Point being, you should never rely on any one particular tactic for too long because it may have been replaced by something bigger and better while you weren't looking. A new year is nothing if not a new opportunity to reassess the situation and see what you can take advantage of moving forward. With that in mind, here is a list of the top video marketing tips that you must be aware of as we move into 2020 and beyond.
Search engine optimization is more important than ever
Over the last few years in particular, Google has made one thing overwhelmingly clear: because users want as much video as possible, the global search giant is going to do anything and everything to give it to them. This essentially means that not only do you have to worry about creating stunning videos that captivate once someone actually begins to watch it, but you also need to focus on beginning that experience before someone ever hits the "Play" button, too.
But don't worry, this isn't nearly as difficult as you might think. In general, you can make your videos more "findable" in Google by first providing a transcript. It doesn't matter how long your video is or what format it's in, never forget this critical step. The thing is that even if many of your keywords are spoken, they’ll still show up in the transcription - thus giving Google an additional chance to "crawl" the content.
Likewise, be sure to optimize your video file metadata with all of those user intent keywords that someone would be using in the first place. You should include those keywords in the video's title and description, as well.
Along the same lines, pay particular attention to the thumbnail you select to represent your video. Try using a specialist thumbnail maker like Visme (which I founded to help people communicate better) and try to select a single image that represents the entirety of the experience someone would have if they watched your video from start to finish. If no such image exists, at the very least try to choose something that looks fun and compelling - the goal here is to try to convince people that clicking "Play" is worth their time.
Finally, create a video sitemap and be sure to submit it to Google Search Console. Again one of the best ways to make sure your content ranks highly on Google is to make it easy for Google to find it.
Tell a story
This particular video marketing best practice has always been important, but it's only going to become more so as we move further and further into the era of on-demand content.
Think about the steps you take when you use a piece of presentation software. You're always trying to wind up with a finished product that’s more than just a series of slides in a particular order, but one that tells a story with its own unique narrative arc and flow. Not only does this create a better experience for your users, but it gives you a better chance of making an emotional impact and goes a long way towards guaranteeing that the people who start your presentation actually finish it, regardless of its length.
When you work on your video marketing collateral, you need to be thinking about things in the exact same way. Even something as simple as a product demonstration doesn't have to be dry. You could start by showing someone who represents one of your real customers experiencing a problem in their life. Then, by going through point-by-point and showing how to use your product in great detail, you're essentially also showing how your brand is equipped to help that customer (and others) solve that particular challenge.
At the end of the video, the "ideal customer" character will be in a far better position than they were when it started - which is nothing if not the basis of an organic, emotional arc.
Sound isn't nearly as important as you think
Another key video marketing tip to be aware of as we move into 2020 has to do with the sound of your videos... or in this case, the lack of.
Remember that a lot of the people who view your content are going to be doing so on:
- Mobile devices
- Via social networking services like Facebook or Twitter
Not all of these people are going to be able to watch your video with the sound blaring at full volume. Some of them are going to be trying to kill time during their morning commute and, as a result, they'll need to be able to figure out what’s going on without relying on a narrator or some type of dialogue track.
There's a working theory out there that one of the reasons kids love cartoons so much is that you can essentially tell exactly what’s going on even if you're too young to understand what people are saying. If you do understand the characters, you still get an additional layer out of the experience, but if you don't, you aren't going to be confused. This is particularly evident in the early Walt Disney cartoons, but it also carries through to all the most successful animated shows you can think of.
Even though you're probably not creating cartoons, you need to be thinking about your video content in the same way. Yes, you can rely on subtitles to fill people in on what they can’t hear - but don't rely too heavily on this particular crutch. Instead, try to express as much of the story as you can "visually" so that people can get the complete message even if their device is muted.
Of course, this decision is beneficial for other reasons, too. Not all of your potential viewers are going to be able to speak English and unless you want to create a new audio track for every potential language that someone might speak, taking this approach and telling your story visually is absolutely the next best thing. Even if someone can't understand what people are saying, they still understand your video - and the importance of that is something that literally cannot be overstated.
In the end, remember that video marketing is only going to get more important as time goes on and with more attention than ever focused on this format, it’ll be those brands that are able to innovate and think outside the box that are going to thrive over the course of the next decade. Yes, your message is always important and if those quality ideas aren't there, none of the video marketing best practices in the world are going to help you.
But, for the sake of argument, let's say you've put in the work and you do have the perfect message for the perfect audience at exactly the perfect moment. In this case, best practices like those listed above are your best chance at taking that message and presenting it to the widest possible audience.