Video is the best converting medium. This makes sense, because video brings your company, your product and your message to life.
Free video platforms
It is tempting for a company to think of YouTube, Vimeo or soon even Facebook Watch as a platform for your online video strategy. They are free and generate reach. You generate more brand awareness, and they can generate traffic to your site.
Who really benefits from free video platforms?
If the service is free, you are the product. Because how effective is it really to let your entire video strategy depend on one of the platforms above? Who is really pulling the wool over the eyes of whom? Let us take YouTube as an example. These are their three objectives:
- Attract visitors with your content
- Learn from your visitors and your reach
- To serve ads to your visitors
Top 5 risks of free video platforms
These are the five biggest risks of free video platforms for your online video strategy:
You lose control over your video material
You grant the video platform and sometimes even all of their users the right to modify and republish your video material. You then no longer have control over what happens to your footage.
Read about it in the YouTube Terms of Service.
You may be sharing business-critical information
Video platforms learn more about your users and your reach than you do. They then use this knowledge to create profiles of your customers and your market. Do you really want to risk this data falling into other hands?
They entice your customers to your competitors
To generate as many views as possible, your potential customers are enticed to watch other videos: on the same page, or at the end of the video. These are not only your videos, but also those of your potential competitors. Oops.
They’re pulling viewers away from your site
The assumption is that your online video channel on a video platform generates traffic to your site. But is it really? If you offer their player on your site, at the end of the video they entice your visitor to watch videos of potential competitors in your site or on their site.
Competitors can advertise around your videos
If someone watches your video, then that person is immediately interesting for your competitor to advertise to. So while someone is watching your corporate video, product video or demo video on their platform or on your website, the competitor can snatch up your potential customer. Only if you really know how to build a lot of reach, then advertising can be turned off. But then a new risk arises: your entire community is in their hands, instead of you being able to communicate directly with your target group. One policy change, one complaint, or one change in their algorithm can bring your hard-won community to a standstill.
Your professional video strategy in 10 steps
Don’t worry, you don’t have to throw YouTube out. It’s just a matter of using video platforms differently: for teasers. This is your professional online video strategy in ten steps:
1. Teasers on video platforms
Create short teaser videos of, say, 30 seconds and post them on your favourite free video platform. Refresh this channel regularly so that the algorithms keep you ranked high and your audience is always surprised with new material. With short videos, it is much harder to advertise in short videos by competitors.
2. Work with call to actions to your site
Make sure you entice visitors in the teaser videos to watch the real video on your site. You do this with words and images, and also with clickable overlays on the videos. Make sure the link to your site’s video page appears in the bio and description of each video.
3. Build your own video channel, on your own site
Host your videos with a professional streaming provider. That is cheaper and more scalable than from your own site. Put their video player on a special video page: build your own video channel. Where no one is tempted to look at other videos than yours, or to click away to a video platform.
4. Provide uniform branding
Professional video players can be fully adapted to your corporate identity. That looks very professional, instead of a generic player from a free consumer video platform.
5. Refresh your content regularly
Post new videos regularly. These do not all have to be expensive videos. People also like spontaneous demo videos, which you make with screen recording, selfie videos in which you share images behind the scenes. Create a nice mix.
6. Promote your videos
Even with free video platforms, just posting videos is not enough. Share new videos via newsletters, and post teasers on social media, with links to your video page. The more colleagues and visitors help with sharing, the more people you reach.
7. Learn from analytics to optimise
Professional streaming providers give you deeper insights into viewing behaviour than free platforms. This allows you to accurately see which videos work well, and which less so, and where. With reliable data you can optimise your content strategy.
8. Experiment with features
Did you know that most people like to watch videos without sound? Think about subtitling. If you want to reach an international audience, subtitle with multiple languages and consider multiple languages in audio. Also bear in mind that most people watch videos on their mobile phones. Professional video platforms can automatically convert your videos into multiple qualities.
9. Generate leads and sales
Try to entice your visitors to click through to your site in each video. Professional streaming providers offer interactivity. For example, while your product appears on screen, the player or your site can show the product at the same time. Or a contact form. And why not a buy button right away?
10. Try live
Live streaming is even closer to the experience as if your visitors were really with you. The involvement is greater, the spontaneity is more fun. Broadcasting live, on your own site, is really distinctive. Make sure you announce the broadcasts well.