Screens have become an integral part of our lives. The growth of videos in the past couple of years has been staggering. Let’s take a look at a few facts to get a perspective.:
- Over 100 million hours of video is watched per day on Facebook (Source), whereas the count goes up by 5x for YouTube (Source)
- Videos receive 1200% more shares compared to images and text combined on social media (Source)
- Videos receive 135% better organic reach as compared to images on Facebook (Source)
With so much potential promised by videos, many brands have already integrated them in their content mix. If you’re just starting out or thinking of including videos in your strategy, here are 6 steps to plan your video marketing strategy that will get you results.
1) Define Your Purpose
There are two aspects when it comes to defining the purpose. The first is your audience and the second is what you are trying to achieve.
Defining Your Audience
Knowing your audience determines the rest of the course of your strategy. Who are your ideal buyers? Do you have your buyer personas defined? When you know their gender, age group, interests, quirks, location, education, job designation, and other demographic characteristics, you can predict that what type of videos would resonate with them. Do they prefer witty or casual videos or do they like their content to be conventional? Knowing your audience will help you define the tone and format of your videos.
Defining Your Goals
Probably the most regurgitated point in any marketing strategy related content is defining your goals. But this is a crucial exercise for the success of any marketing endeavor. Along with the overall marketing strategy, you also need to have a platform or medium-specific strategy to be successful. The SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) framework will set you on the right path, and to delve a bit deeper on goals, you can take a two-pronged approach.:
- Set goals that are coherent with your core marketing strategy. For example, is your primary goal for Q4 is to increase your website visitors by 10% compared to Q3? If so, you can assign a certain number of visitors that you expect to come from your video marketing activities
- Set platform specific goals. For example, you can decide on a number of video uploads, video views and subscriber count that you expect to achieve on YouTube for Q4
When you know your audience and goals, it becomes easy to plan your content calendar and promotional activities and dedicate the right amount of resources that would help you achieve your goals.
2)Define Your Content Plan
How frequently can you create and post videos? Is it once or twice a week or once a month? If you’re not sure, crafting a video marketing calendar will help you determine the frequency. Your video content calendar should ideally outline the video title, topic, goal, intended target audience, tone, video length, video format, budget, due date, publish date and success metrics.
To get you started, here are 10 video formats which you can explore. (We have added some examples as well for inspiration):
- Product demo or explainer videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP34oHx68g0
- Brand promotional or commercial videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6sSa5NpqUI
- Expert interview videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnu6GOku5vk
- Company culture videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCD4UU53fms
- Instructional or how-to videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dyn03RSWVA
- Webinar videos
- Case studies and testimonial videos
- AR, VR videos
- Live videos
- Event videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5Yst1Si3fw
Of course, when starting out, you don’t have to go overboard with all these formats. Pick 2-3 formats that suit your buyer personas, and focus exclusively on those. You can keep adding other formats as you move ahead.
3) Video Creation Process
With your goals defined and content plan in place, it’s time to get cracking with the work. The video creation process usually consists of the following steps.:
- Writing the video script and rehearsing it
- Setting up the studio, camera, audio, and lighting equipment
- Recording the video
- Editing the video
- Uploading the video
The steps outlined above just give an overview of the process. The process might vary depending on your video format and the infrastructure available. If you have a dedicated a team for videos, you can delegate tasks based on their expertise. If you are a lone wolf, you need to take care of the end to end process and we would recommend you to chalk out significant blocks of time to work on the video.
4) Upload Your Video Content
Once your final product is ready, it’s time to show your video to the world. Depending on the purpose of the video, you can host the video on either social media platforms or other video hosting platforms. Let’s take a look at the both:
Social media platforms:
Video hosting platforms:
- Vimeo Pro
Video hosting should ideally be a mix of both. If you’re using a business video hosting platform such as Wistia, use social media platforms to complement it.
If you think you’re confident enough, you can jump on the bandwagon of live videos, and host live videos on YouTube, Periscope, Instagram, and Facebook.
Let’s Talk a Bit About Video SEO
We’ve been primarily talking about the creative aspect of video content. SEO is equally important for videos as for other content formats. To optimize your videos for search, make sure the video title, description, thumbnail, tags, call to action, and video transcript all consist of the target keyword phrase and its variations. Standard SEO practices apply here as well.
5) Promote Your Video
Unless you are a big brand spending big bucks on advertising, chances are your latest video might not go viral and that shouldn’t be the goal. When you deliver value in your content, your viewers will do the rest of the work for you. However, to reach to your audience, let’s take a look at a promotion tactics.:
- Embed your video in the relevant blog article(s)
- Share your video with your newsletter subscribers
- Share the video on social media and on forums such as Quora, Reddit, and other niche websites
- Take advantage of the platform specific-promotion strategies such as playlists and featured videos
- Run paid campaigns
6) Track Your Metrics
To close the feedback loop, it is essential to measure how well are your videos performing. Remember, as Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured, gets managed.” After an arduous creation process, you’ve finally uploaded the video and now it is garnering views and viewers are sharing and leaving comments. To understand the performance of your videos, it is useful to track the following metrics.:
- Video views
- Watch time
- Click through ratio
- Engagement (Like, comments, share etc.)
- Audience/subscriber growth
When getting started, you don’t need fancy equipment. A decent camera or smartphone camera can get the work done for you. If you view the early content of some famous YouTubers, they started out very simple and upgraded their quality incrementally. What remained constant was the value and the storytelling that kept their audience hooked.