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Developing an Online Video Marketing Strategy, Part 3: Distribution and Analytics

In this third installment of our series on online video marketing strategy, we'll begin with a discussion of the various distribution platforms you should consider when marketing your online videos, and also cover how to use metrics and analytics top refine your strategy going forward.

Bloggers

77% of Internet users read blogs. Most of us have recently visited a blog and read a post, shared it, liked it, so on. Working with blogs and bloggers that can complement your brand can really do great things for your marketing videos. Know that it may cost money to work with some of these guys, but if you can come up with some type of a cross-promotion strategy where maybe you can answer questions or offer solutions to that blogger's audience's issues and problems, then they’ll probably be more than willing to take your content and share it on their site. This can give you exposure thousands of users and readers that you might not have reached otherwise.

Videos and Email

Email is another outlet that’s often overlooked. Just putting the word “video” in your subject line can increase your email open rates from 7-13%. Adding videos in emails is a great way to distribute your videos.

But rather than trying to embed your video in the e-mail, I recommend that you just create a thumbnail, and then link it to that video, whether it's on your website or on YouTube or whatever channel you're using.

Other Destinations

You should also think about other destinations for your video. Where else can your video live? Can it live on iTunes?

You should also consider more content-focused industry hubs where you can post your videos. If there's a viable destination for your brand and your organization that will get you exposure that you couldn’t get otherwise, then by all means, post it there. Make sure the content is relevant for that channel and make sure that you're optimizing your video for these alternate channels just as you would on a more conventional platform.

OVPs

You should also look into online video platforms, or OVPs. Their pricing typically starts between 2 to 3K a month. It's definitely on the higher end, but it's what the big boys are using. If you’re considering paying a premium for an OVP, make sure it offers some type of a custom look, something that allows you to include your branding on the player itself, something that offers interactivity, something at the end that can drive a viewer to a landing page or to watch more videos, and so on.

You also want to make sure that you're getting in-depth analytics. If you're paying this amount of money for a platform, the analytics it offers should be way better than you would get on YouTube or anything else. Again, just make sure that you're getting those analytics and getting your money's worth. You also want to make sure that your OVP of choice offers some type of integration with your website or your other marketing systems if you're using a marketing automation system or CMS.

Another thing to look for is whether they offer a blended distribution option for automating your video. If you’re using an online video platform in conjunction with YouTube or Vimeo, make sure that you're not having to upload the video to all these separate channels. Make sure that the platform can do some of that work for you just to automate that process.

To recap on distribution: Make sure that you know where your audience is. Make sure that you're creating content specific to your channel, and that you're trying other channels. Experiment with things like blogs, email, and industry sites that are relevant to your organizations. When it comes to platforms, you want to make sure that any platform you use can give you useful metrics that will help you refine and improve your marketing strategies going forward.

Analytics

The final piece in the online video marketing strategy puzzle is analytics. As stated earlier, regardless of what distribution platform or channel you're using, the platform you choose should all provide you with some basic metrics. You need metrics to figure out what's working and more importantly, what's not working, to improve your videos and distribution strategy going forward. The things I like to pay attention to are drop-off rates, average time watched, and demographic and geographic location. Is your video reaching the intended audience that you want to reach?

Metrics can also help you measure viewer engagement. Don't just look at views. What videos are being shared? What videos are being liked? What videos are being disliked? What videos are being shared across other social media channels?

Hotspots are another feature of comprehensive analytics that can show you where your video is being viewed, where people are tuning in, and where people are tuning out. Hotspots can provide a graphic illustration that shows, for example, that at the 1:30 mark in your video, people are dropping off at that point. This can give you some signals as to what to do going forward with your videos.

Video marketing strategy is a continuous process. You want to keep testing and you want to keep analyzing. It's not something that you're going to figure out overnight. Try posting at different times of the day, different days of the week, and so on; assess the effectiveness of each strategy and proceed based on what’s working and what isn’t.

One other thing when it comes to analytics is that if you have the availability to see how people are getting to your video, whether it's through keywords or whether they're watching on other sites, that's huge. You can really take advantage of that. If, say, XYZ blog is posting your video and you're getting thousands of views and people sharing it, then you want to make sure you're partnering up with that blog and working and producing more videos similar to the one you did. The metrics are huge and they're what will help you create future content and improve your video marketing efforts going forward.

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In Part 1 of this three-part series, we looked at content creation for effective online video marketing at the conceptual, strategizing stage. The next step, after you've decided what type of content you're going to create, is to start thinking about preproduction and the production cycle.
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