How to Create Actionable Online Videos

Tue, Mar 5, 2019

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  • Why should I create actionable online videos?
  • How is online video marketing similar to social media marketing?
  • How can I get more conversations, connections, and conversions from my videos?

Imagine Barry’s Blossoms is a flower shop known for innovative flower arrangements and bouquets.

To reach more customers Barry decides to create an online video series that gives flower arranging tips and tricks - featuring the best blooms from his shop, of course.

Barry finds an online video platform that’s popular with his customer base, creates a channel for his brand and uploads his videos to it. That’s all he can do, right? Actually, Barry should change the way he thinks about video marketing.

Barry shouldn’t think of his video marketing as a passive effort that’s only valuable for getting views. Instead, he should create videos that can get him conversations, connections, and conversions - AKA the 3 C’s.

To create videos that encourage your audience to take action, you need to get your mind into action mode.

That starts with how you view your online videos channels. Instead of thinking of them as just a place to host your videos, think of them as social media platforms.

And just like your other social media marketing efforts, your video channels need to work hard to build followers (AKA subscribers), shares, likes, and comments.

Why do any of this? Because studies show that customers who engage with brands on social media are more loyal and spend up to 40% more with those brands than other customers do.

The most actionable and successful videos lead to the 3 C’s we mentioned earlier: conversations, connections, and conversions.  We’ll show you how you can help make sure your video marketing is worthy of all 3.

You can start your conversations by describing and presenting your videos in engaging ways.

Asking questions in your video’s description text can encourage viewers to respond via comments. For example, Barry’s description might say, “This is a Spring bouquet with lilacs. What flowers would you like to see in my next video?”

Remember that only the first few description lines are visible before people have to click to read more, so ask your questions early. Keep them open-ended, broad (avoid any that will result in just yes or no answers), positive and upbeat.

When people answer your questions, make sure that you respond. This helps both the commenters and those reading the comments know you care about your audience’s thoughts and opinions.

You can also present your videos in a way that will spark more conversations - like creating playlists (AKA grouping of different videos). When one video in your playlist ends, the next one automatically starts.

Instead of sending people to a single video, you can share a link to your playlist. This raises the likelihood that they’ll watch multiple videos, which can get you more engagement and more opportunities for comments and conversations.

Along with conversations, your video marketing can form long-lasting connections with your audience by turning them into subscribers.

When someone subscribes to your brand channel, they’ll be notified anytime you post more content. This can help boost views and engagement levels on any new videos you share.

Some video platforms like YouTube let you put a logo or brand watermark on all your videos, which serves as a type of subscription button. It stays up while a video plays and viewers can click on it to automatically subscribe to your channel.

Adding calls to action (CTAs) in your videos can also help you get more subscribers. Your videos’ voiceover can ask viewers to subscribe, like, share, and comment, and then reiterate these requests with visual CTAs via images and text.

Of course, you can have the most persuasive CTAs in the world, but it won’t matter if your audience thinks your video content is useless or boring. So, it’s important to provide valuable entertaining videos that will inspire subscribers.

And now for the last, but definitely not least, C: conversions. Let’s see how your videos can turn casual viewers into customers.

You can use shortened URLs in your video description text that will direct people to your brand website for information or to make a purchase or lead them to your app store landing page so they can download your app.

Make sure these links and your video’s CTAs send people to the same location. Also, just as you did with your questions that start conversations, keep these links at the start of the video description so they’re visible before the cut-off point.

You can also monitor how many clicks your links are generating by creating a UTM link. It’s a custom URL that lets you easily track performance. You can set it up through Google Analytics.

Certain video platforms let you add interactive elements to your videos that can help drive conversions, too.

YouTube has a feature called “cards,” which are video overlays that can include photos, CTA buttons, or simple text. To encourage more conversions, you can have them lead to your brand site or your app store landing page.

While you can have these cards appear at any time in your video, you should be strategic about it. Time them to happen at moments that will get you the most clicks.

For example, a beauty retailer Sephora created a series of makeup tutorial videos. Anytime one of the videos introduced a new beauty product, a corresponding card popped up with the product’s name and a “Buy Now” button.

Before you share any online videos, create a solid plan for your video marketing. Figure out the CTAs you want to use, research what type of content matches your brand and appeals to your audience, and set up a brand channel.

References: Google Webmasters, Think With Google, Google Primer

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