Is video part of your marketing strategy?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

With all the compelling evidence out there suggesting that online video marketing should now be part of your advertising and marketing budget, is your company considering using video? Research shows that 64% of website visitors are more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video and according to Forbes Insight, 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text. In order to make quality, engaging and effective content, a video strategy, as part of your overall marketing plan, can not only ensure you measure the results, but also see that you get a return on your investment.

At the first stage of your strategy there are a number of routes to consider; using a professional video production company, producing the videos yourself, or a combination of both. Technology has advanced to the stage that people can make videos on their phones or tablets, but is this the right thing for your company? For certain uses this can be extremely useful and cost effective, such as for recording and distributing internal information or for ‘How to’ videos. A good example of a company successfully following this strategy is the online parts company espares, who have 27,500 + subscribers on YouTube and over 16 million views of their videos. But don’t expect to be able to produce high quality glossy adverts, or promotional material without any experience. Even if you’re only looking to produce simple customer testimonials, ‘how to..’ films or some video content for internal communication, it is worth getting some consultancy or training to support you as you get started.

If you opt to work in partnership with a professional video production company, they can sit down with you to create a video strategy, even if you only plan on having a single film. Everyone, including yourselves, will need to know what you want and who your video is for. You don’t have to come to the table with a fully formed idea, you should expect help with that, but before starting to think about the finer details, you to need to think about a few things:

1. Plan, know your purpose
Sounds simple, but what is the purpose of your video? Do you want awareness of your product or service, increased traffic to your website, higher sales; improved communication with your customers, or even to train your staff? Whatever the purpose, you have to know the core reason you are making your video.

2. Know your audience
Who is going to view your video and how? When creating your strategy it’s important to consider who it is you’re targeting and how they are most likely to view it. Online, at conferences, as part of a presentation? Is there a particular demographic you want to reach? What style of video and content will this group of people respond best to? Does your viewer know your company already or is the video intended for a new audience with no prior knowledge? Being clear on this allows you to think more creatively- but objectively- about your subject and platform.

3. Know your style
With your purpose, audience and platform pinned down, you can have a bit more fun and think more about the kind of style you want. Remember though to always think about your audience and what they will respond best to. There are so many different emotions that can be conveyed through video. You could use comedy, or a documentary style, a character and sketches, or a more classic corporate feel. There is a wealth of tools available that can be employed and that’s before you’ve thought about shot design, sound, narration. Put your social hat on, think about sharing! Find them and spread the word. Think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube… With your message and audience in mind, hone in on what delivers your information and represents your company in the best light, and incorporate those elements into your brief.

4. Measure results
There has never been a better time to measure the results of video as part of your marketing strategy. Very simply you can see the number of views the video is getting online, but using the analytics available now you can not only tell who is viewing your film, but whether they watched the video all the way through and if not, where they stopped. What did they do after they saw the video? Did they contact you? Did you make sure that there was a call to action at the end of the film, so they knew what they needed to do? Is this part of an Adwords, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter Campaign? What is your budget for the campaign and what are the results you require?

Having taken all of the above into consideration, there are a few final bits to consider before you decide video is something you want to consider and start planning your strategy or grabbing your camera. Be realistic about what a video can achieve for you. It can attract an audience, bring them to you, persuade them that you are someone they want to talk to, but once it’s achieved that it’s still down to you and your company to convert these new leads into business.

I believe video should form part of any successful business’s marketing plan, as an engagement tactic that supports your goals. But, producing a great video is not enough, remember you have to USE it!