You’ve Got a Great Video—Here’s Where to Start with Video Marketing

video content marketing

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

I’ve worked with two clients recently who approached me with amazing video content: one with a pilot for a web series now looking to fund further development; another with a fully, gorgeously shot video campaign for an international non-profit organization. The content was very different—but both creators had something in common: they’d put their blood, sweat and tears into creating the content (and rightfully so!). Neither, however, had yet considered video marketing.

I say better this than the opposite scenario, where video content is merely a marketing exercise. BUT … in order to ensure that your audience a) sees your video, and b) engages with it — ideally taking an action you’d like them to take — I do recommend developing a content marketing plan as early as possible in the process. It doesn’t have to be wildly detailed. But even if you take just a few cues from the master marketers out there, you’ll be ahead of the pack.

Here are a few considerations to begin with.

YouTube Creators Site

This is THE place to start if you’re posting your videos, or promotional video content, on YouTube. The advice given by YouTube Creators is full of sensible and enlightening steps that are both simple and fundamental.

  1. Starting from zero views? Consider some paid investment to start with, by creating an ad campaign using AdWords. You’ll simply need to create an ad for your video content, and decide where and when your ad will appear on the video’s watch page.
  2. I believe I may have mentioned this in the past: target your content. Luckily, YouTube makes this easy and extraordinarily detailed. Who will want to see your video? What do they want to discern? Where does your potential audience live? How often do you want your ad to appear?
  3. Choose the type of ad that will work best for your video. The choices offered on YouTube include: In-Stream, Discovery, and Bumper. After deciding on the model, add interactive elements for increased engagement.
  4. Decide on your strategy. Is your goal to attract new followers? To grow your subscription rate? To expand your audience globally? Promote a launch? Sell complementary merchandise? To cross-promote with other content? You decide.
  5. Figure out how to measure your return on investment. AdWords offers these analytical metrics:
    • views
    • impressions
    • average cost-per-view
    • viewer rates
    • earned views (repeat watches within seven days)
  6. Watch, and tweak your progress.

Neil Patel

Bestselling author and marketing superstar Neil Patel has some solid (and inventive) ideas on how to get your video seen:

  1. When you upload your video, YouTube gives you an option to include a custom thumbnail. Well, turns out that uncomplicated and good-looking thumbnails can increase video engagement by—get this—154%. Patel notes that 90% of the best performing video productions on YouTube have a custom thumbnail. You’ll want one. Take a few minutes to create one using software like Canva or hire a good designer. (See Patel’s “characteristics of click-compelling thumbnails” to use).
  2. Patel believes that marketers, in general, need to be explicit with their audience and he suggests doing this with video through the use of “annotations.” These small boxes appear during the run of the video and remind users to take a certain action, such as subscribing to your site, watching more videos, building your email list, commenting, or using a “like” or “share” button. Patel provides details on exactly how to add an annotation.
  3. Consider your video watch time. Shorter videos and an attention-grabbing first ten seconds make for higher user retention and improved scores.
  4. And don’t forget the larger campaign around your video. Patel identifies these three audience-building steps as essential:
    • email outreach
    • keyword research
    • optimization


Subrat Kar (CEO and co-founder of Vidooly analytics) on the Kissmetrics blog reports that people lose interest in an activity faster than they have in past years. As depressing as it is, if your video fails to hook your viewers within ten seconds, you’ve probably lost them as a long-term user. To catch them quickly, and keep them engaged, he says:

  • Embed your videos in email or include a link in your signature.
  • Collaborate with your users.
  • Support multiple languages.
  • Figure out when people are most active: research YouTube’s data about peak hours of viewing (hint: it’s on weekdays).
  • Design your video’s viewing for mobile users first, not as an afterthought.

These are just a few of the first vital steps to follow as you consider marketing your video projects.

To keep your viewers engaged with your brand and your ongoing videos, consider supporting your early efforts with a longer term content marketing campaign that puts your video assets to the best possible use.

Good luck, and please get in touch if you need a hand.



Would you like to share your thoughts?

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Leave a Reply