Online video is growing incredibly fast. We are due an explosion in consumption over the next five years. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2017, mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 50 percent annually, and will account to as much as 75% in 2022.

In a survey by TheNewsMarket, The Digital Revolution, journalists have rated videos as the most useful content type, including corporate video, web video and b-roll.

Seeing is believing

Online video marketing is a particularly effective medium because you can educate your audience while simultaneously creating interest in your products and services. For some, seeing really is believing. Unlike the written word where subtle or complex messages can be lost in translation, video provides message context that boosts comprehension and retention. Great video should be engaging and persuasive, bringing your brand stories to life, and providing consumers the information and confidence to move further along the purchase funnel.

  1. Know Your Brand:

Identifying your marketing and business goals alongside the voice of your brand will help you determine how your brand behaves in the video space. Are you aiming for the video to be an instructional or educational resource for your audience? Is the video a product demonstration? How do you want your brand to be perceived? What tone are you going for? Is this style in keeping with your larger brand attributes? Be careful, too often videos are created in isolation, and don’t mesh with your larger brand strategy. Your video has to support and complement the voice and key messages you want to associate with your brand.

  1. Know Your Audience:

Ask yourself who your audience is. If your answer is “…um, everyone” then you are likely wasting your money. Craft your messages for specific targets to maximize impact. What is interesting to a 13-year-old browsing YouTube isn’t necessarily appealing to a C-level audience viewing video on your website. Translating the key benefits into ideas and ultimately into a compelling visual story should occur before the camera even starts rolling.

  1. Budget Accordingly:

There is a time and place for “do it yourself” (DIY) video. If you want to capture a behind-the-scenes moment at a conference on your iPhone and upload it to YouTube, go for it. But make sure DIY isn’t your whole strategy – because while it’s cheap and quick – it may leave something to be desired in the mind of your customers. Professional video sets the stage for your brand to perform, and ultimately gives you the greatest control and confidence in your message, which will determine how it is perceived and shared by your audiences.

  1. Reel Them In With a Hook:

Be creative with your video to help break through the clutter. Even when you think your content might be dry, there are always creative ways to add fun to your story and make a strong impact. The more visually arresting your video is, the more likely it will stick with your audiences. Consider using computer animation, screen captures, green screen, time-lapse, on-camera interviews, location shoots, and first-person perspectives. Also, look for ways to add context to your shoots. Are you telling a story about a childhood safety programme? Shoot with a playground in the background.

  1. Tell, Don’t Sell:

Since we lived in caves, humans have been captivated by stories. The best stories work on a visceral level and provide an emotional connection to valuable information. They also can build trust and spur your audience into action. Know what action you want your audience to take. Should they schedule a demo? Download content from your website? Make a purchase or donation? Provide clear directions so they can make informed choices.

  1. Timing is Everything:

Look at the calendar or the news agenda. Is there a holiday, event or current trend in your industry that you can tie your story to? Is January a slow month that might be perfect for a big announcement? Though it sometimes feels that way, the world doesn’t revolve around your story, so finding additional points of relevance will help you get your message picked up and enable audiences to spread the word.

  1. The Long and the Short of It:

The length of your message is crucial to engagement. Statistically, most people stop watching online video content within the first 3 minutes. The biggest decline is after about 1:30 minutes. Therefore, when producing content, it is vital to keep to a desirable of length of around 1-1:30 minutes. For the media, provide soundbites and B-roll of around 30 seconds maximum per clip.

  1. Choose Compelling and Regionally Relevant Talent:

Featuring the smartest person in the company (sorry CEOs) in your shoot doesn’t guarantee good video. Some personalities just stick to video better than others. When selecting talent, consider who would be best at presenting your content and explaining things clearly. You’ll want a dynamic personality that can connect with your audience – this is the face of your brand, the person charged with translating a prospect’s initial interest into action. Consider using independent spokespeople who will help legitimize your message. Also, if you are targeting markets where English isn’t the native language, think about providing content in that language or using regional spokespeople and tailored content.

  1. Create Once, Deploy Everywhere:

Today’s audiences consume media across channels (TV, web and mobile), and have become adept at synthesizing information from multiple sources simultaneously. You need great content and the ability to tell your story in more than one way if you hope to capture and hold their attention. Develop a communication strategy that can be delivered across earned, owned and guaranteed media channels. Plan your video with an eye to repurpose and re-edit to capture the inherent opportunities offered in each channel. If you are hiring a crew for the day make sure they have enough to shoot to keep them busy for the entire day. Look for opportunities to shoot supplemental or background footage, known as B-roll, to weave into the main footage and interviews. This way you can avoid the dreaded “talking head” by cutting to visuals that bring context to the words being spoken.

  1. Fish Where the Fish Live (Distribution & Formats):

Where in the world are your audiences watching video and on what medium (HD television, web, mobile, social media)? To effectively reach your targets, you need to ensure your content is consumable in all the right formats:

For TV:

• HD (1080p / 720p)

• SD (360p)

• NTSC (US+)

• PAL (Europe & Asia+)

• MPEG-2

• Native

For Web:

• MP4 / MPEG-4

• Windows Media Player (.wmv)

• QuickTime (.mov)