You did everything right. You followed all the advice. You researched your audience, you understood their needs, wants, desires. You created a video that answered one of their typical questions. It was all about them and less about you.
And then you put your video live. And it was crickets out there.
All the hard work you put into creating the content just isn’t paying off because nobody is watching it. You know that if you can just get the eyeballs up this video can’t fail to engage and convert. But how?
What if I told you there are 5 practical steps you can take to increase video views. No, not 6 magic bullets that will fire your content into the stratosphere, but 5 tools that if used correctly can steadily build an engaged audience….
1. Embed Video In Plain Sight
Take a look at the page on which you’ve embedded your video. I mean realllllly look at it. Where’s the video? Is it tiny and pushed into a corner? Is it lost because there’s just SO much else on the page you can no longer see it?
If people can’t find your video they can’t watch it. One of the simplest ways to increase video views is just to make the video more noticeable.
MediaPost have put the percentage of people who watch a video when it is available on a page at 12%. If your play count is less than 12% of your page views, go do the following:
1. Move your video up the page and make it larger
2. Change your poster frame. It needs to compel the visitor to hit play. Try an image that generates curiosity or posits a question
3. Make your play button stand out. The play button is a strong call to action – willing the visitor to hit play. Be sure it’s present and isn’t obscured by the poster frame image. You could also further draw the eye to it with arrows or animation.
Making the video more prominent on the page will also improve your SEO. But we’ll get to that…
2. Follow Video SEO Best Practices
If you can get your video pages into the top search positions you’ll be rewarded with extra video views. The good news is that Google likes videos. It may have removed video rich snippets from search but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your video SEO efforts. All the evidence we’ve seen thus far is that the removal of video rich snippets is a cosmetic change only. Pages that include video are still ranking highly.
The first thing you you need to do is build a video sitemap. This will tell Google what the video is about so it knows it’s a relevant result for a given search query. If all this has you scratching your head in confusion I recommend you go check out this video from SEO pros Distilled which goes into more detail on this whole video sitemap thing.
Once you’ve created your video sitemap I recommend:
1. Use the word “video” in your meta titles and descriptions. With video thumbnails no longer appearing in search results you now need to tell searchers there’s a video on this page, rather than relying on the visual cue.
2. Include a video transcript on the page. Chances are this will contain plenty of lovely keywords that will indicate to Google that this is a super relevant result.
- 3. Keep an eye on your bounce rate. Google loves sites that deliver great user experience and a high bounce rate is a sign that your content delivers anything but. Making your video more obvious on the page will help. Searchers who click on a video result will expect to see said video, so don’t make it hard to find. Video is also a very engaging piece of content and will keep visitors on your page longer – a very good sign for Google. In fact, when Moneyweek changed their page design so that the video features more heavily time on page shot up by 40% AND they saw an increase in organic traffic by 136 per cent overall!
3. Send Video To Mailing List
What’s your mailing list for? Isn’t it to tell people about all your latest news and offers? Doesn’t that include when you’ve posted a new video? If you’ve got a mailing list and you AREN’T telling them about it, you’re missing an easy way you can increase your video views.
Email can drive 24 times as much traffic as social media (DIYthemes)
Video is particularly engaging content for newsletter subscribers and can increase click through rate by 96% (GetResponse)
To maximise the amount of traffic you get through from this channel you need to:
1. Add video poster frames to your emails and make sure the play button is visible. This will act as a strong visual on which to click.
2. Include the word “video” in your email subject line – the research shows that this will increase email open rates.
If you’re reading this thinking “but I haven’t got a mailing list”. It’s time to grow one. There’s an old saying that pretty much sums it up, “The best time to plant a seed was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” There’s no time like the present. Create valuable content, gate it with email capture forms, get the SEO ship shape and promote it socially. Those subscribers will come – steadily and over time.
4. Share Video On Social Media
How can you expect people to know you’ve got a video waiting to be watched unless you tell them about it? You’ve got to post it in the places that your audience hang out. Be that Twitter, Facebook – wherever.
Of course, everyone is doing it. 350,000 tweets are sent in a single minute (Internet Live Stats). So how on earth will your single, solitary tweet get a look in?
The trick is to draw attention to it. And the best way to do that is to make it bigger. Make it take up more real estate on that twitter feed.
Enter Twitter cards.
Let’s focus on the player card (this being a post about how to get video views up, after all). Twitter player cards let you post your video directly into the news feed. There’s no need for people to click off to your site to view the content.
And it can be pretty powerful. When we ourselves tweet using player cards we see about 4 times the amount of engagement (that is retweeting, favouriting and post clicking) than when we tweet without ‘em.
A step by step on how to enable player cards for yourself is here.
5. Make Your Video Easy To Share
People are far more likely to watch a video when it has been recommended to them by a friend. Wouldn’t it be amazing if, rather than you having to promote your video, your audience did it for you?
Well, the first thing you need to do is actually create content that’s worth sharing. And for this, you need to make your viewers feel something. According to the great minds at Unruly Media you should:
1. Make it emotional
2. Be positive
3. Focus on personal triumph
4. Brand it 5. Exhilarate the viewer
Once you’ve got your content in tip top shape for sharing be sure you’ve got the technical implementation down, too. You need to make your video easy to share. Add social sharing buttons into the video player itself to kick your audience into action.
Remember: There’s More To Life Than Increasing Video Views
Yes, it’s important that your videos are getting viewed. But don’t make this the only metric that you track. Views in themselves don’t bring you money (unless of course you add adverts into your videos). You should be playing close attention to how well your video is converting, too. A lot of views aren’t worth anything if those viewers don’t eventually become customers.
That being said, the first step to a conversion is a view. Your videos don’t get the chance to convert if they never get viewed. Work on increasing video views with these 5 steps and then make sure you’re making the most of that extra traffic with video tools designed to convert viewers to customers.