BUSINESS MATTERS TIM PRIEBE W EBIFIABLE Success with online videos I t’s been just over a decade since Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion. And the number of people who watch online videos on a regular basis has only increased. Online video is here to stay! So smart digital marketers are making use of those videos as a marketing platform. Online videos can be very effective if done right. If you want to increase your chances of success using online videos for marketing purposes, there are a few principles you need to follow. Add Value It may be over-stated in the digital marketing industry, but it still holds true. Successful marketing adds value to the audience members! Of course, you know what’s in it for you: potential sales. But why in the world would a potential customer want to watch your online video? To get more viewers, add value. Solve a pain, answer a question, or simply entertain. Whatever the specifics, demonstrate value before a customer buys from you, and they’ll be that much more likely to make a purchase. Be Succinct Thanks to technologies like the smart phone, our attention span as a society seems to be decreasing. As a result, the shorter your video is, the better. The value 24 September 2018 | The Business Times you provide needs to be conveyed in just two to five minutes. Of course, there are longer videos that are successful from a marketing standpoint. Professionals can help you determine when a longer video makes sense. But that is the exception to the rule. In general, keep your videos to two to five minutes or so. Be Consistent Years ago, you could — arguably — launch a website then forget about it, and you were set from a digital marketing standpoint. Those days are long gone. A key to success in most areas of online marketing is consistency. It’s true in social media, it’s true for SEO, and it’s true for online video marketing. In fact, sometimes just announcing you’re going to be consistent can increase the reach of your videos. At T&S, we had been publishing two videos a month for several months, and our audience was building up slowly. When we announced that we were launching a new online show, our subscriber count quickly increased because of that perceived consistency. In reality, we’d already been consistent. But by making sure people knew, we increased our subscriber count and therefore the exposure each video received. Include a Clear Next Step Sure, it’s great if your videos get a lot of views and you have a lot of subscribers. But for the videos to really be successful, you need customers! While a viewer of your video may not quite be ready to purchase, you still need to spur him on to take action. The best way to do that is by letting him know what action he can take. What is the next step that makes sense? Of course, it has to be a next step that’s easy for them to take, provides an obvious value for them, and is beneficial for you as well. Naturally, not every online video marketing campaign is successful. But if you’re going to invest in online videos, follow these principles to increase your odds of success. TIM PRIEBE is an online marketer, a public speaker, the author of several books and many articles, a Christian, a painter, a Superman fan, a Star Trek geek, a father to three boys, and a husband to one wife. He has run T&S Online Marketing since 2003, helping business and nonprofits with their digital marketing. He can be reached at tim@tandsgo. com or 405-285-0348. For more information, visit tandsgo.com.