It’s no secret that online video as a content format has risen in popularity in the past decade. The global average for internet bandwidth and speed have increased exponentially, and now streaming videos on your mobile device is just as easy as it gets. In short, video marketing is no longer a necessity, but a priority.
In 2015 and 2016, video saw a surge of familiarity to become a prominent content format. In 2017 and 2018, we can no longer neglect video as the most popular content. So, what should we do in 2019? Video marketing now should no longer be a part of marketing strategy, but rather the core.
However, with video marketing being a fairly new thing that also involves a very different landscape compared to other format, it’s understandable than many marketers haven’t really grasped the concept of video marketing strategy. Here, we will show you precisely this.
Below, we will discuss all the ins and outs of video marketing strategy, and without further ado, let us begin.
The Two Different Aspects of Video Marketing
Before we begin, we must understand that there are two different aspects to video marketing: production and promotion.
1. Video Production
The production process of video content is the most complex compared to other formats (text and audio). With video, you would still need a good written script, as well as good audio and music to accompany the video. On top of that, you would need all the technical requirements of motion picture production from camerawork to cinematography to animation, among others.
However, it is also a common misconception that video marketing is solely about producing video content for marketing purposes. There is a second aspect that we shouldn’t overlook, as we will discuss below.
2. Video Content Promotion
No matter how good and engaging your video is, there’s no use if people are simply not aware about its existence. Over 300 hours worth of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute, not to mention other platforms. In short, competition is tight.
So, a significant portion of video marketing is about how we can promote this video to reach more people.This can include optimizing the video for SEO (video SEO), utilizing social media marketing and influencers, and many other approaches.
It’s important to understand that promotion is just as, if not even more important than the production process.
What Makes a Video Marketer an Expert?
Whether you plan to learn video marketing yourself or plan to outsource an agency/expert, it’s important to understand the criteria of an expert video marketer:
1. Understands the balance between production and promotion
We have briefly discussed the two important aspects of video marketing, and a video marketing expert should maintain balance between these two, not giving too much focus on one or the other.
If you do have the budget, you might want to hire a professional production house/director to produce the content, while the video marketing team can focus solely on the marketing aspect (conception, promotion, conversion optimization,etc.).
It’s also important to consider the fact that the success of the video,marketing-wise, isn’t always related to production value. Even amateur videos taken by phone can be successful if it fits the purpose.
2. Understands the purpose of video marketing in relations to the marketing funnel
All good marketing efforts should start with defining the marketing goals. The videos should have a purpose in relations to the customer’s buyer’s journey, in a concept we know as the marketing funnel.
The buyer’s journey consists of 4 main phases, and the video marketer must consider all these 4 phases separately and develop a specific strategy for each:
- Awareness stage: making people aware of your brand, product or service through the video. There are several approaches we can take here, such as:
- Showcasing the unique and cool features of your product or service
- Showcasing your expertise in your niche, for example by providing actionable how-tos and tips
- Showcasing your company culture, behind-the-scenes content, customer service excellence, etc.
- Interviews with prominent media or influencers about your brand
- Consideration stage: the audience is aware about your product or service, and is comparing it to your competitor’s. Your job here is to engage, educate, and convince:
- In this stage, we can leverage social proof to convince our audience. For example, a video showcasing client testimonials
- In-depth tutorial and product demos can work effectively in this stage
- Case studies, especially to further showcase the benefits and values of your product/service
- If you have other products or if your product can integrate with popular third-party products, you can showcase these integrations
- Decision Stage: this stage is about closing the deal, and you should also consider the post-purchase situation here, so you can establish the fact that your product/service is the right choice:
- Again, in-depth instructional videos can be effective in this stage. This will also help with post-sale where there are usually more questions.
- Videos covering your FAQ (frequently-asked questions) can be effective. The idea is to cover some of your FAQs in an engaging and entertaining way, giving your audience more knowledge that can help close the deal.
- Videos tied to specific time-limited campaign to give them the sense of urgency. For example, a video explaining the next event where those who recently purchased your product can join for free
- Delight stage: here, the focus is to keep those who have purchased your product/service happy, preventing churn and if possible, converting them into an advocate:
- Instructional and FAQ videos can be effective here to answer specific user questions
- Personalized videos to follow-up their purchase. For example, if someone purchased your product during the previous holiday season, you can send a personalized video for the next holiday season
A good video marketer should be able to define specific goals for each stage, and develop specific video marketing campaigns to achieve these goals.
It’s also important to consider the amount of videos produced for each stage. In general, the consideration stage is longer and will consist of more audience, so videos to help with the evaluation process should take at least 40% of your total amount of videos.
For the rest, 10-15% should be allocated to videos designed to attract interest, 20-25% for product education, and around 20% of videos designed to optimize conversion (closing the deal).
3. The ability to optimize budget and maximize ROI
Video marketing, especially the production process, can be really expensive if we are not careful. On the other hand, if we don’t know where to look, it can be hard to measure the performance of the video marketing campaign.
The skill to know how much you should spend and how much money you can expect in return is essential for an expert video marketer. And, to achieve this, it’s necessary to know all the important metrics to measure performance according to your video marketing goals:
- Play rate: in general, play rate is the number of people that actually watch a video, divided by the number of people who saw it (impressions). This is especially important to check the effectiveness of your title and thumbnail, among others.
- Watch time: how much of your video people actually watch. This metric shows how engaging your video is from start to finish, and whether there are sections you should improve. Watch time will affect the overall effectiveness of your campaign, including conversion rate.
- Click Through rate (CTR): we want our audience to take a certain action after watching the video, most commonly to click on the CTA and visit a landing page. This metric allows us to measure the effectiveness of this, whether the video can effectively encourage the audience to take action.
- Conversion Rate: arguably the most important metric, this metric shows how many actual customers are acquired through your video campaign. This is often difficult to measure depending on your business model and campaigns. In general, we must be able to measure the number of traffic that is converted into prospects, and the number of prospects that actually made the purchase.
Proper measurement of your video marketing effectiveness can allow us to plan a proper financing, and make the most of that investment.
4. Is a good storyteller
We are all addicted to good stories, and arguably, marketing is always about telling a good story to convince people.
The thing is, different people react to different story, and so it’s the job of the video marketer to properly understand their audience, and design a story that would compel tho this audience.
There are obviously many different storytelling techniques we can use here, but in general, here are the important elements to consider:
- The protagonist: every video should have a protagonist the audience can relate to. This can be a peer customers delivering a testimonial, a person who can align with your target demographic to explain your product, etc.
- The conflict: addressing your customer’s issues, problems, and needs. Their pain points
- The quest: we introduce our product or service or information (depending on the video types)
- The ending: we show how this video (product/service/information) can help solve the problem
The better we can engage them with this story, the more effective the video marketing campaign will be.
How To Find, Vet, and Select a Video Marketing Company?
Due to the challenges and skill requirements, most small businesses will find it difficult to implement video marketing by themselves.
There are generally three options we can take here: hire a specialist to work for you, work with a freelancer, or outsource to a video marketing/full-service digital marketing agency.
Usually, outsourcing to an agency is the best option because you can get more with what you spend. Obviously, this will depend on how you choose your agency of choice, and in this section, we will discuss how:
1. Know Your Own Goals
Look inwards and figure out what you actually want (or need) from video marketing. Make sure that the goals are aligned with your marketing and business goals, realistic, and measurable.
This step will usually require a thorough understanding of your audience, which can be difficult if you haven’t conducted a proper market research. If necessary, you can consult with the video marketing agency to help with defining these goals.
It is always wise, however, to at least have a rough idea of these goals upfront.
2. Online Search
The next step is to conduct a Google search to build a list of possible contenders. You can use search phrases like “video marketing company (your city)”, “video production company (your city), or “digital marketing agency (your city)” among other keywords.
It’s worth noting that you should differentiate between a video marketing specialist agency, a video production house, or a full-service marketing agency. You can also check other platforms to find these agencies (LInkedIn is a good option).
Look at examples of their previous work, client testimonials, and (if any) case studies. This process will be easier if you already have a clear idea of your video marketing goals—and even better, a clear concept—. Nevertheless, here are the important factors to consider:
- Production quality. There are also agencies who outsource their production, so you might want to check for consistency
- Review their previous videos carefully, analyze the goal of each video and whether they are effective in achieving it
- Uniqueness and creativity are important, especially considering the competition in video marketing
Narrow down your list into just 3-5 candidates, an set up meetings with them. Here, you should assess whether the company can help achieve your goals and especially whether they are a good fit for your business.
Evaluate their approach, work culture, and whether the care about your needs.
5. Discuss The Finances Upfront
Confirm that they can work within your budget, and make sure they won’t be any extra costs. Ask about how they can justify this investment, whether they have a ROI projection, and so on.
Again, video marketing can be really expensive if you are not careful, so it is wise to have a planned budget and stick to it.
Remember that video marketing is not always a short-term sprint, but it is more often a long marathon that demands consistency. If you are planning to start a video marketing campaign, there is no better time to start! However, it is also wise to first build a capable team or find the right video marketing agency that can work with you.
In the years to come, we can expect video content to be even more mainstream than ever. It’s time to consider video marketing as the core of your overall marketing strategy.