5-Step Playbook for a Killer Video Marketing Strategy
Starting with video can be scary. Most marketers and content creators believe that they shouldn’t stray too far from a medium they are most comfortable with. And for most, this medium is writing.
However, video is an integral part of wider content strategies of the biggest brands and influencers out there.
That’s because it works. It corresponds to the online behaviors and habits of today’s consumers.
According to research from HubSpot, more than 50 percent of consumers want to see videos from brands more than any other type of content.
So, what’s so scary about going from written word to video? It’s just a different format, and one that allows you, your company, and your brand to engage your customers, educate them about what you do, and connect with them on a more emotional level.
If you’re an experienced content creator then you know that it is a strategy with well-aligned tactics and a lot of practice that makes perfect.
A good strategy gives you the confidence you need to leverage this powerful medium to imprint your company or personal brand in the minds of your audience.
So, without further ado, here are my 5 steps to a killer video marketing strategy.
Your company didn’t build a product or service for everyone under the sun. And your videos certainly won’t be targeted to everyone.
There’s a specific market you are targeting and a very specific persona(s) you want to connect with.
I’m going to assume that you already have those customer personas defined and visualized. You know their demographic characteristics, you understand their psychology, lifestyles, and behaviors.
Now, take things a step further and ask the following questions: how, when, where and why they consume video content online? What kind of video content resonates with them emotionally?
There’s more than one way to do this:
- Run a survey to ask the above questions
- Interview at least 5 of your best customers
- Test different types of video content with different customer segments
Collect and analyze your findings and you’ll get a goldmine of actionable insights for creating effective video content for your target audience.
But there’s another source of useful information that can help you build your video marketing strategy.
You’ve guessed it – it’s your competition!
Some of your competitors are probably doing some great stuff with video. Analyze their success, understand their weak spots, find out what they’re missing and use all those insights to stay ahead of them.
This will take some time because you’ll want to monitor their YouTube channel and social media to get a sense of the quality of video content they’re putting out and the engagement level they are getting.
You’ll also want to see what type of video content your competitors produce and what is bringing them the best results. Is it brand videos, promo videos, educational videos, animated videos, live videos, etc.?
And finally, there’s also a good old’ introspection – what kind of marketing materials that you already produce make the biggest impact on your audience? Can you reuse and reformat some of that content into videos?
Answering all these questions will help you create videos that resonate with your target customers and bring great ROI.
During your research, you’ve decided on the type of videos you need to produce to market your business in the most effective way.
In some cases, all the equipment you’ll need is your smartphone. For example, if you’re doing live videos on social media as part of your video strategy then you can easily stream from your phone.
In other cases, you’ll need tools like Wave.video to help you quickly create high-quality videos for social media. This tool lets you create videos from scratch using their library of assets or you can upload existing video material and cut/edit/add music, and more. You can even do these edits from your smartphone!
If you want to do interviews in a studio, case study videos with your customers, etc. you may need more sophisticated equipment and setup.
This includes setting up a camera, audio recording device, microphone, lights, and screen recording (e.g. Wave.video supports this).
It’s important that you write down the tools you’ll need to produce videos as part of your video marketing strategy so you can plan a budget for this and avoid surprises down the road.
A video marketing plan is not a strategy. It’s part of the strategy you’re building.
It’s like a blueprint for creating videos that work, videos that get results, videos that move your marketing efforts forward.
It encompasses everything from video themes and topics to publishing schedule and distribution channels.
So, let’s look at all the elements that you need to include in your plan.
Write down video themes and surrounding topics
What does this mean? It means that, like with every other content type, you need to know which themes you’ll cover with your videos and when, and then specify the topics under those themes for each video.
For example, a theme could be Content Marketing, and a topic ‘How to Create a Content Calendar.’ These are very basic examples, but you get the idea.
Depending on how much ahead your company plans its marketing activities, assign themes for at least the following 3 months and then list as many topics as you can think of.
You won’t create videos for each, but you’ll be happy to have those ideas lined up when you start with video production.
Create a production schedule and a publishing schedule
Typically, a production schedule is a shooting schedule. So if you plan to shoot videos in the studio (or on location) that require special equipment and involvement of other people, you’ll need to document this so you can properly manage time and output expectations during production.
Equally important is your video publishing schedule. Depending on how your content marketing efforts are organized, video will either be integrated into your content calendar/editorial calendar following wider goals, themes, and schedules (which is ideal) or you’ll create a separate schedule for video content.
Either way, knowing when something needs to be produced and when it needs to be published and on which platform really helps marketers keep their sanity.
Decide on video SEO tools you’ll use
When you start publishing and distributing videos, you’ll need to have tactics and tools in place to help increase their organic reach.
There are different tools you can use for this purpose and the ones you choose will depend on the platforms you distribute your videos to e.g. YouTube, social media platforms, etc.
For example, you can use a tool like VidIQ to bring more eyeballs to your videos on YouTube and build an engaged audience on this channel. Another useful tool is TubeBuddy that comes with a set of very useful SEO functionality that can help you improve your video rankings in YouTube search.
There are so many different ways to promote your videos and build your audience. Anything from doing a paid campaign on Facebook or Twitter, to tying video to your email marketing campaigns, to reaching out directly to people who can amplify its reach.
All of these are valid tactics, but which will work for you depends on different factors and you’ll need to make those decisions on your own through a process of trial and error.
No matter how you decide to promote your video content, the best audience for your videos are people who are already engaging with you on other channels e.g. your email subscribers and social followers. These are the people who are interested in what you have to say and should be the first to know about your new video and the value they can get from it.
Also, these are the people you can use as an ‘audience model’ so you can expand your reach on social media to people who have similar interests and similar traits. You can do this through ad targeting on most social networks!
It’s also important to mention that there’s no point in promoting a video unless you’ve already gained some organic traction e.g. likes, comments, shares, views. Make sure that you have a decent level of engagement on the video before you promote it on social. This will give it an additional boost!
No matter how good you become at creating video content, there’s always going to be room for improvement. You can’t get lazy when it comes to analyzing your efforts.
If you understand what works and what doesn’t, you can keep delivering video content that helps shape not just people’s perception of your brand, but also their decision to buy from you.
You need to look at the obvious signals: video views, engagement, and video length that brings the best results. But your video marketing strategy also needs to include platform-specific analysis because it will give you an idea of which platforms work best for distributing your content.
For example, the ‘Analytics’ section of YouTube’s Creator Studio provides useful data on things like Demographics of your viewers, Watch Time (how many minutes users spent watching the video), Audience Retention ( when people are dropping off), Traffic Sources, and more.
It also gives you engagement metrics, such as likes and dislikes, comments, and shares on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. All this data is invaluable for helping you create better performing videos in the future.
Depending on where you publish your videos, you’ll need to be strategic about measuring success and analyzing performance on each of those platforms.
Creating marketing videos without a strategy is like shooting in the dark. You’ll have no idea what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, or how to do it. To maximize the ROI of video marketing you need to do your research, find the right tools, write a plan, decide how you’re going to promote your videos, and finally, understand how you’re going to analyze the results on across platforms.