If you’re in charge of marketing at your company and you’ve suddenly been tasked with incorporating video into your promotional mix, there are some things you need to know in order to avoid making mistakes that will cost you time, money and mental well being. In this article, I’m laying out seven steps to help you get started on your video marketing journey.
1. Plan Your Video Marketing Thoroughly
Video can be an expensive endeavor and before you decide to invest in equipment, staff, or contract help, you should have a master plan for your content. Planning exists in three dimensions: Your strategy, your video content creation and your publishing activities. Start by asking some of the following questions:
- What are we trying to accomplish (Lead generation, customer retention, etc.)?
- Where could video take the lead, where would it offer support?
- What forms should this/these video(s) take? (length, style, etc.)
- How will people find or how will we direct people to these videos? (e-mail, landing pages, YouTube search, etc.)
- What metrics should we use to measure success (views, engagement, conversions, etc.)?
There are plenty of other questions to ask when thinking about a strategy or a campaign, but that’s a fair start. When it comes to making an actual video, the more time you spend in pre production (scriptwriting, developing storyboards, shot lists, logistics), the clearer of a picture you will have in terms of cost, time and other resources necessary to accomplish the project.
2. Think About Building a Video Marketing Content Library
Many times we’re only thinking about the task in front of us and miss the forest for the trees. Think about how you can make hundreds of videos over the course of your company’s lifetime (or at least the next 5-10 years). Having a library of video footage featuring events, products, operations, testimonials, even day-to-day culture allows your in-house video team or contractors to shoot less and edit more. Thoughtful repurposing can help you keep the cost of producing future videos down.
Steps to Building a Video Marketing Content Library.
- Make sure to have multiple external hard drives or a RAID array in place to avoid losing all of your data.
- Use metadata from cameras to log date, time and other pertinent details about your footage
- Use a dedicated cataloging system, like CatDV, to archive your video marketing assets.
3. Prepare Your Team
Your internal team has likely never participated in making video content before and it can be both exciting and hair-pulling at the same time. Creating video, whether in-house or hiring a contractor can take significant time out of your schedule. People who may need to appear in front of a camera, like subject matter experts, employees, etc. will have differing levels of comfort doing this. Finally, teammates might just be too busy and see this as a distraction rather than important effort of the marketing department.
Steps to Preparing Your Team for Video Marketing
- Ensure that no last second budgetary constraints will put a damper on things.
- Block some time for people to test-shoot or practice in front of the camera.
- Video making is fun! Treat like a needed, but fun, disruption in activities: people will feel more relaxed in front of the camera.
- Identify the times of the day when team members have the most energy and plan accordingly.
4. Build a Proper Video Funnel
I’ve seen so many people start off making a 30 minute video and they can’t figure out why people aren’t watching most or all of it. Think about how your videos fit at each stage of a marketing funnel or your buyer’s journey. Save longer videos for later stages of a funnel, but make them only as long as they need to be. Ultimately, settling on a length should be determined through testing.
5. Focus on a Single Message Per Video
Trying to tie in too many messages in one video will confuse your audience. Unless you’re controlling the distribution of your video content, your videos are open to the public for everyone to see. Your video might have a single message (it should only ever have a single message), but investors, customers, prospects, employees, John Q Public, competitors, etc. all have a chance to see it and be influenced by it. Keep that in mind.
6. Hire a Professional to Produce Your Video Content
I’m biased. I think video produced with careful attention to lighting, quality of audio, framing (choice of shot/selection of shot) leads to higher engagement. You won’t always need a Hollywood crew to pull something off, but care should be made when crafting your video because whether you think so or not, how you light and frame a shot as well as the quality of the audio influences your audience’s perception of your brand.
A professional can accomplish a project in significantly less time than an amateur can and veteran videographers have made the hundreds of mistakes you’re about to make. Save time, hire a pro. The reality is, budgets don’t always allow for professionals and you should learn when to make that judgement call.
7. Market Your Video!
It seems obvious, but some people tend to think they’re through once they’ve uploaded the video to YouTube. Once it’s on YouTube, or Facebook, or other host(s) you choose, you need to get your audience to become aware of it’s existence. Many businesses fail to market their video. But you’re a smart marketer so you already knew this.