Whether you’ve just stepped onto the scene, or you’ve been using videos for ages, you need a road map outlining what it’s all for, where you’re going, and how you’ll measure success.
Your video marketing strategy is every bit as important as execution.
A solid plan can be the difference between knowing how much return on investment (ROI) your content is delivering and throwing metaphorical spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
If your business is already off and running with video, congrats! You’ve successfully cleared one major hurdle: the fear of getting started. Now’s the time to put a strategy in place.
A video marketing strategy will help you meet your goals and create video content that addresses real business objectives.
Starting from scratch? No need to worry. You can make your video content intentional from day one.
You can start to use video to increase qualified leads in your sales pipeline and prove ROI.
The trick to making your videos count is to build a purposeful, measurable strategy rather than a random burst of video excitement.
Developing a video marketing strategy should begin with eight steps.
Define Your Video Marketing Objectives
In order to know whether you’ve actually achieved what you’ve set out to accomplish with your video marketing strategy, you need to set measurable goals.
Content intelligence platform Conductor recommends defining marketing goals for both revenue and your brand.
Revenue-based goals focus on things like increasing lead form inquiries, while brand goals involve things like growing a higher quality email list, driving more blog traffic, or capturing Google answer boxes for targeted keywords.
Brand goals can be just as important as revenue ones because they help position you for future success and often take into account qualitative feedback.
Create a Mission Statement for Your Video Marketing Strategy
Starting your content marketing strategy with a mission statement is recommended by Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute.
It’s helpful to have one of these for your video strategy too, because it gives your team an easy-to-remember reason to rally around.
Your mission should be a simple, one-line statement that answers the following questions:
What type of video content do you plan to make?Whether you’re leaning towards educational, entertaining, or a mix, your brand’s expertise and audience needs should determine your approach here.
Who are you making this content for?
Outline your target demographic with as much detail as you can. You can’t create great videos without determining the buyer personas you want to appeal to and their pain points.
What should your audience take away from your videos?Think about what value your content will add and what tasks or goals it will help your audience accomplish.
Research Your Target Audience for Video
To be successful with video, you first need to know who you actually want to watch your content.
Defining a target audience—and learning about what they like, what they need, and what their pain points are—will help you create video content that connects.
Many marketers seem to share the misconception that if they create a video that doesn’t rake in millions of views, they’ve failed in a major way. Fortunately, this is far from the truth.
While a broad reach can be desirable for B2C companies, things are a bit different in the B2B space. No matter what industry you’re in, recognize that your objectives will differ.
B2B brands often have a harder time developing videos for widespread reach, but don’t get discouraged. Not everyone needs your product or service; that’s why it’s important to attract and maintain leads worth following up with.
When it comes to your target audience, the more specific, the better. It’s okay if your content isn’t interesting to anyone outside of that group; you’re aiming to help viewers self-qualify.
Start by looking at the buyer, customer, and/or user personas your company already has. Research what their video preferences are: Is it a good medium for reaching them? If so, what types of videos work best? Build a profile of your video audience from there.
If you don’t already have personas, now’s the time to create some. Use whatever sources of information are available to you to learn about the people you’re trying to connect with. Include anything about your persona that’s pertinent to your content creation, such as how they learn, what kind of content they prefer to consume, and more.
Decide What Kind of Videos You’ll Make
Before you dive in and start filming, you need to figure out what kind of video you’re going to make.
Think about what story you want to tell, how you can best do that through video, what video styles and types are best suited to sharing that story, what kinds of videos your target audience likes, and more.
It’s important to consider where video will fit into your organization’s customer journey and marketing funnel (or flywheel). Remember that your audience will likely need different video types and messages at different points in their journey.
When you’re first getting started, choose a few styles and types of videos to test and see what works and what doesn’t. Depending on the stage of the funnel or flywheel, this may constitute what gets the most reach, what gets the most engagement, or what drives the most leads or conversions.
Set a Video Budget
As you make your plan, it’s important to think about what sort of video budget you’ll have to work with. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to get a sense of how much you’ll need to invest or, if your budget is already fixed, how to get the most bang for your buck.
What Types of Videos Do You Want to Create?
Your budget for video really depends on the types of projects you outline in your video strategy.
Your finances will often dictate the creative avenues you can explore.
Every production, from live-action to animation, will vary in terms of the time and resources required, so there isn’t a definitive answer when it comes to setting a video budget. Whether you aim for polish or gritty authenticity, your production quality and style will also be a factor in the cost and may even impact the number of videos you’re ultimately able to create.
Establish Who’s Responsible for Video Creation
Depending on the production quality you’re aiming for and your budget, you might be able to invest in an in-house videographer or a team of marketers dedicated to video. However, you might also be outsourcing content to an agency or production house.
Think About Your Video Campaign Strategy
There are two main ways to approach video content, and most businesses’ video strategies will likely involve a combination of both.
First, there’s evergreen, "business as usual" (BAU) content: This could be a regularly scheduled video series, supporting content for core pages of your website, how-to content for support pages, customer testimonial videos, or other video content that has a long shelf life.
Second, there are campaign videos, which usually run for a shorter period of time. These can range from video ads for your business to promotions for something your company is doing (such as a new product or a sale) to topical social videos to timely video content that’s seasonal, aligns with a holiday, or hops on a trend. Campaign videos tend to have a shorter shelf life and are often retired after they’ve served their specific purpose.
For each video campaign you tackle, you’ll need to create a video marketing campaign strategy—essentially a mini-version of your main strategy—that answers all of the pertinent questions for the individual campaign.
As with your overarching strategy, you’ll need to think about cost, target audience, goals, and more.
The big difference here is timing. This element, while important in your general video strategy, is of the utmost importance for video campaigns. This is because campaigns often rely on timeliness.
Figure Out Where Video Content Will Live
After you’ve accumulated a ton of content, you need to decide where your videos will live on the web and on your site. When releasing any video, it’s critical to leverage multiple distribution channels to maximize reach and engagement.
When getting started with video, make a list of the distribution locations that make sense for you. Think about providing a dedicated place where visitors can explore all of your video assets on your own website.
Many major brands now have entire pages on their websites devoted to video. They’re focused on creating a video content hub that will keep potential customers engaged for longer and guide them through their buying journey.
Distribution isn’t the only part of this equation; you also need to determine how you’ll organize, host, and manage your video content. When your team has only five videos, this may not seem that important, but it quickly becomes crucial to effective video marketing. And it’s much easier to put a system in place from day one than it is to try to shoehorn things in after the fact.
When it comes to video hosting, organizations use either free, paid, or a combination of both to manage video content. As the volume of video production goes up, so does the need for a more robust online video platform. And those that invest in paid video solutions are more satisfied with the value they get from video.
Assess your performance.
In the same way you track key performance indicators (KPIs) for written content, you need to produce, release, and review your video’s engagement data to justify your investment in video and to understand how well you’re performing.
In fact, video analytics ranks as the number one online video platform feature for businesses.
Metrics might still be a scary word, but video is actually easier to track and measure than you might think. You can get detailed viewing data with the help of an online video platform.
We’ll get into video performance in more depth later on, but here’s an overview of some metrics you should track for each video campaign you release:
The number of views and the number of unique viewers are as follows:While this won’t be a measure of success on its own, it will help you understand if your distribution strategy is working.Attention Span and Drop-Off Rates: Does more than 60% of your audience make it to the end of your videos on average?
Click-Through Rates: Split test the results for email content with and without video content.
Demand Generation: The number of new leads and opportunities generated as a result of watching the video, as well as how the video affects the pipeline and revenue.
How many videos does a single lead watch in a day?A week? A month?
This step in your video marketing strategy is to determine how you’ll collect this critical information (usually done with the help of the online video platform of your choice).
Once you have a set strategy, you’ll be able to see how your video content aligns with your business objectives and start using assets more effectively.