Video is a powerful marketing tool. It's the fastest-growing advertising and content marketing format, according to Forrester. Moreover, video ensures greater reach on social platforms, improves search ranking, and meets growing consumer expectations for video content.

However, video has a relatively short shelf-life.

Marketers are familiar with the pattern: After a surge of initial interest when they're first published, videos begin to decline in views or become outdated. The average YouTube video gets 40% of its total views in the first three weeks and then views gradually decline over time, according to video marketing platform Pixability.

However, video is a dynamic asset that can be edited, tweaked, and optimized over time; so, by iterating on existing video content, marketers can continue to generate interest for their videos without breaking the bank.

Here are a few painless ways to keep your video content current and engaging.

1. Update the metadata

One of the easiest ways to bring renewed energy to a video is to update its metadata—that is, its title, description, and tags. When you upload a video to platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, you can go in at any time and update that information to make your videos more discoverable.

In fact, YouTube's Creator Academy explains that "dramatically changing the metadata on an existing video can signal the systems behind YouTube search and suggested video results that they should take another look at your video, and this can change your video's placement."

So, if your video views have waned, try changing things up to include more robust metadata. Keep in mind that the top-performing brands on YouTube maintain twice the number of video tags than other brands, according to Pixability's research.

Note, however, that both your video thumbnail image and metadata should be relevant to the content of your video, otherwise you run the risk of confusing or misleading your audience.

As your business evolves, different keywords become relevant, and it's important to keep them updated for the videos you have already published.

2. Swap out outdated content and branding

Video content is made up of a variety of building blocks—footage, photos, music, titles, captions, and more—that can easily be rearranged and replaced to update video content.

Concept artist and animator Angela Ashbaugh, compares these building blocks to Legos. When a section of your video (or a "Lego") becomes outdated, she asks, "Why not just remove a block or two, replace it with a new one, and insert it back into your marketing plan?"

Repurposing of old video content saves both time and money when a part of your video has become outdated. Rather than filming an entirely new video on the same topic, you can simply update the content that has become outdated.

Here are some examples of what you can replace in an old video instead of starting from scratch:

  • New logo or contact information
  • New product or service offering
  • A re-branded website
  • A modernized product design
  • New product packaging
  • Updated b-roll to reflect a more current look and feel

3. Redirect viewers to the updated video

Once you have updated a video, there are several ways to redirect viewers from the older version to the newer one. On social media and your website, it can be as simple as taking down the old video and replacing it with the new one.

On Vimeo, you can actually replace a video and keep the old URL. However, that should be done when you've made only minor changes to your video, in the event someone has linked to or embedded your old video.

However, on YouTube, videos can't be replaced under the same URL, so the best way to redirect viewers to your updated version is to create an annotation that pops up on your old video and links to the newer version. It's also helpful to include a link to the updated video version in the old video's description. You can choose to make the old video "unlisted" so it will no longer appear in search results, but will still remain available to anyone who has the old link.

4. Continue to share and update content

Of course, it's still important to create new content regularly to attract visitors and keep them coming back for more. You can always revamp old content when it becomes outdated or views start to wane, but you should also be creating new content to draw viewers to your website, social media profiles, and YouTube channel.

However, once a video is out there, that's not the end of it. Before you start thinking about creating new content, do an inventory to see what content you can iterate on to make sure your video marketing game is a success.

Continuing to iterate, repurpose, and update will extend the life of your video content so you can maximize the value of your video marketing over time.

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Extend Your Marketing Video's Shelf Life: How and When to Iterate

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image of Brad Jefferson

Brad Jefferson is the CEO and a co-founder of Animoto, which makes it easy for anyone to create powerful, professional video. Some 10 million users around the globe create over 1 million Animoto videos each month.

LinkedIn: Brad Jefferson

Twitter: @bradjefferson