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Here on the Grey Sky Films blog, we talk about all things video – from video production to video marketing – all with the goal of helping you find greater success creating and using your video or film content.
Distribution is how you get your video in front of your target audience, and it’s a vital part of the video marketing process. Here are some important things to consider and remember about distribution:
- Distribution methods should be considered and planned for at the start of a video marketing plan, so that the measurement of campaign interactions and results meets your expectations.
- Distribution methods should also be defined before or during pre-production, so that visuals, file specifications can be accounted for in production and post-production.
- Distribution doesn’t mark the end of a video content strategy; rather, it marks the beginning of being able to measure your video’s performance and make improvements or adjustments ongoing.
Read on to learn several steadfast ways to distribute your video content:
1. Video Hosting Platforms
When production has completed, and you have a video file you plan to leverage digitally, you must host it somewhere. Video files can be uploaded to the back-end of your website, hosted there and viewed by visitors to your site.
Video hosting platforms like YouTube, Vimeo and others allow you to host your video on their site and use an embed code to share the video on your website. This option offers you more benefits, because hosting platforms offer a range of tools for measurement and searchability.
YouTube is owned by Google, and Google search algorithms will favor sites that prove to be legitimate, helpful and relevant to the search query. Having video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on the 1st page of search results.
While Vimeo is not connected to Google, there are valid reasons to choose it over YouTube, or to utilize both hosting platforms. *M Many people find Vimeo to be a more elevated, professional platform because it has a cleaner layout and is not inundated with ‘junk videos’. It’s a great option for artists, professional services and more.
Other Video Hosting Platforms
Platforms like Wistia, Vidyard, Brightcove offer clean, professional-looking hosting for your videos, plus easy-to-use customization features. Most of these integrate with marketing CRMs, to aid with lead-generation and lead-nurturing.
Many professionals use YouTube or Vimeo for videos that have wide-spread audience appeal, but use a platform like Wistia to target and nurture leads with specific video content and information-gathering features.
2. Social Media
Social media platforms are places where people go to interact with each other but also with content that they find useful or interesting. Let me point out that YouTube is actually a social media platform, as are the usual suspects: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more.
In recent years video has proven to be such an engaging asset that all social media platforms have worked toward leveraging video to keep people on their platform as much as possible. They’ve done this by incorporating native video features, meaning: the ability to upload your video file directly to their platform, instead of sharing it from YouTube, Vimeo or another video hosting platform.
The newest video-related features on Facebook include the ability to make a short video clip as your profile picture, and, for certain accounts, the ability to make your Facebook header a looping video file. Learn more about that here.
Facebook offers a few other ways to use video:
- Upload a video directly to your Facebook profile under photos and videos, and share it by embedding on your website or sharing with your Facebook followers.
- Embed a video that is hosted elsewhere (YouTube, Wistia or some other hosting platform) to share in your Facebook feed.
- Host a Facebook LIVE session on a regular schedule or for special events.
- Create video ads that you can set up to play in Facebook feeds as well as Instagram feeds, to whatever targeting specifications you wish.
Facebook advertising has grown quite strong, as they have a mountain of user data to leverage in targeting viewers. So, if you have an advertising budget and a strategic video content idea that would benefit from Facebook views, this is a great option for distribution!
Instagram is owned by Facebook and continues to change and evolve. It’s a more visually-driven platform, and a great place to demonstrate brand image. An Instagram account should utilize curated visual collections of products and lifestyles that reflect brand image and core messaging.
Instagram now allows videos up to 1 minute long in your profile, but also allows 15 second uploads in Instagram Stories, plus an Instagram LIVE feature. Here’s one way of breaking down the end use of all of these features:
- On your profile page: upload a polished, professionally filmed and edited video up to 1 minute long. If you have a video over 1 minute long, host that on your website and share a 30-second part of it in your profile, with a link to drive traffic forth to the full video on your website.
- In Stories: Share one or more daily snaps from your world or behind the scenes. Stories is a place where regular ‘ol DIY video is acceptable, as people feel they are “behind the curtain”. You can even share stills or screen-grabs from your full video and make little notes or text callouts on them to further promote viewing.
- In LIVE: Don’t just go live for no reason. Go Live with a prepared and promoted experience, like a presentation, demonstration or event.
LinkedIn has joined Facebook and other platforms in rolling out options for sharing video within the LinkedIn platform. They also see a future in integrating a live video option, as well as paid features.
According to a recent article in AdAge:
- The company says users who’ve already shared video mainly fall into three core buckets: videos about a work project; behind-the-scenes of events; and tutorials.
- Early tests within LinkedIn also reveal that users are sharing video 20 times more than other content like images or posts.
- Users will be provided analytics allowing them to know what companies viewed their videos, plus other info including the person’s title and location, which LinkedIn says is a key differentiator for its platform.
LinkedIn is already a great place to embed video content such as bio videos, company overview videos, mission statements, event coverage or other PR-worthy pieces right into your personal or company profile page.
In addition to sharing a link to a video hosted elsewhere, Twitter offers various ways to upload and share videos:
- Twitter allows you to share videos that are up to 2 minutes 20 seconds in length!
- You can record, edit, and share up videos directly from the Twitter app.
- You can upload videos to be hosted on twitter.com
- You can go live on Twitter, by streaming video using their Periscope app.
3. Live Events and Personal Interactions
No matter how much technology evolves and develops, real-life connections with viewers, customers, clients and partners is essential to marketing your company. Video is the ultimate tool for bridging the gap at times when you cannot be face-to-face with someone.
These simple methods of distribution should not be overlooked, because they’re natural, intuitive and powerful and because most of them are free!
A video component helps your audience become engaged by the topic you’re discussing, and help keep them interested as your presentation progresses. You can multi-purpose the video by also using it online and referring to it in any follow-up correspondence.
Lobbies, Waiting rooms and Entrances
Any area in your business where people may occasionally be waiting, is an opportunity for you the make the most of your captive audience. Create a loop of your most valuable video content and keep it running in these areas.
Email Signatures, Business Cards and Print Collateral
There are ways to make digital content easily accessible from text and print. Use links in your email signature to make your video content just a click away. Include the URL of your video or a scannable QR code (which you can create for free online) in any printed collateral as well.
Not only does this give more people access to your content, it adds to the perception of success. Someone with a wealth of resources to offer, in a myriad of ways, certainly appears to be professional and on-the-ball!
We all know that old adage: If a tree falls in the woods and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Well, if you invest time and money into video content, but don’t extend your strategy to proper methods of distribution, will your video have the powerful effect it was designed for? The answer is NO! A big fat no.
The above is just a glimpse at the options and details that are available to you with regard to distribution. It’s an easy way to get started, and when you’re ready to dig deeper with your video marketing, a video production agency can help you!