Whether you’ve vowed to learn Spanish or drink more of those seaweed-green kale shakes, sometimes New Year’s resolutions can admittedly sound like a straight-up lie (okay, a well-intentioned lie).

Commit to better videosBased on advice from health experts, it’s more likely you’ll succeed if your goal excites you and isn’t too much of a stretch from your typical lifestyle.

That said, improving your video marketing in 2014 is a perfect resolution! Not only is video trendy and inspiring (who doesn’t dream of releasing the next Virgin Airlines safety video?), but it’s also a medium 70% of B2B marketers have experimented with already.

So although you might be back to reality TV and Cheetos in a few weeks, here’s some actionable tips you can implement today to improve your video marketing:

1. Collect some feedback

Many marketers release videos with a lot of uncertainty. There’s often no internal review process and you can ultimately be a bit unsure if your target audience will like your content before you release it into the wild. This year encourage your team to be especially critical when reviewing your videos, and – as Reel SEO suggests – send out a secure version of your video to select contacts with a survey to get some external perspective.

Did your test audience find your call to action compelling enough? Did they get your jokes? You can use a pre-release to find out if your initial concept (and the desired action) is clear.

2. Use email gates to capture leads

Use email gates for lead generationThe majority of your videos have to be more than entertainment alone if they’re going to drive business. So, just as you use email gates on white papers, add gates to select videos to collect contact info.

If you set up a newsletter last year, for example, an optional email gate on your latest video can prompt subscription to that channel before viewers gain access to full-version content.

In 2014, find small ways to optimize your content for lead generation and use video as a way to drive subscription to your other content initiatives.

3. Use your first few seconds wisely

video attention span for our salesforce promoBased on attention span data, you’ve only got about eight seconds to capture your audience before they’ll bounce. To combat short attention spans, use the first line of your video to qualify viewers right away. In other words, if the first line of your video is super specific, you’ll instantly lose the portion of the audience that is least likely to convert and you’ll be left with those in your target market you can actually persuade.

Video requires you get to the meat of your message much faster and by aiming to hold at least 60% of your audience until the very end, you’ll set a benchmark for success. You can read an article outlining how to do this here.

4. Spice up your B2B message

Think Red Bull is the only brand that can have fun with their videos? Think again! Video marketing makes for an exciting goal because you’ll need some creativity to stand out among the marketers doing it right.

This year develop and schedule a minimum of five video nurturing campaigns or create a series of episodic brand content. Be sure to tailor your videos to all stages of the buying process and personalize the content for decision makers in your industry.

Whether you use a song, a rap, a clever parody, or spoof a famous ad campaign – aim to create something memorable and timely with storytelling techniques. Check out some inspiring B2B video examples from top brands to get you started.

5. Implement a process based on performance

Video Strategy CycleOne of the biggest marketing challenges is connecting video campaigns to ROI. If you start using video analytics, however, you can visibly see exactly which campaigns are making a difference based on attention span and whether your target market is engaging all the way through to the end of each video.

Starting this month, design a video process where you:

  • Carefully construct content based on a schedule
  • Release videos with wide distribution on various networks
  • Use analytics to understand what’s working (or better yet, what’s not working) so you can ultimately…
  • Modify your upcoming content to perform really well

6. Combine video data with marketing automation

The best way to deliver compelling digital experiences is to understand what your audience wants and then personalize the content they receive at exactly the right time.

In the next six weeks, evaluate if you’re ready to consolidate all of your video viewership data within your marketing automation platform. When you integrate the two platforms, you can see patterns in individual leads’ viewing history and send automated, targeted emails to leads based on how much content they actually watch.

If David the CMO from company XYZ has watched three of your product videos all the way to the end, you can set triggers in your MAP to send him even more content personalized to his interests right when he’s finished watching the videos. This is targeted selling at it’s finest, and it all starts with video.

7. Think like a casting director

You might have had a great concept, but that guy in your video? Well, if he’s a bit boring or monotone he could be the reason nobody’s sticking around. When you choose your speaker, they’re your first impression with prospects. When casting, consider your speaker’s projected persona, whether they speak with varied intonation, and if they’re a great representative of your brand. Most importantly, choose someone genuine your target audience will connect with.

These tips should help you on the road to better videos this year. If you have some tips to share on production, distribution, lead generation with video – or you’d like to share your own video marketing resolutions – write us a comment below!

Jennifer Pepper