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Video Marketing

The Road Map to Becoming a More Video-Focused Brand

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Do you say “Kleenex” when you want a tissue or “Band-Aid” when you need an adhesive bandage? Yeah, us too. Even just uttering these names probably stirs up memories of childhood scrapes or times when a friend helped wipe away tears. And that’s because building a brand people love sort of feels like magic — it’s the secret recipe for a successful (and memorable) business.

These days, video is a key ingredient in that recipe. Video can help businesses quickly differentiate themselves in a crowded space, retain customers, and unlock growth. Plus, now that video is more accessible than ever, more and more marketers are being empowered to think like media companies, striving to build super-specific, highly-engaged niche audiences.

We’ve written about why you should build your brand with video in the past, but in this particular guide, we’re going to give you the lay of the land and teach you how to actually do it. Read on to for some tips, tricks, and best practices that’ll keep your brand moving in the right direction!

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The human brain can process visual information in as little as 13 milliseconds. That means we’re interpreting information and building connections in our minds at an alarming rate. As you can imagine, when it comes to integrating video into your brand strategy, there’s a lot to consider.

But don’t throw in the towel just yet! There are a few key steps to follow right from the start that’ll help you create a more video-centric, memorable brand. Here at Wistia, we’ve learned quite a bit as we’ve grown our brand over the years, so here are some of our favorite tips that’ll help you get rollin’ on your journey.

Create a style guide

First things first, you’re going to want to create a style guide. Brand guides aren’t just for copywriters anymore. In fact, as businesses start to communicate on more diverse platforms using video, having a strong style guide in place for what your company talks about and how it sounds is super important. Stay true to your brand by incorporating your company values, the tone you want to establish, insider lingo for your industry, or humor into the videos you create. By defining your voice, you can create a process that allows your video-production efforts to scale up without diluting the brand.

Now, break the rules

Just kidding, don’t break all the rules. Style guides are great for helping people recognize your brand, and when you’re just getting started with video, it’s a crucial asset to have. However, you don’t want a style guide to limit your expression. Does your marketing team stick to a rigid set of rules, only using the same colors, fonts, and “voice” for everything?

When you think about building your brand with video, start by thinking about your company values and the different ways you can communicate them. Patagonia does this particularly well (check out this post for some examples), proving that while style guides are super important, but there are also some instances where you can break the mold. It may sound like a tricky, but it’s an important balance for all brands to maintain!

Do some preliminary research

MailChimp is one of the top brands in email nowadays, but the famously bootstrapped company didn’t start out that way. Over the years, MailChimp learned that sometimes the best results when it comes to branding are unmeasurable and that it’s OK to give up data for a better user experience. There are going to be brands who use video strategically that you and your team admire, so dig into their story a little bit more to uncover how they got to where they are today. Chances are, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from their successes and failures that are worth taking into consideration for your business.

We break down the most useful points of an AMA we held with MailChimp a few years back, like their breakthrough moment with sponsoring the podcast Serial, in this post. Check it out and get inspired!

Experiment with different types of video

Two minutes or less is all you need to make a video for business, right? Not necessarily. Long-form videos, including video series like One, Ten, One Hundred, require a bit more investment up front, but they can pay off significantly in the long term. If you’re just starting out with video at your business, we definitely recommend going the short and sweet route at first. It’s important that you don’t bite off more than you can chew by going all-in on a certain style or tone without testing it out first. Afterall, it’s only by putting your work out into the world that you’ll know what direction you want to take with your brand’s video strategy.

Lately, we’ve been really excited by long-form video content and the potential it has to help grow audiences for businesses. So, if you’re looking for some inspiration in that vein, be sure to check out these 20-minute-plus video examples from Dollar Shave Club, Unbounce, and more and learn how you can take the leap into long-form video.

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Now that you’ve tested the waters and experimented with some different video lengths and aesthetics, it’s time to show your audience what you’ve got! Your customers have a different understanding of who you are depending on where they are in their own journey with your brand. And how successful your brand becomes depends on how well you tell your story throughout that customer journey.

Branded videos will help viewers learn more about your business, building trust and setting the stage for a fruitful relationship with successful, happy customers. And who doesn’t want that? The next stop on your journey to becoming a more video-focused brand is all about meeting your audience where they are. Here are a few ways you can work on reaching the right folks throughout the entire customer journey.

Start with what matters most — your product

Your brand is nothing without your product, so creating an effective product video is a great place to start. These videos explain your product’s features and benefits, while including examples and visuals of how it actually works. Product videos are great for consumers who are in the awareness or consideration stages of the buyer’s journey, and should be clear, yet comprehensive.

In this insightful post from TechSmith’s Sherri Powers, she breaks down how the marketing funnel is organized by how well people know your product (borrowed from Eugene Schwartz’s classic book Breakthrough Advertising). Luckily, videos are a great medium for top of funnel engagement, so they’re a super valuable investment to make when it comes to becoming a video-first brand.

Then, focus on building your customers’ knowledge-base

The middle of the funnel, or the consideration phase, is when you start to educate your potential customers with helpful, useful content. From testimonials and case studies to webinars and team intros, mid-funnel videos are a fantastic tool for showing prospective customers who you are and what you care about. These videos are a vital step to becoming a brand that people love for a long time.

Here at Wistia, we’ve found that high-quality video testimonials that showcase real customers (not actors!) who are representative of your audience are super effective at portraying an authentic brand. Start by presenting a specific problem that your product can solve, back up that brand promise with evidence, and demonstrate your key benefits in action.

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Put an emphasis on credibility and customer trust

Trust is an infinite resource — you can never have too much trust in your brand. The more people that trust you, the greater freedom you’ll have to experiment and take risks with your marketing (remember how we told you to break your style guide rules before?). But, as marketers, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the wrong metrics and lose sight of the future.

That’s why we recommend creating thought leadership content that can help position your brand in a positive, authoritative light. While the impact is not as easy to measure as say, a product video, thought leadership videos do something product videos don’t — they build credibility for your brand. And when it comes to building a brand people know and love, that innate trust is invaluable.

If you’re interested in learning more about building authority with video, check out this presentation from CouchCon 2018 by Nick Dujnic, who makes the case for investing in thought leadership content.

Try thinking like an influencer

Is influencer marketing all it’s cracked up to be? In a word; probably. Influencers have worked hard to deliver content that consistently engages a key, specific group of people. Businesses stand to learn quite a bit from influencers about the way they make strong, personal connections with their audience. And while it’s true that influencers produce a ton of content (often at a super-speedy pace) to keep people coming back for more, there are still some things marketers can take from their strategy and apply on a smaller scale.

Influencers create content for their entire audience — when they find something that works for the masses, they double-down on it. The bottom line? They aren’t afraid to get real, and that authenticity is what makes their videos so engaging. Steal some of their tactics, like using a repeatable video format and collaborating with other like-minded companies, and adapt their tactics to your own brand strategy.

Don’t leave any gaps in your brand touches

Video is an amazing tool because it can be used effectively in so many ways. Marketeres can easily incorporate video into all of their promotional efforts, from ad campaigns to blog posts, and those videos can play a big role in attracting new customers, educating leads, and converting them.

If the notion of using video across your entire business feels a little daunting, don’t sweat it! You can easily break down what types of videos work throughout the traditional marketing funnel and use that as a framework for thinking about what videos to make. Itching for some specific examples? We identify the key metric for each stage of the funnel (i.e., sign-ups) and show stellar video examples in this post. Shout-out to brands like ProfitWell, Sticker Mule, and San Diego Surf School for the inspiration!

The next stop on your video journey? You guessed it! It’s time to polish up that act of yours. There’s a lot to learn about cultivating and expanding upon your brand with video, but we’re going to take it one step at a time. You might make a few mistakes along the way (you’re only human after all!), but these learning experiences will only make your brand stronger.

In this section, we’ve gathered some of our best advice based on Wistia data and our experience building a brand with video, from presenting your content to creating a beautiful experience. With these resources in hand, you’ll be well on your way to developing your own video best practices in no time.

Make a great first impression

If you’re embedding a video on your homepage, it’s your most prominent piece of brand marketing, by far. Luckily, these days there are tons of ways you can easily craft a more delightful, positive experience for site visitors while also driving conversions thanks to the help of video. From nailing your value proposition to testing out autoplaying videos, there are a number of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do:

  • Make your value prop clear
  • Speak to your audience’s interests
  • Test out autoplaying video
  • Put your video front and center

Don’t:

  • Set extremely broad goals
  • Try to squeeze everything into one video
  • Sacrifice good copy
  • Get in the way of your user

Naturally, video is just one of many essential elements that make up a successful homepage, but creating a memorable one may be the reason your business stands out from the rest.

Don’t overlook the video player design

Sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest impact on your video’s success. And when it comes to your player design, you might think that something as simple as player color is unimportant. But when it comes to building a video-focused brand, these little details matter. You have to think about the overall experience your viewer has with your brand across channels and platforms.

A few years back, we dug into Wistia data from millions of videos to see if there’s a correlation between player color and video play count — and you might be surprised at the results. We found that there was a 7% improvement in play rate for the non-default colored players, ie. businesses who were more intentional about their player design. The main takeaway here is that small, intentional efforts to make your videos look professional and put-together will evoke a more positive response from your audience, thus creating a more cohesive brand experience.

Learn from the mistakes of those that came before you and save yourself some headaches along the way. Want to dig into all the nitty gritty data from our test? Check out this post!

Give your videos a good home

Social networks like YouTube and Facebook (and newer services like Twitch) are great for getting your content off the ground. But eventually, if you’re interested in building a brand for the long run, you’ll want your videos to live on their own page that’s unique to your brand. When you graduate to a professional hosting service, you’re able to keep creative control while also protecting viewer privacy.

We recently launched a new feature, Wistia Channels, that gives users more control over their overall viewing experience. Because we know how important branding is when it comes to video, we made it easy for marketers to transform a group of videos into a highly engaging, immersive collection that lives right on their site. Again, at the end of the day, it’s all about paying attention to the small details that lead to a bigger, more positive brand impact.

Break free from basic marketing videos

Homepage videos, explainer videos, and product videos are all important for building a brand, but at some point, you’ll want to try out something new. And nothing says leveling-up your brand like creating videos that don’t scale. What do we mean by “don’t scale,” you ask? Think Snapchat and Instagram Stories, 1:1 video emails, and just-for-fun company culture content. These are all examples of videos that don’t scale but still add value to your brand. When you explore your more creative side, you’ll find that there are many different yet equally engaging ways to spread your message in way that feels fresh and authentic to your audience.

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You know what they say — it’s all about the journey, not the destination. But, we have reached the end of our post (wink, wink). It’s safe to say that every marketer dreams of creating the type of brand that people turn to first when they need a particular problem solved. Luckily, incorporating video into your marketing strategy can help you reach those goals.

Video is your ticket to making a brand that people remember and love. From goofy outtakes and informative webinars, to an original long-form series, videos are the best way to tell your company’s story. Follow these three steps to becoming a more video-centric brand by starting with your aesthetic, creating content for your entire audience, and keeping it nice and polished, and you’ll be poised for success!



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Video Marketing

How to Delete Your YouTube Channel

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Over the years YouTube has become a massive video platform, and due to some recent changes, a pretty confusing one at that. For first-time creators and brands who want to grow a following, it can be hard to tell what rules apply to you, what “counts” as a video view, how to measure your success, and more. And while the Google-owned platform isn’t going anywhere any time soon, when it comes to building an audience with video, it’s no longer the only option for your business.

Now that businesses can more easily attract viewers with content hosted right on their own sites by embedding Wistia Channels or working with other tools, it might make sense to let that YouTube Channel of yours sail off into the sunset. If you’re considering removing your channel from the old ’Tube, read on to learn why that might be a smart move, how to actually get rid of it for good, and what to do once you’ve moved on.

Not quite ready to hit “delete” on your YouTube channel? Consider hiding it instead. Keep in mind that when you hide or delete your channel, you permanently delete all Community posts, comments, and replies.

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YouTube is great for some folks and well … not so great for others. If you’re not sure why a business would want to delete their account, here are some reasons to ponder:

  • Ads: While the opportunity for monetizing makes YouTube’s ad business model enticing for new creators, the fact is, unless you’re getting tens or hundreds of thousands of views on your content, chances are you won’t really benefit from ads. And unfortunately, for small channels, ads ultimately serve as a distraction that can draw people away from your content
  • Autoplaying videos: YouTube’s algorithmically driven “Recommended” feature is designed to help viewers find content they may be interested in, but it also keeps viewers on YouTube longer. Chances are, the video that plays after yours won’t come from your channel, even if the viewer purposefully navigated to your channel to watch your content. Instead, viewers are likely to click into other channels, forgetting why they went to YouTube in the first place. Bummer.
  • YouTube-centric design: From white backgrounds and red buttons to videos organized by most popular and date added, YouTube channels are not very customizable. The main ways you can control your branding on YouTube are with a banner on your channel page, a thumbnail profile image, and thumbnails on your videos. Which isn’t awful, but it could be better!
  • Regular updates to the algorithm: Remember how we mentioned that YouTube can be confusing before? While changes to the algorithm can be a useful creative constraint, they can also be unpredictable and frustrating, especially if you’re relying on your videos reaching a particular set of people on a regular basis.

As YouTube evolves, it will continue to make decisions that help the company grow more than help their users succeed. If those decisions align with your own creative ambitions and marketing goals, that’s fantastic. Otherwise, it may be time to move on. If that time for you is now, then here’s a quick guide to deleting your YouTube account.

Phew, is it hot in here or is it just us? The first step here is to really make sure you’re ready to delete your channel (not just deactivate it). Wipe that sweat off your forehead and follow these steps to bid your channel farewell. You got this.

1. From your channel page, go to Settings > Advanced settings.

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Note: Don’t choose “Account settings.”

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2. From the Advanced Settings page, select “Delete channel.”

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This choice will permanently remove your video content and video data from YouTube. You won’t be able to retrieve it, so make sure you have saved the original files.

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Always have a backup (or two) of all your video files saved on a hard drive or in another safe location. There’s no coming back from deleting your YouTube channel so quadruple-check that you’ve got back up.

4. Check the blue box that explains exactly what will be deleted.

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5. Click “Delete my content.” You will be asked to enter the email address associated with your YouTube account to confirm.

That’s it! Your channel and all your videos are now deleted from YouTube. Keep in mind that the Google account you used to create the channel (business or personal) will still be active and recognized by YouTube.

If you’re looking for a new home for your videos and want more control over the entire viewing experience, Wistia Channels may be a great option for you. Don’t want to send viewers elsewhere every time you share a new video with the world? Luckily, Wistia Channels live right on your company’s own website and are easily customizable to match your brand. In case you aren’t super familiar with this Advanced Plan addition, here are some of the key features that’ll help you achieve your goals with Wistia Channels:

  • No ads: This is an ad-free zone! We’re not taking any cuts here, so no ads will show up on your videos or to your Channel on your site.
  • Designed for deep engagement: When viewers are almost done watching a video, our Up Next feature helps keep them watching more by showcasing the beginning of the next video on your Channel. Distracting ads and suggested content from other brands? Not a chance!
  • Organized and customized: You can easily organize your content and tailor the layout on your Channel to suit your needs. Customize the design to match your brand by changing the color of the player, video thumbnails, header images, fonts, and more.
  • Built-in lead capture: Add calls to action, annotation links, and email capture forms directly to your videos. Tell your viewers where you want them to go next and drive more action from your content!

If this sounds enticing to you, we’d love to show you how it works. You can get in touch with our team to learn more about Channels, pricing, or our other features whenever you’re ready.

For most businesses, simply uploading all of your content to a YouTube Channel and hoping for the best isn’t very strategic. After all, while YouTube is designed to encourage viewers to click around and watch as many videos as possible, that doesn’t mean they’re still watching your content. So, instead of trying to compete for attention on giant social networks, why not build an audience on a site that’s all your own? Start by deleting that old YouTube Channel of yours that’s been sitting around gathering dust and take more control over your content today.



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The Social Media Video Checklist

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Don’t think you have enough time to make a video for social media? Aren’t really sure where to begin? Pish posh! There’s no reason to let these hesitations stop you from making your social video dreams come true. And while there’s no secret formula for crafting the perfect video, there are some key steps you can follow to ensure your videos are not only well-thought out and impeccably executed, but also engaging and entertaining. So, without further adieu, here’s our comprehensive checklist for creating videos for social media.

Before jumping into the production of any video, it’s important to remember why you’re making the video in the first place and what you want it to accomplish. Do you want to increase engagement with your followers, share a glimpse into your company culture, or even promote another bigger piece of content? Ask yourself these types of questions before you shoot and you’ll have an easier time understanding what success looks like once it’s out in the world. Without a clear goal in mind from the start, it’ll be difficult to know which metrics matter most once its seen by all your followers.

Speaking of followers, social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all suited for different types of content and audiences. So, before jumping into creating your video, consider what makes each platform unique and how you can tailor your content to the platform itself.

For example, LinkedIn is all about making business connections and growing professionally, whereas Instagram is more about personal connections and keeping up with friends or influencers. Because people have different expectations about what types of content are shared on each platform, it’s always important to keep the context of the channel in mind.

“Because people have different expectations about what types of content are shared on each platform, it’s always important to keep the context of the channel in mind.”

Beyond the type of content you create, you’ll also want to consider how it’s formatted. Here’s a quick run-down of the maximum video lengths for each platform, plus some recommendations for ideal video length, thanks to this helpful article:

  • Facebook: 120 minutes (Recommended: 10–30 seconds)
  • Twitter: 2 minutes, 20 seconds (Recommended: 45 seconds
  • Instagram feed: 60 seconds (Recommended: 30 seconds or less)
  • Instagram Stories: 15 seconds (Recommended: 15 seconds)
  • Snapchat: 10 seconds (Recommended: 8–10 seconds)
  • LinkedIn: 10 minutes (Recommended: 30 seconds–5 minutes

It’s especially wise to optimize for small screens since over half of online video views occur on mobile. For mobile video editing, square video is your best friend. Not only is square video the default in the Instagram feed, but it’ll also take up more real estate on Facebook, too.

You can upload both square and portrait videos to Twitter, but because of the way the mobile feed is laid out, you’ll only see previews in the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. You don’t want your content to get cut off, so we recommend sticking with horizontal video on Twitter. And last but not least, if you’re editing video for Snapchat, Instagram Stories, or Facebook Stories, you’ll want to shoot video vertically and then edit within the 9:16 aspect ratio.

If you plan on repurposing one video across multiple platforms, make sure all the essential content can fit in the frame — especially when creating a vertical video from a horizontal one!

This is a big one! Thinking outside the box is always encouraged, and especially by us (creativity is one of our company values, after all). But, it’s important to stay realistic here and make sure you’re not over-scoping your video. If your first idea is to shoot your video in a rainforest, maybe see if you can achieve a similar look by shooting in a park close to your office instead.

As for props, look around and see what you already have in your office before you buy anything new. It would be a real bummer to go out and buy a new top-hat only to realize you had one kicking around from a previous shoot. And speaking of using what you have, when it comes to building your set, you can usually work with a set up you already have in your office! Move things around, take a few test shots, and get creative. What may look “off” in one corner could look great in another.

This is also a good time to figure out if you’ll need any additional help from other folks on your team. Can you film this by yourself? Will there be scenes where you need some teammates to step in as extras? Before scripting, make sure you understand what resources you have available to you.

Even if you don’t have dialogue in your video, it’s important to have a concept and an idea of what each shot will look like. In the world of social video, nothing feels worse than getting to the editing stages and realizing you didn’t get the shots needed to get your point across. Take, for example, this educational video we made for social:

As you can see, there’s no dialogue or people present in this video, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t still need to write a script first to make sure we incorporated all the must-have information. We can’t say it enough — script, script, script!

Just because social media videos are typically short, doesn’t mean you should only book off an hour to get all the shots you need. It’s really easy to think, “Oh, a video for social media? That won’t take that long!” or “I’ll be able to get that shot later,” but if you don’t have a specific time set aside for filming, you run the risk of getting caught up in other things and not getting the shots you need. This is especially important if you’re working with other people — you always want to make sure you’re making the most of everyone’s time!

Shooting for the edit is a pretty simple concept — all it means is that you should keep in mind how you’re going to edit your footage in the near future while you shoot. Before pressing that sweet, sweet record button, make sure your actors have rehearsed their lines, the shot is in focus and well-lit, and double check that the camera is stabilized. Keeping these things in check will cut down on the amount of footage you need to sift through later on.

And as always, be sure to shoot some b-roll. You might not think you’ll need it, but a lot of the time b-roll is what supplements the story and drives the piece visually. So once you think you’ve got the shot, keep rolling for about 10 seconds. That’s usually when the good laughs and candid moments happen. Having those gems will help diversify your shots and make your editing process much easier!

“You might not think you’ll need it, but a lot of the time b-roll is what supplements the story and drives the piece visually.”

Social media is a superhighway of information. Viewers are constantly running into new content everywhere they turn. So, start with some action and eye-catching footage right away to capture your viewer’s attention. In this case, “action” doesn’t have to mean a car chase or something super outlandish. Take this post from Glossier for example:

In this video, Glossier is promoting its latest product, Bubblewrap, an under eye cream. It starts with the subject somewhat humorously drinking a cup of tea, which is a nice, subtle hook. It then quickly jumps into him using the product and explaining the benefits succinctly. The video only lasts about 20 seconds, but by the end of it, we know exactly how to use Bubblewrap and what it does. ~Chef’s kiss~ You only have your viewers attention for so long, so take a page from Glossier’s book and don’t waste any time!

The best videos are the ones that can be consumed by everyone. And not only that, but captions can also help you get your message across more effectively, regardless of where or when someone is watching your video.

Over the past few years, Google and Apple have both released updates to their browsers that prohibit autoplaying videos with the sound on. And by now, you’ve probably noticed that any video posted to a social platform — whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram — starts silently as well. So, you want to make sure you’re meeting people where they are in their feeds, and that’s with the sound turned off.

“You want to make sure you’re meeting people where they are in their feeds, and that’s with the sound turned off.”

Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to upload SRT files, but what about Twitter and Instagram? You want to make sure your viewers can still get the most out of your content, so we recommend “burning in” your captions to the video itself before you upload to your platform of choice. This just means that you’re merging the captions file with the video file so they’re one and the same.

To burn in your captions, we recommend using the free program, Handbrake. Here’s how to get it all set up:

  • Upload your video on Handbrake and navigate to the Subtitles tab.

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  • Once there, click the dropdown menu that says “Tracks” and choose the option,“Add External SRT…”

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  • Upload your video’s .SRT
  • Once that step is complete, press the green play button up top and voila! A copy of your video with burned in captions will be exported.

This step mainly applies to Instagram, since the other platforms display auto-playing videos on their feeds. On Instagram, your video will live on your profile’s grid, so it’s important to make sure the video thumbnail is click-worthy. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here, but always be sure to stay away from blurry shots or drab colors when choosing your thumbnail.

Makings of a good thumbnail include, but are not limited to:

  • Smiling faces
  • Cute animals
  • Bright colors
  • Text overlays
  • Crisp images

Here’s an example of one of our favorite, click-worthy thumbnails:

Our office dog Lenny sitting at a computer? Faris looking perplexed and surprised? Don’t know about you, but we’d definitely press play on this product update video.

Whether you leave a CTA in your company’s bio or actually write it into your script at the end of your video, you always want to tell your viewers where they should go next. Of course, some videos for social don’t require a call to action, so don’t add one in if it doesn’t make sense. Here’s an example of a video we shared of our team painting a mural in our office that didn’t require a call to action:

This video is an example of a brand touch video that often doesn’t require the viewer to take action afterward. When we wanted to promote our latest blog post, however, we gave viewers direction around where to go after watching if they wanted to get more intel:

Whatever the case may be, when crafting a CTA to support your social video, you want to make sure you are persuasive, but not too pushy. Adding something as simple as “Click the link in bio for more!” to your caption or including “Check out our new post!” at the end of your video can help get the job done. If a viewer loved your video and wants more, you should strive to make it as easy as possible for them to take the next step.

There you have it! From setting your goals and scripting your video, to adding captions and making snappy edits, you now know what it takes to make a successful video for social media. Keep this checklist with you and remember to take it one step at a time (and have fun with it!). So what you are you waiting for? Grab a camera or pick up your phone and get going!



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Video Marketing

How to Name Your Wistia Channel

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With Wistia Channels, the name-picking power is in your hands. And believe it or not, the name you pick may ultimately influence the number of clicks, views, and video engagement you get on that Channel. But how are you supposed to pick just one name that encompasses all of your videos, while still bringing all the views, clicks, and engagement you want? Don’t worry. We’ve got some tips that’ll simplify the process and make you believe in the power of name-picking in no time.

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For businesses using video for marketing, a Wistia Channel turns your collection of videos into a destination where people can explore certain topics in depth and get to know your brand. Because this is a singular destination, it’s important to come up with a cohesive name that accurately describes the Channel. To do that, you need to think beyond your individual videos.

When you think about your Channel on a more holistic level, you should consider the following factors:

  • Branding — the “identity” factor: The name you pick will be very public, so it needs to accurately reflect your videos and your brand.
  • Discoverability — the “index” factor: The Channel name comes up in search, so you want people searching for a relevant topic to find your video content fast — and first.
  • Shareability — the “click” factor: Your audience watches a lot of stuff online. A catchy name for your Channel will make it easy for people to remember. That means when it comes time to share your videos, they’ll be able to pull up your Channel and link to it instantly.

Considering these factors as you set up your video Channel will help you grow your audience and your brand over time. To dig a little deeper, let’s break down the three factors we mentioned above: branding, discoverability, and sharing. Shall we? We shall!

“Considering these factors as you set up your video Channel will help you grow your audience and your brand over time.”

When you’re thinking about your Channel, remember that it should support your company’s brand but also have its own identity. Plus, the name you pick should align with your marketing strategy, whether that’s connecting with a particular audience, highlighting your product, or educating your viewers. To get just the right fit, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Be specific

Regardless of your industry, it’s important to narrow in on a niche. Let’s take a look at the topic of real estate as an example. Real estate is far too broad of a term to use on its own for your Channel name. Instead, you’ll want to pick a more narrowly defined niche, like “The Smart Real Estate Investor” or “Architects Eating Lunch.” This will help you build an audience faster because you know it relates to the overarching subject, but there’s something specific your viewers can latch onto.

Know your audience

In addition to knowing your topics, you should have a good idea of who will be watching your videos. If you want to appeal to a certain type of viewer, then be sure to include terms they resonate with in the name! To keep up with the real estate theme, you could add words like agent, investor, or homeowner right in the name of your Channel.

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Don’t just use your company name

Some people rely on the strength of their company names alone to build up a brand. But unless your company’s brand as a whole is the purpose behind your Channel, this can be both too general and too limiting for your business over time. Not only that, but you also run the risk of your brand changing. Brands evolve, and if there’s any chance that your company will pivot, or the focus of the Channel will change, we recommend trying to avoid using just your company name.

Something else to keep in mind is how your Channel shows up in search. Whether people are searching for your Channel by name, or for individual videos, you’ll want your Channel to appear in the results. If you align your name with commonly searched terms, then you’ll create more visibility for your content and have a better chance at boosting your rankings online.

For example, Brian Cox, aka The Travel Vlogger, has nearly 16K subscribers on YouTube, but the Channel itself ranks at the number two position on the Google results for “travel vlog.” His smart SEO strategy will help him continue to grow his channel organically, with little extra effort on his part.

travel vlog

This is a pretty straightforward strategy, but SEO (especially as it relates to video) can get complicated really quickly. With that in mind, here are a few SEO tips to remember when it comes to naming your business Channel.

Use keyword tools for research

Plug your potential Channel names into tools like Ahrefs or Keywords Everywhere to see what the keyword volumes are, as well as the competition score. That way, you can see exactly how many people are searching on Google for your terms and how hard it will be to land on page one of the results.

Check for other similar Channels

Do research to make sure that your name isn’t already in use on YouTube and beyond. Also, check for similar video Channels in your category. Less competition = more search traffic for your Channel.

When you create lots of high-quality content around a certain topic, Google’s algorithm will start to recognize your Channel as an authority on that topic. So, if you’re tying your Channel name to an SEO term (the wheel), make sure that the individual titles of videos are related terms (spokes). You can find related terms in your keywords tool. This will show Google that you’re continuing to contribute valuable and expert information through your videos.

Be patient

SEO takes a bit of time to work (you have to prove your trustworthiness to Google). So, be patient if you aren’t instantly ranking where you’d like. Even a little bit of effort and research can go a long way in helping your results.

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With a catchy name, people will be more likely to remember and share your Channel content. People don’t watch videos just because they are educational; they also watch to be entertained and inspired. A catchy title will instantly endear your audience to you and make them more excited about viewing and sharing your content. This gives your originality a chance to shine, as well as gain name recognition and spread your message.

“People don’t watch videos just because they are educational; they also watch to be entertained and inspired.”

For example, YouTubers The Try Guys (5.7M subscribers) started off making videos as BuzzFeed employees, but the success of their series about, yes, trying new things, led them to branch out on their own and create a successful media brand. While the success can be attributed to the creative and sometimes daring content — like trying everything at Taco Bell or giving a plastic surgeon free rein with their faces — the intriguing name certainly doesn’t hurt, either. They even sell merch with their name on it.

Here are some other tips for picking a catchy name:

  • Keep it short
  • Use humor
  • Be relatable
  • Be surprising
  • Avoid apathy — pick something likely to evoke emotion
  • Use alliteration or rhyming (sparingly)
  • Don’t use made-up or jumbled phrases or camelCase combinations

A great Channel name will help you decide what direction to take your efforts, which will position your brand for success later on. With a focused, SEO-driven, memorable channel name, you can connect with a wider audience, grow your channel, and make an emotional impact, right from the start!



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