Video marketing, the art of creating and syndicating videos in order to generate more brand visibility and traffic, is becoming less of a novelty and more of a necessity in the modern era. In 2014, video marketing began to swell in prominence and significance, and by 2015, businesses will practically require some kind of video marketing strategy in order to stay afloat.
Fortunately, video marketing is relatively easy to comprehend. It takes a lot of time and effort to research, strategize, plan, execute, and measure the results of your campaigns, but if done correctly, the strategy rewards your business many times over.
There are many facets of video marketing, some or all of which will apply to your specific business. Each has advantages and disadvantages, but almost all of them can be used by some businesses as an exemplary way of showcasing their brand and building customer loyalty.
The first type of video is one of the easiest to acquire, since it depends on your customers to do the heavy lifting. Video reviews are exactly what they sound like; a user showcases one of your products in a video format, and reviews your product based on what they personally like and dislike. As long as your products are solid, the majority of these videos will be positive, so you don’t need to worry much if a handful of people have something negative to say about your brand or your product.
Encourage video reviews and testimonials by reminding your users to post one after each purchase, or by sponsoring a competition that rewards a random participant with free products or discounts on future orders. However you choose to do it, if you foster this community carefully, you’ll end up with several dozen video reviews and testimonials from your users uploaded directly to sites like YouTube. You’ll earn a backlink back to your site, which will help your SEO efforts, and the people watching these videos will trust the unbiased, personal sources, giving your brand and your products more credibility.
Demonstrations are valuable because they showcase your products in a real environment. These are usually produced in-house, featuring a product specialist or, if your strategy warrants it, a real user of your product. The demonstration can be as in-depth or as general as you see fit; short videos less than 30 seconds or so are watched in full more often, but videos longer than five minutes tend to attract the most serious users to watch them. If you’re more interested in highlighting the product, shorter is better. If you’re more interested in informing the user, longer is the best route.
Tutorials also come in handy, especially when paired with a corresponding how-to article. Tutorials walk the user through a series of step-by-step instructions that guide them through a specific task. Almost any how-to article can be converted into a video format, which will maximize your potential audience and give you more visibility on video sites like YouTube.
Informational videos are similar to video demonstrations and tutorials in the sense that they’re designed to inform or educate a user. However, they’re generally focused on a different range of topics. For example, a demonstration might focus on how a product is used, a tutorial might illustrate a step-by-step guide, and an informational video might introduce a user to a broad topic or identify and explain a new trend in the industry.
Introductory videos could also double as subtle advertising for a new line of products or a new service your company is featuring. They are designed to capture the interest of the user and inform them about what’s coming up. The biggest drawback with introductory videos is that they tend to be short-lived; tutorials and informational videos generally cover “evergreen” subjects, which aren’t specific to any season or time period.
Entertaining videos are a must if you’re interested in maximizing social shares and visibility. Videos that are humorous, amusing, shocking, or otherwise engaging tend to be viewed multiple times and shared, and eventually they reach a wider audience as a result. While going the entertainment route exclusively may not align with your current brand standards, you can always inject an “entertaining” factor into any of your other videos in order to increase shareability.
Entertaining videos aren’t just limited to funny or shocking videos, however. You can also post casual interviews with industry professionals or leadership within your own organization, or videos of special events you’ve hosted or attended.
If you’ve never started a video marketing campaign before, you might feel intimidated, especially since the medium has evolved radically over the past several years, but getting set up is relatively simple.
Step One: Claim Your Accounts
First, you’ll want to find an easy way to upload, post, and share your videos. Otherwise, your audience won’t be able to see them! Claim a YouTube account for your company if you haven’t already, and set up at least one channel—more if you plan on having separate subjects of videos to upload. Then, make sure your site and social media profiles are ready to hold videos you choose to embed or share.
Step Two: Outline Your Goals
Before you start shooting footage or sketching outlines for future videos, you need to identify your key goals. Are you trying to build your brand’s reputation? Are you trying to earn more backlinks for your SEO campaign? Are you trying to make your brand visible to a greater number of people? The answers to these questions will help you determine what types of videos you need to produce.
Step Three: Set Your Schedule
After you’ve set your goals firmly, you can outline a general course for your video production schedule. For example, you could aim to produce one new tutorial video per week while encouraging video reviews and testimonials in the background. Keep your production schedule in line with your goals, and leave room for adjustments either way.
Step Four: Produce
Choosing your team is one of the most important stages of the process. While many amateur videographers are perfectly capable of handling short videos, you’ll want to ensure your brand is presented consistently in the medium. Hiring a professional videographer may be a better option if you have the budget and the production capacity for it. Otherwise, you could split the planning work between your existing team and hire a freelancer to fill in the rest.
Once produced and posted, syndicate your videos regularly on social media to get the greatest visibility for your work.
Step Five: Measure and Adjust
Keep tabs on how many views and shares your videos are getting. Pay close attention to your most popular and least popular subjects, and start adjusting your production schedule accordingly. The key to being successful in a video marketing campaign is to give your audience what they want—so read comments and engage with your viewers directly to discover their needs and adapt your strategy to accommodate them. You should also measure how much your traffic increases at regular intervals once your video marketing strategy begins to determine its overall ROI.
It will take a few months before you get into the groove of your video marketing campaign. Don’t worry; the more you learn about your specific audience and what kind of reception your videos are getting, the easier it will be to adjust your campaign and really start seeing results.