How to Use Video in Your Branding Strategy

By Bill Chiaravalle, Barbara Findlay Schenck

The quickest way to humanize your brand, short of meeting people face-to-face, is to share interesting, entertaining video featuring your brand leaders, staff, customers, experts, products, and behind-the-scene views that let others get to know your brand and the value it provides in your marketplace.

Videos also help improve your brand’s online visibility, because they provide content to post on YouTube, which is the second-largest search engine.

Shooting, editing, and posting video

Whether you opt for broadcast-quality studio-produced video, video produced from an in-home, in-office, or in-garage studio, or video produced using a mobile app, the price tags vary (hugely) but the requirements are the same:

  • Create video that matches the quality, image and voice of your brand and the interests of your target audience.

  • Open with a strong introduction. Research shows that viewership plummets after the first few seconds if the introduction doesn’t immediately grab attention.

  • Edit your video with viewer retention in mind. Videos of five minutes or longer outperform all others in YouTube rankings, but first you have to hook and hold viewer interest.

  • Include a call to action.

  • Choose a video filename using keywords that targeted viewers are likely to use in searches.

  • Create a keyword-rich summary.

  • Share the video. You can upload your video directly to your blog, Facebook page, or other sites, but you’re smart to upload it first to YouTube, for no cost, and then embed it from YouTube onto your other online locations so that all viewer engagement is captured on your YouTube channel.

    YouTube ranks video based how many people view it, how long they watch, how many comments they leave, how many subscribe after viewing, how many share the video or click to “Watch Later,” and how many incoming links point to it. By pointing all traffic to YouTube, you improve your ranking.

    With just a Google account, you can watch, like, and subscribe on YouTube. But without a free YouTube channel your business or brand won’t have any public presence on YouTube. To create a YouTube channel for your brand, Google Help provides these instructions:

    • Make sure you’re signed into YouTube.

    • Go to “All My Channels.”

    • If you want to make a YouTube channel for a Google+ page you manage, you can choose it here. Otherwise, click “Create a new channel.”

    • Fill out the details to create your new channel.

    After your channel is created, click “Upload” to add content to your brand channel. Then as you share links to your video on your social-media pages, alert followers that the post includes a video by using a headline.

Brand-building with microvideo

With video on track to account for two-thirds of consumer Internet traffic by 2017, it’s no wonder that brands of all types and sizes are adding quick-clip video to their social-media pages. Following are the top microvideo options:

  • Vine is the Twitter-owned mobile app that makes creation of looping, replaying video easy and inexpensive. Just download and install the free Vine app and sign in with your Twitter account or email address.

    You can face the camera toward or away from you. You can save videos for later consideration. You can use low-tech editing features to slice out bits and pare the video down to a quick, smoothly flowing piece.

    When it’s ready, click “Share,” add a caption with hashtagged keywords, your location, and your channel tag, post it on your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and embed it on your website or blog to encourage the kind of viral sharing that microvideo often generates.

  • Instagram lets you share 3- to 15-second video that you’ve recorded using the Instagram app. In addition to length, Instagram microvideos differ from Vine’s 6-second videos in several ways. They don’t loop and replay. They appear on Twitter as links and on Facebooks as videos. They can be customized with filters and edited with features not available to Vine producers.

Giving slide presentations long life through social media

If your brand goals include developing credibility as a thought leader, move SlideShare, the world’s largest online community for sharing presentations and professional content, onto your list of social-media tools. Take these steps:

  • Create a set of PowerPoint or Keynote slides to support a new presentation or to compile and repurpose content from your blog or from a recent webinar, conference, report, or other material.

  • Give your slide presentation (often called a slide deck) a title, description, and individual slide labels that use long-tail keywords, which are more specific than single words and more apt to be searched by those seeking detailed information.

  • Be sure your first slide uses bold graphics and colors, an interesting and legible type font, and a title conveying a strong and interesting topic that will attract attention from those glancing at thumbnails of your slides.

  • Use as little text as possible to convey information that’s highly informative, interesting, and capable of building into a story that viewers feel you’re narrating. On average, SlideShare presentations have 19 slides and 24 words per slide. Develop a look and use a template throughout the presentation and, ideally, for all brand presentations.

  • Feature hyperlinks on slides to drive traffic to your website landing pages and social-media brand pages, along with a call to action that inspires people to click the link.

  • Upload your slide deck to SlideShare and enable the share function to allow and encourage others to share or embed your presentation.

  • Click the “Embed” icon to add the slide deck to own website or blog. Then share the link on your social-media brand pages and in other online communities or comments.

By uploading your presentation to your free SlideShare account you expand the reach of your material, extend the life of your message, and improve search ranking in one fell swoop.