Increasing product video views
“Why is no one watching our video?” you cry, staring at the report which features a big, fat zero next to the ‘watched’ count. You spent days planning, filming, editing and distributing the video, so what on earth do you have to do to get people to watch it?
Video remains one of the ‘stickiest’ forms of digital marketing. According to Hubspot, 78% of people watch videos online every week with experts believing that, by 2018, the medium will make up a whopping 79% of all consumer internet traffic.
Clearly, if you’re investing in video production for your marketing strategy, you’re doing the right thing. Now, it’s time to get it watched.
In this post, we’ve got 16 tried-and-tested techniques to make people watch your product video. Ready for some ‘lightbulb moments’? Here we go…
1. Give people a reason to watch it
Video is a brilliant marketing tool, but viewers won’t flock to watch anything regardless of the content. In order for people to watch your new product video, you need to give them a reason to do so.
Your audience is interested in one thing: themselves. It’s tough to come to terms with, but the fact is they don’t care about your product. Sorry! What they care about is how it’ll benefit them and the problem it’ll solve. Make that clear from the outset.
2. Don’t hide it
Even a Spielberg-directed video stands little chance of being viewed if it has simply been plonked haphazardly thirteen pages deep on a website. If your video isn’t easily discoverable, it goes without saying that very few people will find it.
Optimise the page on which it sits for keywords and phrases relating to the content within the video and share it liberally via social media and to your subscribers via email marketing. ‘If you build it, they will come’ simply doesn’t apply to video content marketing.
3. Get to the point – quickly
You can use the email marketing rule with video content. Consider the opening 5 seconds to be akin to the email subject line; it’s here where you need to spend 80% of your time. Don’t ramble – get straight to the point of the video and make an immediate Walking Dead-style splash (perhaps minus the zombies and copious amounts of violence…).
4. Forget the sales pitch
Nothing will turn off viewers quicker than a sales pitch disguised as a video. Obviously, your video is intended to promote something, but, just like our first tip, you need to ensure the main theme of the video has the wants and desires of the viewer at its heart. The content should benefit them, not you.
5. Consider your hosting options
Even if you’ve got a top-notch web hosting platform, hosting the video yourself isn’t always advisable if you want to find the biggest audience possible. Services such as YouTube exist for a reason and offer a ready-made audience waiting to watch your content.
That said, if you host your own video, you’ll own the data, have control over the design of the landing page and increase direct traffic to your own website.
6. Seek inbound linking opportunities
You need to gain some inbound links to your video if it is to stand a chance of going viral. Firstly, make sure it is easy to share and embed (again, host the video on YouTube to make this eminently possible) and ask partners, customers and friends to link to it from their websites and social media channels.
7. Link to your own video
Internal linking is just as important when it comes to raising the profile of your video on search engines. Repurpose the content in the video by writing regular blog posts relating to it and include links within the posts to the video itself.
8. Build a subscriber list
A cornerstone of content marketing, the act of building a subscriber list is essential if you are to get your video in front of as many eyes as possible.
Start by adding a simple sign-up form to your website and ask for visitors’ email addresses, nothing else. Promise them engaging, regular content in the form of blogs and videos and watch your subscriber list grow. The bigger it gets, the bigger a ready-made audience you’ll have for your video marketing efforts.
9. Keep it short
There’s a reason the little advert previews you get on YouTube are just 5 seconds long; anyone should be able to create an engaging promotional video that doesn’t have the runtime of a summer blockbuster.
Your audience doesn’t have time to sit through a video which is going to take up a significant chunk of their day. Keep yours short, snappy and on point. Set yourself a challenge of making it at most 30 seconds long.
10. Keep the content up-to-date
Just like any form of digital marketing, video has a limited shelf life. If the product you are promoting has been updated significantly since your last video, make sure you update the footage accordingly.
This may seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but if your video is at odds with the product on offer, viewers will quickly get confused and leave.
11. Get creative
Sorry to be blunt, but if your video simply features footage of you staring into the lens and reeling off a bunch of product features, that’s the reason no one is watching it.
The best marketing videos are creative. Think meerkats or gorillas pretending to be Phil Collins – audiences need to be entertained if they’re to remember and engage with the content, no matter what the subject matter.
Don’t be afraid to poke fun at yourself or drop the commercial facade; boring videos don’t get watched.
12. Include a call to action
If you’ve created a fantastic video which is engaging, eminently watchable and easily discoverable, you can ruin the entire campaign by neglecting to tell viewers what they need to do next. There needs to be a cliffhanger in the form of a ’to find out more do this’ at the end of your video.
Without a call to action (CTA), your product video has far less chance of being shared by those watching it. Include a CTA which will prompt viewers to pass your video onto their friends and colleagues.
13. Develop a company mascot
We’re heading down meerkat territory again here, but for good reason; a company mascot can be put to very good use in product marketing when it comes to video. The cuter and funnier the better, but avoid heading down the ‘irritating’ route. You want people to connect with your video and develop a fondness for the central character if they’re to watch it all the way through.
14. Create a series of videos
People love boxsets, trilogies and reboots, so why not take advantage of this fact by creating a series of videos? Be up front from the start – tell viewers that they’re about to witness the first in a collection of brilliant product videos. It’ll create intrigue and draw them in.
Include a cliffhanger at the end of each video which hints at what’s to come in the next instalment – it’s a surefire way to get people returning to view your next masterpiece.
15. Try a documentary-style video
By using real people to tell the story of your product, you’re likely to see far more interest in your video. Interview the staff behind the product or quiz customers on their experiences of using it. We live in a consumer-driven society now where real-world opinion matters.
Behind-the-scenes mini documentaries can also be highly watchable when kept short and not taken too seriously.
16. Write a companion blog post
The video should rarely be the starting point of your marketing effort. Consider different ways you can encourage people to watch it by adding supporting material. A blog post pre-empting the video’s arrival and asking people to sign-up with their email address in order to be the first to view it will work wonders.
Better still, write a series of posts which build up momentum and expectation for the video itself. Get it right, and you’re practically guaranteed viewers once it goes live.
If there’s one takeaway above, it is perhaps the most bitter of pills you’ll need to swallow; your customers only care about themselves. They don’t care about you. Develop a video which speaks directly to them and addresses their wants and concerns and you’ll have their attention for the duration.
Video is a powerful medium, but like any form of marketing, it needs an injection of common sense, clever distribution and a healthy dose of creativity if it is to be successful.