How to Develop a Video Marketing Strategy
So you’re not Ed Sheeran. You’re not Pepsi. You don’t have millions to invest in video marketing, and your goal isn’t really to become one of the top 10 viral videos of the year — although that would be nice.
Instead, what you need is a sensible, effective video marketing strategy that will deliver real results on a reasonable budget. Let’s look at how any business can develop a solid video marketing strategy.
Know Your Purpose: Storytelling
If you think your #1 goal in video marketing is to directly sell more products/services, think again. Today’s video-savvy viewers are skeptical of any company that makes a blatant sales pitch.
In a world where people collectively spent more than 40 million hours watching YouTube videos last year, viewers want to be entertained in exchange for their time. The Digital Marketing Institute, which researches video habits around the world, summarizes the goal of any video marketing strategy in three words: educate, entertain, inspire.
Those three words sum up your purpose in video marketing. You’re engaging in video storytelling, which is capturing and keeping interest through powerful stories.
If you do it right, people will instantly connect with your brand and tend to seek more information about your company. They leave your video feeling gently wooed, not banged over the head, by your message.
Define Your Audience and Get Specific
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?
Determine Your Channels
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 your video marketing strategy. 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.
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.
Select your format based on your target audience. Here are some examples:
- Women tend to enjoy watching shopping spree and haul videos where lucky people get high-value items.
- About 95% of gamers prefer to view walkthroughs and reviews before buying.
- Fashion, beauty, food, and tech-gadget fans seek out unboxing videos that show what it’s like to receive a product.
- Business customers like case studies and testimonials.
Simplify and Stay on Target
As you develop videos for your company, keep in mind that viewers generally give better reviews to videos that are short and simple. You should be able to summarize the message in a brief title that’s social-shareable.
Consider hiring a professional video development company that can help you simplify complex ideas into effective videos. It’s the best way to ensure your video marketing strategy stays on-message and in the hearts and minds of your target audience.