Hey business owners and marketers, it's time to have a heart-to-heart about video marketing. If you aren't planning to dedicate a significant chunk of resources in your 2018 marketing plan to video, you're already missing out on one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience online. Whether you are in manufacturing, senior living, e-commerce, or SaaS, there's a place for video content in your marketing model.
If you are like me, you've heard thought leaders and read blogs touting the importance of video more times than you can count. There are tons of stats about how many videos are being created every month, the "best" length for a video, and the most popular viewing times. And while they are all interesting bits of knowledge, unless you are publishing A LOT of videos every month, they aren't all that helpful.
After talking to many marketers and business owners, there is still a lot of fear around what types of video to create, how much to budget per year/project, and how to get started. So, I've created a quick list of things that you should be considering for your video marketing strategy as well as a few tools that will help you get started.
1. Increase Your Budget for Video
No matter what your video budget was for 2017, you should plan to increase it for 2018. If you didn't spend any money on video last year, now is the right time to start. If you did spend money, you should either start filling out the rest of your website with video or look to replace your older video assets - or both. If you are not sure what to spend, there are resources that can help you incorporate video into your marketing budget.
If you don't believe me, take it from Apple and Facebook, who are both spending billions of dollars in 2018 to create original video content. These are two very successful businesses whose business models didn't need to expand to video, however, these tech giants realize that there is massive potential in creating video content.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "That's all great, Britt, but I'm not Apple or Facebook, and I definitely don't have billions of dollars to spend." You're right, but that's not my point.
My point is that we live in a time where every single company has a reason to be budgeting for and creating video content. No matter what your budget is, here are a few simple suggestions:
$0-$2,000: For this kind of budget, you will not be able to spend much, if anything, on a videographer. Instead, invest your money in a course or workshop to help you learn about video strategy. Focus on creating free or cheap videos like Facebook Live videos, webcam videos, etc. Depending on your budget, you can probably invest in an HD webcam or a good microphone to help you get the best quality possible.
$2,000-$5,000: With this budget, you'll definitely be able to afford to buy some basic recording equipment or hire a freelance videographer, but you won't really want to rely on them to develop the strategy of your video. Again, I would suggest investing your budget in a class or workshop to help you learn the basics of video strategy.
$5,000+: With any budget greater than $5,000, you can afford to work with a production company that can advise you on what to produce and how to produce it. If you are not sure what kind of company to use, here's a simple guide to comparing video production companies.
2. Diversify Your Video Content
One video on your website can't do everything. Different types of videos have a unique purpose and drive different results. Certain videos function best as top-of-the-funnel content pieces that answer high-level questions, some types of videos work better at telling stories to elicit trust and emotion from your viewers, and other videos, like testimonials, showcase your credibility.
Take the time to think about other kinds of video content that you can create for your business or industry. Here are a few suggestions on where to start:
Look at your most visited landing pages and website pages, how could video enhance the experience of a viewer? Could you drive credibility and trust by adding a video?
Do you sell products? Would your prospects appreciate a video that simply walks them through the specifics of your products?
Have you told your customers' stories? Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, we all like to hear the stories of people who have success with a product or service.
Do some keyword research around the most searched topics in your industry and create new blogs or web pages with videos to support the content.
3. Plan Your Shoots; Maximize Your Time and Resources
One thing many people don't realize is that unlike physical products, videos don't cost a certain amount per unit. By mapping out your larger plan for video, you can often leverage the economy of scale.
Whether you are trying to tackle your video projects internally or you have the budget to hire a partner, there is an efficiency that comes when you can leverage previously shot clips and use them as part of your ongoing video strategy.
Creating a Blueprint
We recently hosted a webinar outlining a basic Blueprint for Video Marketing that lays out a plan for turning your company video shoot into 6 total videos by planning out who is in your videos and how to leverage those subject matter experts to get a few extra short videos in the same shoot. Check it out here.
Here are a few other ways that you can maximize your time and money to get more videos:
Plan multi-day shoots. Try to facilitate videos around a time when all of your essential experts can be in the same spot.
Focus on quality rather than length. If your experts can communicate a helpful message about your product in a minute, then don't waste more money, time or resources trying to get your video to the 3-minute mark.
Have someone who just loves to talk? Try the Gary Vaynerchuk method of video creation and just let one of your subject matter experts talk about a particular subject and then cut it down into short videos to use in social media, website pages, emails and more.
4. Own Your Niche
Go to YouTube and spend some time looking at the videos that already exist in your industry. Look for ways that you can improve on existing videos, dive deeper into a specific topic, or cover something new. You can develop credibility and thought leadership by creating video content that helps your customers and prospects get the answers they are looking for anyway.
Make sure to cross-reference what you find against basic keyword metrics to make sure that your topics have high search volume and are not competitive and crowded.
5. Look for More Ways to Share Your Stories
We talk to companies all the time who "don't have interesting stories to tell," and to that, we call BS. No matter what industry you are in, you have compelling stories to tell. You may not be a shiny tech startup in San Francisco, but you probably do have an interesting history or a compelling customer solution. Otherwise, why do you show up for work in the morning and why do your customers hire you?
Telling stories, especially through video, humanizes your brand. It showcases something far beyond your brand messages, it showcases the heart and soul of your company and your people. Learning how to identify those stories can be a bit more challenging. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Share the behind the scenes of your latest product development.
Tell the stories of your longest-tenured employee or customer.
Show the everyday life of an employee or tenant.
Talk about your experience at the latest tradeshow or industry event.
Tell a client's success story.
Showcase a training program or culture initiative.
One of the best ways to learn how to identify stories is by leveraging a topic blocking spreadsheet. This simple spreadsheet template can help you think more creatively about ways to feature your existing brand stories.
As marketers and business owners, we can't continue to sit back and ignore the fact that video is a content medium that is expanding its influence all around us. But don't let the sheer scale stop you from getting started. There are a lot of resources, classes, webinars, and workshops that can help you get started with video.
Do your research, make a plan, allocate a budget, and just take the first step in creating video content that your customers and prospects can use.
Don't know where to get started?I'd love to chat more about your specific business and let you know my recommendations on how and where to get started.