The importance of a video distribution strategy

Video remains a crucial part of marketing budgets. However, companies may need to put more work into distribution strategies if they want their campaigns to succeed. As more companies continue to invest in video marketing, businesses will need to work to make sure their campaigns reach their intended audiences successfully.

Video is and will continue to be a huge component of marketing strategies. According to a recent survey from Web Video Marketing Council, 96 percent of B2B organizations use video content marketing and 41 percent plan to increase spending on these efforts. It’s great to see all of these companies embracing video marketing, but they will also need to invest time and resources in distribution if they hope to see return on investment. The report found only 28 percent of companies pay for online hosting and marketing, while 58 percent use free services like YouTube and Vimeo. The problem with this approach is hosting on these sites, while it doesn’t hurt, isn’t a legitimate strategy.

Investing in distribution strategy
Companies may be adopting video marketing strategies at a fast clip, but they aren’t necessarily thinking about distribution. According to a report from Forrester, brands that want to see greater success with video marketing will need to branch out from simply hosting their video on YouTube and hoping for organic traffic. In addition, the research firm noted that many companies fail to define key performance indicators and overall objectives for their video content, which can inevitably harm ROI. Overall, the next step is for marketers to work as hard on distribution as they do on the video content itself.

The importance of a video distribution strategy

Here are some ways to improve your video distribution strategy:

Think about distribution from the beginning
Rather than waiting until you have a completed video and then determining how to share it with prospects and customers, plan for distribution as you create the video. Consider where you hope to share the video: Social media or email? The distribution channels you choose could change the video production process.

To maximize success on each distribution channel, you may need to create different versions of each video. For instance, if your video will be used as a skippable ad on YouTube, you need to make the first few seconds really count so you can make an impact before viewers choose to bypass the ad for their content. If you plan to put the video on Facebook, you have to ensure it has engaging visuals that will catch the attention of someone scrolling down, even without sound.

Forrester also suggested adopting a mobile-first attitude for video. With 75 percent of video views on Facebook and half of views on YouTube coming from mobile devices, it’s key that videos render well on a smaller screen.

Outline metrics
Before launching a video marketing campaign, it’s important to outline metrics first. Otherwise, you won’t know what success looks like. According to Forrester, it’s a good idea to align metrics with

“Most brands only pay attention to metrics related to reach.”

specific stages of the customer journey. Many brands only pay attention to metrics related to the reach of the video, such as the number of views and shares. WVMC found total number of video starts is the most commonly tracked metric, followed by average viewing time and the number of viewers who watched the entire video.

If you want to determine more in-depth information, you need additional metrics, for which you might need to partner with a video analytics firm like Vidyard, Pixability or Tubular Labs. These platforms can provide more useful data, for instance, not only how many views a specific video has received, but whether unique viewers have watched the videos more than once.

Target users
Organic reach can be hard to come by these days, which is why smart companies will invest in paid promotional strategies to reach their target markets.

“It now costs me 10 times what it cost me four years ago to achieve the same kind of organic lift,” Billie Goldman, director of partner marketing at Intel, told Forrester.

Marketers can no longer upload their video to YouTube and expect results. At the very least, marketers should work on search engine optimization strategies to increase video views. However, they need to invest in paid strategies to give their resources extra lift. Still, according to WVMC, only 38 percent of companies have paid to promote online video. To succeed in the current market, more brands will need to budget for paid promotions. This could mean paying for posts on social networks or on publisher partnerships, like those available through BuzzFeed or Refinery29.

Video marketing is always evolving. What worked last year may not be as successful this year. Now, companies need to start with the end in mind. Before you begin creating your video, consider how you will distribute it.

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