Welcome to our first Video Content Marketing Q & A episode where I answer the most frequently asked questions of the month.
Q:Why are there some videos with less views, ranked higher than other videos with more views on YouTube?
Video View Counts were a major factor in ranking on YouTube up until 2012. However the number of views doesn’t necessarily correlate with the quality of the video. A catchy title and thumbnail can mislead viewers to the true contents of the video, or the video could be of poor quality. Although viewers would quickly click away from the video, it would still count as a “view”.
So YouTube started to look at the video’s watch time. Content that keeps the viewer hooked all the way through – and beyond – is now the most important factor in that video’s success. You can see the retention rate of your videos in YouTube Analytics. It’s important to note any sudden drop in audience numbers and learn what caused it for future reference.
The other significant factor in ranking your video is what your audience does after watching it. You must understand that YouTube is a business and wants to reward videos that keep their viewers on their platform, and consume more ads. This goes against the interests of businesses that want their viewers to visit their website.
The best solution is to use interactive end cards and give your viewers the choice of watching more of your videos or visit your website. Either way you will win.
Q: What are the best hosts for your business videos?
There are literally dozens of hosts that you can upload your videos to. The main factors to look for is the ease to upload your video, the quality and speed of delivery to your audience, customization of the video player with your own branding, analytics reports and the cost.
My tip is beware of newer hosts that offer you everything for little cost. It is a very competitive industry and many hosts will not survive in five years time. Imagine if you had 100 marketing videos on a host that goes bust. You would need to upload all of them again with another host and update the hundreds of links. This would not a good thing.
Of course there are no guarantees that any business will still be around in five years time, but I would go with one that has a track record with hundreds of clients and is profitable. Vimeo Pro and Wistia are the best of the pack.
Personally I use Amazon S3 to store my members only videos and use their Cloudfront software and JW Player to stream the videos on my website. It’s a little more complex to set up than Vimeo or Wistia but it’s high quality, fast and cheap. I just hope Amazon is still around in five years time.
Q: Is there an optimal length for a video?
This question always pops up so here is the definitive answer – your video should be as long as it needs to effectively deliver your message to your target audience. That might be 30 seconds or 30 minutes.
However videos at the top of the sales funnel should typically be shorter than those further down the funnel that are nurturing your hot leads. Think of it as a relationship (which it is with your prospect). When you first go out on a date, it may be to a cafe so that you can get to know each other. You wouldn’t suggest going away for an overseas trip together until much further in the relationship. This is the same with your audience. Don’t ask them to watch an hour long video when they have never heard of you, after all that would be a big commitment.
Q. What editing software do I use?
I have used Adobe Premier Pro since version number 1 came out many years ago. In those days, I used it to edit videos the size of postage stamps. Much has changed since then and now the software has gone on to become highly sophisticated. So much in fact that it has been used to edit Hollywood movies.
I love it because it works seamlessly with the other Adobe products like Photoshop and After Effects. There is a big learning curve to master the software and for most video marketers, you don’t really need it as there are much simpler software you can use. However if you are really serious in creating visually exciting videos than get your hands on the Adobe Creative Suite.
Q. Do I outsource any of my video production?
I do all of my own videos however I will outsource videographers for some of my clients. At this stage I edit all videos as I like to add my personal touch to them. However for simple marketing videos, you can find also outsource video editors, graphic designers and motion graphics.
I use oDesk, which recently merged with elance , for work on my website. I have had mixed results with some contractors not really being qualified and others being very good. My tip is don’t go for the cheapest contractors. They’re cheap for a reason and will end up costing you more in the long run.
The other tip is to constantly change all your passwords as I have had past contractors hack my website hoping I would use them to fix it up again. It’s the classic scenario of someone trying to sell a shop owner insurance for their shopfront window and after when they refused, they find their window has been smashed and a business card. Yes it can get ugly so beware.
If you have any questions please leave a comment below and I will feature it in our next Q & A session.
Video Marketing Strategist