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Guide to Building a Video Marketing Strategy

Megan Pratt

Principal Product Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

While creating video was once considered a luxury that only big companies could afford, it’s now easier than ever to inexpensively film and publish your video. However, before you unfold your director’s chair, you need to have a strong video marketing strategy in place. This part of the process is critical because video isn’t just one piece of your overall marketing plan — it’s central to your outreach and campaign efforts.

Set the Goals of Your Marketing Video

To develop an effective video marketing strategy, you must know your goal to reach it. Consider the following questions: 

  • Who is the desired audience for this video?
  • What do you want this video to accomplish? Be as specific as possible, so you’ll be able to measure whether or not you meet your goal. Note that videos are best used to drive awareness, increasing new site visitors, or organic searches for your brand.
  • Is the goal realistic? Come up with a goal that’s possible to achieve in the allotted time frame. For example, don’t expect your video to catapult your brand to industry fame right off the bat.

Make a Plan

Plan ahead — one of the cardinal sins of video marketing is producing overly general videos without substance, value, or a clear call to action (CTA). Before you start getting into the video-making weeds, there is a long list of to-do’s, including figuring out your budget and assigning roles to specific tasks.

First questions to ask:

  • What’s your budget?
  • Where will you distribute the video?
  • What equipment or expert help do you need?
  • How will you track its success?

Assign people to the following roles: 

  • Director
  • Scriptwriter
  • Script editor 
  • Actors or guests who’ll appear in the video (if applicable) 
  • Video editor
  • Voice-over actor (if applicable) 

Determine the Type of Video

Video is a powerful tool. They’re even more powerful when you match the right content and the right delivery method with the right type of video. Why? Because the needs of your audience vary — you need to adapt your video content accordingly to guide people in the right direction and keep them engaged. 

Here are some types of videos you might want to create depending on the goals of your video marketing strategy:

Product demos: Compelling product demo videos convince consumers that they can improve their lives by using your product or service. They’re informative, educational, and show the value of your offering.

Pro tip: Solicit these videos from influencers and your most loyal customers.

Awareness videos: This particular type of video is storytelling in action — it grabs your attention while portraying a look and feel that’s representative of your brand. It’s not overly market-y but instead focuses on entertaining, engaging, or otherwise forging an emotional connection between your brand and your target audience.

Pro tip: Make sure you keep these videos short and include your logo early and often. The most successful length will depend on your message and delivery method but test different lengths to see what works best for you.

Promotional videos: These videos exist to promote your products and services to customers. It’s best practice to not be so obvious with the sales aspect — nobody wants to watch a sales pitch. Instead, take a more conversational and personal approach to ease people into your brand and its offerings.

Pro tip: Think about what makes your brand or product most visually appealing, inspirational, or helpful to your target audience. Think more along the lines of a Nike commercial rather than a late-night infomercial.

Educational videos: Your leads are searching for answers, and if you can provide them with the information they're looking for, you’re ahead of the game. Helpful content is one of the best ways to form a connection with your target audience and build trust in your brand. “How-to” videos, in particular, are a simple way for your potential customers to gain valuable information.

Pro tip: Think outside the box and into topics that may not directly relate to what you’re selling. What interests, concerns, or vexes your target audience?

Testimonials: These videos are a great way to build your company’s credibility. Customers can see other people give their honest opinions about your products.

Pro tip: Social media is the ideal place to find and post this type of content. Make sure you monitor not only your social channels but hashtags and keywords surrounding your brand and industry.

Determine Your Video Format

Don’t limit yourself — research the various formats out there. For instance, a live video can show the excitement of an event, and an animated video can help explain concepts without a product manager explaining the process. You might also consider 360° videos that enable viewers to scroll to various angles or even virtual reality videos.

Determine the Tone

The tone creates the mood that your viewer will feel. Since most people base their purchasing decisions on emotions, how you make your viewer feel is very important. Write your script accordingly — if your main goal is brand awareness, you may want to make it light and entertaining, depending on your industry and messaging guidelines.

Distribute Your Videos According to Your Goals

Don’t stop at just creating a video for your home page. Your video marketing strategy should take into account where you can help customers deepen their connection with you at every stage in their journey.

Examples include: 

  • Building awareness and traffic by posting on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • Encouraging already interested customers to purchase with educational or testimonial videos sent out via email, on product pages, or used in retargeting.
  • Increasing sales and customer loyalty by using videos in email and other communications.

Optimize for Search

Video SEO is optimizing your video to rank on the search engine results pages. There are many optimization strategies to push your video to the top spot, but here are a few to start:

  • Choose the right video hosting platform. Look at platforms like YouTube and Vimeo and choose the best one for your needs.
  • Pay attention to your thumbnail image — the more engaging, the better.  
  • Make sure your title and description are up to par. Do keyword research to ensure you’re using the right keywords. 
  • Embed your most important video on your website’s front page.

Track the Success of Your Videos

This is where the goals you set at the very beginning start getting more important. Your progress towards your goals will help guide your future investment into creating and promoting video and other content. Measure the success of your video by tracking metrics such as: 

Views: How many times have people watched the video? Various channels measure this differently according to how long the viewer watched. Make sure you’re familiar with the ins-and-outs of how your chosen channels are counting views.

Engagement: How long did the viewer watch? Did they watch the whole thing? If not, at what point did they leave?

Play rate: How many visitors clicked to watch the video? Were they more likely to watch the video when they viewed it in one location than another? 

Click-through-rate (CTR): How many people clicked through to your site after seeing your video? This is most applicable to videos that you’ve paid to promote on various channels. 

New site visitors: How many new people have visited my site? Even if you don’t pay to promote your video, you can watch for increases in new site visitors.

Organic searches or traffic from organic search: How many searched for your brand or products? If one of the main goals of your video is to drive awareness, you’ll want to keep a close eye on how many organic searches or traffic from organic search you’re receiving. 

Conversion rate: This applies if you’re sending traffic to your website or other landing pages.

Social media engagement: How many likes, shares, and comments did the video receive?

Get Started With Your Video Marketing Strategy

Let this sink in: 87% of businesses use video marketing. However, what separates the successful videos from the flops is a robust video marketing strategy. Take your time, don’t rush — the crucial thing is that you’re producing quality video magic that does well by your brand and creates a lasting connection with your target audience. 

Read on and learn how to impress viewers with your video content further

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