Can you imagine inviting friends over for a nice dinner at your house and not offering dessert? The dinner might taste great, but it would be more satisfying if you went the extra step to enhance your meal with a sweet treat.
That may seem obvious to some people, yet I see so many companies doing the same thing with video. They finish their video and consider it done rather than going the extra mile to promote it properly and get more bang for their buck. If you produce a video without thinking through the distribution and promotion, you miss too many opportunities to increase its audience and effectiveness.
Don't Stop Working When You Finish the Video
Producing a video is a huge endeavor, which may explain why it's so common to treat completing the video like it's the end of the project. After all the energy spent on pre-production, planning and story development, all of the effort involved on the day (or days) of the shoot, and all of the time devoted to post-production editing, graphics, and revisions, it's tempting to look at the final edit like the end of the road.
But it should really be the start of your promotion journey. Even if you only intend to show it to a very specific audience, like at a big event, why wouldn't you spend some extra time on a strategy to figure out who else should see it?
7 Best Ways to Promote Your Videos
Clearly, different videos lend themselves to different tactics, but most organizations should be able to leverage at least some of these video promotion ideas. Start by dreaming up "who else" you'd like to see your wonderful production, and then use these techniques to get it to them.
1. Use Social Media
This step seems obvious, but people often skip it. If your organization posts anything on Facebook, Twitter, etc., why wouldn't you post your video there? Your friends and followers want to know what you're doing. Whether it's the video from your big fundraising event or a new product video, they probably want to see it. Post your cool video on your social networks and some of them might even share it for you.
Remember, no matter what types of videos you are creating, posting natively often gets more engagement because social platforms prefer posts to keep people engaged on their site. So don't send your Facebook traffic to YouTube or your Twitter traffic to your website.
2. Post a Teaser or Shortened Version
If your goal is to get the audience onto your website, posting a teaser of your video is a more sophisticated way to use social media that can work really well. Along with your video, include a link to the full video on your site. This also works well when you have a series of videos, which can be posted as a gallery on the linked page.
3. Run a Video Campaign
You probably paid a lot of money to produce your video (even if it's an in-house production, there are a lot of man-hours involved), so why not spend a little more money to promote it? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram all offer options for promotion, and most allow you to get very specific. Want to target people with a certain job title, go for it. Want to re-target visitors to your website, sounds great. Decide the audience you want and get your campaign rolling.
4. Use Your Email
Go through your marketing email lists and send the video to anyone who would find it interesting, useful, or relevant. If you're a nonprofit, send your event video to everybody who couldn't make the event. They're more likely to treat it like you're keeping them in the loop rather than bugging them. For a company, the lines might not be as clear, but I'm sure you'd like to show your nice new video to at least some of them. Be wary of just mass emailing your whole list. If your video is introducing a new product, start by sending your video to people who have purchased similar products. Don't forget about email nurturing as another way to use your videos. After all, including videos in your emails can triple your click-through rate!
5. Invite People to Engage
This is the personal side of email marketing. Send a personal email or social post to influencers with a link to the video and politely ask them to share it. Sound awkward? It doesn't have to be if you're sharing the video with somebody who's passionate about your product, business, or cause. Pick and choose your spots, but when you pick the right people, the results can be huge.
6. Repurpose the Video for More Uses
Video is incredibly versatile, so get creative to get the most out of your production. Post it on landing pages, add it to relevant web pages, put the thumbnail in your email signature. You could even ask your salespeople to use it in follow-up emails. The bottom line is that video is an eye-catching value-add just about any time it makes sense on the screen. Think through all of your digital assets and look for places to take advantage of your video production.
7. Don't Forget the Share Button
I know, it's another obvious suggestion, but you'd be surprised how often videos are posted without one. Social sharing is the easiest way to get more views, so make sure it's easy for people to do.
Don't just finish your video and show or post it. If you're going to spend time and energy to produce a video you're really proud of, act like it. Spend a little more time and energy looking for ways to promote it, and you're guaranteed to increase both the audience and the effectiveness.
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