By Andrea Kalli, Video Designer, Editor and Marketer
According to data from eMarketer, “More than 62% of the world’s internet users will view digital video in 2017, up from 60.8% in 2016.” Think about that for just a minute—62% of all online individuals will be consuming video content. If your business has yet to develop a video marketing plan, you are likely already losing out to competitors savvy enough to incorporate video into their business development plans. These plans include not only sales and promotional videos, but those ever-important keep-in-touch videos that nurture trust and deepen relationships.
However, it is not too late to establish your company as a video outreach superstar. With just a little careful planning, you too can reap the rewards of video messaging and marketing. Planning is essential for marketing ROI, and posting a generic video you created with your smartphone is not enough. Video will become increasingly competitive—only the strong will survive as the competition increases. Something that really helps with that is when you take the extra steps to brand your videos with polished and professional elements, such as a logo intro, some snazzy titles, your name and company information in the bottom portion of your video, and a closing segment with information on how to contact you. These simple, yet important, elements let viewers know you take the professionalism of your business communication very seriously.
To ensure your video messaging and marketing efforts are rewarded, the following seven crucial tips need to be integrated into your outreach plans.
1. Create a Long-Term Video Marketing Strategy—Developing a long-term video marketing strategy should always be your first step when getting started with video outreach. Video marketing is not like PPC advertising where you can start and stop on a whim. You need to develop a cohesive plan that includes everything from the types of videos you and your team will create to seasonal video plans for events like spring holidays, special observances, and Christmas. Without a long-term video marketing strategy in place, your video outreach efforts will be haphazard at best.
2. Identify Your Target Audience—You cannot become a successful video marketer without identifying your target audience. Will you be creating video content for your existing customers in hopes of increasing your lifetime customer value? Are you hunting for new customers for your business? When you identify your target audience and create buyer personas, your chances of increasing your video marketing ROI exponentially grows. Do not be afraid to tweak your target audience strategy as you become accustomed to marketing via video; you may find you are reaching customers you initially did not plan for.
3. Define Your Video’s Objective—Just as you define your target audience, you should also define your video’s objective. What do you hope to accomplish with each video you create? Is brand awareness your top goal or are you hoping for increased sales of your latest product? You need to be specific when determining your video objectives; indecisive plans will not do. Objective identification is an exercise that should be completed with every video you create.
4. Create a Video Distribution and Delivery Strategy—Building your business via video outreach is an awesome goal, but without a defined video distribution strategy, your efforts may all be for naught. Will all videos be posted to YouTube where viewers might discover your competition? Is an embedded Wistia player on your own site a wiser decision? From Vimeo to VidMe and DailyMotion, today’s video marketer has plenty of distribution options. Define your distribution strategy in advance or you might miss global opportunities to connect with new customers.
When it comes to how your video is delivered and viewed, if you want to step up your game a bit, look at some of the popular internet marketing video players available that allow you to make your videos interactive on your website, while shown on any device. Some great features of these include the ability to add a clickable call-to-action directly on your video, collect leads, show a specified image when the video is paused, add opt-in buttons, custom overlays, a click-to-call feature, Facebook integration, and a lot more. These tools keep your viewers engaged while encouraging them to further connect with your brand. A few big players in this field are VooPlayer, Wistia (with their timeline actions), Easy Video Suite, and Easy Web Video.
5. Plan Finances for Video Creation—Video content creation is just like any other type of content marketing; you need to budget appropriately for maximum ROI. Decide if video expenditures will come out of your marketing budget or if you will assign all expenditures to your sales department. Will you need to purchase props or download paid video marketing apps? What about the team members or outsourced resources assigned to video creation; how high will your costs be for each video you get created? Without accurately measuring your video creation costs, you cannot possibly determine whether video marketing is a profitable endeavor for your company.
Ideally you’ll look for direction from a knowledgeable resource to guide you on the variety of video styles available, and how to wisely distribute your money to the right kind of videos based on the level of ROI they are expected to bring. For example, you would not necessarily want to spend a large part of your video budget on post-production for your webinar videos, tip videos, or holiday videos. For these, small and simple branding elements in your video will do the trick. But you definitely want to put forth the extra effort in the video editing phase to create the buzz and excitement you need when promoting an event, product, or service that generates revenue for you.
6. Assign Members to the Video Creation and Marketing Team—Speaking of costs, assigning team members video marketing tasks is another critical component of an effective video marketing plan. Do you have someone on your team who is particularly effective on camera? Will you have a video producer or will you be responsible for directing and editing each video? Who creates your content, and does your post-production editing is just as important as the type of content you produce? Audience engagement needs to be a top priority; assigning video tasks to unwilling participants is going to doom your video outreach plans from the start. Be extremely careful when planning your video post-production team, and marketing team; your return on investment depends upon your decisions.
7. Determine Your Video Analytics Plan—Video analytics are another essential component for effective marketing mastery. Too many business owners rely solely upon video views when determining their success rate. View counts are but one small component of video marketing analysis. If you integrate a video analytics tool like Ooyala or ViewedIt into your outreach plans, you can track anything from view times to open rates. You want to ensure your videos are being watched in their entirety to determine whether you are losing viewers at specific points. The better you understand your video analytics, the better your videos will become over time.
Integrating these seven smart tips into your outreach strategy will ensure you maximize the potential of your video messaging and marketing efforts. A well-honed marketing plan is crucial for supercharged success. Video consumption is expected to skyrocket as mobile-enabled consumers switch from text-based marketing to video; the sooner your brand gets on the video gravy train, the sooner you will be able to profit from your efforts.
Andrea Kalli has been featured in PRNewsonline, Bulldog Reporter, Lioness Magazine and more and has been supporting businesses with marketing since 2005, and in 2014 dedicated her focus to putting video as the forefront of her services. She enjoys the creative and technical aspects of creating videos and video marketing and being able to bring her clients’ vision to life.