It’s always a good time to promote and utilize your video content. You’ve invested time and resources in telling your story using this most-engaged-with medium; in fact, reports show that people are nearly 10 times more likely to remember content they watch via video versus content they read. And at the moment, we're consuming digital content at record levels while we're stuck at home due to shelter-in-place restrictions. However, the COVID-19 crisis also means that the majority of new video production has come to a halt, so it's vital to figure out a strategy to effectively leverage what you already have. Here are some tips and best practices for getting the most mileage out of your existing video content.
1. Leverage All Channels
You have multiple channels (your own website, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) that reach multiple audiences, so make sure to post your video in all of these places. If possible, always embed and post the video using the same YouTube link for aggregated analytics. If you upload your video to YouTube, use that same YouTube link for embedding or reposting it elsewhere.
Pro Tip: Your video was likely created to be evergreen, meaning that there’s no distinct timeframe when it can be used. Posting a video once doesn't mean that you can never repost it again. While you want a variety in your social channels, remember that you’re always gaining new visitors to your site and social channels. Every six months or so, consider reposting video content to engage a new audience, or to remind your subscribers of a great video!
2. Apply Relevant Metadata
Make sure to add titles, descriptions and keywords (where applicable) that accurately describe the video's content. And whether you're re-editing or using existing video(s), you can include a timely message through video descriptions, posts and/or metadata. Don’t forget to pick a thumbnail image that adequately represents what people will find when they view. For example, if your thumbnail features food but the majority of the content is about outdoor experiences, there's likely a better thumbnail to represent the video’s overall theme. If the image is unrelated, people might stop viewing quickly, or worse, leave a negative comment because they feel misled. Similarly, avoid "click-bait" titles or thumbnails. While you do want to attract people to click, it's also important for viewers to watch your video all the way through.
Pro Tip: YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, built on the platform of the first-largest search engine in the world (Google). Do all you can to optimize your YouTube channel and videos to increase your organic traffic. You can review this blog post for more tips on how to do just that!
3. Show Love to Your Stakeholders
Your video was likely created promoting specific destinations, locations* and/or activities. Make sure to call out stakeholders in your posts by embedding links, including hashtags and/or tagging them within the description. Likewise, make sure they’re doing the same for you! Notify stakeholders with an email or phone call when the video is launching. Ask them to share either through social sharing tools (FB, IG, etc) or by embedding it on their site using your YouTube link for aggregated analytics. Not only are you helping each other, but social platforms’ algorithms like crosslinks, i.e, when the algorithm can make connections between multiple channels and content. Here's an example from Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for reference.
*Note: Only Facebook offers true tagging for locations and provides reporting by those tagged locations. On other social channels, you may only be able to link to without tracking.
4. Engage with Your Audience
It seems simple enough, but many forget to actually engage with people who engage with their social channels. When people comment, comment back! Check out your followers/subscribers; there might be a person or company that would be particularly good for you to interact with. Monitor comments and respond - you don’t want to miss or ignore possible negativity…or great positivity! Plus, social platforms’ algorithms reward accounts that engage with followers.
Pro Tip: In general, post regularly, including a mix of videos, photos, "did-you-knows," tips, etc. Posting regularly not only feeds the algorithm but also can help keep and grow your audience.
5. Use the Right Assets in the Right Channels.
For optimal results across your channels, use the following reference for embedding/posting your created assets. Please note, you can still post your 16:9 landscape video in all channels, but these are best practices for higher engagement.
Website & YouTube: Landscape/horizontal implementation; 16:9 aspect ratio.
- Remember to use YouTube’s tools for adding links at the end of the video.
Facebook: Short vertical implementation; 4:5 aspect ratio.
- Don’t forget to encourage Likes and Shares at the end of the video.
- Facebook algorithms have been rewarding longer content. So, use those teasers for promotion, but don’t be afraid to post the full-length version.
Instagram: Same short vertical implementation as Facebook; 4:5 aspect ratio, but…
- It's best to include a thumbnail in the first 1-2 frames of the video.
- Keep the video less than 60 seconds. Instagram stops the video at the :60 mark and asks viewers to click to watch more on IGTV. If your video is only :75 long, viewers are likely to be annoyed they were forced to click to watch the last 15 seconds.
- If you're looking to do IG Stories, make sure any assets are optimized for display on Instagram. Stories can be made up of photo and/or video and should be visually dynamic. (It's best to design for this format ahead of time to ensure the best placement of text and gifs over imagery.) Make sure to incorporate some sort of engagement beyond just a click-through to engage viewers; i.e, quizzes, polls, etc.
IGTV: Tall vertical implementation; 9:16 aspect ratio.
- Use full-length videos, and try to plan on videos being at least 80 seconds in length. Since viewers click from Instagram at the 60-second mark, it’s pretty frustrating to have the video end too quickly after that.
Find additional tips and ideas for creating content that works during this uncertain time in Miles Partnerships' Clarity in a Time of Crisis resource center, including essential insights and recommendations for DMOs and tourism organizations.