Ever wonder where modern marketing’s most ubiquitous phrase “Content is King” originated?
It was actually a premonition by none other than Bill Gates, who published an article titled Content is King on the Microsoft website back in 1996. He even predicted the meteoric rise of video, particularly in the following quote:
“If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.”
Fast forward a Few Decades
Content has indeed ruled the Internet as king for over two decades. But every king needs an equal counterpart. A queen, if you will. And when it comes to video content, promotion is queen.
But fear not! Promoting your videos doesn’t have to be royally expensive or complicated. There are a few sterling examples of ways to creatively approach video promotion, even inhouse or with limited resources, to get your videos the views they deserve.
1. Optimize your videos for search!
SEO isn’t just for written content anymore. In fact, with 300 billion searches churning through YouTube monthly, it’s now considered the second largest search engine on the web. So optimizing your videos for search is key. First, do some keyword research. (How? Here’s an excellent overview.)
Once you’ve got your keywords, throw a couple into your video title—keep it catchy, but rich with description. Craft a meaningful description, and if you can, also add a transcript; not only can this help boost your SEO, but it may serve as a way to get your message across to people who don’t even watch your entire video.
2. Ensure you have your videos formatted appropriately for their context.
For example, play around with different types of video for social media channels that are typically viewed on mobile- produce vertical videos, 10 second or less micro-videos (these also work well as Google ads), or create video collages to be promoted via “Stories” on Facebook or Instagram.
If you have a video that performs particularly well on a social channel, pin it to the top of your Twitter feed, embed it in a blog post, or send a clip of the video with a link to watch the whole thing in an e-newsletter. This way, you’re cross-promoting to gain awareness among customers new and old.
3. Pay attention to details.
- Choose enticing thumbnails for each video—capture a moment that will encourage your audience to watch the entire video.
- Track your viewer habits and trends.
- Include captions, or eye-catching and easily-understood visuals, for videos on platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook where statistics show the majority of video is watched with the sound off.
- Experiment—try including a video in your team’s email signature, creating a landing page around a video, or using different frames or title screens to discover what works to grab attention.
4. Emphasize your call to action.
The call to action within the video could be part of its thumbnail, or its metadata. You could also annotate your YouTube videos to include functionality like clicking through to your website to find out more.
5. Upload directly to social media channels to ensure you’re maximizing views.
Native content performs better than content linked from video hosting platforms. But don’t ignore those platforms, either- consider creating a video library on your website, YouTube, or any other hosting platform that aggregates video by topic or intended audience.
With 300 hours of video uploaded per minute to YouTube alone, it’s clear that content is still king. Marry excellent content with a little savvy promotion, and you’ll soon be enjoying an ROI fit for royalty.