28000+ views on youtube, 1530 unique leads and first page Google rankings for over 15 expressions…
Our [accidental] video content success story
There’s no denying the engagement that video uniquely commands. It is the one format that stands out in people’s memories, far better than written or audio-only versions of information. The Video Brewery states impressive numbers with regard to video: 80% of people remember watching a video ad, and 46% took action after watching. You can argue that those numbers are coming from a biased source – but you can find even more compelling stats here. Here’s an extract:
Last year we were unexpectedly exposed to the power of video marketing. At Startupbootcamp Amsterdam’s (Europe’s premiere startup accelerator) Demo Day, a film team was dedicated to capturing every pitch. We had worked for weeks on the script and presentation, expecting it to be seen once and once only – by the roomful of investors and delegates at the big event. It was exciting and motivating work.
After days of preparation the pitch went like magic. I was just glad my memorization techniques held up. We were surprised (and delighted) to receive the video clip some weeks later. Needless to say, it was drastically better than the handheld smartphone version that our team had managed to get! We had no idea that this piece of good fortune would drive so many leads.
Here are some of the responses we got when we surveyed our new users (right up to present day):
“I’m actually a really big fan of your pitch you did on Twoodo. I’m working with Tutum as their growth hacker and we modeled one of our pitches after yours we found on YouTube.”
“Hi David, I liked your YouTube pitch which is why I downloaded Twoodo.”
“Simple, I saw your amazing pitch on YouTube. I want to try it out for my startup.”
“I’ve tried over 20 collaboration products, both American and Chinese, none were satisfying, they just make things more complicated. Then I came across your pitch on YouTube, I was like “wow” this is exactly what I wanted.”
“I just watched the video on YouTube and then rushed to open and try it.”
What’s more, one of our target audiences is startups, so the audience/channel fit was perfect for us.
A fellow SBC company had paid out €4k for a 2 minute video presentation of their product. We paid nothing for a high-quality 8 minute pitch (and a sweet 1 minute introduction). Top tip – if you present at a lot of places, request the video clip after. Some places won’t mind giving it to you! So why was the video so successful?
We spent quite a lot of time doing keyword research before naming the video “Best Demo Day Pitch Ever”. The great thing about Youtube is that it’s the second largest seach engine in the world yet’s there’s much much less competition than on Google keyword search. And if your video is relevant enough, your video will appear in Google keyword searches as well. Hey look! We made it to the top of Google for expressions like “best pitch” or “demo day pitch”
Keyword research is 50% of the work!!
Unlike Google Search, Youtube offers many untapped golden nuggets. Before clicking the “Publish” button after you upload a video, take the time to optimize for Youtube SEO. This article is a great guide, but here’s an overview:
1. Find “Video keywords”
Google reserves a good chunk of it’s first page results for videos. “Video Keywords” will allow your video to be on first page results. Some examples are “tutorial”, “how-to”, “tutorial” etc.
2. Consider Youtube’s algorithm
Youtube includes a number of elements in how they calculate your ranking. Along with the “video keywords” mentioned above also take into account the total number of views, video retention, comments, subscriptions after watching, shares, favorites and thumbs up.
3. Longer videos rank better
Apparently your video should be at least 5 minutes long. Long videos rank better than shorter ones.
4. Include your keyword!
Your keyword should be included in the original video file that you’re uploading, in the title of the video, in the description (multiple times) and in the tags.
To this date the video has received 28000 views and generated 1530 unique leads. That’s a 5.5% view/signup conversion rate.
It might not be our most affluent source of lead generation but it’s astounding to see that users who discovered us via the youtube link have a 65% higher retention rate than all of our other traffic sources! I believe it was the single most effective piece of content to gain people’s trust. Plus, video is just so easy to consume and share.
In the immortal words of Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Our script was not just explaining how the tool worked, it combined storytelling. And storytelling is a powerful technique in business. We turned the explanation of an online collaboration tool into one linked to history, art and human nature.
Video is a window to the opportunity to draw people in emotionally. The best marketers understand people’s emotions and psychology, and create campaigns that touch their [potential] customers profoundly. Video is a medium that can be used to great effect on this matter.
Distilled lists the benefits of video to your business:
- improve conversions and engagement
- build links
- be on video search engines
- build brand awareness and trust
- generate traffic through rich snippets and content signals
This, I can say from the Twoodo experience, is absolutely true. Now that I’ve pushed video marketing as being awesome, let’s look into the pros and cons a little deeper.
The worst things about video content marketing
Let’s get the negativity out of the way first.
Price vs. quality
Of all the types of content marketing available, video is one of the most expensive. This is if you are going to do it right. Sure, professional films have been shot on iPhones as experiments. But by skilled filmmakers or advanced hobbyists. An amateur video made with a pocket-sized digital camera is not going to look anywhere as good as what the proper equipment can do. And the video quality does affect the viewers.
On the other hand, lacklustre video quality can be made up with a winning or memorable personality, and really interesting content. But if you’re not the creative and ballsy/outgoing type, it might be far easier to just pay for a quality video.
Scripting & presentation
Nothing makes people bounce away more than a robotic and dull delivery of an unremarkable script. You don’t need to be dropping in great jokes every few sentences, but it’s got to have some life in it. A balanced delivery of informative and emotionally appealing content is the golden nugget. Empathizing with the viewer’s issue and then offering them solutions is the basic formula – but can often go wrong.
If you are aiming for a video of more than one minute, you’d be AMAZED at how much scripting it requires. And trying to deliver it in a tone of voice that doesn’t under- or overwhelm the audience. The first attempts are likely to be awful. But don’t give up!
Shooting & editing
In the same way that video can win people over fast, it can turn people off just as quickly. Tasteful editing (depending on what your goal is with the video) is crucial to keeping the viewer from getting bored and presenting the information in a logical and interesting fashion. And making you/the presenter look and/or sound good. There are arguments about whether the voice of the video needs to be seen or not – for tutorials, I find that I am more comfortable if I can at least get a quick look at who is behind the instructions. But as always, depending on your goals, choose the method which has the higher probability of delivering results.
Shooting and editing are time-consuming processes, particularly if it requires being outdoors. The good news is that if you are doing a series of similar videos, the setup and format will be pretty much the same time after time. And everyone will get better and faster at delivering the desired results.
But the hardest part of all to take is… it just might not look the way you had hoped at the end.
The best things about video content marketing
Thankfully, there are plenty positives to video marketing. Overnight success should not be expected, however. Without a surprise viral hit, you’ve got to build your audience just like with all content marketing. Moz almost gave up on their Whiteboard Fridays, until suddenly they “took off”. So every Friday they post a brief informative lecture on best practices, tips and tricks for SEO. Now they are an industry hit.
Where does video help businesses and individuals succeed?
- Video helps crowdfunding campaigns get funded.
- Video testimonials are more convincing than quote testimonials.
- Video increases sales by catering to busy online shoppers who don’t want to read product descriptions.
- It is great for SEO (Google + YouTube ownership is a powerful mix).
- It is a fast, simple way of familiarizing people to your new startup company, app or product.
- It sparks discussion across social media communities and brings leads to your doorstep.
By incorporating video into your general business strategy, you are increasing your chances of success in the digital age. Simple as that.
Tools and resources to get started
More and more services are popping up offering affordable video creating and editing. There are uncountable agencies out there ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars for short professional video services. It is also possible to negotiate with a freelancer and see if you can work within a budget. VideoPixie is worth looking into on this matter.
There is also more sophisticated DIY home editing software for the more adventurous or cash-strapped marketer or entrepreneur who is willing to learn a bit about video-making.
- This blog post has a great step-by-step guide to making animated short videos (not just for startups).
- Or, take the short-cut and use one of these resources as templates to get a quickie video out there.
- Go pro, and purchase some serious video editing software!
- And of course, video editing apps for short, snappy mobile uploads.