If you’re a digital marketer who is somewhat new to video marketing, you can take some comfort in the words that follow. First of all, you’re not alone! While 52 million US adults watch professional video content every month, online video marketing is still largely viewed as the new kid on the digital marketing block.
However, setting up a video campaign doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it’s not so different from creating any other marketing plan – except, you know, a lot cooler.
Just answer these seven questions to create a well-defined strategy and ensure that your video marketing investment doesn’t go to waste.
1. What are your goals and expectations?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is why you are creating a video campaign. While this sounds like the most obvious question, it’s the most important step in framing your campaign. Do you want to promote a product or service to help educate your customers? Do you want to drive new leads or nurture existing prospects? Be specific with your KPIs – if you want higher sales, by how much? If you want to go viral, how many views would that entail?
2. Who’s your target audience?
An effective video campaign requires you to segment your audience and target your video content accordingly, by factors like age, industry type, stage in the buying cycle, etc. The ability to target effectively relies on the quality and accuracy of your company’s data, along with the marketing tools you use, such as your marketing automation platform.
There are also some video players that offer advanced targeting capabilities when embedded on your web pages. With these players, you can control which viewers see your videos, targeted by geography, device type, or even by browser type.
3. What is the creative concept behind your video campaign?
Whether you’re interested in creating customer testimonials, scripted ads, eye-catching animations, or instructional videos, your creative concept should make sense for your audience and the story you’re trying to tell. Keep in mind that you don’t need to try to be funny or overly creative to produce an effective marketing video and get your message across. In fact, researchers found that adult consumers watch instructional videos the most, followed by product/service videos, then humorous videos.
You certainly want to look professional, but if you’re drawing too much attention to the production of the video itself, it may come at the expense of your message. Your budget may help drive that decision. Figure out the story you want to tell, how best to tell it, and gauge whether your concept is budget-wise.
4. How many videos will you need?
Generally speaking, a video campaign consists of a series of related videos distributed over a predetermined timeframe. There is no hard or fast rule that stipulates how many videos you should be producing; it really depends on your goals, timeline and types of video you are using. If your campaign is testimonial-driven for example, you probably don’t need more than five testimonials, deployed once per week.
Whereas if you want to create short profile videos for all your products, or create how-to videos, then the sky’s the limit. Luckily, there are video companies today that can produce any number of videos in a short period of time, from one to 100, so it’s important to think about the volume of videos before choosing your video provider.
5. Who will create the videos for your campaign?
If your company has its own video production department, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. Capacity or timing issues might force you to seek out an outside video production company to create your video content. You will want to find a video partner who is able to address four key production issues:
- Volume – How many videos can be produced at a time, and how long will it take until completion?
- Reach – Is the video team you’re working with able to shoot and produce video content wherever it’s needed?
- Management Scale – How easy is it to efficiently manage high volume video production? Since there are a lot of moving parts to manage, from ordering to script-writing, filming to feedback, it’s vital to source a video partner that offers a scalable video production platform and tools that enable you to effectively track and manage multiple projects from start to finish.
- Cost – What is your budget and how can you get the most bang for your buck? After factoring in your time, what will be less costly – producing in-house or outsourcing?
6. How will you distribute your videos?
A well-planned distribution strategy is necessary to ensure your video gets noticed by your target audience. A great place to start is with your website—from your home page, to your blog, and to your landings pages—this will help with SEO and encourage prospective customers to convert.
Then you will want to consider which social channels you should add your video to, such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr. This is the best way to get your fans and customers engaging with and sharing your content.
Videos should also be added to emails campaigns, which can increase email CTRs by 96%. Consider including video in your press releases, newsletters, and sales assets you send. If your company is leveraging marketing automation platforms like Marketo, all of this becomes much easier and more efficient.
7. How will you measure performance and ROI?
Before you start your campaign, consider the variables you want to track and how you will measure them. Google Analytics or platforms like KISS Metrics will work great for your website, but you will also want access to specific video analytics. By adding your videos to free advanced video players, you can find out how your videos are performing in general – who’s watching, for how long, when they stopped watching, etc.
Having this information is vital for understanding the needs of your audience and optimizing your videos. For example, if viewers are constantly clicking away from your video after only a few seconds, you need to consider whether you have the right concept, the right messaging or the right thumbnail.
The Secret to Video Marketing Success
Now that you know what questions to ask yourself and your team, we have one final tip for creating a great video marketing plan. It might sound very basic, but it’s often overlooked by many smaller companies or departments – put your plan in writing. While it’s great to ask yourself these questions, the best way to frame your video marketing strategy is to write a formal plan. Then you can meet with your team to finalize the details, make any adjustments, and make sure everyone is on the same page. And if anyone gets side-tracked or is unclear about the expectations, they can always refer back to the plan.
At the end of the day, if there’s one secret to creating an effective video marketing strategy, it’s this – when you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Plan ahead, define your KPIs, and take the time to find a great video provider that can bring your unique vision to life.
I’d love to hear your video marketing stories and answer your questions — please share them in the comments section below.