No medium offer marketers the ability to seamlessly blend advertising and entertainment quite like video. But while a viral video can attract a massive viewership, drawing eyes to ads doesn’t necessarily prompt potential customers to engage any deeper. When it’s done right, video accomplishes both: It inspires audiences to dive beyond the initial thrill and associate any value they derive from great content with the brand that created it.
According to Saina Shelton, Global Lead of Google Brands on YouTube, actionable video marketing ignites conversations, forges lasting connections, and converts casual viewers into customers. To ensure your online video campaigns are tailored to sway potential customers to action—even after the credits roll—consider these tips.
Get People Talking
Videos should feel less like a monologue than the start of a meaningful conversation. Create an atmosphere in which audience members want to make their thoughts heard, and your brand will be on their mind. But building a comfortable forum requires posing the right questions at the ideal moment. For example, during a video by a seafood chain that demonstrates how to make a classic entree at home, the speaker might ask audiences to comment on what dish they would like to see next. Another question could be which of several popular variations of a recipe they prefer, and why?
Questions can also be posed in the video description box, although it’s important to keep in mind that only the first few lines of a description are visible without clicking to read on. Questions should be framed in a way that allows each audience member to express valuable insight; simple “yes” or “no” queries won’t do. Keep the dialogue growing by responding to audience answers, as this will show that you’re invested in listening to what they have to say.
Enthralling, magnetic video content warms audiences to the idea of connecting with a brand, and having them subscribe to your channel guarantees they’ll be notified whenever you upload something new. Certain video sharing sites like YouTube allow creators to add a custom subscribe button to their videos, which appears as a brand logo or watermark that viewers can click to instantly subscribe.
Video narrators can also lightly remind viewers to subscribe, like or share content. This is often done at the beginning or end of a video, however inserting a subtle reminder at random, via humor or another narrative device is effective as well. Images and text can be edited in for this purpose.
Win Over Casual Audiences
A strong hook within a video’s first few seconds, and pacing interspersed with bursts of action have always been staples of premier video content, but there are also features that brands can use to convert casual audiences into regular customers. For example, links to company websites or places to download brand apps can be added as a shortened URL to the first few lines of a video description; doing so offers customer easy access to products and services of interest.
In addition, brands can monitor the number of clicks their links earn using an Urchin Tracking Module (UTM), a custom URL that brands can create through Google Analytics. YouTube and other sites also allow creators to add interactive cards and end screens to provide information at crucial moments; for instance, if a video involved a demonstration of multiple products, info cards could be set to display each time a new product is shown.