Whether you're new to using video to support your marketing program or you've been doing it for years, you won't find the success you seek unless you set a strategy to guide your activity.
You don't need an incredibly detailed plan, but you'll want to make sure you know how you'll align video content with the goals of your company.
- You won't know whether you're being successful.
- You won't know how to adjust your tactics as you go.
- You won't be able to justify the use of resources to company leaders.
A good plan is the difference between knowing that your content is delivering ROI and throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.
1. Determine what your video content should accomplish
Often the mark of good content marketing is that it isn't directly related to your product, so it's important that your business understands why you're creating video stories. Start with a straightforward mission statement to sum up the most important pieces:
- What type of content you'll make. Will they be educational videos? Entertainment? Practical? A mix? Your brand's reputation, image, and audience will determine your approach here.
- Who your audience is. Outline your target audience with as much detail as possible.
- What your audience should take away from your videos. What value do your videos add? What do they help your audience do?
2. Outline the types of videos and topics you'll create
It's important to outline the scope of your work when you're starting to implement videos across your business. Start by looking at which functions of the business will use video and whether the assets will be used internally or externally, or both.
For example, an enterprise software company may want to categorize video content based on how it supports different business functions, such as products, human resources, corporate events, internal communications, sales, support, etc. From there, determine what types of stories you want to tell to support each of those functions.
Under products, you may want to tell stories about specific product lines or themes such as analytics or optimization. Those stories will serve as your official content pillars on which you'll build video concepts and campaigns—usually broad and typically not too product-heavy at the top of the funnel.
After determining the stories you need to tell within each function across your organization, you'll be able to brainstorm the types of videos that will best tell them. They may be recorded webinars, how-to videos, thought-leadership interviews, product demos, customer testimonials, or case studies.
A good way to start is to discover the questions your target audience is asking, and then answer them with detailed content. By creating videos about these topics you will not only benefit from the enhanced SEO but also build a reputation as an expert and earn the respect of your audience.
A side note: While in-depth detailed content is important, you'll also feature some compelling, high-level brand stories to attract your target customers at the top of the funnel. Then map your video content to all parts of the funnel and drive viewers through the buying cycle.
3. Establish who is responsible for creating content
Depending on the resources available, you may be investing in an in-house videographer or a team of video marketers, or you may be outsourcing content to an agency. Start by assessing your budget and figuring out who you'll count on to do what work, and how you'll make that determination for various projects.
Outline who is responsible for creative concepts, who will write scripts, who approves content, who handles the logistics of a video shoot, and who is responsible for distributing the videos once they are complete.
It might be helpful to create an editorial board of key stakeholders to consult for feedback. That feedback will be critical during the process, but be mindful of having too many cooks in the kitchen.
4. Where will your content live?
Whether you are reusing webinar content or creating how-to videos or behind-the-scenes interviews with your management team, you need to know where your videos will live on your website.
Notice I didn't say on YouTube. YouTube is an incredibly important distribution channel, but it is not a strategy in and of itself. After all, YouTube wants to keep viewers on its site, which means it may tempt your audience with irrelevant content—or, worse, competitors' content.
Accordingly, when you do place videos on YouTube, you need links back to your website within your SEO-optimized YouTube descriptions, as well as a destination on your site where prospects can go through a content journey and dive deeper into your brand and messages.
Consider YouTube an example for the type of experience you want to create within your own site.
Most major brands are behaving like media companies and they feature entire pages of their websites devoted to video. The Lego Group, for example, has an entire section organized by story and character. On the B2B side, take a look at SAP and its resource hubs containing professional and humanizing brand videos.
5. Figure out how you'll measure performance
Just as with written content, you need to produce, release, and review your videos and their analytics to justify their investment in the medium.
Metrics might still be a scary word in some corners, but video is easier to measure than you might think. Because video is distributed in a player or "container," you can get data for wherever is syndicated through a video marketing platform. Even better, your video data can contribute to more accurate lead-scoring because you'll be able to see which prospects are watching which videos and for how long.
Some important metrics to track for each video campaign you release:
- Attention span and drop-off rates: Does more than 60% of your audience make it to the end of your videos on average?
- Click-through rates: Split-test the results for email content with and without video content.
- Total amount of your video content that your leads consume: How many videos do individual leads watch in a day? A week? A month?
(To get the full list of exactly which metrics to track, download Vidyard's "Modern Marketer's Guide to Video.")
Having an overall video strategy will keep your content on target so that your videos have a purpose aligned with your business goals.