If you’ve got a white paper, you know it needs to be promoted effectively. And you know that video is one of the most effective marketing methods on the planet. So how, specifically, can you use video to promote your white papers? Here are 25 helpful tips.
Before we dive in - why use video at all?You’ve put significant resources into the creation of your white paper, and you don’t want it to sit on your website like a doorstop, waiting for someone to come along. You want to promote it, so it can get out there in the world and do good.
Using video provides the best opportunity to engage your viewers and direct them to download your white paper.
Study after study clearly shows that video has a higher engagement rate than text and images alone - and that viewers want and expect to see video.
Your research and insights are important. To help you use video to drive downloads, we’ve compiled these 25 useful and relevant tips.
1. Start with a plan so you can maximize performance and minimize cost.
Depending on which promotional channels you use, you’ll probably need to create more than one version of your video - because video is not one-size-fits-all. There are some channels where longer is appropriate, and some that demand shorter. And there are others that will require video that addresses specific sections of your research.
This is why it’s critical to develop a plan for promoting your white paper before you dive into video production. Once you have a plan, you can see which different video versions you need to create.
This approach, as opposed to we’ll-just-use-one-video-for-all-channels (which will harm performance) or if-we-need-more-versions-we’ll-make-them-later (which is more expensive), will give you the best performance while you save money on video production.
2. Don’t make your video a sales pitch.
We are all turned off by an overt sales pitch. If your video feels like you’re trying to manipulate people, or convince them to download something they may not need or want, it will not drive downloads.
3. Do make your video as helpful and professional as your white paper.
There are many ways to do this. One is to explain what’s in your research and why people should care.
Another way uses experts to speak about some of the insights in your white paper, and their implications.
Take a look at this video. We were hired to create it by M.J. Bradley and Associates, to support the publication of their substantive report, "Power Switch."
You’ll note that the video does not contain a pitch to get you to download the report. Instead it features interviews with experts, discussing the very trends covered in the white paper.
4. Add video to a main page on your website.
Your video is a powerful communication tool, so don’t hide it deep inside your site. Instead, make it very easy for people to find. Place it on your home page or some other prominent page.
This video will serve as an announcement of the white paper’s publication, and should be accompanied by a link leading to the landing page where people can learn more, and then download it.
5. Don’t use YouTube to host the video on your website.
While it’s easy to upload your video to YouTube and then embed it in your website, you don’t want to do this.
The reason is that people can click the YouTube logo, and then they’ll be taken to YouTube to watch the video. Once there, they can easily succumb to the endless distractions YouTube offers, and completely forget about your website and your white paper.
No, you want people to stay on your site and download your white paper. So use another hosting option (like Vimeo or Wistia) and keep visitors on your site.
6. Do make sure you optimize your video for SEO.
Optimizing your video for SEO includes optimizing title, tags, and description with your keywords. Google likes video, and Google likes website pages with video. Optimizing your video will help with your Google ranking.
There are now some video hosting services that take video SEO a step further. Wistia, for example, automatically provides the on-page markup Google recommends for video SEO.
7. Create a dedicated landing page, where you use video to increase conversions.
While you’ll have video on a main page for promotional purposes, you’ll also want to create a separate landing page where people can download your white paper.
Here is a great resource for how to effectively use video on landing pages.
8. Upload your video to YouTube.
While you won’t use YouTube to host the video on your website, you definitely want to take advantage of YouTube’s traffic (it’s the world’s second-largest search engine).
It is, of course, critical to properly optimize your video on YouTube so the search engines can find it.
9. Add to the YouTube description field a link to your white paper landing page.
You want to make sure that people who find your video on YouTube can easily find and download your white paper. So add the link, and then make sure it works.
10. Add closed captions to your video - on YouTube and other hosting sites.Currently, Google only crawls text. Closed captions provide Google with every word that ’s spoken in your video - in text form - so that all that content can be indexed.
11. Make sure your captions are correct.YouTube has a handy little auto-caption tool, and many people find it very easy to caption this way. You just click the box, and YouTube’s speech recognition system automatically creates captions.
Unfortunately, if speakers have accents, or if they are speaking about technical terms, the tool can garble the video's captions, undermining your SEO efforts and even eroding your brand if the garbled captions are silly, or worse.
If you do use YouTube’s auto-caption tool, double-check and fix any garbled captions.
12. Include video in your blog postsYou’ll want to leverage your blog to promote your white paper. Whether you write one post (announcing your white paper and summarizing its contents) or a dozen (each featuring one particular research finding) - adding video to those posts will increase engagement and conversion.
13. Include video in your email blasts.
You’ll be emailing your lists about your white paper. Including video in your email has been shown to significantly boost open rates and increase click-through rates.
14. Add video to your Facebook and other social media posts promoting your white paper.
Facebook preferences posts with video over posts without video.
15. Make sure you use the right social media video format.Different social media channels have different requirements. On Facebook, for example, the majority of videos are watched without sound, so on-screen text or captions is critical.
16. Upload your video directly to Facebook instead of embedding a YouTube video.
Facebook ranks uploaded video higher than videos that are hosted on YouTube.
Particularly on LinkedIn and Google+, groups provide a much wider and more targeted audience for your white paper. Posting video instead of text alone will increase viewer engagement, and encourage likes and shares.
17. Include video when you post to your social media groups.
18. Consider boosting your social media post.Boosting - or paying to have your post appear more widely - can be a powerful promotional tool. It lets you target your specific audience to achieve greater impact and bang for buck. Video on your boosted post will increase engagement.
19. Use LinkedIn Publisher as a promotional channel.
Write an article on LinkedIn discussing your research and findings, and include video to increase engagement. Link to your landing page so people can download your white paper.
20. Post your video on industry group or association resource pages.If your industry has a group or association website that encourages members to post their research work, take advantage of this opportunity. If supported, include video to stand out from all the other white papers that are there as text only. Also include a link to your landing page.
21. Use video in your press releases.Multimedia press releases generate more traffic than text-only releases, and video is more engaging than any other media.
22. Connect with journalists and bloggers, and send them video along with your white paper.Make sure the video you send them is embeddable, so they have the option of including it on their article.
23. Look for opportunities to write a guest article in industry publications.Include video with your article for an SEO boost and higher viewer engagement. Link back to your landing page.
24. Use video to drive registration for associated events.If you plan to hold webinars or live presentations, video can be a powerful tool to cultivate interest and increase registration.
25. Give video to your sales team.
They can use it as a resource to email to qualified prospects, to help those prospects progress through your sales funnel.
And there you have it.
If you implement at least some of these tips, you’re sure to greatly increase traffic to your landing page, and downloads of your white paper. If that’s all you want, great.
But if you’re a serious marketer, here’s one more tip: You’ll reap BIG dividends if you measure traffic and conversion by channel.
Use different tracking codes to understand and track which channels are giving you the most traffic to your landing page, and which are giving you the least. Also track which channels are giving you the most conversions, and which give you traffic but no conversions.
This information will help you understand which methods and channels work for promoting research in your industry, and which don’t.
This critical intelligence will save you time and money on future white paper promotion campaigns.