Video distribution strategies | Digital Marketing for Digital Dinosaurs

Distribution strategies

Now that we have discussed some of the most important ingredients of digital video marketing, we need to talk about the last point: distribution strategies.


What do I mean with this?

There’s no such thing as a viral video. The best we can do is plan for virality.

The popularity of our video activities depends on content that will drive interest and shares, but also depends on the way we support the possibility to view and share videos. Their distribution!

Those are called distribution strategies.

When looking at a video, we have 3 big areas we can exploit to drive popularity or views: owned and earned, paid activities


Owned: All assets that are owned by the brand (website, FB, YT, IG pages) that can be used distribute the work.

Earned: The real viral effect is that you must earn. Think about free PR, free media, websites, and people organically sharing the link.

Paid: All paid advertising activities to drive traffic and views. Think ads, trueviews, digital ads, influencers, paid bloggers.





1. Owned

In order to distribute our videos, we want to make sure we leverage the platforms that we own to their fullest.

Social media pages, websites, or any touchpoint that can be used internally to share our story is an opportunity for visibility.

These platforms are obvious, but the basic hygiene factors we should think about when we set up our videos, such as video SEO, are less obvious.

Again, SEO activities are essential to get the word out and make sure that all of our assets work well together.

Every video on YT comes with a series of features: thumbnails, descriptions, titles, keywords, etc.

Those are important factors for SEO and visibility, and it is important we plan for them.

  • Titles, description and the use of tags will help it get videos found in the search results. Try to write titles that pitch the value of the video, not just explain what the video is, and use the description to offer the viewer added value.

  • Video thumbnails are one of the most underutilized facets of video marketing but a unique custom thumbnail branding in the search results, or as part of your video archive can really set the brand apart from competition. Video thumbnails are integral part of your branding effort Thumbnails are like “magazine covers” need to be enticing and to accurately describe what a viewer will see in the video. Use iconic symbols and catch phrases in your videos to build community. In below example, NIVEA mentioning reaching 20M views in the thumbnails of their Music Video (MV)

  • Video description: make sure you have a killer description, example-Include link to opt-in Brief teaser for video content Contact and Social Links Longer Description References mentioned in video and Link to blog


After basic hygiene factors, another area to consider is SEO activities on video. Here, the main objective is to apply these techniques to improve the organic visibility of the videos on the video platforms.

Without going into specific details, SEO for video is relative to video description, optimisation of thumbnails, providing structured data (live badge, timestamps, or seek to action).

To have an overview of those topics for each video you watch, you can install an extension if you use Chrome called Videolytics. When you run this extension, you can see some stats on the right side of the YT panel giving you an analysis of the SEO rankings, social links, best practices, and tags and keywords.

It is a very specialised activity, for which you should consider working with SEO agencies.

2. Paid

In the words of an expert, "Pre-roll and in-display ads are the cheapest ways to earn massive views from a highly targeted audience.”

In other words, virality requires a business plan.

Marketers are leveraging the power of paid ads to achieve virality, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The idea that viral videos are placed online and mysteriously seen by millions of people is a myth. It’s marketing, people!

We have discussed paid advertising on YT to a full extent, so I won’t discuss it here any further; I just want to mention that beyond ads, we can achieve visibility by using third parties to promote our content, for example, using influencers or platforms that help share the videos.

A huge group of influencers on video are YouTube creators with whom we can collaborate. Of the top 10 celebrities voted by millennials, half are YouTubers. Audiences today have moved beyond traditional media.

If you’re serving an audience of millennials (20-somethings to 30-somethings), than YouTube influencers are an excellent way to reach them. Staying relevant to this generation has a lot do with knowing who is performing well in the online space.


Paid activities also include the remarketing activities we discussed previously, especially when you have many video assets that work together, creating multiple series. When you create a series, you can:

  • Remarket to users based on how they interacted with the video, video ad, or GDN Ad

  • Target users who have viewed, commented on, liked, disliked, or shared the video or video ad will see that

  • Reach these users on YouTube as well as the Google Display Network.

  • Negative remarketing: increase the coverage of your campaigns by targeting users who have not seen your videos.

3. Earned

When it comes to earned, a lot has to do with actual content; here we need to earn the popularity, but still a lot can be done to support this. The role of PR is crucial here. Most of you employ pr agencies. They are the first point of contact in helping with this.

Where possible, think about how to give people something to do with your content. Netizens love memes and messing around with content. If done right, this can result in massive visibility.

An interesting case some time ago was the song Happy, where they supported parodies and covers, up to creating a website collection of all the cover versions of the song from all remote parts of the world.

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