Studying how people use video search to find the content they want is an essential, but often neglected, area of marketing.
Once we understand how video search engines work, we can begin developing marketing strategies for this traffic source. Understanding your target audience's search intent and properly optimizing your videos can unlock new lead generation methods for your business.
This guide breaks down video search engines and how they can be used to increase your traffic.
What is video search?
The first thing we need to think about is why people search for videos in the first place. What makes someone search for a specific video? Why are you looking for this video? What do you want to achieve?
All of these questions are important to answer and will be answered one by one.
According to Google, people search for videos for three different reasons. They either want to reflect, connect, or learn. What does that mean exactly?
An opportunity to reflect
Videos in any form have given us the opportunity to escape reality. For many decades it has been in the form of television. Many people use video to see life through a different lens, which helps them think about their own lives.
This could be a reason someone is looking for a video.
Connect with someone
Another reason anyone can use video is to encourage connections. 51% of people in a study carried out by Google said they felt the need to connect with others through video content.
A good example could be someone struggling with alcohol addiction. Their first answer would be to back off and hide from friends and family because that is what they are used to.
A quick video search will bring up hundreds of videos of people going through the same thing and now they can relate to someone. We are looking for videos to connect with our community and to meet on a common basis.
To learn something new
Videos have become a way for us to find out anything we might be interested in and there are almost no restrictions on what we can find with a quick video search. Whether you want to touch up something you already know or want to dive into something completely new, there are millions of videos on the web that can help you achieve your goal or explore your hobbies.
How people search for videos
After we understand the "why", let's look at the "how". How do people search for videos on the internet and what does that tell us as marketers?
A very common way people search for videos is through traditional search engines. A quick google search for something actionable brings up hundreds of videos dealing with the topic. For example, if someone wants to learn how to properly tape a living room with a home paint sprayer, it may be easier for them to watch a video than to read it than to read it up.
You can also go to the video section on the search results page to see the video results only.
You can type your search into the Google search bar, then choose from the recommended videos. You can also click the Videos tab and search for videos only, not text results.
Another popular way to search for videos is through social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and others make it easy for you to search for videos in a number of different ways.
For example, Instagram uses hashtags to tag videos. This feature makes it easy for users to search for the specific hashtag and find your video if you've optimized it properly.
Hashtags aren't that popular on Facebook, but you still have video descriptions and subtitles that are searchable.
How To Use Video Search To Grow Your Business
As marketers, it's our job to get the right content to the right audience at the right time.
To do this, we need to understand a few things.
# 1: understand your video search group
You need to understand who your target audience is, but this gets a little more advanced when you talk about video search. This task isn't as simple as optimizing a landing page for your organic search group. We need to talk about a full overhaul based on the platform you are using.
This has several levels.
In the first level, you select the platform on which you will promote your videos. For example, the audience on Facebook is very different from the audience on TikTok. No matter how hard you try, you won't reach a lot of seniors with TikTok, even if you have the perfect video content for that demographic.
Once you understand the platform's general population, you need to break it down and find out who your specific target audience is. What is your buyer personality? What types of videos do you like to watch? Are you looking for entertainment, information, connections, etc.?
The final level is what types of searches are they doing? If you know where and who they are, how can you connect them to your video? What do they type in the search bar and how can they get that on to you?
The easiest way to understand all of this is to reverse engineer it just like we do with organic SEO. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client and look for a video in your wheelhouse. Find out what keywords are going where and what to do based on your competition to stay ahead of them.
# 2: connect to the video viewfinder
This point piggybacks on the previous one, but goes a little deeper. When you connect with the seeker, you need to understand what they are looking for so that you can be the one to provide them.
The attention span is short, so you need to give the correct answer in your video as soon as possible. Otherwise, people will turn elsewhere.
Another key to video search is to give the audience exactly what they want right away. If the first few seconds of your video don't pique the viewer's interest, move on to the other hundreds of options available to them.
# 3: know your chosen video platform
Another point to consider is the platform you choose to use from point 1. How well do you understand how to use it? Do you know how video search works? Do you understand the basics of the algorithm and methods used to determine which videos are displayed and how they are ranked?
Just as we try to understand everything about Google's SEO algorithms, we have to do the same thing with every platform. If you don't understand, you may be left behind.
# 4: Time it right
Timing is a big factor. The length of your video plays an important role in the selection and ranking of the video. There is no "end for all" video length as the ideal length depends on the platform.
That said, if someone is looking for a quick fix to a problem, throw that case out the window. For example, when someone is trying to figure out how to upload a selected image to WordPress, they don't want to watch a 15 minute video because they know there is a lot of fluff.
Your video would probably do a lot better if it were only for a minute, since people assume it gets straight to the point.
In many video searches, Google even determines where the searched result is contained in the video in the search results.
They pull out a section so you can get the answer you're looking for without looking at it all.
# 5: Optimize properly
Lastly, you need to optimize your videos. Here is a complete guide to video SEO, but there are a few important factors that are specific to video search.
First your thumbnail:
The thumbnail of your video is like the trailer for your upcoming movie. If the trailer sucks, probably no one will see the movie.
If your thumbnail isn't working, fewer people will click through to your video. Your thumbnail must contain keywords and instill confidence in the viewer that your video will solve the problem.
Second, you need to optimize your video descriptions across all platforms. Every video search platform uses keywords to determine how relative a video is to what the user is looking for. You need to make sure that you are following basic SEO principles when searching for videos as well.
The most beloved Video search engines
Many people wonder what the top video search engines are, but remember, it is unique to each individual. What is a hit on Facebook could fill up on TikTok and vice versa. When choosing these top six video search engines, make sure you take into account everything we have discussed so far.
Facebook Video search
Video marketing on Facebook is about breaking patterns. If you are targeting an older demographic, your content is a little more reputable, and you can get noticed quickly, Facebook might be an excellent place for you.
The problem I've seen with Facebook videos is the implementation of intrusive ads. That's why I recommend sticking to short, cute, and direct videos on Facebook. If your main purpose in creating the video is to sell something, keep it super short, ideally less than 60 seconds.
One area where Facebook shines is in e-commerce. I keep watching videos of people using a product they bought online and they do a great job of making the video seem organic.
The key to getting your video on Facebook in front of your audience is to make sure you are including the right keywords in your description and that you have a very refined audience.
Youtube Video search
Understanding Youtube video search is about understanding video SEO. In addition to the manual work and the knowledge you acquire, there are also various tools and extensions available.
One thing about YouTube is that they reward continuous creators. Consistency is important. If you want to be successful with YouTube, you need to create videos every week for the algorithm to recognize that you are a consistent creator.
I see YouTube marketing as a great way for partners, content creators, and artists to showcase their work. If you produce something as a product or are a partner or something, YouTube is the place to show your stuff.
The platform also puts a lot more emphasis on longer videos. If you create high quality content, the longer videos will add to your viewing time, which has a positive effect on ranking.
Instagram Video search
Instagram is based on discovery. If you want to switch from nothing to something, Instagram seems like the place to be. Video search on Instagram is made possible through the use of hashtags.
If someone wants to find something specific or want to filter content, they search with hashtags.
A great way to get discovered on Instagram is to take advantage of trends. Throughout the year, Instagram has seen a myriad of hashtag trends exploding in terms of search volume. When you find one that is relevant to you and your audience, you may be able to create a viral video or "roll" (their version of TikTok) in no time.
Twitter Video search
The use of Twitter video search is similar to that of Facebook. it has to be interruptive without being intrusive. You want to have the correct key phrases in the description of your video as users will be looking for content related to that phrase.
Also, be aware that platforms like Twitter choose which videos to display in users' Twitter feeds. Hence, relevant keywords for the content of your video can land in your ideal client's feed.
Vimeo Video search
Vimeo is very similar to YouTube, but Vimeo has an advantage with smaller, boutique-style audiences. There is less competition, the quality of the videos is better, and the viewers are more dedicated to the videos they watch.
Another recommendation for marketing on Vimeo is to keep track of your viewers. Because the audience is so much smaller, there is much less spam and bots, which means that the people who have questions about what you are selling or promoting are actually chatting.
Tick tock Video search
The content of TikTok is the be-all and end-all. Compared to all other platforms, this app is the only place you can post a video without a follower and get millions of views if you know what to post.
It is important that you understand your audience and use their feelings, emotions, fears and desires. Who do you want to address and what do you want them to feel when you watch this video?
When you find out that number, enter a correct description, add some hashtags, and see what happens. There is no proven formula because the content is so important on this platform. If your content resonates with the right people, they'll get likes and shares, and the sky is the limit from there.
After understanding video search, how people search for videos, why they search and how to contact them, how do you feel? Feel like any of the previous video sharing platforms could work for your brand?
If this all sounds like a lot of work, then it's worth learning more about what we've done to help other marketers get their videos in front of the right audience.
Which platform do you think is the best for future video marketing?