2018 is the year where business video marketing really takes off. From small businesses to huge enterprises, mid-sized accounting firms to Kickstarter gadgets, everyone wants a slice of that video pie.
However, there’s no point creating a bunch of videos on the off-chance that they might work, you’ll just be wasting time and money. To be successful, you need a plan to drive your videos, just as you would for any other type of content. After all, 59% of marketers who report success have both set goals and documented their strategy.
In this blog, I want to help you think of your business video marketing strategy as you would a TV series, with the same clarity of theme, audience, and purpose. You wouldn’t create a series such as iZombie, and then only market it to people who hate comics, science-fiction, and sitcoms, so why should your marketing videos be any different?
Ask yourself the big questions to drive your strategy
Before you take even the smallest of steps in the direction of creating a video you need to answer these questions first:
- Why are you creating those videos?
- Who are those videos for?
While it might be tempting to answer the above questions with a) sell stuff and b) everyone, you need to dig deeper.
Firstly, you need to think beyond simply selling x number of items here, though it can, and should be a secondary objective. According to Tim Hughes, 40% of people have declared they’d prefer root canal surgery over a sales pitch. That’s a lot of people you risk turning off if your first priority is sales.
What are good alternative answers?
The three big ones are to:
Think about it and you’ll find the majority of videos fall into one of these categories.
Which one of these three fits in best with your branding and company? Picking one will help the other elements of your strategy fall into place.
Secondly, you need to decide who your videos will be for, as this will absolutely determine what kind of videos to create, and where to upload and promote them. Think beyond gender and age, useful as these can be, and move towards asking yourself:
- What are their hobbies/interests
- What household role do they occupy?
- Where do they like to consume content and how?
- How do they describe themselves?
Try and answer these two key questions as concisely as you can since they will drive the development of your content. Ideally, make it into a one-liner sentence and keep it at the top of any further planning documentation so you don’t deviate from it.
Understand your audience to develop your concept
So you know why and for whom you’re creating videos now, and that’s a great start, but how do you develop that into a fully fleshed-out strategy? This should all develop from your one-liner answer into deeper research.
Let’s take as an example this one-liner:
“We want to create videos that educate and empower new homeowners into doing DIY renovation projects”
Your first step is to do some deeper research into these new homeowners to determine what content they would find educational and helpful.
One useful resource for discovering pain-points and drivers is Answer the Public which gathers questions typed on Google and Bing per keyword. For example, if you type ‘kitchen renovation’ answers include ‘what to eat during kitchen renovation’. This automatically gives you ideas for content strands to develop such as a series of recipe/cooking videos for when your kitchen is a building site.
The other consideration is to research what your competitors are doing. Are they already focusing heavily on recipes? Are those videos proving popular in terms of engagement? This research will tell you two important things:
- whether there’s an appetite in your target audience for that kind of content
- whether there’s a gap in their strategy which you can exploit
This is useful information to gather even if you decide to go in a completely opposite direction to differentiate yourself from them.
The Hero Hub Help Framework
YouTube has developed a framework for video strategies which works just as well for videos posted on other platforms. It’s a useful way of thinking about the kind of content you need to pace your campaign. It consists of three main headers:
Hero content are videos aimed at a broad audience. These are your flagship videos with generally a bigger budget than other types. Hero videos are created only a handful of times in a year.
Hub content is all about community building and getting your viewers further invested in your brand. Hub content needs to be consistent in its regularity and branding. It can be timely and topical.
Help content covers the basics: they’re essentially the video version of frequently asked questions. They’re the how-to’s, the tutorials and so forth. These should be evergreen in nature so shouldn’t need regular updating to keep relevant.
This is a useful framework to keep in mind when planning your business video strategy, as they also give an indication of the ideal frequency of output of each.
To put this in practical terms, when you’re developing your series concept, such as ‘How to Eat When your Kitchen is a Building Site’, then you could think along the lines of:
- 1 x Hero video that gives an overview of how you can help provide strategies to survive kitchen hell. Launched at the start of the series and reboosted at regular intervals.
- 10 x Hub videos: live Q&As every fortnight with a different expert sharing their top tips for surviving a kitchen renovation. The emphasis here is on engagement and immediacy (live videos on Facebook get longer views and 10x more comments than other videos).
- 10 x Help videos spread out over 10 weeks with recipe and cooking ideas that can be done without a kitchen. These will have evergreen potential since people will always be renovating kitchens and need ideas for surviving the process.
How could your video strategy fit within the Hero Hub Help framework?
Who will be creating your videos?
At this stage, you should have an idea of the why and what, which is most of the battle! However, a crucial step is deciding who will be creating the video. Are you outsourcing the videos or keeping them in-house? What budget and resources do you have at your disposal?
There are no wrong answers here. Low-cost videos can come across as more authentic and appeal more to certain demographics. Your decision should come organically from your one-liner, your research, your budget, and your timetable for completion.
How will you measure the success of your strategy?
As you move further down the planning process, you will need to think about specific measures of success for your videos individually, and as a collective. Which key performance indicators (KPIs) will allow you to call your video campaign a success?
We’re talking here about KPIs such as:
- Engagement (x number of comments, likes, messages, etc)
- Video views (x number of people watched over 10 seconds of the video etc)
Be prepared to adapt your strategy
While having a a video marketing strategy is crucial, it also needs to be flexible.
Testing and optimizing is a big part of the success of a video campaign, but make sure you give each video enough time to grow before drawing conclusions. These first few videos will give you an idea as to whether your strategy is working, or whether some changes could achieve better results.
Business videos can be an extremely powerful way of attracting, converting and retaining customers. Just don’t lose sight of your end goal when putting them together!
TLDR: Key Takeaways
In summary here are the key steps to creating a successful video marketing strategy:
- Answer these two questions in one sentence: “Why are you creating those videos? Who are those videos for?”
- Research your audience
- Research your competition
- Develop a Hero Hub Help framework for creation and dissemination
- Plan the creation process (who will be creating them and how?)
- How will you measure the success of your videos?
- Test, optimize, and adapt
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