysis Cababan works for RapidVisa Philippines as an SEO Specialist.
“To create an engaging videos…”
Try to refurbish an old piece of content either from your website or an old blog post with good traffic. At RapidVisa, we use tools to convert our text-based content into a video, such as Market Samurai, where you can easily create a video slides with a voice-over, delivering the same value yet bringing back that old web traffic with new media.
Dustin Montgomery is head of Digital Marketing at MovingBlankets.com.
“Our number one video marketing tip is simply…”
Be energetic. Depending on your camera experience and what you are trying to convey, you may need to give twice as much energy as you think is necessary. The fact is, you will be a small moving figure on a screen for a moment in someone’s day. It will take a good amount of energy to really capture that person’s attention and stick with them. This is especially true if the topic you are covering is not all that exciting itself.
Tom is the president of Digital Pudding, a Westchester, NY-based digital agency committed to accountable and responsible marketing. Over the past decade, he has served as a marketing consultant and advisor for small and large brands, including AIG and MARS.
“My top tip for successful video marketing is to…”
Go Live. People crave immediacy and intimacy. What better way to feed that than giving them live video from your brand? Facebook promotes live video at the top of your followers’ news. Snickers even made a splash with a live commercial in this year’s Super Bowl. If you want to resonate with today’s buyer, share your unfiltered self on video.
How? Host an event. Shoot a customer interaction. Go behind the scenes. Surprise people with generosity. It’s okay if things go off the rails a bit. That’s the fun of live video. Broadcast your world to invite people in, and they’ll trust you enough to buy from you.
Jeff Moriarty is the Head of Marketing and Website Development for Mother’s Family Rings.
“One of the biggest things we did was to include videos with our products…”
Selling high end jewelry, customers expect too see all the angles of the item. They won’t have it in their hands until after they purchase, so we need to make sure they know exactly what they are getting. This does take more time, which is why we haven’t done it with everything yet, but it is a good investment. We have seen a 25% increase in product pages that have videos over those that don’t yet. My tip is to have videos with all the products that you sell.
Michael Mason owns Perfect Chaos Films, a corporate video production company in Austin, TX, having worked in advertising and 8 years in tech sales. He also worked in Beverly Hills for a literary agency.
“To create compelling, impactful videos, ask yourself…”
“Is there any speech in this video that sounds like something a sales person would say?” If the answer is yes…get rid of it.
The real advantage of video marketing is that it personalizes. It shouldn’t be dry, formal or manipulative. It should show personality. It should be real. Often when people make a video, the impulse is to become someone you’re not. Fight that impulse. It only takes a second for your viewers to recognize a sales pitch and their eyes to glaze over. The goal should be to communicate like a real person, only saying things that sound like a real person talking to another real person about solving a real problem. If there’s even a moment you’re getting away from that, remove it immediately.
Laurie Brown works with leaders and teams that want to use compelling communication to influence and persuade. A key asset that Laurie brings to her work is her range and depth of experience. She has an international clientele, having worked in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe, United Kingdom, Japan, Austrailia, and throughout the United States and Canada.
“My number one tip for better video marketing is…”
If you are the presenter on the video, stay still. The camera exaggerates movement. Know how much of your body will show. If you are only being shot from the shoulders up, do not move your hands. Any movement below the shot line will distract from your message. Do not sway towards and away from the camera. The more you look credible on camera, the more your message will be positively received.
Ashley Hill is a scholarship search strategist who is passionate about teaching students of all ages how to find and earn scholarships by focusing on their gifts and talents.
“My number one video marketing tip for creating compelling and engaging videos that will resonate with my target audience is to…”
Answer commonly asked questions. This allows me to solve a problem and show them my expertise, which will hopefully lead to new customers.
Heather is a marketer with over a decade of experience helping small companies find their customers online and in the real world. She is a master at using old school and digital marketing techniques to build businesses and retain customers. She is currently the Marketing Manager for Video Brewery.
“I spend a lot of time teaching first-time video marketers about video…”
One of the most important things that I try to emphasize is to invest in quality video.
There are a lot of cheap and bad video makers on the market, and it can be really tempting to go with them because you just need a video – and how hard could it be?
But, these operators make money by cutting corners. They use a Madlib’s-style script (how many times do people really want to ‘Meet Bob?’), stock characters and settings, and boring/stiff animation. The end product might work on the surface, in that it’s a video that describes your product, but in actually meeting your goals, it falls short.
Quality video is engaging, interesting, and tells the right story to your potential customers. You should plan on investing at least $2,000/minute to receive a video that will impact your revenue and make you stand out from competitors.
Daisy Jing is the CEO and Founder of Banish.
“Making videos is our thing…”
We educate our followers/customers through videos, photos and blogs. But since millennials tend to not have time, they just depend on videos most of the time. What do we do?
1. We make sure the thumbnail is one of our best-selling products to entice our viewers.
2. We try to get into the norm and be in the flow of the trend. Like when “Beauty and the Beast” came up, we made a video related to it.
3. We make the video realistic, honest, and vulnerable – tackling the issues we commonly have, and addressing them one by one on each video we have.
4. We have a theme for every video we make, depending on what’s hot and what’s not – but most importantly, we change the theme.
Grace is the Content Marketing Manager for Tinderpoint.
“To create successful videos for your marketing campaign, try not to…”
Cram too much into your video. It should be nicely paced, and flow at a rhythm that feels natural to the viewer. All too often videos feel frantic, prompting us to hit the pause button prematurely. So, pare it down and slow it down. Decide what you really want to say – and take your time saying it.
Daniel Parish is a Digital Media Producer at Growella, a financial education website based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Daniel manages Growella’s video series, including Your Job Is Whaaat??!, and its educational videos. Daniel studied telecommunications and digital media at Ball State University.
“The best tip for anyone getting started with video marketing is to…”
Be authentic. Audiences spot phonies from a mile away so focus on your subject, go deep on its core emotions, and tell an authentic story. Do that, and everything will be fine.
Christiana Minga is the Video Marketing Coordinator for Power Digital Marketing, a digital marketing agency located in San Diego, California.
“It’s important to keep videos short, simple, and engaging…”
Especially when they are being used as a first touch to introduce your brand. Many marketers overthink the concept or get in over their head when it comes to production. However, it’s crucial to remember that you don’t need to allocate tons of hours or dollars to create an effective video. Sometimes a simple 60-second video with b-roll and on-screen text is all you need to resonate with your target audience and drive results.
Bob Bentz is President of mobile first digital agency Purplegator.
“If your video doesn’t send your message within 6 seconds…”
Go back and re-do it.
Mobile has taken over, and attention spans on mobile are short and getting even shorter. Make sure your video attracts immediate attention. The days of the 30-second spot are over when it comes to mobile and digital.