Video Promotion Checklist: Preparation
Before you even think about pressing the upload button, you need to make your supporting material. This will help your video stand out and be seen—both by your potential customers and by algorithms. Items one through eight will help you do just that!
1. Choose A Thumbnail
Select a thumbnail image that’s interesting enough to invite viewers to click and give your video a chance. You might even choose a couple of thumbnails to attract different audiences on different platforms. Think of your thumbnail as a book cover. Will it make people curious enough to invest their time with you?
For example, which of these two images makes a better thumbnail?
The first one draws you in a little more. The emoji ball is confused. What’s he confused about? What are his friends in the background doing? You want to click to find out more. While both images are still, the first is clearly in the middle of a story. The second image needs more context to be effective, which means it’s probably not the best choice for a thumbnail.
Pro Tip: If your thumbnail is going to act as an image link (in an email, for example) you may want to do some quick photo editing to overlay a play button like in our examples above. This will make it clear that clicking the image will play a video.
2. Create A GIF
This is the only optional element on the video promotion checklist. You don’t absolutely need a GIF to promote your video, but it can be an eye-catching tool. In email and on some social platforms, you can use a GIF in place of a thumbnail to draw attention to your video without autoplaying.
Pro Tip: Choose a section of the video that will work well as a loop and will also give the viewer some idea of what the video is about.
3. Identify Keywords
What keywords or hashtags describe your video? You can use these in your descriptions and social media posts to help improve your SEO. They’re the words someone might search for if they were looking for a video like yours.
Having a ready-made list of keywords will increase your visibility across different marketing platforms. Consider words that describe the video or the audience for whom the video is intended. Different keywords may work best on specific platforms, but for now, just put together a list of words or phrases that might be useful.
Pro Tip: You can use keyword research tools like Keyword Tool, Hashtagify, or Google Search Console to find relevant keywords for your industry. Answer the Public is particularly effective at finding long-tail keywords.
4. Pick the Perfect Title
The title can be the deciding factor between whether someone clicks your video or passes it by. It should be short and interesting, while encapsulating what the video is about. That’s a lot to ask of a few words, but it’s doable. Apply the same principles that would help you title a blog post or write an email subject line.
Which video would you rather watch:
- Jornaya’s Brand Video
- Marketing Works When You Activate it with Jornaya
Pro Tip: If possible, try to put your keywords at the beginning of your title. This can give your video a slight SEO boost.
5. Create a Transcript and Captions
A transcript makes your video more accessible, and not just for people with hearing impairments. Many people watch videos with the sound turned off. Including captions or uploading a transcript (or both!) with your video helps viewers stay engaged. Transcripts can also make your video more discoverable by search engines.
Pro Tip: Many video sharing platforms, including YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, offer automatic transcription. If you use this feature, always double-check to make sure the transcript matches the spoken word.
6. Write A Description
Craft a short description that is keyword rich and also gives some indication of what the video is about. For meta descriptions, stick to between 50 and 160 words. If you’re using the text to accompany your video on social or on your blog, you can expand it a little.
Pro Tip: for some social platforms (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter) the keywords in your description may work better as #hashtags. Adjust your hashtags to better reflect what’s trending and relevant on each platform.
7. Choose Metrics to Measure Video Promotion Success
Decide which metrics are most important to you in measuring the success of your video. You might think that the most important metric is views, but that’s not always the case. Think about what you’re really trying to accomplish with this video. Might click-through rate be a better gauge of success? Or event conversions?
Pro Tip: Going viral is not a strategy. Focus on measurable metrics for consistent growth.
8. Include a Call to Action
Your call to action or CTA should tell viewers what to do after watching your video. You might want them to click, buy, sign-up, download or share. Whatever you ask them to do, make sure it’s a simple action they can take immediately.
You might burn your CTA directly into the video so the same request shows up everywhere the video is shared. You might also use the features built into many hosting platforms to add your CTA after the fact. Wistia, Vimeo and YouTube all offer options for interactive CTA’s. Of course. You can also include your CTA in the description.
Pro Tip: Ask viewers to take just one action. Giving viewers too many options leads to overwhelm. Viewers might find it easier to click to the next piece of content rather than choose between multiple actions.
Video Promotion Checklist: Sharing
With all of the essential materials ready to go, you can start sharing your video across different marketing platforms. Steps nine through 12 on our video promotion checklist help you get your video in front of as many viewers as possible.
9. Share On Organic Social Media
Share your video across all of your social media channels. This might include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok or other channels you use to communicate with your audience. Don’t forget to make sure your video is optimized for each channel using the correct technical specifications!
On Twitter and Facebook, you can even pin your video to the top of your page. It’s an effective way to make sure everyone who visits your profile sees your video. Buffer played with different options for pinning tweets to their feeds, and found a 10x boost in engagement from pinned tweets vs. regular tweets.
Pro Tip: Wherever possible, upload directly to your social media account rather than sharing a link from a hosting platform. Most social media channels prefer native video.
10. Create a Social Media Ad
You don’t have to create a paid social media ad campaign for every video. But if you’re thoughtful about which videos you promote, ads can help you increase awareness, boost viewership, and maximize reach. Before you promote a video ask yourself:
- Who am I targeting with this video?
- What is my budget for an ad campaign?
- What am I hoping to accomplish with this ad?
- How will I measure success?
Pro Tip: Set specific goals for your video ad so you can easily measure whether it’s performing the way you want it too. Clear goals can also help you pick the right paid social channel for your video ad.
11. Draft A Blog Post for Organic Video Promotion
Blog posts promoting your video can take several forms. The simplest option is to embed the video and include a short description. You could also post the video with a full transcript for those who prefer to read. Or, you might write a post that expands on an idea in your video. Then embed or include a link to the video in your blog post.
Pro Tip: Surrounding your video with relevant text and keywords helps it rank on Google and other search engines
12. Write An Email
If you have an email list, you don’t have to rely on your blog and social media alone to promote your video. Share it with people who already follow you through email. You can do this as a stand-alone message or as part of your regularly scheduled newsletter. Use your GIF, description and thumbnail to make the video attractive to your list subscribers.
Pro Tip: Join the IdeaRocket mailing list to get the latest video industry insight, marketing advice, and pro tips.
13. Get Influencers to Promote Your Video
Think about the people in your industry who might be interested enough in this video to like and potentially share it with their own followers. This doesn’t have to be a formal influencer arrangement. It can be as simple as sending the person a message with the video included or tagging them on social media.
Pro tip: Don’t overuse this option. Make sure the person you tag really would get value from the video. If it doesn’t feel relevant to them, they’ll ignore you. Worse, they might ignore future messages from you because you’ll gain a reputation as a spammer.
14. Write a Video Press Release
Press releases might not feel modern, but they really do work. If your video is newsworthy, time-sensitive, or seasonal, a press release can help you get exposure.
Journalists are busy, so when a press release is packed with timely information and a video, they’re thrilled that someone has done a lot of the work for them. One study found that PR with embedded media increases engagement by 55%.
Attach a link to your video at the top of the press release, and include a thumbnail. You can send your press release directly to bloggers, podcasters and journalists or post it on relevant PR sites like Newswire.
Pro Tip: If your press release earns you some coverage, link to the story and use that to further promote your brand. Then create a press page on your site to show your authority and help you earn more press in the future.
15. Answer a Question
People use the internet to find answers to problems. One of the most popular ways to get answers to your questions is by visiting Q&A sites like Quora. Search Quora for relevant keywords that have to do with your business and jump in! Answer questions with simple direct responses that include a link to your video. A popular Quora response featuring your video (with a lot of upvotes) will drive a surprising amount of traffic to your site.
You can use the same tactic on Reddit. Just make sure that you’re offering useful information that directly answers the question being asked so you don’t come off as spammy.
Pro Tip: Always follow community guidelines for the subreddit you’re posting in. Each one has different rules.
16. Ask Your Team For Help With Video Promotion
Make sure everyone on your marketing and sales teams has access to a sharable version of the video. They should be able to easily send it to a potential client or post it to their own social media accounts to help spread the word. You might even want to give the sales team talking points.
- The video answers the following questions…
- This video is aimed at customers interested in these topics….
- The video overcomes the following objections…
By giving your sales team access to your video library, you help them make sales and you get the most out of your video.
Pro Tip: As shown above, LinkedIn gives you a “notify employees” button which will automatically let all of your team members who are on LinkedIn know that a new video has been posted. It’s a simple way to maximize video promotion.
When to Use This Video Promotion Checklist
Use this video promotion checklist for each video you create. You can even customize it to cover the specific social media platforms and other marketing channels you use.
Of course, all of this works best when you start with a high-quality video that engages your potential customers. That’s where IdeaRocket comes in. Contact one of our video creation experts today.