7 Tips For Launching A Video Marketing Strategy
Worried about your budget or what stories to tell? Columnist Michael Litt has some tips to get you on the right path to a successful video marketing plan.
If my last post, “Video Is A Marketer’s Best Friend,” did its job, you’ve already decided that your organization must start using video to engage your audiences. It helps generate new leads and qualify and nurture the ones you have. And it’s measurable, so you know whether it’s working.
But how do you get started? I’ve seen businesses large and small stall their efforts before they even got off the ground simply because they didn’t know what the first step should be in building a video marketing strategy.
Let’s remove the guesswork from the equation and take a look at what you should consider as you embark on this important and fruitful journey. The rewards are so worth the investment that you don’t want to let uncertainty get in the way.
1. Dedicate Resources
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. Everyone worries about budget. Dollars are tight. Every organization is trying to do more with less.
However, you don’t have to spend millions to outfit your own studio and hire a dedicated video team.
Ideally, you’ll produce enough content for different stages of the customer journey and release a new video every couple of weeks. That may sound excessive, but you can dedicate the right resources without breaking the bank.
If you can only invest in one dedicated hire, a videographer is a good place to start. A strong videographer can shoot and edit all of your footage and produce at least one short video per week for about $1,000.
And you don’t need a formal studio and top-of-the-line equipment. Quality is important, but so is authenticity. Shoot in the office instead of a studio, and you can get a great HD-quality camera for a few hundred bucks.
Your viewers will be more impressed by your smart, funny and helpful videos than whether the lighting is just right.
2. Figure Out What Stories You Want To Tell
For most organizations, there’s no shortage of potential video content. Think about your audience and what you want them to know about you.
A good first video is an explainer about what your company does and who you are. Then you’ll want to create videos for every step of the marketing funnel. It’s said that buyers do more than half their product research independent of vendors, so you’ll want to provide videos for every step of that journey.
Fun campaign videos can bring pain points to life and humanize your brand. Product demo videos can quickly educate audiences and build trust in your offers.
Interviews with thought leaders and customers can inspire audiences and quickly build trust in not only what you do but also why you do it. And as buyers engage directly with your sales team, personalized videos can help bring the human element back into the digital selling process.
3. Show People Not Just Products
Product explanations are important, but they don’t always make the most compelling stories. Interview members of the C-suite to put a human face on the company.
Involve customers by featuring their success stories. Let your partners talk about their businesses and why they work with you.
4. Keep Them Short
As any filmmaker can tell you, editing is one of the toughest steps. All that content you shot is great. Everything your company does is amazing. You couldn’t possibly do it justice in one minute.
Unfortunately, viewers have short attention spans so you have to keep it short, especially in the beginning.
As you build your video library and measure viewership, you’ll start to see where there is demand for longer in-depth videos.
5. Never Fade To Black
If your viewer has watched to the end of a video, don’t just leave her with a blank screen. Provide a call to action pointing to related case studies, research or white papers.
Recommend a related video or give her contact information to learn more. Promote an upcoming webinar.
You can even add calls to action within the video — for example, a quick poll question halfway through — to help gauge interest.
6. Be Smart About Where People Can View Your Content
It’s tempting to pop your videos on YouTube or your own website. The best strategy is to do both — and Facebook, too, now that it’s enhanced its video capabilities.
YouTube is great because it performs well in Google search results. Plus, it’s free. But you sacrifice control. YouTube could refer your viewer to unrelated or, worse, competitive content.
You should complement free channels with a dedicated and secure hub for videos on your own website. Not only do you keep control, you also can better measure viewership, which leads to…
7. Prioritize Measurement And Analytics
Measuring performance is the only way to know whether your videos are successful. Don’t settle for vanity metrics such as the number of views. That won’t lead to more leads and deals.
Collect data on how your videos are watched and how viewers engage with them. Check the duration of views, repeat views and drop-off rates. That data helps you know whether your videos are working.
Even more powerful: Track those stats down to the individual viewer. Your sales team would pursue a lead who has watched three videos all the way through differently from one who turned one off after 10 seconds.
I realize this is a lot to think about. Ten years ago, marketers were intimidated and skeptical of using social media, too. Today, nearly every company in the world dedicates resources to social media. Some have teams of people working on it.
Video is on the verge of taking off, too. The challenges of getting started are minimal compared with the rewards you’ll reap.