You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating an amazing video. You know it’s great, and now you need the world to know it’s great. So you post it on your favorite social networks and wait for the kudos to start pouring in. There’s just one problem: you’re not getting the views you expected. Not even close!
We totally support your creative genius. But your audience (you have a target audience, right?) needs to be engaged as well. It doesn’t matter if you squeaked out low-budget beauty or had Hollywood-level resources—without a social-sharing strategy, it’s next to impossible to get the right eyes on your work.
Your work may be stellar, but are viewers seeing what they expected to see? If not, they’re going to drop off after a few seconds. Giving a meaningful, relevant title to your video can make or break retention rates. What that means is avoiding click bait and speaking exactly to the content of your video. If you pose a question, your video had better answer it. Get specific. Don’t call a video on how to make an omelet“How to Master French Cooking.”
Similarly, social platform algorithms can dock you for misleading tags. Your SEO strategy should ensure that meta data is aligned to the video content and optimized for search terms.That also means a compelling video description that’s front loaded with content-specific language without being too long (folks are there to consume visual media after all). Title, description, and tags should work together,using the same words and phrases that will drive viewers to the right place for the right reason. Which brings us to a quick sense check:
Ø Sense-check 1:Why did I make this video?
Ø Sense-check 2:Who is it for?
If you have immediate answers to those questions, you’re on the right track. Use those answers to guide your SEO. Do some keyword research, look at trends, and by all means, look at the competition! See what successful peers are doing in your niche and draw inspiration or uncover opportunities they may be missing.
If you can’t answer those two questions,it’s time to reevaluate your process.
A solid social media strategy is paramount to increasing views, but so is the content itself. This doesn’t mean you should be flashy, edgy, or alarmist without purpose, but it does mean that your videos should connect with viewers. Emotions influence decision-making,buying habits, and social sharing, so your content should leave an impression.
How do you know if it’ll work? See“Sense-check 2” above and know your audience. Invest in research to learn more about their pain points, their content consumption, how to position yourself for that niche. You may also want to host an informal focus group to get general impressions from viewers unfamiliar with the subject matter. Did they feel inspired? Were they in a better mood after watching? Was it all a great big MEH?? Test the waters.
Many people think immediately of YouTube when it comes to video, but with an abundance of platforms such as Vimeo, LinkedIn, and Instagram, you can boost your views with cross-promotion. To make the most of it, you’ll still want that solid SEO plan with snappy, relevant title sand tags we talked about so you can quietly strike keyword gold as you show case your work across multiple channels.
Another key action is to not just promote for engagement, but also to engage! Sharing and back links may be the SEO holy grail, but being a part of your own community can make a huge difference in how much your content takes off. If a viewer takes the time to comment on your video, you should at least take the time to “like” it.Commenting back is even better because it allows you to link or tag related material while engaging directly with your audience.
Finally, this little hero—your video thumbnail—has a lot more sway over viewership than we’d like it to.That’s why you should always create your own. Nothing is worse than letting the platform or software choose the frame for you—often images are paused in action or too much on-screen text obscures the visual. Take some time to craft an image that grabs attention without demanding it, says “hey, over here” without shouting, but does a perfect job of drawing viewers into your subject matter.If your thumbnails are accurate, engaging, and high-quality, they’re less likely to be skipped over.
There’s no “one weird trick” (thank you, digital ads) to maximize video views. But if you plan a social and SEO strategy before you create, you’ll be miles ahead of the game. Use your creative content as a springboard for titles, tagging, and descriptions to ensure the right people are watching, and remember, those “views” are human beings. Stay active on your platform and build engagement with them to unlock even more insight into what’s working and what needs rethinking.
Want to chat about it more? Come to one of our industry mixers, where the pressure is off and the shop-talk is cranked up to eleven.
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