The Definitive Guide to Video Distribution
More and more, video content is becoming a massive part of everyday life—and the preferred way for people to consume content. Experts predict that by 2022, online videos will account for 82% of consumer internet traffic, which is 15 times higher than it was only five years ago in 2017 (Cisco).
With video content becoming so ubiquitous, it also means that the path to creating a successful marketing campaign has become more accessible. The barrier to entry into video marketing is lower than ever before. Plenty of template sites exist to create content, and anyone can create accounts on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and explore paid channels like Google Ads to generate traffic.
That also means the market is flooded, and it takes a lot of work to stand out in the crowd and fight for viewers’ valuable time with so many options available—and people’s attention spans so divided and dwindling.
In a study, Microsoft concluded that since the mobile revolution began in the year 2000, the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to a measly eight seconds (via Time). This means that not only do you have a lot of competition for people’s attention spans, and to really make an impact you have to not only stand out but make your point as quickly as possible.
A lot of work goes into creating a great video marketing campaign. It takes a winning combination of the right skill set, talent, and final product. You also need to have a thorough knowledge of marketing video funnels, and what types of videos work for each stage of a buying journey.
All of that hard work on the video content itself can be pointless if your video content distribution plan isn’t well-executed and puts your content in the right place at the right time. An incredible marketing video or suite of marketing videos making up your video marketing campaign can be quickly hobbled by poor video content distribution.
It takes two to tango. In this case, that means both great content and excellent distribution to make your video marketing campaign succeed and get your video content to go viral with the possibility of millions of views.
In this step-by-step, comprehensive guide, we’ll share some tips and tricks we’ve learned at Explainify. We’ll also break down everything you need to know about video distribution and video distribution platforms, giving you a leg up on the competition, and ultimately providing you with the tools to make your video content shine.
Why Use Video Content
According to 68% of marketers, video content has a better ROI than Google Ads, and 53% say that video helps them raise awareness. A whopping 74% state that video has a better ROI than plain static images (via Biteable). These are just some statistics that prove how much of an asset video content can be in marketing. Video is an ever-expanding part of the internet, and therefore marketing campaigns, with 82% of internet content estimated to be video streaming content by 2022, with people currently spending an average of 100 minutes a day watching online videos (via InVideo).
Video is a massive part of people’s everyday lives, and it has been proven to be the most effective tool in conveying your marketing message. Video comes with incredible potential to blow up and catch the most attention possible. That doesn’t mean that solid marketing copy and striking imagery won’t go a long way, too. It simply means video content has to be the main focus of your marketing campaigns to take your marketing to the next level.
Be Authentic if You Want Content to Go Viral
We mentioned virality earlier in this article, but let’s go a little deeper.
“Going viral” is every marketer’s dream when it comes to video content. If a piece of media has virality, it has excellent potential to be shared by people many times over, and all those people are potential customers. When you think about it, that is, of course, your end goal: to get your video content seen by as many people as possible. Great video distribution can do that.
The thing is, though, people are smart: people can sense inauthenticity a mile away, especially when brands and marketing campaigns are doing nothing more than trying to force their content to go viral.
Video content is everywhere, but people still are justifiably wary when they feel like they’re being manipulated into buying something. No one wants to feel like they’re being used or sold to rather than being spoken to or engaged in a conversation.
Of course, it’s important to keep virality in mind, and there are definitely things you can do that can help you go viral, which we’ll discuss in a moment. Still, when it feels like you’re trying to go viral simply for the likes and shares, consumers can tell and will be turned off nearly immediately. This goes not only for your video content but your distribution methods as well.
It will do a world of good to think of the video distribution platforms available to you as means to engage in conversations and be part of communities rather than just video content distribution tools. You’ll not only appear more honest and genuine to people watching your videos, but there’s a high chance that you’ll achieve even greater success and receive more views than you would by simply aiming for as much reach as possible.
Not to mention, virality isn’t exactly something you can control. You can work towards it, and you can put yourself in the best possible position to make your content spark. Still, virality is just as much about sheer luck as it is about meticulous planning, quality content, and proper video content distribution.
So you need to be honest not only for your audience but for yourself. Go into the planning stages and organize your video distribution hoping for virality, but don’t focus solely upon it to the point that your marketing campaign and your videos suffer, and you possibly even alienate your audience.
A Good Plan Nets Good Results
With the advice above in mind, one great way to build towards virality is to be consistent and plan. Success isn’t going to come overnight. You have to be ready and willing to put in hard work and build organically, possibly even from the ground up, to achieve sustained success and impressive numbers.
Your online video distribution plan should feature a mixture of organic growth and paid traffic via various platforms’ paid advertising models.
The aim for either paid traffic or traffic you’ve earned organically remains the same, though: people seeing your content. Essentially, earned traffic gets at the heart of virality. It refers to extra hits and buzz that videos make off of the initial wave—things like shares, retweets, general word of mouth, articles being written about videos, or products because of videos, etc.
Karen X. Cheng knows firsthand what it takes to go viral after her Girl Learns to Dance in a Year video took off. In a blog post, she detailed what has worked for her.
Here is some of Cheng’s advice:
- Don’t act like you’re above spending time on marketing: Even when it seems things might be done, they can continuously be optimized, improved on, and there’s something more you can do to help your content succeed. Marketing is ever-evolving, so it’s good to be always on your toes.
- Study things that go viral, and discover patterns behind them: Though part of virality is luck, human beings are also predictable. Viral videos can often fit a bit of a template, so study social media trends and know what types of content work best on each platform to give yourself the best chance of going viral on those platforms.
- Release on certain days of the week: Be consistent and stick to a steady schedule. People will get used to seeing your content on certain days, and you’ll start to forge a relationship with them through consistent posting.
- Work with companies/brands that will gain from promoting your video: It’s not just about what brands and companies can do for you, but what you can do from them, too, and it’s essential to work and collaborate with like-minded individuals.
- Optimize titles: Titles can go a long way! Research and utilize SEO-friendly titles and learn how to optimize your copy to make your organic reach work even harder.
- Keep on going: It’s a lot of hustle, but it will pay off in the long run! It may take a while, but if you keep at it, you’ll see results.
Keep in mind that what virality looks like to one company or one person is different from another. It’s also different for each and every product, business, and marketing campaign. If you’re selling a niche product or service, and you know you are, it’s okay if your campaign isn’t as “successful” as a video distribution campaign for a product that has much broader appeal. Just by your products’ very nature, you will attract a more niche audience, but that’s okay as long as you know your customers well and reach as many of them as possible.
Be an Expert on Your Product and Your Audience
It’s important to note the differences between B2C and B2B when it comes to audience reach. The very nature of B2C products, and sales, means it’s much more likely that they have a chance of going viral than a video distribution campaign focused on B2B. You don’t need to compare yourself to campaigns and companies that aren’t relevant to you. Know yourself, your audience, know your direct competition, and work to be better.
Even with large budgets, you need to be smart about how and where you spend not only your money but your time in video content distribution.
For example, suppose you have a product that caters mainly to an older crowd. In that case, it may not make sense to focus your efforts on social media platforms like Snapchat or Instagram. A product aimed at a more youthful demographic will have an easier time catching the attention of those apps’ most engaged users.
A great example of a brand that knows its audience well is GoPro, which utilizes YouTube brilliantly. It is the fifth-largest brand on YouTube, which is especially incredible because only 2% of the top 5,000 channels on YouTube are brand channels (per Econsultancy).
What makes GoPro so unique and what makes the brand stand out in a sea of companies is its interactions with and knowledge of its audience. They know that many of their most loyal customers will use YouTube to upload their content, as it makes the most sense to do so. They also interact with their audience and foster a sense of community. This leads to customers turning into brand sirens, which can generate earned traffic well beyond their initial outreach with their initial video distribution waves. The customers’ videos are also inherently authentic, helping out with the points we discussed above.
What Style of Videos Work for What Platforms
It’s essential to know your social media platforms well, and it’s equally important to know which kinds of videos work for which platforms. For example, a longer-form video may not work for Instagram because it limits video length. With that said, let’s explore some types of videos and break down which social media platforms you can use them on.
- Explainer Videos: Explainer videos are often relatively short videos that condense information about your products into easy-to-understand, straightforward videos. These videos are always punchy, dynamic, and have great potential to go viral. You can find out a lot more about them with this handy guide. Explainer videos can work for nearly any social media platform, really. Still, they’re incredibly effective on YouTube and Facebook, where you have a bit more freedom with the length of your videos than a platform like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.
- Brand Videos: Brand videos are also short videos that often act as great hype videos for a brand or give people a better idea of a brand’s story and general vibe. These types of videos can be great for any type of social media platform, as they’re often short in length and simply act as a way to generate buzz about a brand. If you’re introducing your brand to people for maybe the first time, or overhauling a brand, and need to re-introduce yourself, a platform that allows for a slightly longer video like YouTube, or Facebook, might be your best bet. But if your brand is already well-established and you’re simply going out with a brand campaign, something like Instagram could still work. An effective brand video doesn’t need to be anything longer than 30 seconds, with eye-catching animation and solid CTA.
- Product Videos: Product videos can take on many different forms, but generally, they fall into the category of hype videos or product demonstration videos. Again, for longer product demonstration videos, YouTube or Facebook might be a better option, while for Instagram, a short video hyping a product with quick product shots would work. Something like Snapchat would be great to utilize a product-specific filter to take advantage of the platform’s unique aspects.
- PR Videos: PR videos can take on different forms, whether they’re addressing a controversy that needs to be tackled or discussing inter-office culture and general vibes. You could also use PR videos to tackle social issues and speak to them as a company. Regardless of your intent, these videos are often longer than most, so it’s best to use YouTube to give you the freedom to be unrestricted in your approach to subjects that often require nuance and time.
- Sales Videos: Sales videos often cover a wide range of topics and can fall under the product video category or even brand videos. They can also include videos that showcase your sales and successes if you’re using videos for B2B purposes rather than B2C. Because these videos focus so much on numbers, it’s good to use something like YouTube, rather than Instagram or TikTok, where the audience and video length simply aren’t there. But if you’re using sales videos to hype the sale of certain products or services, your approach can be much broader, and you can use almost any social platform.
Video Distribution Takeaways
What it really boils down to is this: video marketing is a huge avenue, and online video distribution can undoubtedly be challenging, but hopefully this guide has given you some insight on not only what types of video content work, and for what platforms, but how to approach video distribution.
That said, it can be a lot to approach, especially if you also have to create your video content and be in charge of the video content distribution plan yourself.
That’s where partnering with Explainify can help. With teams of experts, you can start with a simple consultation. Whether you want guidance through different parts of the process, or you’d like Explainify to create the videos and advise you on a video distribution plan, we’ll work with you as much or as little as your business needs.
Get in touch, and we can work together to find the best solution for your marketing campaign.
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