A recent article from Contently says that marketers want more video content, but don’t know how to begin integrating it into their marketing stacks. This sentiment is nothing new. Every year, video content is at the top of the marketing mix wish list, but it has yet to become a mainstream marketing tactic achievable by most brands and advertisers. By the time Q4 comes around, marketers plan to delegate money from the budget to video for the next year, but those videos rarely get made. Or if they do, video content is only produced for a month or two and forgotten like the rest of your New Year’s Resolutions.
However, today’s consumers crave engaging, interactive content. According to a recent content marketing study, 55% of people consume video more thoroughly than any other kind. Leaving video marketing out of your toolbox could potentially cost you money. Well-executed video content can give a human element to your brand. It can explain a complicated product, position your brand as an expert in the industry, or showcase company culture better than other forms of content. With more access to tools and fewer creative constraints, it’s easier than ever to make video content that converts.
Video marketing no longer means making content in 15 to 30-second intervals to broadcast in the middle of commercial breaks of the 5-o'clock news. Marketers now have the creative freedom to craft story-driven videos that appeal to highly targeted audiences. Do you think PooPourri would be the zeitgeist it is without video content? The breakout viral hit Girls Don’t Poop video has garnered almost 40 million views since it was posted in 2013 because of its odd humor that just begs to be shared with friends and family. Purina-branded videos, most notably Puppyhood and Dear Kitten, also spread like wildfire because they tell the heartwarming and touching stories of our pets instead of just pitching the benefits of Purina pet food over a competing brand.
There are a lot of reasons why it’s hard to create consistent video content on an operational level. It can be difficult to get executive buy-in because video can be expensive, time-consuming, and require a lot of resources that aren’t currently at your disposal. However, the benefits of creating high-quality video content can have a lasting impact on brands and companies and there are tricks of the trade to make your campaign as effective as possible.
So, where do you start with video marketing? With a strategic vision and the right resources, you can add video marketing to your branding efforts.
1. Determine the goal you want your videos to achieve.
As with any new marketing strategy, start with your goal. Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Increase brand awareness? Educate users about your company? Your goal is the driving purpose is for creating video content, and every video should support it. Otherwise, your video marketing efforts won’t reach their potential. Consider making multiple videos to tackle different goals separately, since rarely one video can capture it all.
2. Map out your short-term and long-term strategy.
For your video to be successful, it needs to be part of a long-term marketing strategy. What kind of videos do you want to create? How many videos are going to be part of your campaign? Where will you publish your videos? Who is responsible for the content? Have all of your ducks in a row before you even put pen to paper. Once you’ve documented your game plan, it’s time for kick-off.
3. Now it’s time to get creative.
Plan out each video you want to make and the resources you need. Determine if you can make the video content in-house or if you need to outsource anything. If you’re planning a larger production, it’s best to let the experienced professionals take on the shoot. If you’re not sure where to find a production company or crew to help you out, services like ProductionHUB have thousands of options to choose from in your area and budget. It’s okay if you’re not the next Scorsese, but you’ll be able to find someone who can get the job done.
4. Lights, camera, action.
With all the revisions made to your script and your crew, it’s time to start recording. If you choose to shoot in your office, make sure you’re filming in a quiet area or when everyone is out to lunch. You can build a DIY office video studio in a conference room so you’ll always have a place to shoot. Do you not have access to a high-end camera? No worries. With a few tricks, you can even shoot high-quality video on your smartphone.
5. Publish and optimize.
Once you have the final cut, it’s time to release your video out to the Internet. Is your video meeting the goal you set out in the beginning? If so, yay! Make more videos like it! If not, how can you improve the next video in your series to reach your target audience? The most important thing you can do when trying a new marketing tactic is to experiment with different social channels, delivery, and content to understand what gets your audience’s attention.
Like any other marketing tactic, video marketing takes a lot of research, planning, and iteration to make it effective. While you may not be inducted into the viral video hall of fame, you can delight your audience and win over a few new customers. Are you ready to take the plunge and sit in the director’s chair?