Regular readers of this blog know that I love video marketing. So do most marketers. And so do our cardholders.
A study released by Hubspot on video marketing found that video marketing has not yet reached its saturation point. More brands and libraries are creating videos. 87 percent of organizations use video as a marketing tool. That’s because it’s getting easier to convince our senior leaders that video is an effective and vital part of any marketing strategy. 87 percent of consumers say they like seeing videos from brands. It’s interesting, because that number matches the percentage of brands using videos for marketing! You can read the full report here.
Videos are getting easier and cheaper to shoot, thanks to smartphones. So, you may find that your biggest video marketing problem right now is figuring out what kind of video to create, how long your video should be, and how to make sure your finished video is seen by your cardholders. Those are my biggest issues! I researched the answers to those questions. Here’s what I found.
What kind of video should we create?
Consumers want to see short, educational videos. That’s a big opportunity for libraries.
To narrow down the most relevant topics for your library marketing educational videos, find out what questions your cardholders are asking of staff. To do that, check the inquiries you get on social media accounts. Talk to front-line staff. And, if your library website users an after-hours chat service or has a help line, ask those employees to give you the top five questions they are asked. Then create a video to answer each of those questions.
Here’s a great example from the Denver Public Library. It’s a short video explaining how to use their self-check-out machines.
If you have the time and equipment, invest in serialized video content designed to educate your community in a new skill, like languages. I love how the Boone County Public Library did this with their “Word of the Week” video series. The series is tied to use of the Mango Languages service.
And I also love this video from the J. Willard Marriott Library which offers a seven minute tour of their building!
Here are some more ideas for library marketing videos.
How long should our videos be?
This answer is a bit more complicated because it really depends on where you are going to post the video. Each of the social media platforms has an optimum video length, according to the latest data. Here are the bottom line stats:
Instagram: A study by Hubspot revealed that the Instagram videos with the most engagement were those that were less than 30 seconds long.
Facebook: That same Hubspot study says engagement on this platform is highest for videos that run around 60 seconds.
YouTube: Hubspot says engagement is highest for videos that are about two minutes. However, there is a ton of other research that suggests YouTube audiences will watch longer videos if the content of the video is excellent.
LinkedIn: Many thought leaders in the social media space suggest this platform has the most potential for video growth. LinkedIn suggests marketers keep videos between 30 seconds and five minutes for optimum performance on their site. Essentially, that means they’re not sure which length is best because most brands aren’t posting videos on LinkedIn. And that leaves the door wide open for libraries to experiment and take the lead in getting brand awareness and action from LinkedIn users.
Given these varied recommendations, you may consider making several versions of a video to get the most performance out of your videos. My library recently did this for a video we created called Library Love, where we had librarians read notes of thanks and gratitude written by cardholders. The main video runs four minutes and is housed on our YouTube channel.
Now, you’ll notice that’s a bit longer than the recommended two minutes. But the content is good and we have gotten a lot of engagement. We created shorter versions for the different social media platforms.
How should we promote our videos?
It isn’t enough to post your video on YouTube or your website and forget about it. No matter how short your video is, it still took time and effort to create. You’ll want to make sure people see it. The most effective way to promote your videos, in my opinion, is through emails. Send an email to your cardholders with a link to your video. You might also consider playing your videos at an event. We did this with this same Library Love video. We played it our most recent board meeting, at staff meetings, and for legislators at a recent event. And of course, we’ve already talked about how to optimize video for social media. But if you have the budget and ability, putting a little money behind promotion of your video on social media can help tremendously.
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