This article by Brendan Cournoyer was originally published on the Brainshark blog on 2nd May 2012, and is published here with permission. Read more posts from Brendan Cournoyer.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to chat with Bettina Hein, CEO at Boston-based Pixability and co-author of the upcoming Video Marketing for Dummies.
Below are some of the highlights from our conversation, including tips for evaluating your video marketing strategy, considerations for mobile video and much more.
On the importance of humor in video marketing:
“It’s really important. There are two things that people are looking for in a video: either help me solve a problem or entertain me. Those are basically the two things that make people want to click on a video. As a company, being informative and solving a problem – that’s more in the comfort zone for a lot of people.
But as for presenting information or being entertaining? The BEST videos combine both. It’s sometimes hard to be funny, and I understand completely that it’s not in everyone’s comfort zone. You can create [informational] content; that’s easy to do. But being funny, that’s something else. Still, if you become really successful at it, you might actually get a broader audience interested.”
On viral marketing videos:
“I wouldn’t have that as the goal. Lots of people talk about making viral videos, and they are really setting themselves up for failure. We often get people that say, ‘We want to make a viral video.’ They are absolutely convinced that their content is completely funny for the entire world. Well, not necessarily. What I find funny, other people might not.
That said, what we find interesting and funny in a professional context often overlap. HubSpot, for example, was really successful with videos around cold calling a few years ago. They did a video around [the song] ‘You Oughta Know’ and cold calling. It got like 100,000 views!
Clearly with video, if you’re doing it for business purposes, it has to serve a clear purpose. But that doesn’t mean you can’t push the envelope and make it funny.”
On non-marketing uses for video marketing:
“There are all these internal uses – training for example is an important part. Doing something funny internally as a team-building effort is another thing a lot of companies are experimenting with. You can create an internal video that pokes fun at the boss, for example, or even have the boss poking fun at him or herself. Especially if you’re at an internal organization where, as the CEO, you want to do something that everyone will find funny – you can create a video. It doesn’t always have to be ‘you standing in front of the typical nice background and talking head.’ You can make light of yourself and use that to transport information.
Remember that video is an investment, so we always council people to find uses that are multiple uses. So if you have a video for training purposes, you might be able to use some of that footage for when you want to roll out a new product.
Video is not a ‘one-and-done’ mentality. Always think about how you can repurpose for a later use.”
On mobile considerations for video marketing:
“More and more people are accessing their content on mobile devices. So it’s really important that you can make your content accessible from all different types of devices. I may get something in my inbox and look at it on my phone in the morning, but I might want to look at a video itself from my iPad, because I like looking at videos in a larger format. Or if I don’t have time, I might look during lunch on my laptop.
So it’s really important your videos can be viewed on all these different devices.”
On some of the video marketing metrics to monitor:
“Views would be what most people see as a measure, but what’s really important is to tie in the measurement with your business goals. So let’s say you have form completions on a landing page as your business goal. Or maybe it’s the number of people signing up for an event… all are relevant goals that change from organization to organization. What you have to be able to do is tie in those views with that business goal.
So you have to look at the business analytics behind the views. [For example], say you were to buy a bunch of views. if you look closely, you might find that a lot of those views come from a different country. [Depending on your business goals], those views may be for nought. I’d rather have 200 really focused and targeted views over 200,000 from a different market or country.”
On certain video marketing DON’Ts to avoid:
“For one, don’t put too many messages in one video. Some people will want everything about their product, everything about their company, and everything they want to tell the world in one video. It’s like an overstuffed suitcase; they want to fit everything into 90 seconds. I can guarantee you that most people will find that video useless.
Another thing to remember is this: don’t ignore YouTube. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It’s the largest search engine for music, and people also go for how-to content. Businesses are still shy about YouTube for inexplicable reasons to me. Right now there is a lot of arbitrage to be had on YouTube, but you can get very targeted audiences that are looking for solutions exactly around what your product offering does.
As a free resource, [Pixability offers] the Online Video Grader. We grade on a scale of 1-100 on how successful you are around video marketing. It compares how well you’re doing with video on your website versus YouTube versus social media, with concrete tips for how to improve.”
On whether marketing videos really need to be two minutes or less:
“That is completely wrong. We have a lot of data to say that. Successful video marketers run the gamut form 30 seconds to 20 minutes. The least successful people on YouTube have just the short-term content. The real successful marketers map their funnel to the length of the content: shorter first to grab them, but longer throughout the buying process as you go down the funnel.”
The book Video Marketing for Dummies will be available on May 8, 2012.For more from Bettina, visit the Pixability blog and follow her on Twitter @pixability.