Tell stories for your audience

Good video tells a story better than any other medium by using both sight and sound senses to help viewers process a message.  As people, we are drawn to the movement, intonation and body language, these all contribute to creating an emotional connection.

Video is a part of your content strategy. It’s another tactic or tool, just like text or imagery. If you already have a content strategy then, great, you already know why you need a video.

If you don’t have a content strategy then we need to back up a few steps.  We’ll tell you how it works.

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You need a content strategy first

So step one, the most important part of the content map, and more often than not the part people leave out: know your audience. There’s no point creating content if you don’t know who you’re creating it for.  A good way to identify your target audience is to construct a persona. This means you focus on the attributes of your ideal customer: whether they are male or female, how old they are, where they live, what they like to do in their spare time, how much they earn per year and so on, but be as specific as possible about their attributes. Build a picture, like an identikit.

Get started and create your own Personas.

Read more about Marketing Personas.

Now you have a definitive persona to create content for. You know he’s into cars, so you can create content that involves cars in some way, or simply create content about cars even if it’s not related to your product or service, because when your audience are interested in the theme of your content they’ll come to your site, and this gives you the opportunity to engage with them.

Step two: Once you have your audience sorted out (you can then create multiple personas and create content for each audience, but stick with one ideal persona to start with) you can then create a Content Strategy.  This is essentially a calendar that strategically schedules content based on analysis of keywords, trending topics and audience-related topics.  It will also include the distribution, channel and social media strategy.  It defines what types of content you will create, curate or connect with, and who is responsible for each moving part.

Now you have a basic understanding of what a content strategy entails, you can see how video relates to the rest of your content and to your overall marketing goals.  And now you’re ready to decide on a video strategy for your company.

Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers.

http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/search-marketing/seo-for-success-in-video-marketing/

You need to use video strategically

There are many different ways to use video within your sales pipeline, content strategy, internal comms strategy, training schedule and overall digital marketing strategy.

So what’s right for you?  Once again, it depends on your audience.  What do they need to know about your brand, business, people, product or service?

If they need to get to know your salespeople, do they need to see a demonstration of your product?  Do you want them to connect with your company at a deeper level?  These are just some of the questions that need to be answered.

Once you’ve resolved the questions, you can tailor a strategy that works for you, and decide how you’re going to get your message  in front of your audience.

And here’s why you need a video strategy in the first place...

Video helps turn an audience into customers

Video increases conversion rates. A conversion is any action you want your audience to take.  It may be to submit a form, download something or buy your product or service.

Video increases awareness. People are more likely to be intrigued and might stick around to find out more if they are presented with an entertaining video explaining the purpose of the website or the service.

“65% of executives have visited a vendor’s site after watching a video.”

– Forbes

Video can increase your SEO (search engine optimisation) score. This is what a search engine like Google uses to rank your site. If you have a great SEO score it means you will be closer to the top of the search rankings.  The crucial word in “SEO” is “optimise” and this can be achieved by adding video focused on a particular topic or keyword.

“Adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front page Google result by 53 times.”

– Comscore

Video will increase engagement.People are drawn to visual content, and video also has sound and movement; it’s the closest thing to a real interaction you can get without actually interacting with your audience.

“10 times more likely to engage, embed, share, and comment on video content than blogs or related social posts.”

– Content Marketing Institute

All of the above are examples of how video can convert your audience into customers.  This is achieved by creating awareness, engaging with your audience, showing them who you are, and gaining trust.  So when they are ready to purchase, the first company or person they think of is you.  At the end of the day, that’s business: being good to your audience and providing them with relevant and entertaining content are going to keep you on top of their shopping list.

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Focus on the potential returns is the way to think about video

I’m not going to say that video is easy, cheap or fast, though it can be just as fast as reading text depending on how many people are involved.  I think the main concern you should have is not the price or the timeline or the difficulty of the project, it’s the ROI (return on investment) that you should be concerned with.  If you’re putting a heap of effort into creating video then you should be seeing an increase in the goal you’ve set for the video in your video strategy.  If the goal is to increase awareness, then you should see viewership or visits go up based on the distribution strategy of your video, and if you’ve created it correctly for your persona, then engagement should also increase.

The four stages of Video Marketing

The timeline for making a video is quite straightforward for those with the know-how, but if you’re unfamiliar with creating a video or the process involved, then I suggest you get some help, or do your research thoroughly. Here’s the outline:

Pre-production.  

Pre-production is another term for planning.  In this phase the key elements of the project are decided, well before the director calls “action” for the first time.  These elements include the project’s vision (what you’re seeking to portray), locations and casting.  More ambitious projects use storyboards, which help greatly when it comes to editing your video.

Production.

Production starts when the camera starts rolling, and you begin to work through the pre-production notes or storyboard. Production includes lighting, framing, composition and any B-roll capture (extra footage which can be edited in later).

Post-production.  

After all the footage is in the can (as they used to say back in the day), then the finishing can begin - adding graphics, images, music, colour, special effects and so on until your video looks, feels and sounds just right.

Distribution.  

Time to roll out the red carpet.  Seriously, though… distribution involves releasing your video according to the distribution, channel and social media strategy that’s part of your overall content strategy.

You can do things on the cheap if this matches your style

It’s easy to create cheap single-shot videos on your iPhone and if that style appeals to your audience then you should consider creating video this way, but you need to understand that the quality of your video will reflect the quality of your brand.  So if your audience expects a higher quality they deserve to have their expectations met, as this will inevitably increase their trust and loyalty and therefore the conversion rate.

"Authenticity trumps production values."
– Mike Eastwood