When was the last time you had a good, hard look at your video marketing strategy? Or maybe you are here because you do not yet have one….no problem, most businesses do not.
Creating a powerful content strategy is becoming essential to achieving your business objectives and building your brand awareness. Without one, you leave your business open to the elements, with content being uploaded with no clear rhyme or reason.
But as most businesses do not have a video marketing strategy it is easier to get ahead than in most other marketing channels/opportunities.
Not only is this ineffective, it could also damage your brand – and you can forget about meeting any business objectives.
An effective video marketing strategy not only sets the tone for your viewer, but it allows you to track, test and tweak your content, to ensure your business objectives are met.
A solid strategy will differ for every business but in this post we will be outlining the commonalities that all good video marketing strategies involve doing.
1) Audit current video strategy
Before you can look at implementing an improved strategy, you need to look at your current video offerings (unless you are starting out – in that case you can look at the competition in the same way). A PEST (explained below) and SWOT (also explained below) analysis can be carried out to identify strong points and highlight any weaknesses.
Strengths and Weaknesses address areas internal to the business. Opportunities and Threats are external to the business. These external measures can be recognised by completing a PEST analysis.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Looking internally, your strengths might lie in a loyal and consistent fan base. If you regularly engage with your audience in the comments section of your video, you may have already created a strong following.
Another strength could be the amount of subscribers, comments and social shares you are achieving. If you use YouTube, this can be measured in the free-to-use MWP competitor comparison tool.
You can compare your channel to competitors’ too. Channels are scored based on different component metrics, which are each weighted differently. For example, shares are weighted more heavily than video views.
The MWP tool might also highlight any weaknesses in your current video strategy.
Other internal weaknesses which might affect your video strategy could be lack of relationships with collaborators or that your current videos are not closely aligned with your business goals.
The second part of the SWOT, opportunities and threats, are factors external to your business. You can carry out a PEST analysis to identify these.
You PEST analysis might look something like this:
Political factors: Legislation which could affect video content or way content is distributed, such as copyright law.
Economic factors: Suppliers, your country’s economic stability and factors specific to your industry.
Social factors: Lifestyle choices, social taboo, press attitudes, product demographics, major events and influences. For example, you might want to look at what’s on-trend at the moment and create content around that.
Technological factors: Research and development factors, emerging technologies, such as consumption of video on smartphones.
From this PEST analysis, you will be able to identify opportunities and threats and take your video content strategy forward.
Opportunities could be advancements in technology, for example time-lapse cameras which are a great way to showcase lengthy projects such as landscape gardening.
From the Social part of the PEST analysis, you might see an opportunity from a topical event, as comedians Hot Gulp did with their spoof on the Sainsbury’s 2014 Christmas advert.
Threats could arise from sensitive topics in the media. A Center Parcs TV advert, which promoted mid-week breaks, was banned as it was thought to encourage parents to take school-age children out of education.
Diet company, Lighter Life, also had to pull an ‘unsafe’ celebrity testimonial video as the dieter (Denise Welsh) was thought to have lost the weight too quickly.
Think carefully about your content, making sure it doesn’t offend any groups or cause controversy.
2) Analyse how the overall business strategy aligns with the video marketing strategy
Your video marketing strategy should be planned to support your overall business strategy and goals. The marketing strategy will include KPIs and SMART targets. It will also include details on how the company positions itself, branding, voice, tone and public relation considerations.
For example: If a key aim for the coming year is to communicate that you care about the environment too then this should also be fed into the video strategy.
Part of the marketing plan will concentrate on your customers’ perception of your brand. Video can be an effective tool in this process.
2 Examples: Aweber and Mailchimp
Aweber and Mailchimp are good examples of how two firms in the same industry are positioned very differently.
Mailchimp has always been the quirky, hipster solution for email marketing campaigns. Aweber on the other hand, is the older and more serious contender.
Aweber’s core values are listed as:
- Create remarkable experiences
- Execute with passion
- Foster respect and communication
- Listen to what people say about us. Invite feedback
- Learn. Educate. Innovate
- Don’t take ourselves too seriously. Have fun.
These core values are reinforced throughout their website. They have a solid reputation as the dependable and steady email marketing provider. This is also strengthened by the heavy use of blue in their branding (reliability and trust).
On their homepage, Aweber have positioned themselves as being built for the busy entrepreneur and have included a video testimonial to back up their claim. This aligns with their ‘Fostering respect and communication’ value.
For the ‘Learn, Educate. Innovate’ value, Aweber offers a selection of video tutorials to guide their viewer through each step of the email marketing campaign creation process.
Skip over to their blog and you can see a more ‘fun’ side to Aweber. This backs up their last core value about not taking themselves too seriously.
Although viewers cannot comment on the videos, Aweber does encourage feedback in its knowledge support centre (frequently asked questions).
Mailchimp looks to innovation and creativity in its business strategy and positions itself as the funkier and lower maintenance version of Aweber, supporting arts organisations, film festivals and even a squirrel census in Georgia.
It’s this quirky approach that encourages a different type of customer to Mailchimp.
Ask yourself how your own core values can be backed up by your video content? Do you practice what you preach? What kind of customer do you want to attract?
How you position yourself will of course depend on your business strategy, your unique value proposition and what your competitors are already doing. Not only do your videos need to provide valuable content to your viewer, they also need to be unique enough to set you apart from everyone else as well as re-inforcing your corporate identity.
3) Defining your video content production plan
Once you have identified your unique value proposition and areas that you need to cover to align with your business strategy, you need to concentrate on the content creation.
But in order to create useful content, you need to know what your audience will find valuable. So how do you do it?
- Listen in on your customer service calls to understand what the key issues your customers are facing are.
- Monitor qualitative feedback in your video comments section.
- Another way would be to join a LinkedIn community servicing your target market. You could also chose to visit Quora, a user generated question and answer site, and find out what people are asking there.
- Services like Qualaroo or Inspectlet offer an alternative way of finding out what content your customers are searching for.
Qualaroo works by introducing a pop-up mini survey on your website, where you can ask visitors anything you like for example by asking people what information is holding them back form making a purchase on a product page you can get to the bottom of what info you need to give and video may/may not help you to communicate this.
They also feature a great example of how to use video on a landing page. In this case, it’s a testimonial.
Image courtesy of http://get.qualaroo.com/powered-by-qualaroo/
Inspectlet allows you to watch videos of user sessions o your website so you can see exactly what problems people run into.
You’ll need to decide who is going to make the videos, you or a production company? This should be determined based on the skillsets of the people within your business. Just because one of your designers is good with a camera does not mean that they can plan, script, shoot and edit a quality video.
So, now you know what info your customers need what kind of video should you make?
Of course there are many options:
- Animated videos – to explain complex ideas
- Interviews with experts – to gain respect as a thought leader
- Product overviews – To clarify and better display how a product looks and works in real life
- Traditional corporate video overview – For a general overview of your business
- Customer testimonials – To gain trust
- humorous / spoof videos – To show some of your personality
- Web presenter videos – To aid navigation around a website
- Training videos for internal use – To help staff better understand ideas and concepts that they need to communicate or work in line with.
4) Defining a video marketing and communication plan
Once you have created your content, you need to get it in front of the right people. Sticking it up on YouTube or a free Vimeo account isn’t enough – you need to actively promote your content.
The basic process should be:
- Create a persona of your typical customer/customer – more info here:
2. Identify which marketing channels will allow you to read these people most efficiently e.g.
- Send an email to your customer and contact base to introduce them to the video
- Promote the video on your blog
- Use paid content promotion through Facebook Ads, Linkedin Ads, Reddit Ads and Taboola
3. Track performance, analyse & adjust.
Look at the number of email sign-ups, social shares or contact form completions as a measure of success of your paid and free video marketing. Compare these to your SMART targets and KPIs. Are you on track to meet these?
You can use event tracking in Google analytics to tag your site to enable social shares tracking and also email sign ups. Of course there needs to be social sharing buttons on the page where your video lives.
A few notes on hosting your videos
If you’re looking to build your domain’s own ranking with search engines, it’s actually better to self-host your video. YouTube doesn’t always show rich snippets in organic search results and when they do the YouTube domain itself is likely to rank higher. However – if someone links to your video or shares your video when it is hosted on youTube then that vote of confidence goes to YouTube.
Your video content should be unique to your site. That way, if people are searching for your video, your website will be the only option for Google to rank.
Once viewers land on your site, you have a much better chance of converting them from viewers to customers than you do from YouTube.
If you’re hosting using Brightcove or Wistia, you can also take advantage of the customisable player and social share buttons.
I am a bit hesitant to put much weight on this but there have been some studies that have shown it is best for SEO to have a range of media and content types on a page as it shows breadth.
This chart demonstrates how the number of in linking domains is likely to increase should you include all three media types (video, lists and images) on your page.
Image courtesy of http://moz.com/blog/building-links-with-video-content
Testing can be carried out through free Google analytics tools or paid software, such as Wistia. Use split-testing to move and reposition video content as well as to edit it. You can measure the effectiveness of longer video versus shorter video by using heatmaps. These identify the exact moment when viewers exit out.
Image courtesy of http://wistia.com/product/hello