5 Tips for Successful Video Marketing

Putting Together Your 2016 Video Marketing Strategy

Many companies are already budgeting for 2016. Given the amount of attention that video marketing has received over the past couple of years, it’s likely that marketers will be increasing their spending on this budget line item. If it’s not yet a line item on your budget, perhaps you should consider it as part of your marketing mix. But before visions of becoming the next Scorsese or Spielberg or Tarantino take root, consider these five tips to guide your video marketing strategy.

Look Before You Leap

I could insert a stunning infographic populated with all sorts of facts and figures about how many people are considering video marketing and how many people respond to video marketing. Of course, the data would be an average of all uses across various industries — not very specific. What works for a top luxury retail brand may not at all be applicable to a B2B manufacturer. However, let’s make it simple:

Percentage of marketers that should consider video marketing: 100 percent
Percentage of marketers that should make video marketing a top priority: unknown

Sorry, you’re the marketer. You understand your business. You understand your industry. You will have to do the research to determine if video marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy will produce results for your company. Fortunately, as a marketer, you’re accustomed to research. The good news is that there is extensive data available, and there are lots of experts to help you with your journey.

Align your marketing objectives with business objectives.

Keep in mind, the momentum that’s building in video marketing is not unlike the decision we had to make years ago to launch a company website or a social media presence. Still, there are successful businesses today that don’t have a website or participate in social media. Ultimately, the choice is yours. You don’t have to do video marketing … but you should at least consider it.

Know Your Brand … and Your Audience

How you approach video marketing should mirror how you approach every aspect of marketing. Start with the basics: Who are we? What is our brand “voice”? Are we serious, funny, helpful or quirky in the rest of our marketing communications? Like all of your marketing communications, keep your brand image and voice consistent for online video.

YouTube Video Marketing Tips

You should already have a pretty good understanding of your target audience and their purchasing behavior. The hard part is taking this information and translating it into online video viewing habits. Granted, if you’ve been advertising on television or online, you’ll have a bit of a head start. However, with the increase of mobile video consumption and the popularity of microvideo platforms — such as Vine and Instagram — the rules of producing effective marketing content are in a state of flux.

The results of this exercise may lead you to conclude that, ideally, you should tailor content differently for several different demographic segments. Just like many other aspects of marketing, one size does not fit all.

Create Objectives, Not Content

It’s not quite time to pull out the camera yet. Knowing how your target audience consumes video content is a piece to the puzzle, but as the saying goes, it’s not the entire puzzle.

Like all good marketing strategies, you should define the specific objectives you want to achieve with your video. After viewing, what do you want your audience to do? How you answer this question will not only determine the type of content you produce but also where this content will live. And if you aren’t producing some sort of pre-roll commercial, you’ll also have to figure out how to promote your video content. Yes … promote your videos. Just like websites, you don’t simply “build it and they will come.”

The rules of producing effective video marketing content are in a state of flux.

Are you merely looking for views? That’s an easy measurement, but it can be entirely meaningless. A successful B2B video may have less than 100 views and still contribute to a substantial gain in revenue. On the other hand, a video from a retailer might receive tens of thousands of views, with no significant business result. Make certain that your marketing objectives align with business objectives. Most importantly, make sure you define a desired outcome before you begin any video project.

Where Am I Going, What’s My Strategic Direction?

Once you understand your brand voice and audience and have clearly defined objectives, you’re now in a position to create a content strategy for video. How will it support your other marketing objectives and vice versa? Will you produce content specifically as needed, or on a regular, frequent basis? Can you repurpose other content, such as television commercials or videos from brand partners? Can you encourage your community to produce content? Can content be shared from one platform to the next, or will you develop content specific to each?

Make sure you define a desired outcome before you begin any video project.

Only after you have mapped out your content strategy should you embark on a creative brief for a video or series of videos. Using a cross-reference between audience and objective, you should be able to tailor your creative briefs to reach the different targeted segments.

Instagram Video Marketing Tips

If you aren’t producing the video yourself, take all the information that you’ve gathered up to this point and walk your agency, video production company or in-house production team through it. With your help and guidance, it will be their job to produce content that captures the attention of the target audience and drives to the desired result. Unfortunately, there is a lot of well-produced content online that has yielded little benefit to the brand or company that posted it. Be sure to make the desired outcome a part of each video creative brief.

Measure, Adjust, Repeat

One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is the relative ease in which measurement is possible. The same holds true for online video. As the discipline of video marketing matures, so do the tools to measure progress and success. As mentioned before, number of views is an easy measurement of online video. Thanks to advancements in technology, other engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments and watch time also are possible. Marketing-metrics providers can also gain insight into demographic and brand performance as well.

With the ability to gather so much relevant data, it’s possible to make adjustments to your videos as you progress through your content strategy. Do viewers lose interest during a certain part of a video? Is it because the video is too long, or does that particular segment not resonate with the audience? Use analytics and testing to tweak your video content so that it gains a wider audience. Much like website analytics, this shouldn’t be a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process throughout your video content strategy.

If you plan to include video marketing as part of your 2016 budget, or are expanding your existing budget, consider the steps outlined above:

  • Build a business case to support video marketing.
  • Understand your audience’s online viewing habits.
  • Define measurable outcomes.
  • Map a video content strategy.
  • Measure performance and make necessary adjustments.

OK, now go out there and create some great video content.

Photos: Shutterstock and BMDG

Dennis Balgavy

Dennis Balgavy

Dennis Balgavy is a serial career changer: audio recording, product development, marketing communications, IT, research, video production, web development, and writing—and, oh, yeah, there was that time he flipped hamburgers.

Meet Dennis Balgavy