Done right, your videos can take on a life of their own and be little ambassadors for your dance studio. They can reach out into your community, increase loyalty with your existing dancers/parents, and bring new ones through your doors.
Setting Your Videos Up for Social Success
Gone are the days when a video’s success is reflected by how VIRAL it got. I mean sure, it would be cool if your video of a dance number takes off and is seen by tens or hundreds of thousands of people across the country and globe. But what would that arbitrary large number of viewers DO for you?
Would people 3 states away be worthy prospects to take class at your studio? Would the video raise your reputation with the people who matter, and with direct positive effects for your studio? Let’s face it, viral videos are cool, but typically don’t have legs.
Instead of hoping to go viral, decide to go social!
Successful dance studio videos today are all about social engagement. The number of people who have watched the video is nowhere near as important as whether the video is being talked about, whether it’s being shared on social media, and whether there are a lot of comments or conversations happening around the video.
Social video is about more sharing, more interaction, and more discussion.
So what kinds of videos result in these behaviors? Start with considering what your dancers, dance parents, and prospects want to see (not necessarily what you want them to see). What do they want to learn from you? How can you best entertain them?
For best results, create videos that will give your audience an emotional response of some sort. If you do, they’ll be far more likely to engage in conversation about your video and share it with others. For instance:
Give your audience a joyful moment
For example, a video of your 3-year old ‘binkies’ performing during recital will give the same ‘aaaahhh’ reaction as a video of little puppies tumbling over each other. The cuteness factor can’t be denied. Add the humor that often comes with such a video, and it will likely be shared from one person to another.
Shock them or surprise them
Remember back when flash mobs were all the rage? Do you remember the first time you watched a flash mob video? Delightful, surprising, and super sharable, wasn’t it? This is one of the early flash mob videos I remember watching. How about you?
It’s not just Flash mob videos that offer a welcome surprise. Often, a well-choreographed dance piece has moments of surprise or awe. Such a piece (or portion of a piece) would be perfect to share with your audience through video, and in turn they may share it with others.
Appeal to their heartstrings
A video of a dancer fully committing to a performance, with a deeply felt connection to her or his choreography, can certainly appeal to your viewers’ emotions. If your dancer exhibits a poignancy, passion, sadness, and/or intensity, it is likely not only to create an interest in the mind of the viewer, but also the desire for them to share the experience of the video through their social accounts.
The dancer or dancers are sharing and expressing themselves through movement, and when we identify with the emotions they are conveying, it can make us want to share that art and beauty with others.
Teach them something
These days, when people want to learn the perfect way to hard boil an egg, or tie a tie, or make a starburst bracelet rainbow loom (whatever that is), they turn to video. Including instructional videos in your dance studio’s video mix is a particularly bright idea, as they’re more likely to actually lead people towards registration.
People love the visual, step-by-step learning that video can give them. Videos such as “How to Dance to Hip Hop Music”, “How to Do a Shuffle Step”, and “How to Do 3 Basic Jazz Dance Turns” make it fun for people to try out dance styles and get comfortable with the idea taking an actual dance class, and they’re also a fantastic introduction to your studio when shared with members of your community.
So try making them laugh. Shock or surprise them. Share something beautiful; something that touches you. Teach someone a skill, or provide them with useful information, and the video is more likely to be shared.
Dance is by nature a beautiful and entertaining art form, and so you’ve got a lot more to work with than a company that sells something dull such as plumbing supplies or bookkeeping services (sorry, plumbers and bookkeepers!)
How can you make it more likely that your videos will be shared?
So now that you have videos (or plan to make videos) that are super sharable, how do you make your videos ‘go social’? How can you make it more likely that your videos will be shared?
Use YouTube to upload, embed, and share your videos!
There are other video sites out there (I see you Vimeo!), but Google owns YouTube, a fact that can’t be overlooked. YouTube makes videos easy to upload and incredibly easy to ‘embed’ on your dance studio’s website. Assuming you have the ability to make changes to your own studio website, with just a few clicks you can place video directly on your About the Studio page, Events page, or Gallery page. Videos on your website really engages your site visitors, making them more inclined to share your videos with others.
Make your video more findable within YouTube
Videos often appear on the first page of search engines and are a proven method of leap-frogging your competition to the top of the search results page. To make your videos more findable, do the following with each:
1) Make sure your targeted keywords are in the first few words of your title
For example, for a video answering dance-related questions commonly asked in your Madison, WI community, you might use this as your video title: “Madison, WI Dance Studio – Answers to Your Questions about Ballet Lessons”.
2) Optimize your video's description
To do so, start your description with the full URL (website address) pointing to your dance studio’s website, and then be as descriptive and keyword-rich as possible in the description of your video’s content. This will help you get found more easily by people searching YouTube for your type of content.
3) Use video tags!
Go into your video manager area in YouTube and include any and all related keywords in the tags field for each of your videos. These easy-to-manage variables are a great start to getting your dance videos found by the people you want to see them.
Use other platforms to extend the reach of your videos!
Every time you post a new video, post it to Facebook. Tweet about it. Mention it in your newsletter, and make sure to embed it on your website, or at least link to it.
Remember to talk about new videos when conversing with students and parents at the studio
Video buzz doesn’t need to happen through social media. A dance mom saying to her peers, “Did you see the studio’s cute video of last week’s Nutcracker rehearsal on YouTube?” can be just as good as her tweeting about it.
Get Bold!! Come right out and ask for help from your dancers and dance parents in sharing your videos. Because you have a relationship with them, it’s probable they’ll be open to sharing your videos in whichever way they are most comfortable. In fact, they’ll likely feel more a part of your dance family for doing so.
The fact is, people are happy to share videos they think their friends will be interested in… Videos that educate, entertain, or inform. And those ‘shares’ extend the reach of your dance studio to new people in your community.
Trying to go viral is so ‘yesterday’. Instead, go social!
You can do so much for your studio using videos, above & beyond going social. Here are 5 main benefits to using video marketing for your dance studio.
Best wishes to you & your studio,
P.S. This post is a part of the Dance Studio Video Marketing Handbook. Check it out for lots more juicy content & actionable tips!