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“Did you see that video everyone is talking about?!” You probably hear this at least once a week. People these days are just as crazy about online video as they were about moving pictures in the days of the silent silver screen, and streaming video is only getting more popular. You still have time to get ahead of the curve — and your competitors — but you need a game plan.
If you aren’t sure whether online video content is a priority for your marketing needs, you should know that 64 percent of consumers are more likely to pull the trigger on a purchase after watching a video about the product. Video is already a vital piece of any digital marketing campaign, and yet many businesses focus on the wrong elements because they don’t have a video marketing strategy in place. In fact, according to Buffer, while 83 percent of marketers want to create more video, many aren’t sure how to film and edit a video or what to put in it.
Creating an effective marketing video is no small undertaking, so it really pays to spend some time upfront ironing out those details that will ensure a smooth production and help you get the most out of your investment.
Timing, as they say, is everything, so you’ll definitely want to devise a schedule. Just as social media ads perform better when they’re posted at certain times of the day, planning what you’ll feature when and where can help you craft a video with a compelling storyline that captures attention and creates repeat viewers who will share it far and wide. As a bonus, scheduling your videos to coincide with a related event or opening can help get potential customers psyched.
For example, to generate buzz around a new sandwich it released last year, our client, Burgerfi, produced a series of videos that it featured on social media in the weeks leading up to the big announcement. As you can see, from week one to the final unveiling, the videos feature the same introductory sequence. If Burgerfi had opted to create just a single video and then decided it wanted another after the fact, the cost of making these short videos would have been much higher. Luckily, we had a budget-conscious plan in place, which included making sure the first intro we produced would apply to each of them.
While you might think your final take was video marketing perfection, in reality no video will suit every circumstance. Instead, you should film several versions that vary slightly. Because filming is often the most expensive part of video production, a little bit of planning ahead will go a long way toward keeping costs manageable and helping you maximize your ROI. You can test the versions against each other based on any number of metrics. Once you determine which performs best on which platform, that’s your go-to.
But first, you have to make a plan.
Understanding your audience is a natural prerequisite to choosing format and topic. If your aim is to become an educational resource, a series of instructional videos will help move you toward that goal. If you’re trying to build brand awareness, an explainer video is in order. If you want to establish more of a social media presence, generating views and likes should be a top priority, and you’ll want to focus on creating content that viewers will feel compelled to share.
Still don’t know what kind of video to create? Try talking to your customer service and sales teams. They can be good resources because they interact with potential customers on a daily basis. In addition, identifying keywords that are the most relevant to finding your video is a good way to ensure it will see plenty of traffic.
Take Buzzfeed’s “Tasty” series of instructional videos that teach users how to cook their own delicious meals, for example. The simplicity of the visual presentation in these videos quickly and easily engages viewers, and the popularity of the series is testament to its success.
Another good example of various audiences informing video topics is Intel’s “Meet the Makers” videos that feature wildly different stories, from a 13-year-old creating a more affordable Braille printer to a team helping modernize the fight against Ebola. Each focuses on a specific, emotionally compelling case to illustrate a broader point about the benefits of Intel’s technology, and one of them is bound to resonate with each of their target audiences.
Where your videos will end up is almost as important as the content itself — in fact, the two go hand-in-hand. In general, it’s better to post your video to sites like Facebook and YouTube than on your own site. These platforms will help it earn more views and improve its ranking in search indexes. Video hosting sites also facilitate the sharing of videos on social media, which will ultimately be the biggest factor in your video marketing.
Using pre-roll ads allows you to target a specific audience based on whatever criteria you desire. If you know your audience, pre-roll commercials are a great way to get them to engage with your ad because they automatically present them with the ability to sign up for more information or purchase products. Online video distribution services will also allow you to control exactly who sees your video, as well as target audiences based on age, geography, gender, income, interests, income, and other relevant info.
For multi-location or franchise businesses, variations and planning ahead come into play even more. Keeping the meat of your content the same while filming introductions or endings that connect with a local audience allows you to create a deeper personal connection with potential customers without breaking the bank on a unique video for all your locations.
What happens after the viewer finishes your video? Without you asking for something, probably nothing. Avoid this by using a crafty strategy to drive viewers through your pipeline with the goal of capturing their information. Make sure your landing pages mirror the messaging of your video and that your call to action is easy to digest.
Reebok’s #HonorYourDays video campaign showcases the fact that the average human life lasts only 25,915 days, and it pushes customers to make the most of each one of those days. The most compelling aspect is the call to action at the end of the video, which allows users to calculate how many days they have left. Although it might sound macabre, people love the interactivity the CTA provides. Clicking the link redirects them to the campaign website, where users can share photos of how they “honor” their bodies as well as their own personal number of days left.
If you’re trying to stay top of mind using video marketing, you’re on the right track. The next step is to embrace a strategic approach that involves a few small details many businesses overlook. If your existing videos don’t follow these steps to a T, don’t panic. If one of the above elements is missing, it doesn’t mean your video or your business is destined for failure.
These ideas are all about maximizing ROI and knocking it out of the park with your video marketing. That takes instinct and intuition, but most of all, it takes a well-wrought strategy.
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