Video’s ability to produce staggering numbers in user engagement and qualified leads makes it a formidable format for content marketing. A Syndacast study predicts that 74% of all internet traffic will be video in 2017. In the past year, 70% of marketing professionals reported that video converted better than any other medium, and a video on a landing page increased conversions by as much as 80%.
But providing engaging videos is a process, and it doesn’t end once you’ve finished creating the visual content. Many factors can impact whether a video engages audiences. You may have excellent visual content uploaded to your website, blogs, and social media pages but no reaction from the public.
What went wrong? Well, it could be a number of things, from subpar SEO to a lack of a video transcription, or failure to use your video’s analytics properly. Let’s take a look at where you may have gone wrong, shall we?
Your title isn’t SEO friendly
An SEO friendly title includes highly searched keywords arranged into a title that fits under the search engine’s character limit. Google truncates titles to 70 characters before it cuts them off with an ellipsis. This is a recent improvement from Google’s previous character count of 55 to 60 characters and for that we are thankful, but now you have even less of an excuse for your titles to extend past the character limit.
Watch the length (before Google cuts it off in search) and make sure your keywords and keyword phrases are toward the beginning of the title. Make sure to form your titles for semantic searches (what would people type in the Google search bar if they were searching for this info?). This is why how-to post titles do so well – people type “how to … do something” in Google.
To find the popular, relevant keywords, try Google’s Keyword Planner, a free tool that shows search volumes for keywords. Keep in mind when forming your video page title for SEO that it doesn’t have to match your video’s actual title. While you have leeway to choose highly searched keywords, beware of keyword stuffing – overloading a page with keywords to manipulate rankings. If your title isn’t easily understood by searchers, it won’t rank well on Google.
Your video lacks a transcript
Google can’t read visual content, just the metadata that accompanies it. Transcribing your video can make it more search-friendly because it’s something that Google can index.
You can easily upload transcripts to your videos on YouTube and other platforms by choosing the upload or add-captions option. YouTube and others offer their own transcripts, albeit with mistakes, which you can then go through and correct. Your transcript should include the speakers’ names. If the speakers are off camera, include their names in parentheses. Meaningful sounds and music [? (classical) ?] also should be detailed in the transcript. Attach the transcript in the About section of your video.
What if you don’t want text scrolling near your video, yet you still want your video to be search-friendly? Post the transcript on a separate web page and link it to the page with your video. On a transcript page, you also can highlight relevant parts and link it to other pages on your website, making your entire site more search-friendly.
You didn’t customize the length for the platform
Video is not a one-platform-fits-all tool. Audiences consume video based on where they view it. To properly entice a viewership, it’s best to customize your video to its location (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube).
You might be surprised to know that, according to a study by ReelSEO, the optimal video length for YouTube is 10 times longer than for Facebook – 14.5 minutes for YouTube versus 1.3 minutes for Facebook. Conversely, keep videos on Twitter and Instagram to a minute or less. Twitter video’s maximum is 30 seconds, while Instagram provides a maximum of 60 seconds.
Looking at engagement numbers, the formula is clear: 30-second to one-minute teaser versions will perform well on Twitter and Instagram, and one- to two-minute preview versions will suit Facebook’s audience. Direct viewers who are intrigued by these condensed versions to your YouTube channel or site to watch the full version, which can range in length depending on the video content.
It’s important to note that these customized versions receive even higher viewer engagement if you upload them natively to each platform rather than sharing links to a third-party video player. For Twitter, native videos earn 2.5 times more replies, 2.8 times more retweets, 1.9 times more favorites than non-native video. On Facebook, native video makes a difference of two times more “likes,” three times more shares, seven times more comments, and two times more reach. Since Instagram video doesn’t allow you to share third-party video links, you must use native video on that platform.
You don’t engage with viewers
If viewers engage with your videos by commenting, “liking,” or sharing, don’t hesitate to interact with them. If they dole out praise, express your gratitude. If they offer personal opinions on your video, respond with a question to turn their opinion into a conversation starter. Make sure to tag commenters with an “@” so they will be notified of the message waiting for them.
In an effort to start the conversation with viewers, include an opinion in the text that accompanies your video and highlight a section of your video to support your opinion. This tactic will help set a collaborative tone to your video posts and help viewers feel motivated to engage with you.
If your efforts succeed and a conversation starts up in the comment section, continue to engage by throwing in relevant links to your other content. Ultimately, liken the process of engaging with viewers to building a fire – once the kindling starts to ignite, throw some bigger logs into the pit to help the flames grow. With video, build the relationship with your viewers by offering those bigger logs in the form of links to more branded content that could grow a conversation into an ongoing dialogue.
You don’t know how to measure your analytics on each platform
As management consultant Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
Your video’s analytics are understandably overwhelming so it’s easy to base decisions on superficial figures like a sudden rise in video views. To measure your analytics properly, you must understand what this data is telling you. If you dig deeper than views, you may find that the rise in views originates from a location where your company’s services aren’t offered. If that’s the case, these numbers are useless to your company’s growth. Set goals that are valuable to the business and your content marketing programs and use the proper analytics to measure your success.
Take a tutorial for each video-hosting platform you use to understand how its particular analytics work. For example, you may need to go onto Facebook to see exactly how your video performed. Facebook measures things like video views and engagement levels that aren’t visible on Google Analytics.
For your measuring analytics, don’t forget to use sites like Wistia that will create a heat map so you can see where users drop off when watching your video. These heat maps also can reveal where the viewer watched the video (based on their IP address) and how long they viewed the video.
Too often, video creators blame the content if their videos fail to grab an audience and they never try to repackage it and improve distribution. Instead, trust that there is an audience for your videos and focus on making it more available by implementing these methods instead.
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Cover image by Ryan McGuire-Bells, Design Gratisography, via pixabay.com