By R. Michael Brown, Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer – Multimedia Producer.
Most know that YouTube is owned by Google. However, most don’t know that YouTube, with its 2.3 billion users worldwide, is the second largest search engine on the planet. Not Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc…
79 percent of Internet users have their own YouTube account. They watch a lot of video. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day.
9 out of 10 in the US consume digital video content.
Much of the video content is short, under 10 minutes. However, under 2 minutes and under 5 minutes are sweet spots that get the most views, depending on the subject and content.
2021 Video Platform Ranking
- Facebook Watch
- Instagram (IGTV – Instagram’s Long-Form Video Platform)
Businesses do best with short videos. To be successful in the short-video landscape, you must be strategic. Instead of focusing on only one venue, use a logical, structured approach that incorporates your goals for branding, social media marketing, influencer marketing, and video marketing.
A big plus when you use video for marketing is the SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, benefits. Google LOVES video and its algorithm gives websites higher ranking for well SEO’d video content.
The type of content that will attract the most leads and customers will drive your approach.
Types of Video Content that Viewers Want to Watch
- Feature Stories (think 60 Minutes segments)
- Vlog (video blog)
- Behind-the-Scenes/Company Culture
- Tutorial/How To
- Product Review
- Location View
- Live Streaming
- Brand Film
- Video Emails
- 360-Film & Virtual Reality
- User-Generated Content
- Personalized Video
Video that viewers DO NOT want to watch: a commercial. Advertising can be interruption marketing and nobody likes to be interrupted while they are surfing the web.
One exception: If a user selects an Ad on their own, then that’s OK. For example, a popular marketing tool I use is skippable YouTube Ads. Viewers self-select the Ad before their video plays; or, they click on Skip Ads. Allowing a viewer to self-select is key.
To give you an example of views, click-thrus, and cost of a short video I placed, I had a 70 second video talking about a business and education topic. It was perfect as a YouTube skippable Ad. Using Google Ads, I built the keyword phrase list (a whole other topic), selected the audiences and YouTube channels related to the subject, geo-targeted the markets where the best customers would be, and ran the Ad for 2 weeks. Results: over 3,600 views longer than 40 sec., 483 click-thrus to our website for more information, and the cost was $65.82. That’s a great value.
“YouTube, as the stats I showed above, is the biggest in terms of audience size, most efficient at targeting customers, and very cost effective. I still believe a story, not an Ad, is the best style on this marketing channel.”R. Michael Brown
Between the platforms and the video types, you can see how you can get into the weeds fast trying to decide what to do among all the options. Figuring out the best strategy takes a veteran digital marketer with lots of video experience.
What first steps should you take before launching a major initiative on a short-video platform?
The most important step is to figure out what your best customers like to watch and where. If your best customers would like it, prospects with similar needs will like it too.
In fact, doing brand storytelling videos on top customers is your best choice in most cases. They have the human interest factor and show your product or service as “placement” rather than the focus of the video. It’s one of my specialties.
That customer focus helps you select the content and platforms to use. Now comes the tricky part – making the videos. The style and your brand voice are important, more so than production values, however….
“With phones turning everyone into an amateur video producer and photographer, many will assume that they can make an interesting and persuasive story in a tight 2-3 minute finished video. That’s a tall order. It’s a lot harder than it looks and you can see the evidence all over the web. Shaky, wild panning, and in-and-out audio are common.”R. Michael Brown
To learn how to produce video there are two important steps:
- You have to watch a lot of great videos. I recommend watching them over and over again with the sound off. Look for how they make the story: openings, closings, sequence of shots, how long particular shots are on-screen, and how the editing is done.
- Shoot and edit video, lots of it. You can’t learn this by reading a book or watching videos. You have to do it. Imagine the sequence of shots on the inside of your eyelids and write the script; set the camera, lights, and audio at each location; hit record for as many takes as you need; then load it on your computer and get ready to spend a lot of time editing.
Note: The image at the top of this article is my low-cost rig for hi-qualtiy video using an iPhone with multiple lenses and filters or GoPro camera, lights, mic for audio, and a tripod. Believe me there’s a lot more gear than that for motion, lighting, and sound. For major productions I use all pro video cameras, gear, and crew.
If this all seems too much as a DIY project, consider hiring a pro. We do this for a living and have for decades locally and all over the world. I’ve produced over 50 videos a year for many years.
You can focus on what you do for a living and I’ll get you in the publishing and broadcasting business – for your business. Click to see my portfolio here.
And remember, brand storytelling is not a commercial or straight advertising for your business. They are stories that help your potential customers learn more, understand something that is important to them, or help them see benefits in action.
Video is the strongest move you can make right now for your marketing mix. Get on the YouTube and other video platform train to get more attention to your business and more customers.
You are now the media. Let me know how I can help. Contact me today at Mike@RMichaelBrown.com
Another Example (a little longer – 7 min. but given the topic, it needed that time):