If you’ve been keeping up with the latest content marketing trends, you probably have video on your radar. Video is a great addition to any content marketing mix because it can help to humanize your brand.
By having an actual human (or human voice) communicate a message, it helps to break down the barriers between a business and a customer, making your brand more approachable and accessible.
Starting out with video can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Tying video into your existing content marketing strategies requires a bit of planning in order to create something that is worth watching, will resonate with your target audience, and will ultimately generate results.
We recently hosted a webinar with Kristen Craft of Wistia, who gave us some great tips and things to keep in mind when starting out with video.
Create a clear plan for your video journey
Start with one goal. Set one — not twenty — purposes for your video. Ask yourself: What can video do to move you closer to reaching that goal beyond what you’re already doing with content?
Videos will typically fall into one of three categories:
1. Conversion videos include product videos, customer testimonials or a highlight reel. The
main goal would be for the video to achieve or assist with the conversion process.
2. Teaching videos include customer support, learning portals, answering FAQs or even reformatting your blog content. Teaching videos usually seek to answer a common pain point or objection for your current or potential customers.
3. Branding videos include “about us” information, hiring or company culture messages, or even “non-sequitur” videos. These help to communicate the personality of your brand and create a deeper connection with viewers.
A good, worthwhile video will achieve one of these goals. You wouldn’t have three different calls-to-action on a single piece of content, and videos are no different.
Once you’ve established the purpose or goal of your video, create a winning concept that supports your plan to accomplish this one objective.
Make your video worth watching
You don’t necessarily need professional help to create your video. A few easy tricks and a bit of organization can help make your video look more polished.
Take time to write a script. It’s worth scripting your video in advance, even if you want your video to feel natural or unscripted. A video laden with “ums” and “uhs” is distracting and will have an impact on the overall effectiveness of your video. Collaborating with your team on a script will also allow for all stakeholders to have a say in what your video will look like early on in the process, which could help save time.
Build a “set”. You don’t need a billion dollar studio to make your video look good. You should, however, take the appropriate amount of time to set up your “film set” so that you have good sound, a non-distracting backdrop, and most importantly, good lighting. Wistia has a great resource demonstrating how to turn a conference room into a video studio — watch it here.
Get loose before filming. Let’s face it — even the most outgoing people can get a bit camera shy. Awkwardness will translate on screen. Shake it off before you roll the camera!
Use the equipment you have. You don’t really need to invest in a super expensive video camera. Most mobile phone cameras these days will provide high-quality image and sound. Same goes for editing programs—iMovie is basic, but is easy to use and will get the job done.
Add music. It will help set the tone of your video. It’s also one of the easiest and least expensive ways to make your video look more professional. Make sure you cover your bases when it comes to music rights — try using a service like Marmoset or TuneFruit.
Consider adding bumper footage. Bumper footage is a standard few seconds of footage that frames your video (e.g. a short, branded introduction and conclusion sequence). If your video is shared, this will help distinguish your brand as the creator.
Choose a compelling cover frame. A cover frame could be the difference between clicking “Play” or moving on. Ideally, choose one with a person’s face, and try to avoid capturing them with a weird or overly-candid expression (unless you think it would compel people to click).
Get your video in front of your target audience
At long last, you’ve produced a wonderful video… now what?
You can use similar strategies to promote your video as you would your content. Of course, depending on the goal of your video, some won’t necessarily get you the results you’re looking for if they’re seen by everyone (such as hiring videos).
Promote your video on multiple channels, including email, appropriate landing pages, social media, and ask partners to help promote too. Leverage video channels like YouTube, and even consider creating micro-snippets to distribute on Vine or Instagram.
Consider using paid social tactics if you really want your video to hit a specific target or get some extra views. YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have good options specifically for video advertising.
Measure and optimize to ensure your video is aligned with your content marketing strategy and is achieving your desired outcome. This, of course, involves some CTA magic.
Strategically place your CTAs to get the results you want. If your video is supporting an awareness strategy and you want as many people to view your video as possible, place your CTA at the end of the video. If you want to achieve as many conversions as possible, gate the video with a CTA. More than anything, CTAs help align your video with the rest of your strategy, ensuring that it will actually help move your business forward.
Appropriately measure ROI. There are many ways to measure ROI, and ultimately, you have to measure according to your goals. For instance, measuring the number of views and social shares generated by your video is a great way to measure engagement, but not necessarily the best way to measure conversions.
Don’t forget to take into account the number of hours that went into producing your video and factor it into your ROI. Wistia has another excellent resource on how to measure your video’s success — check it out here.
Internet didn’t kill the video star
In fact, it just made it bigger! Video can be an excellent supplement to your content marketing strategy. Create a plan, set everything up, and hit record… you won’t know if it works until you try!