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We have created an updated version of this guide. Get your hands on the Video Strategy Blueprint v2.0!

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Video continues to make exponential leaps in its integration into business marketing strategy. In case you still need some convincing about the power of video, here are some statistics to feast on:

  • 4x as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. (Animoto, 2015)
  • Almost 50% of internet users look for a video related to a product or service before visiting a store. (Google, 2016)
  • Shoppers who view video are 1.8x as likely to make a purchase as shoppers who don’t view any videos. (Animoto, 2015)
  • By 2019, video traffic will account for 80% of all global consumer internet traffic. (SmallBizTrends, 2016)

In simpler terms, if your business isn’t already using video (or in the process of starting to use video) you’re forfeiting traffic, attention, and sales to your competitors that are. vidwheel LLC is a video production company that specializes in video marketing for the web, so we know a thing or two about writing and executing video marketing strategies. This Video Marketing Strategy Blueprint is going to explain the key elements required to develop an effective video marketing strategy, plus a checklist to help keep you on track.

If this sounds like a cliche, that’s because it’s true: You must know your audience. Before you launch into video development, decide specifically who you are targeting. Hint: If you are using words like ‘anyone’, it is not a specific enough answer.

  • Here are some audience-related questions to get you started:
  • What does my ideal customer look like (in basic demographics)?
  • What makes them buy things? Where do they encounter video messages?
  • What makes them share on social media? What are their other favorite brands?

The next step is to decide on the channels you’re going to use to reach your target audience. They should match your ideal buyer’s viewing habits.

If 18- to 24-year-olds are in your target audience, for example, Instagram stories and Snapchat videos should be part of your plan. If your audience skews older, they’re more likely to prefer Facebook videos.

Most marketing experts consider YouTube to be an absolute must in internet video marketing. After all, it has 1.5 billion monthly users. YouTube competitors like Vimeo and Wistia are also trying hard to compete on the video front.

Other important channels include your own website, email-linked videos, and social media-linked videos (Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest). Facebook videos took a huge step forward in 2017 and are projected to increase in viewership into 2018 and beyond.

Each video channel offers ways to direct your video to your specific audience. Make sure you’re taking advantage of these effective targeting tools.

Utilize the Google AdWords platform when it comes to targeted promotion of videos you have hosted on YouTube. Google Adwords, allows tight geographic targeting, which is important for companies that are strongly location based. Restaurants and small retail shops, for example, usually define their audience within a limited geographic area.

Google AdWords also offers an array of demographic targeting tools, but defaults to targeting your video at “all users.” You don’t really want an ad for your vegetarian food to reach millions of meat eaters. So, use the refining tools to choose demographics, interests, placements and affinity groups to best reach your target market.

Facebook allows you to create an “engagement custom audience” based on the types of people who are most interested in your video. So if you’re getting lots of views from Midwestern dads who like Game of Thrones, Facebook will automatically show your video to more of those people.

Once you’ve identified – with clarity and specificity – your target market, you can begin to develop your message. Your message bears the most responsibility for whether or not your video marketing strategy is effective. Think about it, there are is no shortage of people or companies that have the capacity to reach you with video. But attention is finite – each person only has so much to give. Your videos won’t be successful if they can’t gain and hold the attention of your target market.

Here’s the 3-part test we recommend for honing your message.

  1. Is it unique? If your message doesn’t present new information – or at least common information in a different way – what’s to make someone stop and pay attention to it. Yes, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of videos on YouTube alone on your same topics. But that hasn’t stopped many video producers from finding a unique angle.
  2. Does it solve a problem? Different for different’s sake doesn’t do much unless your message also promises to help someone or solve a problem. Even if the problem is simply that your audience is bored or looking for something to learn, engage with or be entertained by. Make sure your message carries some value.
  3. Does it promote your business? Be careful. Take this step too far and all you’ve done is execute an elaborate sales pitch. Don’t take this into enough consideration and all you’ve done is charity work – engaging your audience and helping them solve a problem without presenting you or your business as the potential solution. Everything you say and do with video should somehow point back to your business, even in more subtle ways.

Once you’ve examined all three of these criteria, pick a message and rate it on a scale of 0-3 for each criterion. Draft multiple messages and repeat the exercise. Start with the message that presents the best, combined score.

Now think about formats. If you’re new to creating business videos, it’s tempting to think of all videos as advertisements. Although you are advertising, your focus should be on storytelling.

Stories come in many types of effective videos that aren’t exactly ads but resonate deeply with people: how-tos, tutorials, walkthroughs, reviews, comedy sketches, unboxing videos, parodies, spree/haul videos, animated shorts.

Here are a few examples of connections between audience and format.

How-to videos are perfect for customers that will face assembly or complexity, like with furniture, gadgets, beauty products, fitness gear, and business equipment. Simple how-to videos are some of the highest-ranked videos on the internet, even ones about how to tie a tie.

Humorous videos build an audience fast through social sharing. If high growth is your company’s goal, consider parodies, skits, and other funny formats. Blender company Blendtec got 6 million views in 6 days with a funny, low-budget video. Spoiler alert: You CAN grind a Justin Bieber doll to a pulp in a Blendtec blender.

Behind-the-scenes videos are great for building trust, like with B2B audiences, skeptics, and image-conscious buyers. Give your audience a peek into your daily operations or show how your products are made. Testimonials and case studies are variations on this format. See media guru Richard Branson’s “A Day in the Life” video.

Animation/motion videos work well for audiences that need education or motivation. This includes new customers, new employees, students, salespeople, and bloggers. Internet analysis company Ookla used an animated video to introduce themselves to tech users.

This step is fairly simple, and it’s all about structure and consistency. Simple, but not always easy. However, developing a schedule and sticking to it is perhaps the most critical step to a successful video marketing strategy. This is where discipline comes into play.

There are many people and businesses with great ideas, great products, great stories and lots of people (clients, partners, etc.) willing to heighten their credibility and elevate their ability to tell a compelling story through video. What’s far less common is a person (or business, or department, etc.) that’s willing to develop a plan and stick to it. Especially during the early stages of executing a video marketing strategy, the results won’t always be obvious or profound. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to – once you’ve honed your audience, message, and format – to trust your strategy and stick to a schedule.

Start by determining your minimum desirable output. In other words, what is the lowest consistent output that you’d be happy with? Is it one video a week? One video a month? It’s okay to start with a more conservative goal here. Whatever it is, pick one and stick to it. You’d rather set a more conservative goal and gain confidence while hitting it over time. It’s much better than feeling discouraged or overwhelmed by constantly missing your benchmarks. Plus, once you realize your output is easier than you thought, you can always increase your scheduled output.

From there, coordinate with members of your team and determine what tasks must be completed to publish each video.

Then, execute. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good. This causes inaction. You will learn more over time. Your videos will get better and you’ll see better results. The only way to get there is to actually produce videos on a regular schedule. Good luck!

Executing a video marketing strategy can be fun, but we’re going to assume you’re also doing it to generate some sort of result. Therefore, let’s begin with the end in mind. What needs to happen in order for you to consider this a successful endeavor?

We recommend setting SMART goals. Smart goals are:

  • Specific (the goal is clearly understood)
  • Measurable (the goal and progress toward it can be measured)
  • Achievable (the goal is actually realistic)
  • Relevant (the goal aligns with your marketing strategy)
  • Timely (the goal is bound by a specific timeframe)

Example: Increase our average monthly web traffic from our YouTube channel by 50% by the end of 2019.

  • Specific – There’s no mistaking (web traffic) what the goal is about.
  • Measurable – Web visitors are easy to measure.
  • Achievable – A 50% increase over an 18-24 month period is realistic.
  • Relevant – Increasing web traffic from YouTube is a desired video marketing result.
  • Timely – This goal must be achieved by the end of 2019.
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Need concrete examples? Watch some of the example videos in our portfolio or see some examples in this case study.

Looking for more information about video marketing in general? Visit our blog, which is full of practical tips and useful information.

Have questions? Want to set up a consultation? vidwheel LLC is here for you. Get in touch today.