Without a video marketing strategy, you’re winging it. That scattershot approach can result in wasted efforts. Instead, smart brand marketers adopt a thoughtful strategy and document it. A written strategy helps you precisely pinpoint your focus, hone your efforts, and increase your odds of achieving your goals. We’ve written this guide to help you do the same for your business in nine straightforward steps. Ready? Let’s go!
Step 1: Review Your Brand and Set Goals for Video Marketing
Identify your brand values, your mission, your company’s unique selling proposition (USP) and your business’s needs. Keep in mind that more that 50% of consumers prefer to see videos from brands more that other content types. In addition, it’s essential to set some specific goals for your videos. What should your video marketing strategy achieve, specifically? Determine how you’ll figure out whether you’ve met those goals — that is, the metrics you can evaluate. For example, if you want to increase sales, decide by what percentage. If you want to sell more of a particular product or service package, pick a specific number.
Step 2: Understand Your Prospects and Targets
What kind of people do you want to reach with your videos? The more specifically you can define these people, the better able you’ll be to reach and persuade them. If you haven’t created buyer personas yet, start by jotting down the demographics and psychological traits of your prospective customers. Then flesh them out into personas to reflect broad “types” of people you want to reach. The key here is to figure out what problems they have that you can solve, and what makes them want to buy what you sell. Then, you can devise targeted video content that addresses those needs and wants. Incorporate this information into your video marketing strategy.
Step 3: Choose the Types of Videos You’ll Create
Testimonials, how-to’s, explainer videos, product demos, whiteboard videos — there are many different kinds of videos you can produce for your brand. What kinds of videos will your prospects respond to most positively? Aim for the sweet spot between what your prospects crave and what you do/sell/provide.
Find out what your audience wants by exploring their posts on social media, questions asked in Quora, conversations on Reddit and message boards. You can also talk directly to your existing customers. Or create a survey for your social media followers to solicit their opinions.
Step 4: Decide Where to Host and Publish Your Videos
Once you’ve got a finished video, you’ll need to host it somewhere. YouTube is a popular choice, but it’s not the only option available. In addition to competitor video hosts such as Vimeo, you can also host it on your own website. Or you can upload it directly to a social media site. In most cases you’ll also want to provide a transcript or closed captioning file. Remember that many people watch videos without the sound on, so you’ll want to be mindful of that and make it easier on your viewers.
Step 5: Outsource to Professionals, or Create Your Workflow
You have another critical decision at this stage. Do you want to handle all the myriad tasks in video production yourself? Or would you prefer to outsource some or all of the process to experienced video professionals?
You can shoot perfectly serviceable videos on any halfway-decent smartphone camera. And there are plenty of free and premium video editing tools available on the web to assemble and refine videos. For an increasingly popular medium, it’s hard to earn your audience’s attention. Experienced professionals can help you seize that attention and keep it. A professionally produced animation video doesn’t have to break the budget. It may even pay for itself by attracting new prospects and customers who share the videos with their own followers.
Step 6: Audit the Competition
Examine your competitors and their use of video. What kinds of videos are they publishing? How are viewers reacting to those videos? To learn the answers, look at social media comments to social media and blog posts where the videos have been shared or promoted. Then think about how and where your competitors are succeeding with video. Most importantly, where’s the gap? What are your competitors not producing? And where are they failing? The idea is to conduct an audit of the general state of video in your direct niche, and identify any possible entry points so you can achieve your marketing goals while distinguishing your brand from your competitors.
Step 7: Plan Your Content Around Your Buyer’s Journey
Generally, no matter what you’re selling, your customers and clients will take the same “path” or process to make a final purchasing decision. For the most part, prospects will move from:
Awareness of a product or service
Research to explore options
Evaluating those options against each other
Making a final decision, resulting in a purchase
By targeting your content to a specific relevant stage, you’ll more successfully communicate with and persuade those viewers. In other words, the content that works with someone who’s starting to research options won’t work as well with someone who’s ready to purchase. You’ll need a collection of video content that’s targeted to prospects at each stage of that buying journey.
Step 8: Create Style Guidelines for Your Videos
Now that you have a clearer idea of what kind of videos you’ll be creating, create a brand voice or style guide for your business. This document should tell future content creators exactly what that content should look, sound, and “feel” like.
Your videos’ tone should match your brand’s personality and values. Structure and length matter, too. Of course, length is also related to where you’re hosting videos. Shorter videos are best on Twitter, while longer ones do best on YouTube. List any consistent branding elements here, too, including color schemes, logos, taglines, intros/outros, and specific music. Finally, you’ll also want to create calls to action to include at the end of each video to tell your viewers where they should go next.
Step 9: Create a Thorough Promotion Plan and Workflow
Once it’s ready for publication, you’ll need to promote your video in order to increase views and shares. Where you’ll normally pick a single platform to host your video (see step # 4 above), you’ll want to promote your video on as many channels as possible.
Multiply your efforts by spreading promotional content across all available platforms, including:
Email messages to your list
Blog posts or Medium articles
Posts on your Facebook page
Whatever channels you’d like to use, write down a short workflow to describe your promotional strategy for your videos.
Keep Your Video Marketing Strategy Fluid
Your video marketing strategy isn’t carved in stone; rather it’s a fluid, living document. If any part of your strategy turns out to be less effective than you’d hoped, change it! Try a different strategy or tactic for awhile, and see if that works better for your plan.
Bottom line: Never think of yourself as constrained by your video marketing strategy. It’s there solely to help you achieve your goals. If you need assistance with your video marketing strategy, let us know. We’d be happy to help!
Larry Mutenda is the Founder and Creative Director at Creamy Animation. Larry is a multi-talented designer with over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing, and has a passion for fine art and design.