If you’re serious about taking your site to the next level, there are several tips and tools that can help get you there. Video blogs are a great way to draw in viewers, especially those using mobile devices. There is more to a successful video blog than simply reading what you would normally type in a blog post. If you are looking for some ways to help increase your traffic and viewer retention, here are some tips that can help.
Hook Them with Your Headline
According to ProBlogger.net, only two out of every ten visitors will ever get past your headline. This makes your headline vital if you want to grab those viewers from the beginning. Regardless of how great your video content is, if your headline is boring, nobody will click on your post. John Morrow from CopyBlogger wrote a fantastic list of tips for creating effective headline hooks. It can be read as a Cliff Notes for creating a headline that can mean the difference between 100 views and several thousand. Drawing your visitors in with a strong headline will make it more likely that they will actually view your blog, rather than skipping along to another site that sounds more interesting.
Make sure you follow through on that headline, though. If your content isn’t just as fascinating as you make it sound, your viewers won’t trust you enough to come back. Don’t linger on the text after your headline, either. Your viewers expect that video blog, and you can only put it off for so long before their attention wanders or they start to get annoyed. There is nothing worse than teasing your viewer with a great title, and then making them read a ton of content just to get to it. According to Jay Baer from Convince and Convert, you want to make sure your video is embedded near the top of the post. Once you’ve got your viewer’s attention, the video should be what holds it.
That said, if you don’t normally offer video content, be sure to clearly label video blog posts. Returning visitors, especially those with older machines or slower connections, will appreciate the head’s up that a simple “Video” tag added to the header of your video blog post offers.
Offer Compelling Content
If you’ve got a video that will offer your customer something in return for watching it, capitalize on that. That doesn’t mean you have to give away everything, but if you’re an expert in your field or have information that people want and need, put at least some of that information into a freely available post. Make sure that both the text and videos are of high quality and contain useful content. If you ask your viewers to provide an email address or sign up for an account, make sure you deliver on the implied promise that they will be getting something more for their trouble. Asking visitors to sign up for an account before providing more in-depth content can be effective, but only if you follow through.
Compelling video blog content will earn your viewers’ trust. Continuing to post compelling content is what will keep them coming back. Obviously, everything you post will not go viral the day you post it, and that’s ok. The goal of every post doesn’t need to be getting 10,000 views. If you have great content, your audience will build and they’ll start following you in order to get more. Building an audience that will keep coming back sets you up for long-term success.
Pluck Those Heart Strings
This may seem like it’s cheating, but it isn’t. When you create really great video content, playing to the emotional heart strings of your audience is a great way to increase traffic. Buzzfeed editors say that at least 50 percent of their blogs that go viral are emotionally charged. Either anger or happiness: that’s what people are responding to. Just look at all those cat videos. While they’re not particularly content-rich, they are videos that people can’t stop watching. Why? Cute cat videos play to happiness. They’re positive and offer a great escape, if only for a few minutes.
Though your blog may not be the proper venue for videos full of adorable kitten antics, don’t be afraid to include an emotional element when it makes sense. A video that creates an emotional reaction, positive or negative, is one that will be remembered and shared. It is okay to be calculating about the kind of emotion you want your viewers to feel in response to your videos. In fact, it’s smart to take this into account, especially if you post something that is controversial or likely to result in a lot of negative emotion. In cases like that, you should have a plan in place for dealing with any backlash. You may need to keep a close eye on comments and debates, or shut them down entirely. Generally, treating your viewers with respect, especially if they have opinions that differ from yours, helps you build a strong reputation as someone who is both knowledgeable and fair.
The best thing you can do to make your video blog successful is to provide regular content, according to professional blogger and best-selling author Michael Hyatt. You should provide your viewers with new content at least two or three times a week. Try to be consistent in when you post – work off a regular schedule, or plan to space posts out evenly. Regular viewers appreciate knowing when they can expect new posts. This allows them to plan for when they will visit your blog.
If you find you are generating more content than your schedule allows for, don’t immediately decide to increase the frequency of your posts. See if there are some blogs that you can hold back to cover future gaps. You can also look into offering that extra content to related blogs as guest posts. Posting as a guest on another blog lets you access their audience, and a particularly compelling blog post there can draw more viewers back to your site.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Don’t just hope for success. It takes time and work to make a blog that draws in visitors by the boatload. Pay attention to how your audience reacts. If something doesn’t work well for you the first time, analyze it and do better the next time. Something as small as changing your headline can do the trick.