Does your marketing video meet YouTube’s new guidelines? Pt. 1

Part I: Programming & Producing

Recently YouTube released their new Creator Playbook that outlined best practices for producing marketing videos for YouTube. Here are six main points for small businesses who want to create compelling and effective marketing and informational videos.

1. Engage: Create content that engages your viewer more than sells to your viewer. Your message should offer solutions rather than pitch your product or service. They should get their attention within the first 15 seconds. Many TV programs start the program immediately after the end of the previous program. The view gets invested in the program before they have a chance to change the channel. Only after 2 or 3 minutes do they go to the opening title sequence. Try this on your video. Open with a quick teaser to give your viewer an idea of what is ahead before going into the opening titles.

2. Strength in Numbers: Create a series of videos. It’s difficult to find a needle in a haystack. But image if you put 100 or 1000 needles in the haystack. And then tie a string from one to the next. It becomes easier to find that first one and follow the links to the rest. Granted you may not be able to produce 1000 videos on your budget. But instead of posting a single video that runs 60 minutes, you can post 20 videos that run 3 minutes or 10 videos that run 6 minutes.

3. Consistency: Create a consistent schedule for posts. Produce a series of related videos that you can post weekly or every other week. And post them on the same day each week at approximately the same time. In this day of time shifting TV programs, you really don’t have to know when your favorite program comes on. But if you get into the habit of coming home from work on Tuesday and watching a program that was on sometime on some channel on Monday, if that program isn’t there, they may loose you as a viewer. Another important factor is to keep the length of your program consistent. 3 – 5 minutes is best for those with short attention or tight schedules. If your content needs to be longer, create a 2 -3 minute trailer that gets them engaged and interested in watching the longer video.

4. Bonus Material: One of my favorite sections of movies on DVD are the extras and behind the scenes. Add additional videos to your channel of how the video was made, out-takes or trailers. The behind the scenes video can include interviews with those both in front of as well as those behind the camera. If your business is trying to gain media exposure, the additional material can be included in your Electronic Press Kit (EPK).

5. Seasonal Events: Produce your programming to coincide with an event or holiday. When interest increases around a special time of year such as St. Patrick’s Day, the beginning of Spring, 4th of July or Halloween, create a themed program that capitalizes on people who are searching for those keywords. Some businesses such as clothing or automotive have special times of the year when the new fashions come in or people get their car ready for winter or summer.

6. Call To Action: Just as the opening is important to get your viewer involved. After they’ve watched your video you need to tell them what you want them to do next. In advertising this is the Call To Action. You can use the content of the video or annotations to ask the viewer to respond to your video. Do you want them to subscribe to your channel, +1 your video, share the video or view other videos on your channel? Do you want them to visit your website, pick up the phone and call you? Without the call to action, they may just go to next video without doing anything.

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