You could be a video marketing superhero. Picture it: With an arsenal of animated explainer videos, live-action demos, and killer vlog posts at your disposal, you offer your audience rich visual content that educates, entertains, and keeps them coming back for more.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
But odds are, you’re not a video marketing superhero. Maybe you’re more like a sidekick – or worse, an innocent bystander. Sure, you’ve got that slick explainer video on your landing page… maybe you even got a couple of clients to film testimonials.
But that’s it.
Don’t get me wrong – even one solid landing-page video leaves you better off than no video at all. But if you know how important video is for marketers…
If you know everyone from the average consumer to a senior executive is more like to buy after watching video…
And if you know that you can send your conversion rates, SEO juice, and sales into the stratosphere by implementing video…
Then why would you stop with just one?
Maybe it’s dawning on you: You need more video. But you’re not sure where to start. You need a video marketing strategy. You wouldn’t move forward with your other marketing efforts without a game-plan, would you? Every content marketer worth their salt has a blog calendar. The same’s true for video. Before you come out guns blazing and cameras rolling, you need a strategy – a clear set of directions about where you’re going, how to get there, and why you’re going.
Ready to get started? Not. so. fast. There are 4 key elements of a strong video marketing strategy.
Chris Savage from Wistia describes mission-based marketing as “creating content that furthers your mission, instead of making content that sells your product.” Content marketing has always been so much more than getting the sale; it’s about creating material that actually matters to your customers – and drives your mission forward.
The first step to creating your video marketing strategy is to define your mission. Why does your brand exist? How are you making your customers’ lives better? How are you giving them the tools and the power to interact with your product in more meaningful ways?
Wistia’s mission is “to empower everybody to get more out of video.” Explainify’s is to help brands achieve their marketing objectives through video. That mission doesn’t restrict us – it frees us to write about a whole host of things – content marketing, scripting, video hosting, brand storytelling… But all of this content is born straight out of our mission. And our mission is the end-goal we have in mind when we create content.
Without a clear sense of mission, content is meaningless. Your mission functions as the deep roots of your marketing strategy – the individual pieces of content are just the leaves and branches that grow out of a strong mission. Without the roots, your content will be disjointed and weak. But a clear-cut mission gives you a goal, and helps you determine what content is right for your audience.
While your mission provides the roots of your video content, your plan is the framework that helps you achieve your marketing objectives. We’re not just talking about a content calendar – even though that’s important. To establish a real, actionable plan for your content, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
What kind of visual content do I need?
First, you have to figure out what kind of videos you actually need. Not every blog post should have a video, and some of your testimonials might be best as written blurbs. You need to think critically about what you’re going to produce based on what you’re missing. Don’t have a top-of-funnel explainer video on your home page? You might need one. Do you get a lot of consistent questions from customers about how to use your software? Look into making a screencast tutorial. Or maybe it’s time to create entertaining, shareable content that your loyal customers can pass along to others? Whatever you choose, it should be tightly aligned with your broader marketing objectives.
What do my customers want?
You must produce video content that aligns with your objectives – but you also need to create content that your audience actually wants to consume. What questions do they ask most frequently? What misconceptions do they have about what you do? What information can you give them to make the most of your service? You can make very specific – and very helpful – videos that answer these questions.
How will I make it happen?
After you’ve decided what kind of video content you need to make, you need to figure out how to actually make it happen. If you’re in need of a professionally produced explainer video or brand positioning piece, you’re probably better off hiring a production company to do it right. But if your biggest need is to create customer testimonials or vlog post, you could always invest in the lighting and equipment necessary to film in-house. The best part? Once you have that equipment, you can keep making your own videos for a long time to come. Plus, you can maximize time by filming a ton of content at one, then rolling it out over the coming weeks and months.
Lastly, you’ve got to know when to share those glorious videos – and where. Just like you would for your blog or social media, you need to incorporate video into your content calendar. Don’t just schedule when the video will be published; be realistic about video production: How long will it take to film? To edit? Especially for in-house content, you’ll need to set reasonable expectations for the production cycle. If you’re partnering with a production company, though, you’re essentially bound to their schedule.
Adding video to your calendar is crucial. It keeps you accountable and moving forward.
If you’ve done the leg work to set a strong mission and clear plan for your video marketing, this should be the easy part. Now, you just get it done. Reach out to a production company. Invest in a high-quality camera. Write a killer script. Make some damn videos. And promote them like crazy.
All you have to do is stay on track. Stick to your schedule! It’s easy to get distracted by other priorities, but the last piece of your video strategy is…
Maybe it’s not possible for you to crank out a video every week. That’s okay! For all of you who don’t have the capability to produce videos on such a regular, there’s good news. In a fantastic talk on video marketing strategy (I refer to it all the time), Phil Nottingham of Distilled argued that consistent quality will always win out over consistent quantity. Rather than churning out tons of mediocre content, you should focus on giving your audience truly valuable material. Like I said at the beginning, a little bit of video is better than none. And a little bit of good video is better than mountains of low-quality junk.
It goes back to your mission. Don’t stress over whether you’re producing enough content; focus on making video that aligns with your marketing objectives – and empowers your audience.
Now, what are you waiting for? Start making videos that matter!