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It’s probably not a surprise to you when I tell you that each year people are spending more and more time consuming digital video. So if you’ve abstained from the video marketing revolution up until now, it’s quickly becoming something that you can’t ignore.
But video marketing is more than just throwing up a video you took with your iPhone and waiting for the views to roll in. As you might expect, you’ll need to put in a little more thought and effort than that.
To that end, I’m going to give you some fundamental tips for crafting your video marketing strategy. That way, you can successfully grab your share of the ~1 hour of digital video that the average American watches every single day.
Let’s jump straight into the tips for crafting your strategy…
Make Sure You Have a Clear Goal
Imagine investing significant resources and time into developing a video marketing strategy, only to find yourself asking, “was that actually successful?”.
It might sound a bit silly. But it’s a very real situation you might find yourself in if you don’t define clear success metrics before you start your video marketing strategy.
So, before you ever publish your first video, define what success “is” for you. Ask questions like:
- Do I want to increase my brand awareness? If so, high view counts and engagement numbers might mean success.
- Do I want more leads? If so, tracking opt-ins might be your success metric.
- Do I want to retain more customers? If so, churn rate might be your metric of choice.
You might have other goals as well – you don’t have to choose from my list. All I’m trying to stress is to figure out something to strive for before you go any further.
Figure Out Your Voice and Style
Once you’ve figured out your overall goal, it’s time to develop a voice. Video marketing isn’t just about what you say. It’s also about how you say it. You want to develop a consistent style that you can use across all of your videos. Here are some questions you should answer:
- What is your tone? Are you playing it straight-laced and professional? Or are you the irreverent brand that’s not afraid to break the rules?
- What type of visual aesthetic do you want? Do you want crisp, modern graphics? Or will you go for sketches and fun animations? You want to develop an aesthetic that people can instantly recognize.
- Which sound effects will you use? You’ll likely want sound effects beyond just your voice. So figure out what vibe you want for the music and effects you’ll use in your video.
Above, you can see how CoSchedule uses a very specific aesthetic in their videos.
Keep Things Short
When you sit down to craft your video marketing strategy, remember that you’re not trying to film the next Titanic. You don’t want to spend the time producing hours of footage, nor does your audience want to watch it.
When in doubt, shorter videos are better. Wistia compared video length with audience engagement and found that as a video’s length increased, the audience engagement dropped. For this analysis, audience engagement is defined as “% of people who continued watching the video”:
There’s even more data that backs up creating shorter videos. For example, LocoWise analyzed 1,000 Facebook pages and found that the average length of a video view on Facebook is only a measly 18.2 seconds. And the average length of a video was still only 55.3 seconds.
That’s not to say that longer videos can’t buck the trend. But as a general rule, you want to build your video marketing strategy around shorter pieces.
Dedicate Real Resources to Production Value
Back when YouTube was new, the production value was nothing like what it is today. Amateurs threw up shaky handheld footage and had success. Oh, the good old days…
Now, even a solo-YouTube channel has studio-level production values. So if you want your video content to compete, you need to dedicate enough resources to actually produce a quality product.
You don’t need to rent out a studio, but you do need excellent sound quality, HD video, and, ideally, an operator who actually knows how to catch both. You should also invest some money in proper lighting and a tripod.
If you’re wondering how much it’s going to cost for a freelance videographer, SmartShoot put together a great list of prices from a survey of over 120 videographers. A small marketing job with a single camera and no assistant typically costs ~$984.
If that’s out of your budget, you can get started without a professional by reading a bit about basic videography. But you should probably stick to basic concepts if you’re flying solo.
Choose Where to Distribute Your Videos
Video is booming right now. There are multiple competing networks generating billions of views per day…each. So you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to distribution channels.
But too much choice can be a bad thing. You want to focus your distribution efforts on the channels that maximize what you consider a success.
If you’re going for brand awareness, that likely means pushing your content out on YouTube, Facebook, and maybe even Snapchat/Instagram.
If you’re trying to generate leads and retention, you might want to keep your video closer to home. Consider writing a blog post with the video as a focal point. That way, you can easily push viewers towards your opt-in channels.
Remember That It’s Not Just About View Counts
Many marketers obsess over view counts. Views are the most important measure of a video’s success, right?
There certainly is something to be said for tracking the raw number of views that your videos get. But it’s far from the only metric that matters.
Why’s that? Because you probably want people to actually pay attention to your videos. So to find out how engaged they are, you’ll also want to measure data like:
- Drop-off rates. That is, how many people watch a video to the end? And if they don’t make it to the end, at what point do they stop watching?
- Social shares. Shares are a good metric for how valuable viewers found your content.
So yes, pay attention to view counts. But pay attention to the other stuff, too.
End With a CTA
Fading to black is great for movies…it’s not so great for video marketing.
You would never create a landing page without a CTA, right? Well, it’s the same for your videos. You always want to close by pushing your viewers to complete an action.
So what should you tell them to do? That depends on the goals you set out at the beginning (remember – you should have specific success metrics!).
If you want to primarily boost brand engagement, you might push them to watch other videos by asking them to subscribe and suggesting some videos to watch next.
On the other hand, if you want more email opt-ins, the end of your video is a great time to push them towards your squeeze page or your sales team:
Actually Promote Your Videos
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? It’s applied all over the place. But when it comes to content marketing, it’s the idea that you should spend 20% of your time creating content, and 80% of your time actually promoting that content.
The same idea applies to your video marketing strategy. Creating awesome videos is great! But only if people can actually find them.
So never think that you can just put up a video and call it quits. At a minimum, you should follow these promotion practices for every video:
- Share it on all of your social channels
- Write a blog post around it
- Send out a newsletter blast
Don’t go in blind with your video marketing strategy. Compared to text, video is a significant investment. So you want to make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row before you jump into creating content.
Remember to think about:
- What your goals are
- Your aesthetic
- Your distribution channels
And always look at the video metrics which matter and end with a CTA!
Now, over to you: Are you planning on creating a video marketing strategy in 2017? If so, how are you planning to implement it?
Article thumbnail image by Vector.design / shutterstock.com