One of our clients saw just how powerful a good headline is when they added custom titles to video content and got twice as many viewers.

Industry: Technology news
Content: Video blogs
Highlights: Started using custom headlines, video viewers doubled

Video content is taking over the digital landscape, and it’s not just cat videos or TV clips that are gaining popularity. There’s growing demand for video content from companies, regardless of their audience focus. B2Cs and B2Bs alike face pressure to create interesting videos for their target audiences online – emphasis on interesting.

It seems they’re mostly rising to the challenge. The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Trends report listed video as a top content marketing tactic for both verticals, but that doesn’t always mean they’re bringing their creative A-games.

Video marketing increases in 2015Case in point: A client in the technology field that was publishing daily video news digests with a templated title. When the company published another episode, it would use the same generic series headline with that day’s date.

Was this an engaging way to deliver top tech stories to busy readers? Absolutely. This strategy has the hallmarks of an excellent use of video:

  • It features inviting presenters who bring the news to life
  • It gives readers something they can’t get from a series of articles – multiple takeaways in a single, short video

However, it was still missing something – the added layer of intrigue that comes from an eye-catching headline.

What’s in a title? The key to getting viewers

I could go on about the importance of a good headline, but I’ll let these stats speak for themselves:

Video views increased with custom headlines

That’s right. In this particular case, we saw that the daily video blogs got twice as many viewers after we began providing original titles for every video in place of the serialized headline.

Readers respond to specific information. They may not click a video – and commit to spending a couple of minutes on it – if they’re not sure what they’re going to get out of it. When the client changed its approach and used the headlines as an opportunity to make it clear what information each update contained, viewers answered back with more clicks and views.

More attention, better engagement

The influx of traffic to the videos add to the overall success the strategy was bringing to its digital marketing channels. Compared to overall website traffic, video viewers have higher engagement metrics:

  • They spend twice as much time on the website
  • They visit over 3 more pages than the average visitor

This is a consistent finding across companies that add video to their content marketing strategies. Here’s an example of a healthcare IT firm that increased dwell time six-fold with online videos tailored to its target audience.

Videos can be extremely effective marketing tools, but the format itself can’t overcome a lackluster headline or misguided topic. Marketers need to create every video so that it takes advantage of opportunities to attract and influence the intended viewers.

Here are some additional resources about how to get video content right: 

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.