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How to get your 'advertainment' in front of the right audience

No audience, no fun.

By Guest Author Alex Debelov

A brilliant message, stunning camera work, quality acting, and maybe even a cat or two and boom: your brand has an amazing video. Now, what?

Creating great content is only the beginning of the story. Digital advertising has made a huge shift towards video and now with more platforms to play on (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat, etc.) consumers are inundated with video on a daily basis.

If done well, video can be your greatest marketing investment. According to eMarketer, 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. This is exactly why your video must be optimized, tested, and placed in front of the right audience. You need to have a distribution strategy, or otherwise, in the words of Winston Churchill: €œIf you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Here are three ways to get your video in front of the right audience.

Don’t stop after upload

Content is king and should absolutely be a priority. But, even the best video content is useless if not distributed effectively.

Video without proper promotion can be worse than having people not respond to your creative. You invested in great content, your product is personified exceptionally, but if no one sees it, you'€™ve done your creative team a huge disservice. Consider the video’s distribution as a proactive part of the process rather than a reaction to a lackluster view count.

No matter the size of your budget, there should be some resources allocated to distribution. This will give your content legs, allowing it to go from simply uploaded to racing to the right viewers, giving it the best opportunity for growth. Once in front of the right viewers, they will do the work for you and the organic traffic will keep flowing.

Tip: Use your social audience to test content before distributing it. For example, post three thumbnails to Facebook and see which one gets the most likes. This is an easy, unpaid way to optimize your thumbnail and drive an increase in clicks.

Go to the audience

As a brand, your audience is the group of consumers who will relate to your product, becoming not only customers but ambassadors for the brand. 38% of people who engage with and share content are more likely to buy (Vision Critical survey, June 2014). Therefore, the notion of the €œright audience is not just how you reach your end user, but how your end user exponentially amplifies that message to others.

One way to reach the appropriate audience is to target. To target means to understand the brand story, know who will want to hear/see it, and make sure the video is placed on the sites these consumers frequent. This can be done through paid or unpaid methods of video distribution. However, the goal is the same in either model to get your video in front of people who are interested in it.

On the paid distribution side, you can use targeting that goes as granular as interest and zip code. For example, if you are a musician going on tour then consider targeting the cities you’ll be playing in. With technology, these options are available for all budget levels. It’s not about spending the most; it’s about spending with purpose.

On the unpaid distribution side, you should reach out to blogs and topical channels that curate content. Bloggers are always looking for valuable content for their audiences. However, this is a great reason to produce advertainment, not a product promotion video. Add value to the audiences of other bloggers and content curators.

Tip: It’s not all about budget. Orabrush is a great example. Orabrush's first move was to invest $40,000 in a television commercial. It flopped. They then created their first YouTube video for $500. They tested and uploaded over 100 clips to see which ones were most engaging before creating the final version of their video (optimize! test!).

An advertisement about tongue scrapers:

  • Generated 19 million YouTube views
  • Generated 26,000 Facebook Likes
  • Sold over 2,000,000 Orabrushes

Participation matters

You want people to share your video, engage in the comments, and become ambassadors for your brand. However, it is just as important that you participate in the conversation. Why ask someone to do something for you that you wouldn'€™t do for yourself? If you are asking people to share your video, then thank them when they do share it. If you are asking them to subscribe to your channel, then continue producing content for your channel. If you want more followers on twitter you have to follow more people, it really is that simple. This may sound obvious, but it’s something that many overlook. Starting a conversation with the audience means knowing the audience and the brand well and knowing just what tone to use when participating. There will be a different approach for a financial investment firm versus an ad-tech startup.

The most powerful, persuasive communication has a human element that is effectively delivered through storytelling. For any brand, even those with an amazing story, you must have a digital strategy. It comes down to the old saying: €œGo tell someone who cares. Even the best content will be over looked after it is uploaded. That is, unless it is front of someone who cares. In the end it is all about finding the right balance between production and distribution. Consider balanced resource allocation. In order to compete with everything interesting on the internet it is important to find a balance between production and distribution. The content must stand out amidst the sea of videos out there. This can only happen if there is a clear strategy for quality, sharable content that evokes nuanced emotions being distributed smartly.

Alex Debelov is the co-founder and CEO of Virool, a leading video distribution platform that has promoted more than 60,000 videos across a network of 100,000 publishing properties. Virool helps individuals, small businesses and global brands and their agencies get their video messages seen.

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