Here at Launch we spend a lot of time studying trends and the best ways to do things. You probably know that video content is hot right now, and it’s easy to see why — costs of online video production are affordable and costs of distribution are nearly free. Last year, 182 million viewers watched 457 million content videos and 105 billion video ads. Mobile video viewing quickly rose in 2012, with 50% of tablet users and 20% of smartphone users watching video content. We expect these numbers to continue to grow in 2013.

If you haven’t thought of adding video to your marketing mix, you should. And if you are already using video, we want to help you do it better. So here are three things to think about when planning your video content.Online Video Production

Keep it Entertaining

When people are entertained by what they are in the market to buy, you have a win-win situation. Entertaining videos are one of the best ways to build brand recognition — just think about Red Bull. Red Bull has built itself up as an adventurous brand, in large part through the videos it produces. Its YouTube channel has over 1,400,000 subscribers, and producing a large amount of relevant videos shows a commitment from Red Bull to give its viewers what they want. Remember last fall when Felix Baumgartner skydived from the stratosphere? Red Bull streamed it live, and since then 2,800,000 people have watched the video. Not bad for a company that started by sponsoring local break dance competitions.

Another example of highly entertaining videos are the BMW car chase scenes on YouTube. These successful videos build brand recognition by showcasing how the car handles itself in high-speed chases. And yes, the good guy always wins.

Amp Up the Engagement

The original Harlem Shake video uploaded on YouTube in January racked up 3 million views in two weeks. By mid-February, over 12,000 Harlem Shake videos had been uploaded (see the Harlem Shake video produced by Launch client Headquarter Honda). This type of engagement is exactly what the music promoters and record label wanted when they decided to promote the original video with tweets and other social messaging. You may not realize what a marketing success the Harlem Shake was until you start to think about how many players made money from it: Google, because searches and views on YouTube equals dollars; the investors in the record label that produced the music; and the studio that produced the recording (to name just a few).

Video Recommendations & Social Media

Personalization is something you’ll be hearing more about, and it will help with engagement as consumers are served more targeted, relevant content. Facebook recently introduced “Graph Search,” a new feature that allows users to search within their friends list for more relevant, targeted content. For example, “show my friends who like to travel” could also return a video you produced about your line of suitcases, backpacks, and travel gear. As technology allows us to learn more about consumer behavior and interests, we’ll be able to continually refine and present personalized content.

(Need an entertainment break? Check out this video that shows what happens when Siri gets a little too personalized!)

What are some other quick ways to increase engagement? Experiment with the annotation tools in YouTube. Did you know that you can turn your video into a video game? And make sure you share your video on your social sites — Likes, comments and shares will increase your video’s popularity.

Last, don’t forget about a call to action in your video. A call to action encourages users to engage with your product and brand after they’ve watched your video content. For example, end your video by asking viewers to visit your luggage website to check out the latest spring colors.

Don’t Forget About SEO!

You may think that SEO isn’t necessary for video, because without text, there’s nothing for Google to crawl. This isn’t quite true, as you still want to optimize your videos to make it easier for people to find them. There are a few good ways to do this. First, put some thought (along with a few keywords) into your title. Use the free Google Adwords Keyword Tool to help you generate relevant keywords. Once you’ve identified your keywords, keep them toward the front of your title, and keep your title under 70 characters in length.

Next, if your video will be on a blog page, consider including a transcription of the audio. If your video will be on a page where you don’t want all that text, such as a main landing page, you may want to create a short paragraph that incorporates your keywords in order to persuade people to view the video.

Lastly, think about where your video should live. A lot of people think they should house videos on YouTube (or YouTube competitor Vimeo), with the hope being that they will rank higher because YouTube is so popular. However, if you want to drive more traffic to your website, you may want to house your video there instead. One idea is to put your video in both places — just be sure to give it different titles (otherwise the video on YouTube will most likely always rank higher), and make sure to help out the video on your site by giving it a title rich with keywords.

I hope the ideas presented here will inspire you to go shoot some fantastic, fun videos!
*2012 video Infographic

Meet Jennifer Strilko

Jennifer is the Director of Operations at Launch Digital Marketing. When not supporting the Operations teams, Jennifer enjoys reading and writing, up-cycling and playing soccer mom to her three kids.