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Ultimate Video Promotion Checklist: 18 Steps w/Infographic

You’ve created an exceptional marketing video. It feels authentic to your brand and has a clear, focused message. That means your work is done, right?

Not so fast. No matter how close to perfect your video seems, it’s not effective until it’s seen. You can’t guarantee that it will become a viral video, but you can get it in front of as many eyes as possible.

To achieve that goal, you’ll need to promote your video across multiple channels. With dozens of places to share your content, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This video promotion checklist will help you show off each video you make.

Check out the handy infographic below, then read on for more details on each step.

Video Promotion Checklist: Prepare

Before you even think about pressing the upload button, you need to make your supporting material. This will help your video stand out on the algorithms and be seen by your potential customers. Steps one through nine include all the essentials.

1. Pick the Perfect Title

Short but descriptive. Smart but clear. Your video title has to accomplish a lot in just a few words.  Your title should either: 

  • Make a promise that your video delivers ex. 18 Clever Ways to Promote Your Next Video
  • Ask a question that your video answers ex. Why is No One Watching Your Content?
  • Present a problem your video solves ex. You’ve Been Promoting Videos Wrong Your Whole Life

When in doubt, aim for clarity over cleverness. Remember to avoid clickbait. You absolutely must deliver on the promise, answer the question, or solve the problem if you want viewers to keep trusting you.

2. Choose A Thumbnail

Select a thumbnail image that’s interesting enough to invite people to click and give your video a chance. You might even choose a couple of thumbnails to attract different audiences on different platforms. Think of your thumbnail as a book cover. Will it make people curious enough to invest their time with you?

For example, which of these two images makes a better thumbnail?

screenshots of two thumbnails from videos

The first one draws you in. The emoji ball is confused. What’s he confused about? What are his friends in the background doing? You want to click to find out more. While both images are still, the first is clearly in the middle of a story. The second image needs more context to be effective, which means it’s probably not the best choice for a thumbnail.

Pro Tip:  If your thumbnail is going to act as an image link (in an email, for example) you may want to do some quick photo editing to overlay a play button like in our examples above. This will invite people to click through to your video.

3. Design Your Thumbnail with Added Text

The best thumbnail designs include text that helps potential viewers understand what the video is about. You can use Canva or Photoshop to create text overlays that help your videos stand out. Check out these examples from Simon Whistler for inspiration.

examples of thumbnails from Simon Whistler's YouTube channels

Pro Tip: You don’t have to use your full video title in your thumbnail image. In fact, it might be better not to. The thumbnail title should give an idea of the topic while the full title gives extra details that make people want to click. The middle image above is a great example of this.

4. Create A GIF

This is the only optional element on the video promotion checklist. You don’t absolutely need a GIF to promote your video, but it can be an eye-catching tool. In email and on some social platforms, you can use a GIF in place of a thumbnail to draw attention to your video without autoplaying.

bouncing emoji ball gif

Pro Tip: Choose a section of the video that will work well as a loop and will also give the viewer some idea of what the video is about.

5. Write A Description

Craft a short description that is keyword rich and also gives some indication of what the video is about. For meta descriptions, stick to between 50 and 160 words. If you’re using the text to accompany your video on social or on your blog, you can expand it a little.

description of the Jornaya video. It reads: Jornaya is the consumer journey insight platform that provides marketers, data analysts, and compliance professionals with the highest-resolution view of the customer buying journey. 

They contacted us to make a promotional video of their great product in a clear, friendly and modern way

Pro Tip: for some social platforms (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter) the keywords in your description may work better as #hashtags. Adjust your hashtags to better reflect what’s trending and relevant on each platform.

6. Identify Keywords

What keywords or hashtags describe your video? You can use these in your descriptions and social media posts to help people on that platform discover your video. They’re the words someone might search for if they were looking for a video like yours. 

Having a ready-made list of these words will increase your visibility across different marketing platforms. Consider words that describe the video or the audience for whom the video is intended. Different keywords may work best on specific platforms, but for now, just put together a list of words or phrases that might be useful.

word cloud featuring keywords

Pro Tip: You can use keyword research tools like Keyword Tool, Hashtagify, or Google Search Console to find relevant keywords for your industry. Answer the Public is particularly effective at finding long-tail keywords.

7. Create a Transcript

A transcript makes your video more accessible, and not just for people with hearing impairments. Many people watch videos with the sound turned off. Including captions or uploading a transcript with your video helps viewers stay engaged. Transcripts can also make your video more discoverable by search engines

screenshot of a transcription from a video

Pro Tip: Many video sharing platforms, including YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, offer automatic transcription. If you use this feature, always double-check to make sure the transcript doesn’t include any embarrassing errors.

8. Create an SRT File

An SRT file is a specially formatted text file that adds captions to your videos. YouTube, Vimeo, and some social media platforms let you upload custom SRT files with your videos. You’d need special software to create these files yourself. Fortunately, online services like REV.com can do it for you. 

9. Choose Metrics

Decide which metrics are most important for measuring the success of your video. You might think that the most important metric is views, but that’s not always the case. Think about what you’re really trying to accomplish with this video. Might click-through rate be a better gauge of success? Or even conversions?

Pro Tip: Going viral is not a strategy. Focus on measurable metrics for consistent growth.

a yellow ball wearing glasses and a big smile hovers on a blue background. Above his head is a gauge labeled ROI with the needle all the way to maximum

Video Promotion Checklist: Sharing

With all of the essential materials ready to go, you can start sharing your video across different marketing platforms. Steps 10 through 15 on our video promotion checklist help you get your video in front of as many viewers as possible.

10. Include a Call To Action

Unless you tell them what to do, video audiences are likely to just keep watching videos. Adding a call to action encourages them to act instead. Your CTA should be one simple action they can take right now. Examples include: 

  • Contact us today
  • Call now
  • Download our free eBook

Crafting an excellent call to action will help turn viewers into customers. You can add your CTA in the text around your video, on a card at the end, or as part of the video itself.

11. Share On Organic Social Media

Share your video across all of your social media channels. This might include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok or other channels you use to communicate with your audience. Don’t forget to make sure your video is optimized for each channel using the correct technical specifications!

example of the share this video screen from Vimeo

Pro Tip: Wherever possible, upload directly to your social media account rather than sharing a link from a hosting platform. Most social media channels prefer native video.

12. Create a Social Media Ad

You don’t have to create a paid social media ad campaign for every video. But if you’re thoughtful about which videos you promote, ads can help you increase awareness, boost viewership, and maximize reach. Before you promote a video ask yourself:

  • Who am I targeting with this video?
  • What is my budget for an ad campaign?
  • What am I hoping to accomplish with this ad?
  • How will I measure success?
example of a Facebook ad. The caption says: social media ads can help put your video in front of people who might not see it otherwise. Try it out!

Pro Tip: Set specific goals for your video ad so you can easily measure whether it’s performing the way you want it too. Clear goals can also help you pick the right paid social channel for your video ad.

13. Draft A Blog Post

Blog posts promoting your video can take several forms. The simplest option is to embed the video and include a short description. You could also post the video with a full transcription for those who prefer to read. Or, you might write a post that expands on an idea in your video. Then embed or include a link to the video in your blog post.

Pro Tip: Surrounding your video with relevant text and keywords helps it rank on Google and other search engines

14. Push Out An Email

If you have an email list, you don’t have to rely on your blog and social media alone to promote your video. Share it with people who already follow you through email. You can do this as a stand-alone message or as part of your regularly scheduled newsletter. Use your GIF, description and thumbnail to make the video attractive to your list subscribers.

sample of an email newsletter sharing a video

Pro Tip: Join the IdeaRocket mailing list to get the latest video industry insight, marketing advice, and pro tips.

15. Write a Video Press Release

Press releases might not feel modern, but they really do work. If your video is newsworthy, time-sensitive, or seasonal, a press release can help you get exposure.

Journalists are busy, so when a press release is packed with timely information and a video, they’re thrilled that someone has done a lot of the work for them.  One study found that PR with embedded media increases engagement by 55%

Attach a link to your video at the top of the press release, and include a thumbnail. You can send your press release directly to bloggers, podcasters and journalists or post it on relevant PR sites like Newswire. 

Pro Tip: If your press release earns you some coverage, link to the story and use that to further promote your brand. Then create a press page on your site to show your authority and help you earn more press in the future.

Video Promotion Checklist: Outreach

Targeted outreach can help attract even more eyes to your video. You’re looking for people who could gain value from watching your video, or who might want to share it with their audience. Steps 16 through 18 on our video promotion checklist show you how to find and approach these people. 

16. Recruit Influencers

Think about the people in your industry who might be interested enough in this video to like and potentially share it with their own followers. This could be a formal arrangement with a B2B influencer, but it doesn’t have to be. 

If you have a professional relationship with someone who might be willing to share your video, it can be as easy as sending the person a message or tagging them on social media. 

example of a post sharing a video on twitter with the caption @willgadea have you seen this? It might solve the issue you posted about last week

Pro tip: Don’t overuse this option. Make sure the person you tag really would get value from the video. If it doesn’t feel relevant to them, they’ll ignore you. Worse, they might ignore future messages from you because you’ll gain a reputation as a spammer.

17. Answer Questions on Public Forums

People use the internet to find answers to problems. One of the most popular ways to get answers to your questions is by visiting Q&A sites like Quora. Search Quora for relevant keywords that have to do with your business and jump in! 

Answer questions with simple direct responses that include a link to your video. A popular Quora response featuring your video (with a lot of upvotes) can drive a surprising amount of traffic to your site. 

You can use the same tactic on Reddit. Just make sure that you’re offering useful information that directly answers the question being asked and always follow community guidelines for the subreddit you’re posting in. 

18. Enlist Your Team to Share

Make sure everyone on your marketing and sales teams has access to a sharable version of the video. They should be able to easily send it to a potential client or post it to their own social media accounts to help spread the word. You might even want to give the sales team talking points. 

For example: 

  • The video answers the following questions… 
  • This video is aimed at customers interested in these topics….
  • The video overcomes the following objections…

By giving your sales team access to your video library, you help them make sales and you get the most out of your video. 

example of the screen from LinkedIn showing the notify employees button in the top right corner

Pro Tip: As shown above, LinkedIn gives you a “notify employees” button which will automatically let all of your team members who are on LinkedIn know that a new video has been posted. It’s a simple way to maximize video promotion.

When to Use This Video Promotion Checklist

Use this video promotion checklist for each video you create. You can even customize it to cover the specific social media platforms and other marketing channels you use.

Of course, all of this works best when you start with a high-quality video that engages your potential customers. That’s where IdeaRocket comes in. Contact one of our video creation experts today.

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