Video is becoming an increasingly popular way for brands to reach target customers. Videos can help demonstrate products, explain processes and show off your brand’s personality in a way that can’t be done through a simple blog post or string of tweets.
But using video effectively requires more than just uploading a few clips to YouTube. Here are some tips for how to craft a video content marketing strategy.
Create Your Video Content Marketing Strategy
Have a Purpose for Your Videos
The main thing that differentiates an actual video content strategy from a business that just posts some videos from time to time is purpose. Every video you create should contribute to a very specific goal. If you want to increase sales of a certain product, maybe you could create a video that demonstrates all of its different uses. If you want more people to contact you about consulting services, create videos that offer a sample of the great knowledge you have to offer.
Create Different Types of Videos for Different Types of Customers
There’s an endless amount of great ideas for business video content. But all of your videos don’t have to necessarily contribute to the same purpose. You could create some videos that are geared more toward your existing customers, while others are focused more on potential new customers.
Shelly Bowen, chief content strategist for Pybop explained in an email to Small Business Trends, “For example, if someone is just being introduced to a new brand or idea, the video might be short and inspirational. But if the purpose is to explain how to do something, it might be longer and more tactical.”
Be Realistic About Your Constraints
It’s fun to imagine all of the incredible possibilities for your brand videos. But it’s also important to work within your limitations. Create a set budget for your videos so that you don’t end up spending more than the video may potentially be worth. It may also be beneficial to create specific timelines for things like shooting and editing, so that you don’t overlook other important tasks. Being realistic about those things can help you create and publish videos regularly, instead of just blowing your entire budget and time allotment on one video that may be forgotten in a month.
Create Videos for Specific Platforms
When it comes to actually posting your videos, there are plenty of different platforms you can use. YouTube is an obvious choice. But Facebook also has a native video option that can increase your reach. And Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more social sites offer video options as well. Some of these sites have different time constraints and types of users. So cater your video content specifically to each one that you use. And try to use the platforms that your target customers are most likely to use.
Use Calls to Action
Including a call to action at the end of your videos can help you really focus on the goal you have for each video. And it can also help you better achieve those goals. For instance, if you’ve created a video demonstrating certain features of a new product, include information on where and how customers can purchase it at the end of your video.
Look for Inspiration
If you need some help coming up with a steady stream of ideas for video content, Bowen suggests looking at videos from similar brands on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Taking a look at similar videos can inspire you and give you an idea of the length, structure and design elements that you might consider for your own videos.
But Never Copy
However, it’s important to note the difference between seeking inspiration and outright copying another video creator. Your videos shouldn’t use the same script or exact imagery as anyone else’s.
Bowen says, “It’s good to get structure, length, and design inspiration from others, but copying is the number one way to blend in.”
Think About the Obstacles Customers Face
Great business videos are often those that help customers solve problems. So when coming up with ideas, think about the obstacles that customers might face when using your products or services. You can help them solve those issues with things like product demonstrations, tips or how-to videos.
Get Ideas from Your Team
It can also be beneficial to speak with your customer-facing team members to come up with common issues that your customers face.
Bowen says, “I recommend first researching what your core audience loves to know about and what obstacles they might be encountering that you can help fix. Talk to customer service, sales, and social media teams to learn about current conversations and trends. That should provide lots of ideas for great video content.”
Write an Outline or Script
In order to stick to the purpose and theme of each of your videos, you need to carefully plan them out beforehand. A script can help keep you on track and make sure you hit every relevant point you need to make. But depending on the type of video you have in mind, an outline may be sufficient to ensure that your video at least covers all of the main points.
Include Personality in Every Video
One of the main benefits of creating video content is the ability to show off your personality to potential customers. If you want them to think of you as a fun brand, make sure you include some fun elements rather than just doing a dry product demonstration. If you’re a more serious brand, make sure your video looks professional.
Bowen says, “For each content strategy initiative, I always ask my clients to answer this question, “If you overheard your audience talking about your brand (and they don’t know you’re listening), what do you wish they would say?” This is a great question to consider when making a video too. “How do you want your audience to describe the video after watching it?””
Practice, Practice, Practice
Planning for your videos doesn’t just mean coming up with a purpose and script. You also need to make sure that your script translates into what you actually envisioned. And that means reading it out loud or doing some trial runs.
Bowen says, “If you’re using narration, be sure to read the script out loud while writing and editing (and time yourself). The written word is so different when spoken. Make sure that there’s ample room for breathing and pausing naturally, and that the message is still clear without seeing the line breaks and punctuation.”
Commit to an Ongoing Video Strategy
So you’ve successfully created a video with purpose and quality — great! But your work isn’t done. Creating a video content strategy is an ongoing process. So you should be constantly looking for new ideas and inspiration for video content that your audience will appreciate.
Every business is different, so there’s no set amount of videos that you should necessarily be posting per month or year. But find a basic schedule that works for your business and message.
Video Photo via Shutterstock