Last night I dreamed that I was sitting in a meadow with a small pink pig, scratching it behind one of its twitchy ears and saying: “It’s okay, piggy, it’s okay.”
My dream had nothing to do with marketing, but it did make me think about this: our dreams, memories, and lives are not experienced through a static image, but rather visual reels in motion…or video if you will! With the right kind of video storytelling, your viewers can connect with your brand, more deeply understand your offering, and more effectively visualize how it can fit into their personal reel.
The proof is in the numbers: a recent study revealed that 86% of businesses in 2021 are using video as a marketing tool, and a whopping 93% of marketers agree that it’s an important component of their overall marketing strategy.
Adding video to your marketing strategy can seem overwhelming, but it’s easier now than it’s ever been. Let’s take a look at the basics:
Do I really need video in my marketing?
The short answer is yes. Video is now considered an essential part of a business’s marketing strategy, and with good reason: people are more engaged and entertained by video, and they remember it better and for longer than other types of advertising. You’re competing with other businesses for each customer’s attention, and video is the most effective way to grab that attention for your brand.
Do I need professional acting, scripting, filming, and editing services?
That depends on your budget and the type and style of video you want to create. If you have resources, use them, but you can also shoot high-quality video with your smartphone, and affordable editing tools are readily available. That said, video that is relatively simple and raw has an authentic feel, and that might be perfect for your brand.
I’m in! How do I create my video marketing program?
Follow these steps, keeping in mind that you might hop back to a previous step to make adjustments along the way. Consider this to be a fluid process that you can tweak for different servicing offerings, or to target different customers.
- Build a profile of your typical customer beyond their demographics.
- Which social media platforms do they use, and how do they use them?
- How do they use digital information? Where do they click? How much time do they spend on a particular page?
- How will they use your product?
- What stage of the sales funnel are they in? Are they looking for a solution to a problem, are they evaluating competing vendors, are they ready to make a purchase decision, or are they returning customers who are looking for additional products?
2. Decide on your content. This will be based on three key things:
- The type of video you plan to post. The basic types are educational videos (including how-to videos, product explainers, and tips and tricks videos), entertainment videos (where your brand is embedded in an entertaining message), and customer testimonials, interviews, and case studies (these offer real-life examples of how your company can solve the customer’s problem).
- The platform on which your ads will appear. Some platforms are better for certain types of videos. LinkedIn, for example, is a great place to post educational or informational videos, whereas TikTok is better for entertainment-style content.
- The stage of the sales funnel your customer is in. People trying to solve a problem want to know how your business can help them, whereas people evaluating options want to see the relative benefits of your brand.
3. Make your video and upload it!
Whether you’re using professional services or recording your own, your video should always end with a call to action: a link to your website, an invitation to sign up for a newsletter, etc.
4. Don’t forget SEO!
Optimizing your video for search is just as important as optimizing any other content on your website; you want your video to be seen by people who are looking for products or services like yours to maximize your ROI. There are a number of easy ways to integrate video search optimization, such as including an engaging thumbnail, a transcript, and keyword-rich title and description, and choosing the right video hosting platform. Check out this post for more information on each of these strategies.
5. Evaluate the effectiveness of your video by checking your metrics regularly.
The metrics you focus on should be based on the goals of your ad campaign. For example, if you’re trying to increase awareness, look at impressions and reach, but if you’re hoping to drive sales, check your conversion rate. Use this information to decide what changes to make for your next video. For example, if you receive a high number of impressions, but your engagement rate was low, your video may not have been interesting enough. If your conversion rate is low, you may need a stronger call to action.
6. Keep going!
Now that you’ve got the basics and you’ve posted your first video, start planning more! You already know to use metrics to make adjustments, but you can also start thinking about next steps. If your video was an educational one, why not aim to make your brand the go-to for educational videos on a particular topic? If your video presented a narrative, what’s the next chapter in that narrative? There’s no end to the opportunities out there, so be bold, and press “record”!
For an example of a successful video marketing campaign that checks all the boxes, check out this winner from Dollar Shave Club. Witty, original, entertaining, and informative, the video has been referred to as one of the best launch videos ever and resonated highly with viewers. Uploaded to YouTube in March of 2012, the video quickly went viral and has since attracted over 90,000 backlinks.