How to take advantage of one of one of the hottest-growing marketing trends.
Each year brings with it a new set of marketing tactics and strategies, and this year, video marketing is lining up to be one of the biggest. That’s not to say video content is a new thing. In fact, video content has been growing for years—but many companies have been behind the game when it comes to incorporating video into their marketing strategy.
Doubtless, this is because many of these organizations view video content as beyond their reach. They assume the production budget is too high, or that the logistics involved are too complicated. Fortunately, video content has become so accessible, that it is within reach of many businesses—whether they know it or not.
Yes, it takes time, planning, and strategy. And doing it well will require some funds. But as part of a well-formulated marketing strategy, this content can raise brand awareness and bring in more sales. Here’s how to get started.
1. Determine the type of video content you want to produce.
First of all, there are many kinds of video content, and they all have different uses. A few of the most popular include:
- Vlogs. These are usually 4–8 minutes in length, tend to have a lower production budget, are produced on a regular schedule, and can be anything from “how-to” demonstrations to high-level professional advice. As the name implies (vlog = video blog), the content covered will be much the same as blog content, but in video form.
- Tutorials. These are short demonstration videos that can appear as part of a vlog series, or on product pages. They show how to use a product, or offer practical advice in implementing a service.
- Brand videos. We see these videos most often on the home page of a web site, although they are also popular for social media ads. As short, highly-produced pieces, they focus on building a brand’s identity. Think about a short “behind the scenes” look at a the manufacturing process, or interviews with employees.
- Whiteboard videos. These are a subset of vlogs, but they deserve a special call-out for having evolved into a genre of their own. They are characterized by a simple format: the vlogger stands in front of a white board, upon which they have already sketched or outlined their video content. They then explain their whiteboard example, often completing the presentation as they talk. They’re casual, approachable, and hugely effective.
- Product videos. If you sell software, a product tutorial video is almost essential. It’s hard for potential buyers to get excited about your software if they can’t see how it works. These are also great for product pages on e-commerce stories. Help your buyers get a closer look at your product by modeling it in front of the camera.
- Testimonials and interviews. Do your customers love you? Will they sit down in front of a camera and tell the world that they do? What about the volunteers at your non-profit? Can you interview community leaders about the work you do? All this makes for engaging video content for your audience.
- Livestreaming. This content is easiest to produce, and, by necessity, low-quality. Post-production editing and polishing isn’t a possibility, so you go with what you have. It’s great for special events and conferences.
- Advertisements. Almost all of this content can be used in advertising, but sometimes you will need to create ads to the purpose. These are often 15–30-second spots which you can distribute across social media.
Once you know what type of content you are going to create, it’s time to plan the production and deliver of that content.
2. Choose your audience carefully.
Who will see your content, once it is produced? Are you creating this content for your current customers—people who follow your vlog, subscribe to your email list, or are already on your product pages? Or is this content for people who have never heard of your brand before? Are you creating this for high-level decision-makers who need to understand the big picture impact your product will have on their organization? Or do you need to demonstrate the nuts and bolts to your on-the-ground operators?
Focusing on your audience, their needs, and their knowledge level will help you target your video content so that it hits home.
3. Decide where to place your videos and how to distribute them.
There are three main places for video content: on social media channels, on your website, and through email marketing.
If on social media: Most businesses upload to their YouTube channel, and then share that video to their other social media pages. You can certainly do this, although there may also be times when it is a better strategy to upload your video directly to the social media channel. You can also put ad dollars behind these videos to get them before new audiences.
If on your website: Home, blog, and product pages are the most common options here. Choose your home page for brand videos, testimonials, and interviews. Post vlogs and whiteboard videos to your blog page, and product videos to your product pages. Also upload and share on social media.
In your email marketing workflows: Don’t underestimate the value of video content in email. Even if you’re creating a landing page and sending your visitors there, it’s still a great way to insert targeted content directly to your personas as part of a sales funnel strategy.
4. Create a budget and production plan.
Video marketing is cheaper than you might think, but doing it well does take resources. Casual content, such as livestreaming, vlogs, and whiteboard videos, can be done with a simple camera, a lapel mic, and decent lighting. You’ll need to plan a few hours per video to develop, film, and edit content, but it doesn’t need to be too laborious.
For high-level brand videos, however, you will probably require more production budget. You may need to write a script, schedule an on-site video shoot, and you will spend more time in post-production making sure everything is polished up and looking fine. Give yourself extra time, but don’t rule these videos out. They’re a great asset to your brand.
5. Produce your video content.
Easier said than done, right? Well, yes. But again: it’s not too bad. The equipment can be an investment, but a modest camera, microphone, and lighting aren’t too much of an investment. The biggest challenge, if you’re producing content on your own, is finding the time to do so consistently. This is where working with a creative team can help.
A good marketing team can bring in a writer, project manager, and videographer to shoot a couple month’s worth of content at once, then edit it and release it over the course of several weeks. Your team can focus on the work, and you can leave the logistics to your marketers.
6. Optimize your video content.
This isn’t just about adding a nice intro and outro. It’s about making sure your video content is uploaded properly to online channels. Like any other content, it needs a name, a description, and relevant tags. You should also add captions for hearing-impaired audiences, or for anyone scrolling down their news feed with their volume on mute.
7. Set success metrics and measure ROI.
Finally, decide how you will determine whether your content was successful. Are you looking for shares on social media? Increased traffic to your website? Or higher conversion rates on key product pages?
It is possible to measure all these metrics, but you need to know what you’re looking for when you start. For instance, if you want to track conversions on product pages, you can gain more insight by tracking user engagement on those pages and comparing it to pages without product videos.
Video marketing is more accessible than you might think.
There’s a reason why video marketing is taking off in a big way: it’s accessible, and it works. But if you’re going to invest your resources into it, it’s important to plan your video marketing strategy carefully. Know what you want to produce, who your audience is, how you’re going to create and distribute it, and how you will measure success. And if you need help, contact us.