Hilarious cat videos aren’t a marketing strategy

By Tim Priebe on April 5, 2017

By Tim Priebe on April 5, 2017

It’s clear that a big part of the future—and present—of digital marketing is online video. It’s been over a decade since Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion, and it’s not just funny cat videos any more.

Online videos can be an effective marketing tool, but only if done right! Hilarious cat videos aren’t a valid marketing strategy, but neither are boring commercials.

If you want to utilize online videos as part of your overall strategy, there are a few principles you need to follow.

Principle 1: Add value

I hate to beat a dead horse here. But for some reason, remembering to provide value seems to be harder when it comes to videos. Maybe it’s because commercials were the only real video marketing or advertising that small and medium sized companies did in the past.

Online videos need to add value, not just promote your organization!

If someone’s already on your website, they’re likely looking for information about your company. At that point, it’s okay to have a commercial of sorts. We do that on our website! Having a video alternative to lengthy text is great. People actually like that!

But why would a random person on Facebook or YouTube want to watch your commercial?

Videos can do so much more. They can solve a pain, answer a question, or simply entertain. If you can demonstrate that value before a customer actually buys from you, they’ll be that much more likely to make a purchase.

Principle 2: Be succinct

Our attention span as a society seems to be decreasing. I know I’m an example of someone who suffers from what I refer to as shiny object syndrome.


Where was I? Ah, yes. In general, the shorter your video, the better. Between one and five minutes is a good guideline.

Of course, sometimes longer videos can be successful. Just be careful! A professional can help you determine when longer is better. If you’re making the decision alone, assume shorter is better.

Principle 3: Be consistent

Years ago you might be able to launch a website and forget about it, and you were pretty much set from a digital marketing standpoint. Those days are long gone.

In many areas of digital marketing, consistency is key. Online video is no exception!

In fact, sometimes just announcing your plans for consistency can help! Here at T&S, we had been publishing two videos a month for quite a while, and we were slowly building an audience.

When we announced our new online show, PixelTV, our subscriber count on YouTube increased quickly because of that perceived consistency. We’d already been cranking out two videos a month. But once we made sure people knew, we increased our subscriber count, which increased the exposure each video received.

Principle 4: Include a clear next step

We all want to be a famous star, right? Well, maybe not. Regardless, your videos need to do more than just get you views and subscribers. They need to get you customers!

While your video viewers may not be quite ready to buy yet, it’s important that you make some sort of offer they can take you up on. What’s the next step that makes the most sense for someone viewing your video?

Of course, it has to be an easy step to take, provide obvious value for them, and be beneficial for you as well.

Maybe you’ll send them to your website for more information, or ask them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. Or maybe you’ll have a different clear next step that makes sense for your organization! Just make sure to have one.

Listen, not every video marketing campaign is going to be a huge success. But if you’re going to make an investment in online video, these principles will greatly increase your chance of success.

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