If there’s one thing we know here at IndustrialSage and Optimum Productions…it’s that sharing online marketing videos can be an incredibly powerful lead gen tool. (Confession time: IndustrialSage actually started as a sort of case study to prove just that!)
However, we have learned over the years that the quality of your video and the value of its content is only half the battle.
No matter how nice a video you have, it won’t do you any good if you can’t measure its performance.
There are three vital factors that you need to take into account before you just hit “share” and assume you’ve done your due diligence.
- The page that you’re sharing absolutely matters.
- You need to make the link traceable.
- Your hosting platform needs tracking capabilities.
1. THE PAGE THAT YOU’RE SHARING MATTERS.
Before you send out that email newsletter or social media announcement, stop what you’re doing. It’s better to spread the news correctly than to spread it quickly. What do I mean by that?
The destination of your target audience should affect how you share the video. Ideally, you should always…always…send your audience to your website.
We reiterate this a lot, and there’s a reason why. Scratch that– there are a lot of reasons why.
• VIDEO IN AN EMAIL
If you’re trying to send out an email newsletter, you shouldn’t try to send an entire video file. Again, one more time: Do. Not. Email. Video. Files.
Don’t do it!
Not only are video files massive, which can slow down the email send– but messages with massive attached files can get flagged as spam. Also, frankly, a video as an email attachment might get compressed and pixelated in order to send.
All in all, it just isn’t that classy.
Instead, send an image with a play button. Then attach a link from that image to your webpage.
Not sure how to do that? Highlight the text or picture you want to turn into a link. Go to the menu bar of your document or email editor where you can change font sizes, text colors, and so forth. There should be a button that looks like a chain, which says “Insert Link.” Or, you can try using the keyboard shortcuts, “Command-K,” or “Control-K.”
• VIDEO ON SOCIAL MEDIA
As for social media sharing, different platforms can accept short video files directly. That’s generally your best option. However, if you’re sharing a url and not uploading the file directly, you’d better take the time to make that destination worthwhile.
Again, that means sending viewers to your website if at all possible…or at least, someone’s website where the video has been embedded.
Do not just share a YouTube page– particularly one without a keyword-rich description.
Video is a powerful educational tool. Your website should get SEO credit for it. The audience should have the option to be distracted by your products and services– not silly cat videos in the sidebar.
Take a look at these two video pages: which would you prefer to visit?
Even if the website is not your own (let’s say your company was featured on the local news, and you don’t own the footage), try to share a page that has some written information. Maybe there’s a video transcript, or an entire news article. Ideally, there should also be links that lead back to the websites of any companies relevant to the story (ie: yours).
And that leads us to our next topic.
2. THE LINKS YOU’RE SHARING MATTERS.
URLs are actually very, very powerful things.
This goes for your videos, your blogs, and even when you’re sending people to someone else’s website.
• YOU CAN TRACK LINKS TO YOUR SITE WITH UTM CODES.
Did you know? There are “secret” tags you can add on the end of a website’s URL. They won’t change the site or the page’s appearance at all…but marketers looking at the website analytics can see the tag. It helps them attribute different views and visits to their different sources.
We’ve discussed UTM codes before on the show, but here’s a brief example.
Let’s say I have a new video that I want to share through an email, as well as on Twitter and LinkedIn, and the URL is www.watchmyvideo.com. After adding a question mark to the end of the link, I can add different tags.
Later, when I go look at my website, I can see which link has been visited the most. Now I actually know which share was the most successful!
Similarly, if my video mentioned a partnership with another company, now I can add a link to that company’s website…but I can also add a UTM tag so they can see just how many visitors we’re sending their way!
Best of all, these codes are stackable– just add an ampersand (&) in-between!
Even if you just use one code per link to begin with, it’s a great start! Begin with baby steps. UTM codes open a whole new world of tracking to you.
• NOT YOUR SITE? PUSH FOR BACKLINKS.
If the website you’re sharing isn’t yours, still try to use UTM codes wherever you share it. Their marketers will thank you.
Additionally, if this website has posted a video about you, see if there’s a way to make sure they have relevant text about your company. If they haven’t included a link to your site, ask them to add one. Try to make sure there’s a trackable link back to your website.
Every time someone posts a link to your website on their website, search engines take note. Over time, more links to your site will boost your credibility– especially if the links are coming from reputable sites themselves.
Similarly, when your website includes links to other companies that you’ve partnered with, you’re doing them a favor. It may feel strange to give your audience a chance to leave your site for somebody else’s– but you’re being helpful to both outside parties.
It’s all a matter of common courtesy. If you’re partnered with a news station or blog that’s sharing your content, are they posting backlinks to your website? Are you posting backlinks to theirs?
3. YOUR HOSTING PLATFORM MATTERS.
“Hey, Jimmy! Looks like Frank watched your video through two times! You should give him a call!”
Though it may sound like some fantasy, it is possible for remarks like that to actually become commonplace in your office. The key is to use a video player that has sophisticated tracking analytics.
If you use YouTube, Adobe Flash, or even Vimeo…you will never know who watched your video or by how much.
A smarter platform like Wistia or VidYard (ideally, embedded in a webpage on your site) can actually use UTM codes and IP addresses to identify specific individuals.
That way, when you share the video on social media, your UTM codes will show up on heat maps and prove that you got more views from LinkedIn than from Twitter. You can send out an email newsletter with specialized tags that can tell you the name of the prospect who watched your video through multiple times.
In the end, it all comes down to attribution.
You need to be able to connect your video and its views to the other data you have on your many viewers.
Just take a few minutes to set up a nice webpage for your audience. Organize at least two or three UTM codes, just enough to tell the links apart before you share them.
I promise you: these three little steps can have a major impact on how you share your online marketing videos. You’ll never want to go back.
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