Since launching in mid 2013, a number of brands have experimented with use of video on Instagram as a way to market to their customer base. The app's huge and loyal audience makes it a fantastic destination to focus efforts. Here are a selection of companies using Instagram video well...Read More
Even though most YouTube content is no longer than a few minutes long, there are still plenty of barriers to the goal of having a viewer engaged to the very end of one of your videos once they have clicked on it, and that will put a heavy dent in arguably YouTube's most influential analytics - audience retention and watch time. Reasons for viewers not watching to the end of a video include:
- Video unexpectedly buffers early on
- Viewer sees more appealing suggested video in sidebar
- Video does not get to the point or be clear on what it will contain
It is the last bullet that I want to focus on for this blog. Once you have attracted someone to click on your content with a great title, description, and thumbnail image, it is so important to set expectations or hook the audience in the first few seconds of the video. Here are two ways this technique can be used:
In how-to videos, show off the finished product first
No one wants to sit through even a few minutes of video instructions if they don't know what the end result will be, so if your video is a tutorial, show your audience what they will achieve at the end of the video in the first few seconds.
Create intrigue to compel your audience to continue watching
Whether he pops onto screen with a fascinating fact or intrigues his audience with his tone of voice and location, Vsauce does a great job of compelling his audience to continue watching, even though his videos are - in YouTube terms - very long.
Similarly, you could use a teaser clip of a scene coming up in the video or a spoken line ike, "Want to know that links a pot of jello and a punch in the jaw? Keep watching to find out!" to hook in your audience.
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As simple an app as Vine is, it has allowed inventive types to come up with some really compelling video clips, whether they be adverts, stories, loops, or lots more. To help you produce the very best Vine clips that you can, here are 5 expert strategies used by the Vine App Video pros.
1. Experiment with video length
The maximum length of a Vine video is six seconds, but you don't have to use that whole amount of time, and plenty of times it might be the case that you don't want to. In fact, just around two seconds is the minimum required to be able to post your video. When your recording exceeds two or so seconds, a little check box will appear at the bottom of your device's screen. When you're finished, simply tap it to end the recording session and produce your video.
2. Achieve better audio quality
Sometimes it's not just the quality of your visuals, but the audio in your Vine video, that can make or break it. Here are a couple of things you can do to make sure you achieve the best audio recording possible:
- Use headphones with an in-built microphone to record your own voice.
- Use an iPhone boom or directional mic (link opens in new window) to record the voices of multiple people
- Use an all-weather or underwater casing (link opens in new window) to produce silence.
3. Prevent your camera from auto-focusing
When you play back a recorded Vine video, sometimes you'll notice that the image pulsates during playback. This is often due to your phone's camera re-auto-focusing on your subject. To prevent this from occurring as best you can, there are a few things that you can do:
- Set your phone down on a flat surface and keep it there whilst your record.
- Attach your phone to a tripod - my recommendation is the Joby Gorillamobile (link opens in new window).
- For non-static shots, hold your phone close and tight to your body to stop it from moving and triggering the auto-focus function.
4. Stop a Vine video from posting
If you change your mind about posting a Vine video just at the moment that is uploading, you can halt the process if you're quick. Simply swipe left to right on the upload bar to delete the upload before it completes. If you're too late (and if your Internet connection is fast, you probably will be!), you can still delete your Vine by tapping the three dots below the video in your feed and choose the Delete option.
5. Include relevant hashtags in your video caption
Like Twitter and Instagram, Vine utilises hashtags to allow users to group together and find videos of the same type. I know there is a trend to add about six billion hashtags to a photo on Instagram, but for brands and businesses, I would advise against it, as it'll come across as unprofessional and spammy. Instead, I recommend adding a maximum of three relevant hashtags to your video caption, along with a short description that features the keywords you want to target.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Macarthy is the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips, available for Kindle and in paperback.
It's nearly been a whole year since I started to create and post videos to YouTube in support of my book, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips. I knew that video, in theory, could be a great tool in helping me promote the book, and that it wouldn't have to take too much time or effort - so with nothing to lose, I began. I can't say for sure how much my YouTube content has impacted the sales of my book, but I do know that it hasn't done any harm, and I even use it as a selling point, shouting about it on 500 Social Media Marketing Tips' front cover.
My first video was posted on April 6, 2012, and as I write my channel's current statistics stand at:
- 485 Subscribers
- 63,655 views
- 53,976 minutes watched
Not spectacular figures by any stretch of the imagination, I know, but not too shabby either. My viewership and subscribe rate has grown in a steady upwards trend since the beginning, and for the past few months my video views have reached over 8,000 per month, with around 70 new subscribers per month too. With all that in mind, here are 5 of the most important lessons I have learnt in the past year of video-making for YouTube.
1. Be Consistent
Consistency is so important in growing a YouTube audience. Mostly every big YouTube channel sticks to a schedule, and so it's something I've tried to emulate. I post a new video at least once a week, and perhaps up to two or three if the situation calls for it - e.g. reporting on the roll out of Facebook Graph Search or the new YouTube layout just after it's announced. If your audience knows you are going to be posting content on a regular basis, they're more likely to subscribe to be sure not to miss it. And naturally, the more videos you have out there, the more views you will notch up over time.
As a side note on the consistency thing, none of my videos have gone viral, nor does one single video represent the bulk my statistics. In fact, there is less than 3,000 total views between my best-performing and 10th best-performing videos.
2. Offer Value
Many people search YouTube to learn or get help in carrying out certain tasks, and that's what my videos set out to do - offering simple tips and tricks for social media. If your content is valuable (as apposed to solely promotional), then viewers are more likely to like, comment, and share with others. Let your helpful videos promote your brand or product by positive association.
3. Quality Matters
As well as offering value, the quality of your videos is also an important consideration. If you're getting comments like "240p, we meet again" or "Was this video filmed with a potato?", you probably want to invest a little more in your equipment before you post more content. That doesn't mean you have to rush out to spend thousands of dollars, however - the average smartphone these days has a decent recording quality for most YouTuber's needs. People don't expect a Hollywood production, but you should at least test to make sure that your video isn't shaky and that the audio sounds okay. Some simple editing with something as basic as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker can also go a long way.
4. Keep Videos Short
Rare is the YouTube viewer who wants to spend 10-15 minutes watching a video to help them discover what they want to know, so get to the point fairly quickly! My videos are deliberately short (mostly well under 5 minutes long) and even that is a tough sell, as my Audience Retention statistics - the people who watch the whole of each video - hovers at around the 65% mark. Of course, part of that is down to me and the video content itself, but it clearly shows that people's attention spans are short on YouTube, no matter how long your videos. And if they're skipping over your videos, they're probably looking at the competition's instead! If your message has to be long, then separate it into several shorter videos.
5. Spread the Word
YouTube alone is a fantastic platform for getting video content seen, but there's no harm in giving your hard work an extra. Don't forget to share your videos with readers and fans on your blog, and on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You never know who might see it, and something like a re-tweet from someone with thousands of more followers than you have is always a welcome bonus!
So that's it, 5 of the most important lessons I have learned from my first year of video-making. Certainly nothing there that will break the mould, but definitely some pointers that are worth remembering. My first year of video-making has been a fun learning experience for me and I can't wait to see what happens over the next twelve months!
What is your YouTube strategy like, and what lessons have you learnt on the way? Let me know in the comments below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Macarthy is the author of the #1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.
Twitter's recent acquisition of Vine has seen the micro-video app shoot up the charts in the iPhone App and Google Play stores, but it isn't just individuals taking advantage of its increasing popularity - brands can get in on the act, too. Here are 5 Ways to Use Vine for Marketing Your Business:
When one Twitter user tweeted Red Vines promising to buy 5 of the brand's products if they re-tweeted her message, Red Vines responded with the above Vine video, promising to send a bunch of freebies in return. The whole process would probably only cost them a few minutes and couple of dollars, but the brand loyalty and good feeling towards them as a result is worth a whole lot more.
2. Show Behind the Scenes
Vine's short videos are perfect for showing quick snippets from behind the scenes in your office or workplace, to help forge a closer relationship between you and your customers by making them feel like they are getting a look at something that is otherwise off limits. In the above example, English Premier League soccer team, Southampton FC, gives us a glimpse into one of their training sessions before a game.
3. Promote Products
Vine's six-second videos are the perfect length for creatives to conjour up a quick commercial to promote a brand's product. In the above clip, Orville Redenbachers leapfrogs onto the back of Superbowl XLVII to promote its Pop Crunch popcorn as the perfect accompaniment to the big game. As with all social networks, keep 'hard selling' like this to a minimum, but definitely work it into your content creation strategy.
4. Preview and Tease Content
Vine provides a great method of previewing content to your audience, as Rolling Stone magazine has done in the above clip, as it teases us with the cover of its newest issue. If your content is web-based, why not include a shortened URL in the video description or in the clip itself?
Funny and shareable content is the type that gets liked, commented, and re-tweeted the most, so definitely pepper your Vine output with clips that show you and your brand having fun, not necessarily trying to sell products = that will hopefully come as a result. In the above example, Jimmy Fallon plays on the novelty of the app itself in a clip that garnered over 350 favorites and re-tweets in less than 24 hours.
Will you be incorporating Vine into your social media marketing strategy? Let me know in the comments or via the links below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Macarthy is author of 500 Social Media Marketing Tips, the #1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller: