It is widely reported that video content is an increasingly preferred method for people to consume information about your brand or organisation when they are online.
Whether you or your team have embraced video as part of your strategy or not, you may yourself be aware of the suggestions to include captions in your videos (which makes perfect sense and enables you to have your videos watched from devices when fellow commuters or partners do not want to be disturbed while watching their favourite shows). You may have also been hearing the most recent news on the many features available via Instagram and Facebook (owned by the same company) for advertising with video content.
Oh, and I must also mention the attractiveness of viral campaigns, which are often also reported on the nightly news. When I speak to some businesses and read the mainstream media, the topic of viral videos is often raised. The idea of a viral video is quite appealing to some and can be a very distracting outcome, which I’d like to even dare say has more to do with your vanity and ego, than good business sense!
“How can you say that Rochelle?” I hear you ask, after you’ve gasped and held your hand to your mouth. “Aren’t viral videos what we want? If we have 100s, 1000s, goodness, even 10,000s watching our video, isn’t this what success looks like for a video strategy?”
It depends on your video strategy.
And in most cases, it is these vanity measures that can distract you from your main prize. It’s dangerous to get absorbed by the view count as it may cause you to deviate from the purpose of your video strategy and what you are trying to achieve, which is converting the stakeholders who matter to your organisation!
‘Viral video’ as a standalone reason to develop a video is not a good strategy for any company to focus on. If it was, we should all just grab our cat, or a cute baby, and save on talent fees for our next film shoot! I am digressing, but, typically, when video becomes viral these are the first types of videos I visualise.
Facebook & YouTube are full of content that so many people ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘comment’ on. And when it comes to making videos viral these attributes of ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘comment’ are what I feel are fundamental in making content viral. But do they reach the target audience they were intended for (assuming there was thought put into this), are they achieving their results and was there even a strategy beyond ‘going viral’?
Let’s Pause for a Moment
I’d like you to pause for a moment and consider your organisation’s communication and marketing strategy. Why are you producing films and video content and is it leading to the conversion you want it to achieve? Are you getting the results you want from the stakeholders who matter and are meaningful to your organisation?
Remember that statistics, like views, while important, providing us with information about how many people engaged with our campaigns, it is the intent of that video within your strategy that is far more important. Of course we want views, but we want views that matter and for them to be achieving the conversion results of our video strategy.
In this article about the The Buyer Journey I explore the importance and commercial value of developing a deeper understanding of why you are creating this content and what outcomes you hope to achieve.
If your task is to manage this element for your organisation, I’ve developed some insights to help you based on market testing, with three specific and very different case studies, to better understand how to increase the views for your video content.
How to Increase the Views of Your Video Content – The Basics
In the first case study, we look at the experience of a large Australian corporation who is a current client of my company, Preface Films. They noticed that their video was being viewed from parts of the world, and yet the view count was not as high as they’d expected.
To help determine the reasons for this I looked at their hosting page to understand what was happening in more detail. Here’s what I discovered and suggested to them.
Is the YouTube or Vimeo Account in the Business Name?
My first suggestion was to have the YouTube or Vimeo account under the business name rather than a personal name. Most people will set up accounts under their personal name and it can be tricky to navigate a change of name.
Was the Video Converting for their Goals?
The primary purpose and goal of the video means far more than the view count. For this company, they communicate to their staff. The view count can be deceptive as it depends on whether it’s screened to staff at a meeting, and therefore will have more viewers than recorded.
What Impact is Google Indexing Having on Your Analytics?
Google will index these videos so if increasing a view count is of value, then a title is important and the first few words are critical. Use a colon after the initial keywords, with more details after it, and use tags. These are such simple things that require just a little extra effort if a view count is important.
When reviewing their Vimeo page there were no descriptions of their videos that were posted. Sometimes the extra work pays off as not only will Google use the content written but it gives the viewer an understanding of what that clip is all about.
How To Use Facebook Advertising to Increase the Views of Your Video Content
The second case study involved a potential new government client who had lots of video content but very little engagement. My brief was to explore how they could make content that addressed the static internal pages on their website, give it life and create more engagement. And right here we have a potential flaw in their strategy. While websites are critical, they are not necessarily the place most people are watching video content.
To help this client develop a better video strategy, I used the example of Bank of Melbourne (BOM), who is one of my favourite video content creators. They capture the stories of small business owners and their recent video content provided some interesting findings.
View counts on their Facebook were significantly different to that of their YouTube content, and from observing their process and my assumptions as to why, the following video was posted on both Facebook & YouTube.
NB – this was NOT filmed by Preface Films
The subject is ‘Nicole Chow’. In BOM’s YouTube channel, the view count for this video is 356 and, in contrast to Facebook, that same video’s view count is 23,000. A significant difference.
This indicates that a Facebook sponsored advertisement may have been part of the marketing strategy, to allow for this number of views.
Why would BOM sponsor an advertisement here rather than on YouTube? Well my assumption goes back to the buyer and the strategy– where would BOM’s buyers most likely frequent? What platforms do you use the most? Who are they targeting and are you part of their target market?
An invaluable tool is the Audience Insights page via Facebook which can really help you research and determine who you are trying to reach on Facebook.
How to Use YouTube to Increase the Views of Your Video Content
Now let’s look at a video where the tables are turned – YouTube is a clear winner in this instance. The Department of Finance Graduate Program had created a video that went viral. It was posted everywhere and commented on by news stations and on many social media pages.
Whilst there was some criticism of this campaign, I could see the amount of work that went into the filming and strategy. The ‘viral’ video of humour was injected in this, albeit tongue in cheek, which took a dry content area and turned it into something marketable. Only those with the knowledge of its success can report if the strategy worked, but on a local space, more people now have heard about the program and, you never know, may even apply.
Leveraging the Instagram & Facebook Relationship
Having been advised that adding video to Facebook and promoting it to Instagram delivered better results than promoting it directly in Instagram, I tested this for myself.
For this test, I used a short clip from a recent visit to Broken Hill. This clip was for Australian Clinical Labs and, yes, I did also do Facebook sponsored advertisement. The results were quite interesting.
Do I feel it was worth it? Yes, most definitely.
Did it convert to more clients – that answer is no.
Would BOM’s strategy converted to more business . . . only they will know.
To find out more about advertising policies for Instagram ads via Facebook please visit Facebook Help here.
Are Vanity Measures Holding You Back From Achieving Better Results?
Remember that views, while important, are only one measure of a successful campaign. It is the intent of that video within your strategy that is by far more important.
Understanding why you are creating this content and what outcomes you hope to achieve will be the best indicators of success – a video going viral doesn’t necessarily mean that it will convert for you or your company.
Did you enjoy this article? Read more about Video Strategy and The Buyer Journey in this articles by Rochelle
If you are a marketing or communication manager creating content as part of your public relations strategy, I am offering a 1 hour complimentary consultation to talk about ways you can reach your audience and achieve your goals.
Call: 03 97408018