Video is among the most effective and consumer-friendly marketing tools available to small businesses today. If you plan on using it, start with a video marketing strategy. Not only will you save a lot of time and resources in the long run, but your videos will have more impact overall.
In this article, we’ll explain what a video marketing strategy is and why you need it. We’ll take you behind the scenes and share our step-by-step method for building a foolproof video strategy for your business.
We’ll show you how to craft a video marketing strategy that grows with you. After all, your customers’ needs evolve, and yours do, too. This is why we recommend a responsive approach to video content planning that allows you to anticipate and adapt to critical changes in the marketplace.
There are five steps you need to take. They are not complicated but are important to make sure your video content pays off.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
So, let’s dive in and nail down your video strategy.
1: Video Marketing Strategy: What It is and Why You Need It
UNDERSTANDING VIDEO MARKETING STRATEGY
A video marketing strategy is a blueprint for aligning video content with your business goals and establishes a course of action for successfully developing, creating, and using videos to promote your business.
When you start with a practical video marketing strategy, you’ll be clear not only on why your business uses video content but when and where to use it. You’ll understand which types to use, the best approach to producing it, and how to measure the success of your campaigns.
You may be wondering if you really need a video marketing strategy. The short answer is yes. A scattershot approach to video marketing is time-consuming and wastes valuable resources.
It is far better to have well-defined goals for your video content. This will help you line up your videos at critical points across your customers’ journey precisely when they need it. Plus, when you set concrete goals at the beginning of the process, you can make meaningful adjustments along the way and successfully assess the overall impact of your video marketing afterward.
2: Laying the Groundwork for Your Video Strategy
GOALS, AUDIENCE, OBJECTIVES
Don’t fall into the trap of making your approach to video strategy harder than it needs to be. We’ve found that what works best is to start simply by answering a few fundamental questions.
What Are My Video Marketing Goals?
First, think about what you hope to achieve with video content for your business. Maybe you want to attract new customers, close more sales, improve customer relations, or raise your business profile. There are a lot of valid answers. Aim for three concrete goals that you can measure your progress against later.
Next, identify the specific audience that must view your video to achieve each goal. This is who your video must target. Then, pinpoint your objectives or the steps you would need to take to meet these goals.
These key interlinked elements lay the groundwork for crafting a foolproof strategy for every piece of video content you create: goals, audience, objectives. Keep in mind, different goals will have different paths to success.
Where Will Viewers See my Videos?
There are many platforms where videos can be used effectively to promote your business. Let’s talk about the best places to support your goals with video content.
You can use them on your website, social media, in your email campaigns, at trade shows, and on-site at your physical business.
The objective is to place your videos where they will have the most influence on your audience and positive impact on the video goals set for your business.
Get strategic about video placement. 👍
Say your business is primarily online, and your goal is to increase sales. A series of videos strategically placed across your website can move your customers through each stage of the buying process, like a virtual sales staff—turning browsers into buyers.
Here’s what we mean: the first video can introduce your company, the next spotlight your products. Then, an expainer-type video can be used to reinforce buying decisions or upsell additional products. Finally, a testimonial video can build enthusiasm for closing the sale.
Think about where viewers will watch your videos and the context in which they will see them.
For instance, let’s say you offer a service, such as accounting, and many of your prospects are people starting a new business. What questions do they have in common, and how are your strongest competitors addressing these questions?
Perhaps these potential clients can benefit from learning more about the different types of legal structures a startup can choose from. A short video explaining the top three will help your viewers understand the fundamentals and allow you to communicate your capabilities.
Since you’re targeting new customers, post this video to your website. Then, tease your video through social media, paid ads, or organic search (unpaid search results). Direct your prospects from these various channels to your website, where you can use your video to introduce your business persuasively.
Here’s another example. Say you offer tangible goods. If product demonstrations can show your customers how to use your products and generate enthusiasm, by all means, prioritize this type of video. Not only can you use it on your website, but you can also post it on YouTube and other social media and drive more viewers to your website.
The key is to serve your target audience with video content where it’s most relevant to them and more likely to be used.
Once you’ve decided where your videos will air, let’s figure out how to be competitive in this arena.
How Will I Use Video Content to Compete in the Marketplace?
Do your market research and analyze how your competition may or may not use video to their advantage. Take a few minutes to go online and look at your competitors’ websites and social media channels. See if they use video in their business marketing. If so, to what extent.
Think about how you would present this content differently. More importantly, how might you use video to deliver a better experience for your customers?
Look for a gap in your market that you can fill. Maybe you can provide more in-depth video content than your competitors. Or, if their content is too exhaustive, simplify this information for your viewers. Perhaps you can supply higher-quality videos that are more enjoyable to watch. Consider how you might present your brand in a unique way and tell your story differently.
Aim for a strategic approach to your video content that puts you at a competitive advantage.
Decide how you will win in your market.
3: Producing Your Video Content
OUTSOURCING VS INSOURCING
Now you have concrete goals in mind for your video content and know where and how to use it. Next, we’ll prioritize the resources needed to add video to your content marketing strategy.
Let’s talk about how your videos will be produced.
When it comes to video production, there are three options. You can produce your videos in-house, outsource your video production, or opt for a mix of both. Most companies, large and small, tend to do a little of both.
For daily social posts, you will likely choose to use content produced in-house. For videos with more prominence and longer shelf-life, such as a brand video, testimonial, or product demonstration, a media production company has many advantages.
For one, they have the equipment and expertise to handle the project. Creating high-quality video content in-house on an ongoing basis can be disruptive for some businesses. It can require a lot of restructuring of personnel and resources.
On the other hand, a video production company can work with you to map out your goals and strategically plan to expand your use of video content efficiently with little disruption. If you prefer to outsource your videos, gather some quotes from local companies.
Weigh your options. Highlight the positives and negatives of producing your video content in-house. Do the same for outsourcing your projects. Break it down further and make a list of pros and cons for each of your videos.
Remember, the importance of your video and the length of time you plan to use it play a role in the quality of the videos you want to be produced.
4: Use Your Video Marketing Strategy to Assess Video Performance
METRICS AND TOOLS
When you begin with well-defined goals from the outset of your video marketing strategy, you have essentially laid the groundwork for measuring its success.
Now, you’re ready to choose the metrics to monitor and tools to use to evaluate your video content’s performance. Then, you can quickly check results, gauge performance, and decide how to move forward and make improvements.
Here’s a list of 10 performance metrics you can use to help bring your video strategy into focus and ensure the desired outcomes.
- View count—how many times your video is viewed for a selected date range, region, and other filters. This can be counted differently across different platforms. For example, YouTube uses thirty seconds of viewing to count as one view. However, Facebook counts three seconds as ample viewing time.
- Unique viewers—a metric that drills down to provide a clearer picture of your audience size or an estimated number of individuals that watched your video over a period of time.
- Impressions—a measure of how many times your video thumbnail is shown to viewers, or in some cases, how many times your video is loaded.
- Watch time—the total amount of minutes viewers spent watching your video.
- Click-through rate—the percentage of viewers that click on any call-to-action included in your video content.
- Play rate—this is the percentage of viewers that actually clicked play to watch your video. It can serve as a good measure of your video’s effectiveness at reaching viewers and its content relevance based on the context in which it’s played.
- Conversion rate—a measure of how many leads your video generated.
- Engagement—how long viewers stayed tuned in to your video or how much of your video they watch. This can help you gauge the usefulness of your video and tweak the placement of your video content and the context in which you present it.
- Feedback—this provides qualitative data that tracks how viewers react and comment on your video.
- Social sharing—demonstrates how much people are sharing your video content. It measures social performance based on the number of shares across social channels. It is also a good measure of how appealing your video is to your target audience.
We’ll provide a few examples that illustrate how to narrow your choices to those metrics that align best with the video goals you’ve outlined for your business.
These chief metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) must line up with the target of your video campaign and be easy to track.
KPIs are those metrics to zero in on that best indicate whether or not your campaign is hitting its mark.
You started your video marketing strategy on the right foot by taking the time to define your end goal for each video in Step 1. Now you can identify and monitor those KPIs that best track your progress toward achieving this goal.
“KPIs are those metrics to zero in on that best indicate whether or not your campaign is hitting its mark.”
Maybe the primary purpose of your video campaign is to raise your business profile or build repeat business. When you’ve determined your goal for each video, it’s easy to line up the performance metrics you should be tracking for that video.
Now that you’ve selected the metrics to monitor, let’s talk about the tools needed to analyze the data.
Use tools provided by your video hosting platform along with YouTube Analytics and Google Analytics and see how your videos measure up. Most paid hosting platforms like Wistia and Vimeo allow you to monitor the performance of your videos across social media and wherever they are embedded from one central dashboard. Some may include heat maps that show a second-by-second view of how your audience engages with your video content.
Why do you need a video hosting platform?
Video file sizes are too large to upload directly to your website and slow down website performance considerably. For this reason, businesses upload their content to video hosting platforms and then embed and share their videos to their websites and social media channels from there.
With advanced analytic tools available from both free and paid video hosting platforms, businesses can hone in on key performance metrics and easily monitor their campaigns. These tools vary by service, but most provide real-time data that tracks how your videos perform over time.
Monitor video performance and refine your strategy accordingly. This will ensure that your approach is valid and realistic. Above all, it will ensure that your video strategy achieves the desired outcome. Keep in mind:
- Your primary goals determine the metrics you use to measure the success of your campaign.
- The tools available to you have much to do with the video hosting platform you choose to use.
- Monitor results and refine a plan that works for your unique business goals.
- Review your end goal for each video.
- Select and track KPIs that align with each.
- Research video hosting platforms.
- Compare analytics tools between platforms.
- Prepare a platform cost-benefit analysis.
- Evaluate outcomes using your chosen reporting tools.
- Review data and make adjustments as needed.
5: Finalizing Your Video Marketing Strategy
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Congratulations! You’ve laid the groundwork and have everything you need. Now it’s time to put it all together and build your strategy.
We’re providing our free, 40-page, step-by-step Video Marketing Strategy Workbook as a companion piece to this article. It’s packed with 11 worksheets, detailed examples, a video strategy roadmap, task list, and other valuable resources. Take a moment to download this handy guide to map out each of the steps we’ve covered.
- Craft a video marketing strategy that grows with you and allows you to anticipate and adapt to critical changes in the marketplace.
- Ensure that you set concrete goals at the beginning of the process. This will help you make meaningful adjustments along the way and successfully assess the overall impact of your video marketing afterward.
- Be strategic about where your viewers will see your videos. Use them in places where they will support your goals, have the most impact, and help you gain a competitive edge.
- Decide how to handle video production. You can produce your videos in-house, outsource your video production, or opt for a mix of both. Most companies tend to do a little of both.
- Identify the key metrics you will use to measure the success of your videos. With advanced tools from both free and paid video hosting platforms, you can easily track performance.
Remember, what works for one company may not work for yours. This is why it’s essential to revisit your data and fine-tune your strategy. You want it to reflect the performance of your video marketing plan.
This will help you set your own benchmarks and compare your own campaigns against each other to see how each performs based on seasonal trends, demographics, and other data unique to your business.
Circle back every so often. Review your data to determine if your video strategy delivers the desired result and, if needed, adjust accordingly. Take advantage of the benefits digital marketing offers to optimize your video campaigns in real time.
So there you have it: our five-step method for crafting your own practical video marketing strategy. Don’t forget to download our FREE Video Marketing Strategy Workbook to start building yours today!