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Utilising video is essential for any brand looking to engage potential consumers. In this piece, Anna Ji, Head of Product at global video editing platform Clipchamp, outlines the essential tips for improving your video content.

Brands need a video marketing strategy — this idea isn’t new. What is new is how important video has become on every marketing platform and channel, as the way people consume content continues to evolve.

Studies indicate that more than 50 per cent of consumers want to see videos from brands, more than any other type of content. And we only need to look at findings, such as 45 per cent of people watch over an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos per week, to recognise video’s ever-growing influence.

As static content is no longer enough to drive results for businesses, marketers are investing considerable time into building and refining their video marketing strategies. For those marketers new to the video marketing scene, here are some essential do’s and don’ts to consider as you get started.

DO #1: Trial a video-editing tool

Many marketers carry unfounded assumptions about how much it’s going to cost the business to start investing in producing video content.

Incorporating video into your marketing strategy doesn’t require you to spend the big bucks on a professional videographer, there are a number of video-editing tools available that simplify creating and editing your own content.

If you have an iPhone or Android smartphone from the past few years, then you have enough to begin. HD cameras are also effective, and with a tripod in hand, you have more than enough to start producing.

You can always buy a lens that attaches to your smartphone to get a better angle too – as these often come in kits, you can adapt the lens to your filming environment.

DO #2: Educate, entertain & engage

Branded video content may be the first point of contact your audience has with your business, so first impressions are everything.

As we’re hardwired to engage in storytelling, it’s a good idea to focus your videos on your brand’s narrative where you can, rather than on selling your product or service.

Your business’ spokesperson should be genuine and transparent as this communicates that your brand is authentic, therefore appearing more trust-worthy.

In fact, videos recorded by CEOs themselves holding the camera are often perceived better by customers because they aren’t pretending to be flashy or particularly fancy. You don’t need to be a trained video host, you just need to be yourself.

DO #3: Include a call to action

Too often, brands forget to include a clear call to action in their videos – a small yet essential tactic in your overall video strategy.

Once your target audience has engaged with your video content, it’s important for you to direct an action.

Should they visit a landing page to learn more about your business, request a consultation, or watch another video?

A clear call to action provides closure and allows you to drive higher customer engagement, which can lead to higher conversion rates.

DO #4: Track your results through analytics

A forecast and trends report from Cisco states that video will account for 82 per cent of all IP traffic by 2022.

This is why it’s fundamental to review and measure the success of each of your videos to ensure they reach your audience in the most impactful way possible.

You can do this through analytics and metrics, including view and play rates, video completion rates, views by embedded location, social shares, conversion rates or influence on revenue.

DO #5: Caption your videos

Nowadays, nearly 85 per cent of mobile videos are watched on mute with captions.

Why? Because consumer viewing habits are more agile than ever before; think commuters on public transport, office workers, or anyone listening to Spotify while scrolling through video feeds.

Clear and concise closed captions are a crucial ingredient for a brand’s video success as it not only provides accessibility for those with hearing impairments and language barriers, but it makes viewing content simpler for all viewers.

DON’T #1: Focus too much on going viral

A lot of brands seem to treasure the idea of their video “going viral,” but often too much emphasis is placed on achieving this, even when it doesn’t make sense commercially.

Hits or video views are often used to measure success but, from a marketing point of view, this is not always the best way to define success.

A well-targeted video could see just 5,000 hits and bring in $10,000, while another video could rack up millions of hits but only bring in $1,000.

Consider whether a viral video would suit your business. For example, a video produced for a small-town automobile repair shop is unlikely to lead to an influx of business, even if people around the globe see it.

DON’T #2: Make your videos too long

When it comes to determining the overall engagement from your video, the length plays a key role.

According to Wistia, videos that are two minutes or less have a higher engagement rate. If the video is over two minutes, the retention rate drops noticeably over time.

The length of your video should also vary depending on the platform you’re posting on. For example, a two-minute video is suitable for YouTube and Facebook, but should be shortened for Instagram and Twitter.

Note: Shorter videos are perfect for awareness and engagement. Longer videos are best for driving conversations and providing insights.

DON’T #3: Restrict your videos to one platform

Cross-platform strategising has become crucial for video syndication, gone are the days when you could copy and paste one video onto all social media platforms.

If the content is tailor-made for each platform, it will have a much higher chance of engagement and turning buzz to business than a one-size-fits-all marketing approach.

DON’T #4: Forget branding

Even if the primary objective of your video is to sell a product or service, you should always take the opportunity to achieve and solidify brand recognition.

For instance, you can edit your video to include an overlay of your business’s name as well as its logo, slogan and other brand elements, as it continues to generate views.

Something to note — the first eight seconds of a video is where you’ll either capture or lose your audience’s attention, so do not start it with just your logo: your audience will scroll on before the real video even gets started. Instead, include your logo subtly, in a corner throughout, or let your video fade to black and include your logo at the end.