You may have heard the term video seeding from marketing agencies and video companies that are offering their services to assist in distributing your videos as far and wide as possible across the web. It’s something that we offer as a service and it can be a great way to get your video seen not just by a wider audience than your immediate connections and followers but also highly targeted to the audience you want to connect with.
The chances are that you may have done an element of video seeding without realising it and you may be aware of the practice of it without relating it directly to your video content. Some of it may seem like common sense where some other aspects are specifically relevant to using video in the right way on the right platforms.
Perhaps the most crucial part of video seeding is having a very good understanding of your target market, what key messages appeal to them, the style of those messages and what their online activity is amongst other things. In addition, an understanding of the industry, the sectors and the key influencers in the external environment is also very important in the video seeding journey.
What is video seeding?
So to begin with, what is video seeding? To put it simply, it’s getting your video content in front of the right people at the right time to get maximum awareness, create engagement and conversation. There are several ways to successfully seed your video content ranging from engaging with influencers in the industry sector to looking at paid, earned or owned media. Each one brings its own merits and challenges but can all be successful in their own ways. There are some activities that are easily done while others may take more work to activate but having that understanding of the platforms and places that your audience are ‘hanging out’ in and the type of content that they like to see is vital to the early planning and development of a video seeding campaign.
The video content
Before you even start getting the content out there, put some thought into what video is saying. Really think about what your audience wants to hear (this is not just a great tip for any video but will really help when we get to influencers a bit further down), the type and style of language that appeals to your audience demographic, the style of the video itself (animated/serious/light hearted), is there a call to action? Think about what is being said too. Are you talking to your audience? Addressing their needs and wants and fulfilling a purpose or are you simply talking at them? It’s easy to end up telling people want you want to say not what they want to hear. All of these things will help to make the video more engaging and interesting to the viewer which inevitably helps with the seeding.
Where to seed your videos
When considering where to seed your videos, there are four areas that we will concentrate on – influencers, paid media, earned media and owned media. These are generally the four areas that we look at with our clients.
Where possible, identify influential people online within the industry that you are targeting. These could be bloggers, vloggers, presenters, tutors or leading lights at organisations and companies in the sector. Connect with these people, build up a rapport and a relationship and ask them to feature your content. This is not an overnight thing, you generally don’t just send your video and it appears on their channel (unless you’re lucky). Engaging with these people will help to get them to feature your content but they have to see some value in it too. Like any relationship, it’s give and take and if you are going to benefit from their influence, audience and credibility what are you going to give back? Sometimes it can be exposure to your audience, sometimes it could be featuring their content on your channels and sometimes it could a payment to feature your content.
The most important part however is that your video has the right content, style and appeal that will make an influencer want to share it with their followers. This is where we go back to the content and really nailing the messages and style that you want your video to have because if it’s not appealing or interesting then you’ll get a flat no straight away. The beauty of this is though is that you may well be getting placed in front of an influencer’s followers but you then start to look at their followers too. It’s the second and third degree connections that could make you video start a viral journey. If it really hits the right note then it could go far and wide.
It’s not all one way traffic though. If you do your research right, you’ll only find the right influencers that you want your brand to be connected to. Be as selective as you want to be because these people will be seen as advocates and an extension of your brand and you’ll want your brand to appear in the right way too.
Paid media is pretty much what it says on the tin. You can place your video on channels to get exposure across the web. Something like YouTube pre-roll is a good example of this along with the likes of Facebook ads. There will be a cost per click or impression to place the advert but it can be highly targeted so you can ensure that only the right people are seeing your ad making it extremely cost effective. This advert that we placed for our event filming service was distributed through a targeted campaign aimed at a specific segment of our audience. The pre-roll performance saw thousands of views and job enquiries come in off the two week campaign. Paid media seeding works particularly well with B2B campaigns and allows you to target hard to reach segments because in many cases you can identify the audience segment by almost any differentiator.
This is an extension of engaging with influencers but it also takes into account the use of PR tactics too. It’s all about building relationships and working with websites, publications etc. to get your video content featured by them. There are plenty of professionals out there who can help but you can also do it yourself too. Be aware of so called ‘PR gurus’ who claim to be able to help you because they ‘used to work for the BBC’, this is PR in the 21st century and it’s about relationships not old connections and sending a blanket press release to generic email addresses. It’s called earned media because you have to earn the right to be included in these channels not just hope that they’ll pick up your content and use it. There’s a bit more work than the old days but it’s worth it when it works. The main benefit is that if your content gets taken up then viewers will know that it’s genuinely been accepted rather than a paid placement giving it a lot more authenticity and authority.
This is the easiest to access and control because it will be your channels. You can control what is put out, how and when. This can be your website, social media channels, YouTube and Vimeo and even things like email newsletters. There is one issue in that you are basically already preaching to the converted – the chances are that the majority of the audience in your owned media channels already are aware of you and know what you do. This doesn’t mean that should ignore it though because it’s all about those secondary networks again.
The obvious benefit is that it’s low effort and it’s free though so it’s definitely worth putting the effort in to use it to seed your video. You can also choose which of your platforms to use with specific video content too so you can produce something specific for a platform like LinkedIn as opposed to something for Instagram.
There is also a slight blurring of the lines though between owned and paid media with boosting and advert options on social channels which means that owned media can slip into the realm of paid media.
That’s a general overview of video seeding, it’s something that you can do to a certain extent yourself but it’s a service that we have provided for clients who are looking to get their video content targeted with a high level of accuracy. Talk to us if you would like more information on how we can help you and in the meantime, take a look st this checklist below.
So if you are looking into video seeding there are a number of things to bear in mind:
- Understand who your audience are and what they want to hear
- Get the narrative and the style right for your audience
- Make sure you have clear messages and call to actions
- Understand where your audience are ‘hanging out’
- Understand your industry and any key influencers in it
- Build relationships with those influencers and engage with them
- Look at your owned, paid and earned media and decide how to utilise them
Blog writer: Adam Snelleksz is a director of CMA Video and has worked in marketing for over 20 years. He has worked in video production in Birmingham for five years with CMA Video and has been using video for marketing for nearly 10 years. He also set up the video TV channel Blues TV, the official online channel of Birmingham City Football Club. Some of the projects that Adam has used promotional videos for include the Birmingham Half Marathon, the European Gymnastics Championships and the World BMX Championships.
Our video marketing blogs have been recognised as one of the Top 50 Video Marketing Blogs on the internet. We hope you enjoy reading them and gain valuable insights into what we do here at CMA Video and show that we’re not just another Birmingham video production company but we do more from animation videos to event filming, video strategy to social media video campaigns.