Videos are on track to claim 80% of all Internet traffic by 2021. So, to attract and engage with your audience, you need to produce good video content.
Being an entrepreneur or a business owner, you face doubts, challenges, and fears, from launching the business to building a brand.
Shooting, promoting, and optimizing videos can feel intimidating and well out of your reach. And yet, it’s not.
Let me show you why and how you can establish a powerful video marketing strategy to utilize the true potential of video for your brand. In this process, you will gain your audience’s trust and loyalty.
Here are the steps to develop a kickass video marketing strategy for your business, irrespective of the niche:
- Goals and audience
- Video format
Deciding The Purpose Of Your Video
Let’s say your competitors are already posting videos, and you want to do the same to keep up. It’s similar to when parents ask their kids, “Would you jump if your friends jumped as well?”
While this pack mentality may have been helpful to save friendships when it comes to your brand, there’s no one size fits all.
To truly interact with your audience, you need to stand out. And the first step is to answer: Why am I creating this video?
Do you want to educate, inspire, or entertain your desired audience?
(1) Educational Videos
Educating your audience proves your worth as an expert.
Imagine you want to fix a leaky faucet without breaking the bank. You may search online or ask a friend for a reference.
But more often than not, you head to YouTube for ‘how-to’ videos (an educational video). With just one (or many) videos, you get to learn how to fix your faucet for free, eliminating future faucet issues.
In addition to the example above, there are other educational video types you may have seen. They could be new app demonstrations (‘demo’ videos) or new smartphone walk-throughs (‘explainer’ videos).
(2) Inspirational Videos
We all need a little motivation once in a while. When I need it, I turn to motivational speaker Eric “ET” Thomas (also known as The Hip Hop Preacher).
His videos not only help educate the youth but also inspire them to stay focused in school. Another favorite of mine is Maria Forleo. She is a marketing expert who inspires her audience, primarily women, to develop their confidence as they build their business from the ground up.
(3) Entertaining Videos
Have you seen that hilarious Geico commercial featuring the rap group Tag Team? Scoop, there it is!
Customers know well enough when they’re being marketed to. And to break through their advertisement barrier, a little entertainment or laughter can be your saving grace.
Whatever goal you may have, it’s always smart to record a mix of educational, inspirational, and entertaining videos. This will not only create a brand voice but help your consumers in their journeys as well.
Choosing Your Goals and Defining Your Target Audience
After deciding the purpose of your video marketing efforts, you’ll need to look at what videos can do for your business in terms of success.
(1) S.M.A.R.T Goals
Without meaningful goals, your business cannot move forward. This is where SMART goals come into play.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
When you’re setting SMART goals, start by being specific. Map what you want to happen to succeed and assign numbers to this desire. The numbers will then translate to your success.
Next, be realistic. Don’t try to shoot for the stars if you only have the means to land on the moon.
Then comes relevancy, the currency of today’s digital world. If you don’t have relevant goals that tie into your success, your customers AND Google Search will lose faith in you.
Lastly, make sure you set a plausible deadline to achieve your goals.
(2) Target Market/Audience
Here’s a common scenario we all have seen or experienced in our childhood. Someone is holding a magnifying glass under the hot Sun and directing that dangerous laser of sunrays on either themselves, grass, or poor ants.
Although this act of curiosity or cruelty may have led to some interesting memories (or conversations), it also serves as a perfect analogy for today’s marketing spend trends. How is that, you ask?
Many of today’s businesses and brands have marketing dollars to spend and the ability to touch everything (like the Sun’s radiation) but don’t know or care who feels the heat. Of course, as small business owners, we usually work with limited or tight budgets.
Whether you have an infinite budget or just scraping by, targeted marketing is a laser beam. You can use it to understand and optimize your marketing spend in areas you know will bring the most return on your investment.
To identify your target audience, use these three categories:
- Demographics: Gender, age, occupation, ethnicity
- Psychographics (interests): Lifestyle, favorite brands, favorite social channels, etc.
- Geographics: Neighborhood, city, state, country
(3) KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Using a set of indicators, you can measure and analyze the performance of your video marketing efforts. It’s like a speedometer telling you whether you’re below, above, or at the speed limit (in other words, your goals).
So, what are the top KPIs to measure the success of your next video marketing campaign?
- View count
- Play rate
- Watch time
- Comments & sharing
- Video completions
- CTR (click-through-rate)
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Time on page
Selecting Your Video Format
Your video format is instrumental in today’s multi-device digital world. A detailed look into your customers’ preferences will make everything more straightforward.
You may be targeting Baby Boomers who frequent Facebook on tablets or Gen Z who use Snapchat to communicate. In any case, always make it your job to know where your audience consumes video content the most.
And then use the prevalent video specs of the platform to publish videos.
Here are three examples you can refer to. Widescreen, also known as 16:9, is an aspect ratio popular on Youtube. Known for its horizontal movie-like viewing, you can use it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Then there are square videos made famous by Instagram. You can use it on other platforms, including Facebook. But, Instagram is the best medium to optimize them.
And finally, there are vertical videos, first appeared on Snapchat Stories, later adopted by Facebook and Instagram Stories.
Creating Your Marketing Video
No matter the content or goals, you can leverage a fundamental process to get the best results from your creative efforts, which can be broken down into three stages.
- Pre-production: What comes before video creation
- Production: What happens while creating videos
- Post-production: What comes after recording the video
To practice and improve your creative representation through video, ensure you follow through all three phases.
(1) The Pre-Production Stage
While we discussed some pre-production tasks like deciding the purpose, defining SMART goals, identifying a target audience, and choosing video formats. Now it’s time to discuss scripts and most great videos come with one.
Scripting is the process of writing out what is being said in the video. Do you remember Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy repeating a sabotaged teleprompter script word for word?
It’s the same for you, minus the crazy content.
Once you have a script aligned with your goals and audience, move on to choosing the recording device. It can be a professional DSLR or an iPhone camera. (Don’t discard a phone camera’s powers; they are becoming more advanced.)
Now, you have to “set the stage,” meaning you must find or create a backdrop to use for your video recording. This includes finalizing the cast, props, lighting, mics, etc.
Here’s the complete list of pre-production planning categories:
- People or subjects
- Sound and audio
(2) The Production Stage
This is where you say, “Lights, Camera, Action!”
In this stage, you align your vision to the marketing goals through video recording…which may make you nervous. You’re not alone.
Everyone is the same in the beginning because they’re out of their comfort zone. Once you let go of this nervousness, you may find this process fun, awkward, emotional, exciting, repetitious, and inspiring. And whether or not you’re doing this solo, it’s okay to make mistakes.
You can always do a trial video on your own before the official recording to loosen up. Of course, if you have a whole team, then you may feel the pressure. But, you also won’t have to do everything on your own, which can be helpful.
Besides, who doesn’t love bloopers?
(3) The Post-Production Stage
This is the magical land where you compile your best takes to make one powerful video. There are many video editing platforms available today. Linear editing software Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro are industry favorites, and here are the rest:
- Vegas Pro
- Windows Movie Maker
Video editing consists of importing the video into your chosen software, cutting out undesired footage, adding music, images, effects, and even voice-overs (if needed).
Always remember that your video should tell a linear story, unlike Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.
Uploading & Promoting Your Video
As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get trapped in perfection. You want to make sure the video is flawless. I get it! But this perfection isn’t worth a dime unless you upload it.
So, rise above video paralysis by understanding the basics of video uploading.
PS: We will cover video optimization later in this article.
Although there are many video hosting platforms, in this article, we will focus on the go-to video medium, YouTube. When you’re ready to publish, go to your account, upload the video, fill the description with relevant content, set it to “public, ” and see the uploading process reach 100%.
You’re now ready to be seen and heard.
What are other popular platforms, you ask?
Sharing is caring…whether you realized it now or as a kid when you shared toys with your friends.
The first step to conquer is making your video public. The next is the most important: clicking the share button to repost your content on your website/blog and social media channels.
By sharing the video, you increase its chances of being seen without spending a dime.
Did you know Facebook only shows around 2% – 3% of your organic posts to your fans? In other words, your Facebook organic engagement isn’t going to be effective on its own. But it may increase with the help of paid ads.
Using social ads, you can intentionally reach a specific set of audiences — inside and outside of your network — who may find the helpful video content. Besides, many social behemoths like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram depend on ad revenue. So, their algorithm favors paid branded content over organic content.
Social media will work for brands like yours if you join the pay-to-play game.
Optimizing Your Video Content For Reach & Engagement
Like any other business, you want more views, likes, shares, and comments. But, not everyone has the budget to spruce up their social reach.
However, you can still use organic (re: non-paid) video optimization techniques to come on top. What are they?
(1) Video Branding
Don’t worry; we’re not going to talk about your business or personal branding. This is strictly relevant to video content.
Video branding can come in many forms — visuals, statements, and audio.
Branding comes in handy in distinguishing you in front of your audience. Without it, consumers may not remember you or what you stand for. They may as well get their memories erased by Men In Black’s Agent K.
Is it worth it to create incredible videos if no one is going to remember your business?
Start by adding your company logo, catchy intro/outro music, or fascinating thumbnail. The key to winning, in the long run, is consistency. This will then help your brand become memorable.
(2) SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
One of the most crucial video optimization strategies is SEO. And YouTube, in addition to its parent company Google, controls how people find your brand online.
It’s a no-brainer since both Google and YouTube are the 1st and 2nd most significant search engines.
When you start to optimize your video per their algorithms, you will notice your content’s reach is increasing. This is happening because Google: 1. loves content from its own platforms, 2. it prioritizes content with the most relevance to users’ queries.
This brings us to keywords and tags. Google uses keywords to categorize a billion pieces of online content to filter and show only relevant ones to users. When you insert targeted keywords in your title and description area, Google understands how to categorize them. The same goes for video tags.
Use TubeBuddy or Tubics to find similar video content to spot the keywords and tags they use.
(3) CTA (Call To Action)
We live in a world where most people don’t take action unless told to or pushed. And it’s your job to give them a reason to act. Otherwise, your business will suffer.
Think of the war cries you hear in action movies when heroes and heroines lead their army in a battle with a loud “Charge!” command.
Tell people to buy, sign up, like, subscribe, comment by saying it aloud in your videos and walking them through it with visuals. You can add the CTA in your video descriptions too.
CTAs have the power to turn passive consumers into active ones.
Tracking & Measuring Your Video Performance For Success
You know you can’t measure what you don’t track, but you also can’t improve what you don’t measure.
Why is that?
Without measurement and analysis, you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t.
Since we primarily focus on YouTube, Facebook, and Google in this article, we’ll discuss their native analytics platforms to track and elevate your video performance.
This free tool gives insight into your website visitors. Its extensive suite of features shows who your audience is, where they come from, what they do on-site.
If you don’t have an account, create one at analytics.google.com and sync your YouTube account to Google Analytics. This will tell you how your YouTube videos drive traffic to your site and help accomplish conversions (AKA, meaningful actions) if you set any.
Suppose you’re promoting your product through a product demo video on YouTube. With Google Analytics, you can deduce how this single YouTube video is responsible for product demo requests and purchases on your website.
Video Hosting Analytics
YouTube comes with a native analytics dashboard, so you don’t even need to set it up (like Google Analytics). Go to Settings and click on Creators Studio to learn how each video is performing, who’s watching the videos, where they’re coming from, and much more.
Such insight enables you to improve your existing and future video content. Plus, you discover if you have any videos that lack optimization or need to be removed to enhance channel engagement.
When you start analyzing your YouTube video performance, make sure you monitor these KPIs:
- Video watch time
Facebook or Instagram aren’t “video hosting” platforms. However, that doesn’t discredit their influence when it comes to video consumption. So, taking advantage of their in-app analytics tools can be beneficial.
Their dashboards are comparable to YouTube’s and track similar metrics discussed above. Once you natively upload videos to these platforms, you’ll experience more engagement and better insights. Remember, each platform prefers native videos.
Social analytics shed light on how your videos impact your engagement and following, based on the interactions with customers who are online at the same time.
In the end, make sure you focus on metrics that align with what success means to you and compare them across different video channels. This way, you spot differences and similarities in your video marketing efforts.
Videos are instrumental to not only engage your audience but to scale your ROI too.
How you approach, implement, and tweak your video marketing strategy will make a considerable difference…especially in this age of social content churning.
This is why differentiation matters. Without it, you will find it hard to leverage videos as a catalyst for business growth. So, get cracking and start producing videos.
If you’re looking to improve your video marketing strategy, efforts, engagement, or evaluation, connect with me today!