Basics to Successfully Releasing Your Video
Let me walk you through a scenario I've seen literally hundreds of times and have experienced myself.
A company or non-profit pays for an amazing video to get made and everyone loves the final product! Everyone is really excited about the potential of this video and they throw the video on YouTube or Facebook and....crickets.
Nothing happens. At this point most people say things like "well this video didn't do what we wanted it to do" or "the video just didn't bring in clients/donations" or even "video just isn't that effective for us." You might have even got desperate and just thrown money at a Facebook ad to fix the problem.
If this has happened to your video, I'm going to tell you something that might be hard to hear. This is your fault, stop blaming the video. A video is an extremely powerful tool, but you have to make sure you use it the right way. I've made videos for clients that have MILLIONS of views....and some that have dozens. My quality is the same, the stories are just as powerful, so what is the differentiating factor here? The release strategy.
Although there are companies that specialize in amazing marketing campaigns to launch a video, I'm going to give you some essential tips that everyone can do for little or no cost.
Take a look at this video I released with Table Bar last week. In about 5 days, this company of only TWO people managed to pull in over 5,000 views on Facebook with a business page that only had about 175 likes and spent less than $15 on ads. They did this by following a solid release schedule and strategy we put together. Their video has seen strong engagement (shares, likes, comments) and in the first couple days of releasing, they had 5 new commissions on high-end tables (average table costing $1200-$2500). They have had a better release than many bigger companies with more money and resources to put behind their video because they followed a simple and effective release strategy.
HAVE A RELEASE STRATEGY
Randomly throwing your video online and praying it goes viral isn't a release strategy. Think about who you want to see this video and what you want them to do. Think about the day and time you post it. Think about how many times you post it. Here is an example of the BARE MINIMUM you should do when preparing to launch your video.
Get as many people at your company/organization to watch the video as possible. Get them excited about the story and the possibilities it can bring. Right before or immediately after posting the video online, send out a company wide email asking people if they wouldn't mind sharing it and make sure to be sincere. Here is a generic example.
"In a couple hours we are launching our amazing video that tells the story of our organization! This video is very powerful and we want to give it the best chance to be seen by people. If you're proud to be a part of what we do here, it would mean a lot to me if you would share it from our Facebook page as soon as we post it. Thank you all so much for believing in what we do!"
Even if you don’t have that kind of network, reach out to all your friends, family, and supporters individually telling them how much you would appreciate their support. Remember, people can sense if something is a copy and paste mass message.
Absolutely do not post a YouTube link on Facebook and expect anything to happen. Facebook wants people to watch videos uploaded on their platform, so they bury video links from YouTube and Vimeo in the feed. You need to upload your video on every platform individually and know what their purposes are. Facebook is great for sharing, Vimeo is great for hosting and embedding on your website, and YouTube is most likely where people will search for you. You might be concerned about driving all the traffic to one place so the view count is higher, but from my experience that doesn’t really matter. You’re actually losing views by ignoring other platforms.
THUMBNAIL AND TITLE
The thumbnail and title are the two things that will convince someone to watch your video. You HAVE to upload a thumbnail specifically chosen to represent your video to the world. What is the strongest image in your video? Use that as a good starting point. What is your video called? Think of a title that draws people in and not so technical. Titles like “Our Company Name Video 2019” or “Johnny Doe’s Memorial Fundraiser Event Video” will turn potential viewers away from your video instantly. What is the heart of your story in the video? Base your title off of that and don’t be so literal.
This applies specifically to Facebook because of how media is consumed on that platform. Think about how you watch videos on Facebook. You scroll, pause for a moment, and decide if you’re interested or if you scroll away. Almost everyone won’t be interested in your video if they have no idea what is going on, that’s why captions are so important. If you haven’t finished your video yet, really try to utilize the first 3 seconds visually and say something compelling to draw people in. About 80% of all video consumed on Facebook is watched with the sound off. Captions are essential to getting people to understand whats going on in your video, but also the best way to encourage them to watch the video with the sound on.
I personally recommend that people upload a separate caption video and not embed text into the video.
HAVE A CALL TO ACTON IN YOUR POST
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re amazing video is completed. It pulls people in, connects them to your brand, and then someone panics that it won’t convert to sales, donations, calls, etc. so they slap a whole bunch of text on the end of the video. If you’re lucky enough to get someone to actually watch the entire video, I can promise you they won’t read your text at the end. As an example, take a look at the video I made for Sevenly. Everyone loves it, connects to, tells me how amazing it is…and according to my analytics, most people quit watching at 85% completion…about when the text comes on the screen.
People are constantly wasting this precious real estate of text in a video post. If you want someone to buy, donate, or visits a website you HAVE to have that in the text post that accompanies the video! Not only are you expecting someone to actually finish your video and read your text, you’re asking them to remember a URL and type it in separately. Make it super easy for people to support you and they are more likely to.
Keep in mind that this is just where you start if you don’t want to hire a marketing agency to push your video or don’t have a strong internal marketing department. If your brand or organization needs a compelling and engaging video, please feel free to reach out! I’d love to share plenty of success stories and potential release strategies with you to maximize the potential of your video.