How to get more viewers, watch-time, and engagement
I’ll save you a paragraph about why video marketing is becoming more and more important since 93% of marketers already use video for online marketing, sales, and communication. If you’re in the 7% that doesn’t — no opening paragraph from me is likely to change that. You’re stuck in 1998 and there’s no turning back. Enjoy livin’ la vida loca and fax-machine marketing.
If you’re in the other 93%, great. Hopefully, I can provide you with some value and we can all reach a few more people with our videos. Here are a few things you can do to gain more exposure.
1. Make it Easy For People to Subscribe
Finding subscribers is goal number one (I’ll use the word subscribers to describe not just YouTube subs, but also people who are fans of your brand anywhere else you post your videos). Every new subscriber is another opportunity to connect with someone every time you publish a video. They make your syndication efforts much easier.
One of the things every video publisher needs to do is make the path to subscribing downhill and easy to follow. For YouTube, that means that you should add a branding watermark to all of your videos. This becomes your call to action throughout filming — ask people to subscribe by clicking your distinct button. On Facebook, encourage people to like your page and comment on your posts. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t ask and I guarantee slow growth.
2. Optimize Your Videos For YouTube (Stylistically and Technically)
When it comes to optimizing your videos, pre-production is just as important as post-production.
Stylistically, it’s important to always introduce your topic early, and point out any calls to action within the video. Technically, there are a whole slew of things you can do to make sure you rank well within YouTube. We shot this quick video to address video optimization.
3. Create Videos For Others, Free of Charge
The answer is a resounding yes — but if you’re looking for earned media and advanced exposure, you may need to shoot your videos free of charge. While it takes time and can be disappointing when your efforts are for naught, there are a few things you can do to up your chances of getting exposure.
First, always create a custom bumper that highlights the publication you’re looking to get featured on. It will grab the attention of whoever you’re pitching. Here’s a look a bumper we threw on for Inman News, the largest real estate news publication in the USA. Watch the bumper we added at the 7-second mark.
Second, you’ll want to only shoot videos for publications/businesses that you have expertise in. It’s better to pitch 10 publications you know well than 100 you don’t. Once you’ve established relationships with a few, you won’t need to hunt for outlets anymore —securing partnerships will allow you to focus on your content.
Finally, if you’re on a time crunch and really want to see one video perform well, you can add bumpers from multiple companies onto the same video. For example, say you want to reach an audience of entrepreneurs with your videos. You could shoot a video that doesn’t mention any specific publication, and substitute in bumpers for Fast Company, Inc., and Entrepreneur.com. If one of them picks it up, you’ll be laughing all the way to the new-subscriber-bank. Don’t feel guilty about being a little clever here. You’re creating free content for others to sell ads with — not running a Ponzi scheme.
4. Pay to Play
Half of you will probably skip this one — but you shouldn’t! There definitely should be a paid media budget in your exposure game plan.
Facebook and YouTube both have robust advertising platforms that you can use to reach a much wider audience. Facebook in particular allows you to get as detailed as you want when targeting, so you can find the perfect viewers for your video topic. Paid views can be just the boost your videos need to take off.
Before we move onto syndication, I want to mention one strategy involving cross-promotion that we use at Cave Social. When promoting your YouTube videos, be sure to pay for amplification on off-platform websites (like Facebook). YouTube will count these views as organic, and give your video a boost within their platform.
5. Syndicate As Much As Possible
I leave as much time for shooting videos as I do for syndication, and it always pays dividends. Even an extra couple of hours can go a long way.
Place your videos in everything your write (when relevant), share them across all of your social media accounts, and submit them to discovery websites like StumbleUpon and Digg — even Reddit if you’re feeling lucky and are confident that your content provides value to a particular Subreddit.
And remember — don’t get discouraged! If you’re just getting started with video content, here’s a video we shot on how to create videos on a budget (with your smartphone).