5 ways to get people to watch your videos….and keep watching

So, the video’s been made, it’s achieved all your goals and looks great. How do you get it in front of your audience?

Assuming your main outlet is the internet, there are many great ways to get your message out there and even to get people to respond directly. And we’re not just talking about bunging it on YouTube and hoping for the best…

Here are 5 ways to get people to watch your videos. And keep watching.

Maximise its shelf appeal

If your video is playing somewhere that needs a thumbnail, make it something intriguing and attention grabbing. If it’s an auto-play video, consider subtitles in case the viewer has their sound muted. In any case, those first 8 seconds will be crucial to getting the viewers commitment to watching the rest of the film, so make sure they are something that captures interest and makes them want to see more.

Build distribution into your plan in the first place

All your thinking right from the beginning should be based on your video purpose – your reason for making the video. This will affect the content of your video, as well as where you show it. You can choose YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, email and web-page embeds – a whole range of options all with different impact and reach. Knowing what you’re going to do with it from the beginning will allow you to optimise the content for that platform during its creation, giving the final video added punch and relevance.

Video stepping stones

A well-made video on its own can be effective, but why not put a clickable button onscreen to allow people to delve more into your library and become more engaged with your brand. For instance, you could use short social media teasers to link people to the full-length video on your website if they’re interested. Or you could create a series of video stepping-stones designed to gradually draw the viewer towards committing to a purchase or decision.

Video as a tool – not just awareness

Too many people still look at video as mainly an awareness tool. While video is still a great tool for awareness, but it’s capable of so much more. A series of videos can operate like tools in your marketing toolbox, addressing quite clear business needs and getting specific measurable interaction from your customers. The greater the interactivity, the better value for money you will get from your investment. For example, think of the difference between a quick social media engager designed to capture leads and a behind the scenes video aimed at cementing customer loyalty. By matching your content to the purpose you can make your film a “must-watch” item.

Make it easy for people to find

Sure, you can put your video on YouTube and hope people find it, but there are so many other tools at your disposal that can be more effective. And although YouTube is the internet’s “second biggest search engine”, is your video really the kind of the content that people will be searching for necessarily?

How about putting a clickable thumbnail into your email signature so people can find out more about you. Embed your videos into the body of your web-pages. Put it in a big thumbnail front and centre of your homepage, not a tiny hyperlink next to your Terms & Conditions. Again, if you build the video thumbnail into the plan in the first place, it becomes intrinsic to the dynamic of your page, not just an afterthought.

You’ve seen all the stats about how effective and engaging video can be – it’s time to take it seriously.