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How to Build a Video Marketing Strategy (In 6 Steps)

Adding video to your digital marketing campaign starts with a solid video marketing strategy. The strategy is your blueprint to creating a video that resonates with your audience and inspires them to take action, whether that means buying a sweater with a dog on it or donating sweaters to dogs. All you need is knowledge about your business and the help of your favorite local video production company. Let’s get started:

1. Know Your People

Remember that time you were talking about something and the next time you went on Facebook an ad for it appeared? No, Facebook isn’t listening to you through your phone’s mic, unless Zuck is lying to Congress. But that’s the kind of (creepy) understanding you should have of your audience before you launch a video marketing strategy. An effective video will create an emotional impact with your target audience and inspire them to take action, which could be buying your product or service, contacting you or donating to a cause. Take the Nescafe video advertisement above. It’s an award-winning example of how it pays to know your audience and what’s important to them. Consider these questions to narrow down your own audience for your video marketing strategy:

  • Who are your current customers? What do they have in common?

  • What do they buy from you?

  • Who can your product/service benefit?

  • What demographics of people need your product? What drives these people to make decisions?

  • How and when do people use your product?

Want to dig deeper? This guide from Inc. has additional questions and resources to help define your audience.

2. Set Some (Brand) Standards

You go, Glen Coco, if you already have brand standards for your company. You know their importance to everything you do. For everyone else, that’s exactly why you need to set some standards. It might not seem like a big deal to use a "font du jour" for this month’s poster or have different “voices” talking as you on social media, but inconsistent messaging and visuals confuse your customers. In a crowded market, how will they identify your brand from your competitors if they can’t tell what advertisements or even products belong to you?

Defining brand standards can be a long, complex process, but once you have it done, it makes life easier. You know who you’re talking to, how your messaging needs to sound, and what it should look like. Best of all, you can hand off brand standards to whoever is working with you to ensure consistency and a measure of effectiveness for new ideas. This article from Entrepreneur does a good job of explaining how to start your own brand standards guide without getting too in the design weeds. But before you start making things pretty, make sure you know your brand’s message and why is important to your target audience. You could have the most well-designed logo in the world, but if it doesn’t appeal to your audience, it doesn’t matter.

3. # CampaignGoals

Now that you’ve defined your audience and have a quality control measure for your ads, think about what you want to achieve with this video marketing campaign. What would define success? Is it a specific number of views? A percentage increase for sales? Increased awareness in a certain market? Being specific about your goals makes it easier to gauge what’s working and what needs to be done to reach benchmarks before the campaign is over. Also super important: Being realistic. Can you achieve a 100% increase in donations in two weeks? Sure, if you average $4 a week and rope a friend into donating $10, but not so much if your end goal is much higher. Try this SMART Marketing Goals worksheet from HubSpot to start setting your campaign goals.

4. Set a Budget...

If you equate “budget” with “meh”, it’s time to channel your inner Suze Orman and get serious about money. First of all, if you haven’t budgeted for video marketing at all, here’s why you absolutely need to. However, just because you spend a lot on your video marketing campaign doesn’t mean it will be successful. On the other hand, if you underspend, you’ll likely cut into your success.

4.5 … And Decide Where to Advertise

Knowing where you’re going to advertise will influence your budget. There are two major, interdependent expenses when creating a video: video production and cost to advertise. Production includes concepting, storyboarding, script writing, filming, editing, post-production and more. Advertising is what you’ll spend to promote your video and ensure the right people see it. This could be YouTube advertising, other social media advertising like Facebook or Instagram, a broadcast TV commercial and more. A 15-second video for social media is going to cost less than a two-minute corporate video in terms of production. But if you’re only posting the branded video to your website, the cost to advertise is going to be less than social media placements.

So how much will it cost and what should you budget? We’re here to help you figure it out! Send us a message detailing what you’re looking for, even if it’s just an idea. We’ll give you a quote on the video production and an estimate on how long it will take. We can also give you estimates for using your video for targeting and retargeting, like native, audience marketplace, over-the-top and targeted email advertising (Here’s what all that means). Once we’ve determined what kind of video to make and where we’ll promote it, we’ll move onto the fun part.

5. Making that Video

All your prior research and thought pays off here. With your target audience, messaging, campaign goals and budget in mind, we’ll start concepting a video ad that will resonate. Don’t worry if you don’t have an idea for the video. We love starting with a blank slate and letting our filmmakers do what they do best – be creative. See some of the awesome things they’ve done over the past year in the video above.

Anyway, once the idea is set, we’ll create the video (shooting the footage we need, gathering interviews, collecting images, etc.) and then move onto post-pro – doing things like editing the footage, adding text or motion graphics and generally making things pretty. This is where visual brand standards become super important for us to ensure the video fits your company’s current branding. Once the branded video is done, we’ll review it with you, make final adjustments and send it off into the world. Don’t mind us as we wipe away a single tear of joy.

6. Assess the Situation

FYI: The work isn’t over when you send your video out into the world. Remember the marketing goals worksheet you filled out? You’ll need that here. After a set period of time, start measuring your video’s results against your goals. Are you seeing the results you predicted? How is your audience responding to the video? Are you on track to reach your campaign goals?

If all is well, continue doing what you’re doing and even consider adding elements to your video advertising strategy. Maybe that means trying a new channel or creating a series of videos to continue the messaging.

If you’re not seeing the performance you wanted, adjust your campaign strategy. It could be as simple as doing some A/B testing with different titles for the video. Facebook offers an option for split testing within Ads Manager, as illustrated in the video above. Assess how viewers responded to the video and see if that offers insight into what you could be doing better. Ask people for their feedback. Try targeting different keywords or promoting to different people if you’re really not seeing results. It’s better to experiment than to waste money on ineffective advertising.

Make sure to continue assessing for the duration of the campaign and upon its completion. You'll hopefully look back on a successful run, and no matter the outcome, you'll have a bounty of new ideas for your next video marketing strategy. If you're ready to put theory into practice, get a quote from us on the components of your video marketing strategy. We can’t wait to get started!

P.S. S/O to for the cover photo for this blog.

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