If you landed here, you probably know how important video marketing is already. Getting started is always the tricky part and setting a solid foundation for your video marketing strategy and getting back the insights might feel overwhelming, but we are happy to tell you that you are not alone, and although this quest might seem complicated, after reading its breakdown in this article, it will give you the motivation to get started!
We have seen the rise of video content after the Covid-19 pandemic. Many businesses are being pushed to adapt to the new era of content marketing, and in this new era, video is definitely in the spotlight!
If you have your doubts that video is the most consumed type of content, do not take our word for it. The Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri himself said that video is driving an immense amount of growth online for all the major platforms right now.
However, if you never produced video content before, building a video marketing strategy from scratch can be a bit tricky. Before we start with the steps to create a successful strategy, it is important to note that this is not a one-time job but rather a cycle. New trends will come and go and if you want to utilise your video content, you will have to also adapt. Think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint.
A well-thought video marketing strategy will be a closed feedback loop. This means that when you finish one interaction, you will start a new one with more information at your disposal. And this interaction usually consists of 4 phases:
Many businesses do not spend enough time on the planning phase and rush into producing videos for the sake of having them out as soon as possible. Without proper planning, however, you could end up spending more time and money, in the long run, to have your videos bring in the results you want.
Set Your Video Marketing Goals
Before you start brainstorming all the ideas you have for videos, you need to have a clear goal for each type of video you create. The goals are usually aligned with the stages of the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, decision, and delight. Each stage will have different metrics you can measure to see if your video is working or not.
Your objective for each video you want to create will vary depending on the stage of the funnel. For example, animated explainer videos are great for increasing brand awareness, but if your customer is in the decision-making stage of the funnel, you are probably better off creating a customer testimonial video. Testimonial videos are a great fit for the delight stage!
Know Your Audience
With the goals set for each stage of your marketing funnel, it is time to define your target audience. This step is crucial for the success of your video.
If you make a video trying to talk to everyone, no one will listen. In a fast-paced media consuming world, people will only listen to you if you are talking directly to them. And for that you need to know who you are talking to.
Write down who your ideal customers are and create different personas for various products or services your brand is offering. Another option is to create multiple personas for a single product. You can do both for the same product or service. Dig into your audience’s consumer habits, internet-use, their demography, belief systems and most importantly, make sure you have a clear answer to the question: What problem is my product or service solving?
Tell A Story
Now that you have specifically defined your audience, it is time to make them the hero of your story. Yes, that is right. The customer is the hero of your story, not your company, not your product. If you make your video about yourself, chances are you will lose your audience.
Customers want the solution to their problem, not to hear about how good your product or service is. This is something that many brands oversee. They are so focused on what they are doing and how good they are, that they forget this product or service exists to serve the consumer.
In short, your video should show the transformation of the customer's life if they decide to do business with you. Show them a problem they can relate to, how was life before they were introduced to your products. What is at stake, how can your product solve the problem they are facing? And how their life could be if they decide to use your products or services.
Create A Brand Identity
By now you have your goals, audience and story defined. There is one last detail to take care of: your brand identity. This means creating a unique character for your brand.
As human beings, we tend to stick around the people we identify with the most, and it is no different with brands. The brands we use reveal a lot about who we are. We look for brands that align with the same beliefs as we do.
The way to create a brand identity is to be consistent in your communication. Imagine you meet someone and one day you meet this person s/he is very serious and formal. The next day s/he is very easy going and informal. The third-time s/he is super energetic and excited about everything. Would you trust this person?
Chances are, you would probably be doubtful of who s/he really is. That is the same with your brand. You should have a set of values and behaviour that are consistently communicated across all your channels, not only video.
If you build a successful identity, you will turn your customers into brand ambassadors. They will be proud to be associated with your brand because that is a reflection of their own beliefs.
With all the planning done, now it is time to get hands-on and start producing your videos. We will move from the macro perspective and focus now on each individual piece of content.
The first thing you should consider is what resources you already have, such as camera, lights, cast and crew. There are countless approaches and options for you to choose from but they are all defined by how much resources you have and the amount of budget you allocate.
Decide Who Is Producing Your Videos
The three main options you have when it comes to deciding who will produce the videos you need are:
- Produce it yourself - DIY approach
- Outsource your production
- Partner with existing content creators in your niche
If you are planning to do videos on a consistent basis, the best option would be to get the equipment and team you need and build an internal video/content team. It will take some time until you get everything running smoothly, but once it is set, it will be worth it.
In the cases where you are on a tight budget, short on time or do not have a network you can lean on to produce video content for your brand, your next option would be outsourcing.
If your business is brand-new and you need help getting the word out there, a good option is working with influencers. They have their own audiences already and can showcase how your product or service helps them with their influencer brand. It is important that you pick your influencers carefully, make sure that your audiences overlap and that you have shared value systems. Whoever you bring onto speak for your company or about your brands needs to be vetted.
If you want to have more control over the piece of content and ensure the quality is what you expect it to be, then you are better off hiring a video production service. The service provider is usually a freelancer filmmaker or a production agency. Both have their pros and cons.
- Hiring a freelancer is going to be cheaper. But you will probably have to spend some time researching different options and styles of work in order to find someone.
- Going with a production agency will save you time, but you will also pay a premium for that.
If you are thinking to yourself “I wish there was something in the middle” then you are lucky! That is exactly why we created Beazy, to make the whole content production process as easy as possible. All you have to do is sign up, create a profile, discover shoots taking place around you and post your own projects.
Know Your Communication Channel Video Format
A very important thing to keep in mind is the communication channel that the video is going to be promoted on. With so many different platforms such as email, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and so on, it is easy to get lost on what is the best video format for each one.
If you are creating a video to advertise on Facebook or Instagram Stories, you will need a video with a 9:16 ratio. If you are planning to post it onto the feed, you should probably stick to a 4:5 or 1:1 ratio. For both YouTube and LinkedIn the traditional 16:9 ratio would be the best choice.
Have A Clear Structure
Once your story is built properly, half of the work is done. The structure of the video gives the story context and a narrative to follow. Here you want to focus on what we call "the hero’s journey" in storytelling.
The most basic form of a story should have three main elements: the conflict, the climax, and the resolution. Translating it to business language would be the main focus or issue your customer has, how they try various methods that do not really work for them, and the resolution is your product or service solving the problem at hand.
There is more to any story than this simplification, but that is a topic for another article. This simplified way of storytelling serves as a basis for you to create a structured story that will not only inform your video but it will also be easier to understand for the viewer.
Include A Call To Action
One important element that should be present at the end of most of your videos is the CTA or Call To Action. This is simply telling your viewer what should be their next step in order to resolve their conflict. The CTA will vary according to the goals you have set for the video.
It is important that you do not assume people know what to do. Even if they know what the next steps are, more often than not they will not proceed unless you call them to action.
Post Across All Platforms, But Not The Same Content
Each platform requires a different video format. For Instagram posts, 1:1 or 4:5 ratio will perform better. Stories need a vertical video format (9:16). For Youtube, Facebook, or LinkedIn, 16:9 will deliver the best viewing experience. It is important to note that you do not need to create one video for each platform though!
There is no question that the more places you promote your video, the bigger the chances of it to be seen. However, you should not have the exact same video on all the platforms.
As we mentioned earlier, you will need different videos in different aspect ratios to better fit the platform you are using to promote your video. But it is not only the video format that changes when you go from one platform to another. The way people consume the content and what type of content they expect also varies.
If you are posting your video on LinkedIn, for example, you might want to focus the copy of your promotional post on the advantages it can bring to the business. When people are looking at their feed on LinkedIn, they expect business related content.
When posting on Facebook or Instagram it might be a good idea to add subtitles to your video since many people watch the videos from the feed with the sound off. On Youtube, make sure you also put some effort in video SEO so people can find your videos while using it as a search engine.
As you can see, you will probably need different versions of your video to fit different platforms, but that does not mean you need to shoot all these versions. You can always repurpose one video for your different platforms and their audiences.
Repurpose Your Content
One of the most effective tactics in content production is repurposing already existing content. When it comes to video, this means that from one longer format video, you can create shorter or alternative versions of the same piece of content.
Take some highlights from a Youtube video and share it on Instagram. Get some quotes from an article and transform them into Tweets. Did you find a fun or an entertaining part in your video? Maybe that could be a great fit for the Stories format. Get creative and experiment with different versions of your video!
4. Measure And Analyse
At this stage you have the goals of each video in mind, but you will never know if it is working and bringing those results or not if you do not track them. And here it is important that you track both how people interact with your video and what conversions you expect from it.
The video analytics such as average view time, viewer retention, etc will give you insights on what people like or dislike. However, no matter how good and engaging your video is, if it is not bringing the conversion you expect, then something should probably be changed. The goal here is not to (only) create great videos, but to make videos that convert viewers into potential customers.
Test! Don't Be Afraid To Test!
There is a saying in marketing that goes like:
I know that half of the marketing budget is a waste, I just do not know which half it is.
Well, the way to find out which half works is by testing. No matter how much time and research you do in the planning phase, you will be doing some informed guesses at best. The only way to confirm your hypothesis is by running tests.
If you see that humour goes well with your audience, try adding a bit more and see if the watch time increases. Maybe it would be the other way around, or you might find out that your audience prefers a more informal type of content but in the end a more factual type of information performs better. Also keep notes about the length of the video and its elements. All of those factors can influence the overall performance!
When testing, run it multiple times, try to isolate each factor so you can have a single input to measure. If you test too many things at once, whether that works for you or not, you will not know which element was responsible for the success or failure of your video content.
Do not stop testing when the videos are working and bringing conversions You might find out that some other type of video could perform even better than what is already working. Do not settle for “just working”, you could be missing out on those extra conversions.
If you went through all the steps we covered so far, congratulations! You just completed your first interaction on the video marketing feedback loop. Now you should get all the data you collected and analysed and decide what you can change to try to improve on the results you are getting.
Yes, now it is time to go back to step one with new insights and start planning the tests you are going to run, the changes and the adaptations you need for your strategy.
On the bright side, it only gets easier from now :)