My video marketing plan: How I plan my content

By admin

If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you have watched over 15 hours of video content in the past week alone. There is also a great chance that some of that content was marketing videos.

Videos being a passive form of content, unlike written content, are easier to consume. That’s why they enjoy incredible popularity among online consumers. Take a look at these online video stats:

  • A survey revealed that 86% of respondents want to watch more videos from brands.
  • On social media, video content generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.
  • Another survey revealed that 82% of respondents would rather watch branded video content than read it.
  • The value of online video streaming industry saw a growth of 55% from 2019 to 2020.

So, consumers love video. That’s surely a reason to produce more marketing videos. However, as easy as it may be to consume video content, producing video content is a challenging undertaking, especially for beginners.

Moreover, these stats don’t mean that marketing practices powered by written content, like blogging, don’t work. They absolutely work.

So why should you bother with video marketing?

Let’s understand video marketing and its benefits in a bit more detail to find the answer to that question.

What Is Video Marketing And Why Is It Beneficial?

The term video marketing is pretty self-explanatory. It refers to the practice of using video content to promote and market your products or services.

Besides online consumers preferring videos, here are a few other benefits of producing video marketing content:

SEO Benefits

Search engines are openly giving preference to video content in their search results. Don’t take my word for it, take a look at what I got when I searched Google for “how to change a tyre”:

As you can see, there are four video results above the regular SERP results that we are used to. The search engines want people to keep coming back and keep using them to search for information on the web. To that end, search engines like Google must do everything they can to ensure a positive user experience and videos make for truly positive user experience.

Abundance Of Distribution Options

The internet, and the technologies being used on the web, have seen tremendous advances in the past decade. As a result, video content has become far more accessible today, which might be one of the reasons behind the popularity of video content among consumers.

This also means that you, as a video producer, now have more options than ever before to distribute your video content to your audiences. Almost every social media platform supports video, there are several options for adding video to your website or landing page without messing up the load speed, and there are dedicated platforms for video content, like YouTube.

Videos Are Impactful

Studies show that viewers remember 95% of the information that they consume in the form of a video. In comparison, people are only able to retain 10% of the information that they read.

However, that’s not all that makes videos impactful. When it comes to marketing, videos offer brands a chance to connect their offerings with real life situations. Product companies can show their products in action with the help of videos. Service businesses can use videos to better visualise and explain how their service has benefitted their existing customers. Explainer videos, a popular type of business videos, work incredibly well when it comes to simplifying and explaining complex concepts to a large number of people.

That’s not all. When you produce a video, you can control the background music, the script, the backdrop, and the overall “vibe” of the video to communicate specific emotions to your audience. I am sure that I don’t need to remind you about the importance of emotions in marketing.

Competitive Advantage

Despite the popularity of video among consumers, the percentage of brands producing marketing videos is relatively small. This percentage is even smaller in the case of small businesses. One study revealed that only 9% of small businesses have a YouTube presence.

This trend can be interpreted to determine that video marketing is still in its early stages of growth. This may mean that if you start producing marketing videos now, you may be able to enjoy some early-adopter benefits.

So now we know why consumers love videos and why you should invest in video marketing. Before I tell you the process that I follow to build my video marketing strategy and produce my marketing videos, let’s look at the different types of marketing videos that you can produce:

The Different Types Of Marketing Videos

I am going to use this section to not just tell you about the kind of videos that you can produce, but also about where they fit into your customer’s purchase journey. If you didn’t already know, the customer’s journey consists of three stages that lead up to the purchase.

The first stage is the awareness stage. This is where the prospect becomes aware about their problem and its possible solutions. The second stage is the consideration stage. This is where the prospect starts comparing different solutions to their problem with the objective of determining the perfect solution. The third stage is the conversion or purchase stage. This is where the prospect is convinced that they want to purchase from you and your job is to induce urgency and nudge them to make the purchase immediately.

Different brands may add more stages to their customer’s journey, depending on the complexity of their product and the kind of decision makers they are trying to please. However, these three stages can be used to summarise the same.

It is also true that the customer journey is rarely linear. However, you still have to produce content for each stage and understanding the prospect’s mindset in each stage of their purchase journey will enable you to produce content that is relevant to them.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the different types of marketing videos that you can produce:

Informational Videos

These videos, as the name suggests, are used to inform your prospects about the solutions of their problem. Sometimes, these may even be used to make them aware about the problem itself. This is why informational videos are best used for engaging awareness stage prospects.

Informational videos are best used for achieving objectives like improved brand recognition, authority, and recall value. This video by Ahrefs is a superb example of an informational video and the kind of impact that such videos can make. The video was uploaded by Ahrefs almost two years ago and in that time, it has garnered over a million views. The surprising thing is, the video is still getting views after two years and ranks on the first page of the YouTube search results for “how to do SEO”.

Remember that informational videos don’t necessarily have to involve you giving out the information. You can make them even more interactive with ideas like expert interview videos and listicle videos.

Event Videos

If your organisation attends or hosts industry events, making videos dedicated to your brand is a great way to establish yourself as an authority within your industry, while also humanising it.

Event videos can take many forms, including (but not limited to) interviews of the attendees, a reel of the entire event, or even dedicated videos to different sections or aspects of the event. If its industry related, there is a good chance that your audience will find your insights from such events useful and engaging.

Launch Videos

Launch videos, as the name suggests, are used to introduce new products, or services, or brands.
With that said, launch videos can actually take the form of multiple other videos on this list. Launch videos can be presented in the form of product videos, or explainer videos, or even as promotional videos.

The objective of such videos is simple, to create awareness about the product or service that they are launching. This makes them perfect for the awareness stage of the customer’s journey. However, unlike informational videos, launch videos are usually short in length and involve a lot of “hype” elements like lively music and exciting dialogue.

The nature of your product or service launch video will depend entirely on what you are launching and who your audience is. To understand this with an example, here is a launch video that Apple used to launch their new smartwatch:


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In comparison, this is the launch video of Microsoft’s Hololens 2:

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Both videos are introducing gadgets but to very different target audiences. That is why both videos don’t just differ in their length, but in several other aspects. The video by Microsoft is trying to inspire awe, and doesn’t use any words. On the other hand, the video by Apple is more humorous, more lively, and has a completely different theme. While the Microsoft video focuses on the benefits of their product, the Apple video is focused on the features of the Apple Watch.

Product Videos

Product videos or demo videos are the videos that show your product in action. Such videos, that are usually promotional in nature, are great for use in the consideration or purchase stage of the customer’s journey.

This video showing off the Sales Navigator by LinkedIn is a great example of a product video:

Source

Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are used by businesses to ‘explain’ how their product or service works. This kind of video is usually used by businesses that are solving a complex problem. As you may have already guessed, explainer videos are used to entice awareness stage customers. However, these can also be used to educate and nurture consideration stage customers and nudge them close to a sale.

A great example of a video explaining how the Team platform by University of San Diego works:


Source

Video Promos

Video promotions or sales videos are promotional videos (duh!) that are usually used in the form of ads. These videos are usually much shorter than the other types of marketing videos we have (and will) discuss. The ideal length of a promo video is 10-15 seconds. Such videos also usually contain a specific call to action for the viewers.

Promo videos can be used to highlight the benefits or features of your product or service. Alternatively, these can also be used to introduce offers, discounts, and even related products to existing customers who are audiences that are aware about your brand.

In most cases, promo videos are shown to prospects that are in the consideration or purchase stage. However, these can also be used to launch products or create brand awareness.

Video Testimonials

Video testimonials are one of the most impactful types of marketing videos. This is because they deliver some of the most impactful social proof out there. You may already know about the importance of online reviews and how they inspire your prospects to convert into customers.

Video testimonials perform the same job, but with a lot more impact. Surprisingly, this improved impact is not just because of the videos’ ability to communicate emotions.

Video testimonials are proof that your service or product is so great that a paying customer has agreed to appear in front of the camera and talk about how it has made their life better. When planned right, video testimonials can be used to highlight the salient features of your product or service while delivering social proof to your prospects.

By now, you should have a fair idea of the type of marketing videos that you can produce. Now, let’s talk about how you can prepare your own video marketing strategy:

How To Create A Video Marketing Strategy

Let me begin this section by answering a question that you may have- “why are we not talking about how to make the video?”.

This is because having a plan or strategy before you get started on the video production is critical to ensuring success. A video marketing strategy will involve your goals, your timelines, and your budgets, all of which together will dictate the decisions you take during the video production phase.

Think about it like this:

If you had plans of airing an ad on a television network, you would not start implementing this plan with creating the video. You will first determine who your video will be speaking to. Based on that, you will determine the right TV channels for airing your video. Then, based on your budget, you will decide where the video will actually be aired. Then, based on all these decisions, and after considering other factors like the air time you can afford and the time slots you want, you will create the perfect video.

When creating a video for digital campaigns, similar considerations need to be taken into account.

With that out of the way, let us begin charting out our video marketing strategy. Here’s the step-by-step process you can follow:

Step 1: Determine Your Goals

If you think you have been given this advice a million times, it’s because determining a goal is actually important enough to be repeated a million times. Besides helping you pinpoint the metrics you will use to measure the success of your video marketing efforts, determining goals has another very important use in the case of video marketing.

In an ideal World, each stage of your marketing funnel should be powered by video content. However, producing videos is a time and investment intensive undertaking. It isn’t always possible to start a campaign with 4 different videos (maybe even more, depending on the nature and number of your target audiences).

Determining a goal will help you prioritise the videos you want to produce first. To be able to do this effectively, you need a goal that ticks the following three requirements:

    • Specificity: This is one of the most important aspects of your video marketing goal. If your goal is to attract more visitors, simply thinking getting more visitors is a goal isn’t enough. Take it a step further and specify how many more visitors you want to attract with your video marketing efforts.
    • Trackability: There’s no point of having a goal that is so arbitrary that you cannot effectively track it. In order to track your specific goal effectively, you may need to attach it with a timeline.
    • Achievability: Unrealistic goals will not help your cause. When thinking of a goal, keep in mind the kind of resources and budgets you have and come up with a realistic goal and a timeline that you can follow religiously.

Once you have determined your goal(s), wrap this step up by also determining the metrics you will track to measure progress, along with the stage(s) of your customers’ journeys that you want to prioritise.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience

This step is just as important as the previous one, if not more. Without knowing who your audience for the video is, you cannot accurately deliver the right message to them.

Knowing your audience will allow you to make informed decisions about the kind of video or videos that you want to produce. Similarly, this information will also help you determine the right channels for distributing your video content.

I strongly recommend really diving deep into understanding your current customers and building detailed buyer personas. These personas should include detailed information about things like your audiences’ job profiles, their daily responsibilities, their challenges, the solutions that they have already tried to overcome said challenges, and what sets your product or service apart (from their point of view). Of course, these data points will vary for different businesses and industries.

However, if you don’t have the time to create a detailed persona, make sure you have the answers to the following questions before you move forward:

  • Who is your ideal customer? What problems are they addressing with your product or service?
  • Who will your video be targeted to? This is relevant if you have multiple buyer personas. For instance, a finance company may offer different services to C-level executives and to freelancers. In this case, the company will have to decide which audience they hope to engage with their video marketing campaign.
  • Where is your audience present online? List out all the social media networks, blogs, and online publications that they are present on or subscribe to.

With the answers to these questions, you can figure out who your video will be meant for and where you will find them.

Step 3: Develop The Storytelling Elements

This is perhaps the most exciting step in this process. In this step, you will be determining what story you will use in your video to entice your audience. In most cases, marketing video stories consist of the following elements:

The protagonist, who will be a character that your buyer persona can identify with. The challenge that will be all about the pain points faced by your target audience. The quest that will highlight the possible solutions that haven’t worked for your audience. The resolution that will introduce your product as the ideal solution.

With that said, use this format as simply a framework. It is not necessary for all your videos to have characters. In fact, it isn’t even necessary that this format will work for all the video types we discussed in the previous section. However, most of these elements will find a place in most of the marketing videos that you will create. Use these elements to create a script for your video.

While you do not have to create the final script in this step (this will also be covered in the video production phase), you must create a script that has enough details to help you gauge whether or not you have the right resources to create the kind of video you want.

Moreover, this step will also inform the next two steps in this process.

Step 4: Chart Out A Timeline

In this step, we will chart out the timeline for your video marketing campaign. In fact, the objective for this step is to chart out three timelines. One for building and perfecting your video marketing strategy. The second one will be a timeline that will dictate the video production process. Finally, you will make a third timeline for your video distribution plan.

Creating these timelines is important because a video marketing campaign will involve contributions from multiple departments of your organisation. Your marketing team, your social media team, and your production team will all be contributing to the campaign and the timelines you develop in this step will help ensure that everyone is on the same page.

If you plan to introduce more videos to your campaign as it progresses, make sure you also develop production and distribution timelines for those videos and factor them into your strategy.

After you have charted out a timeline and shared it with the relevant contributors, give yourself a moment to accept that your timelines will probably have to be modified one the implementation begins.

This may not necessarily be anyone’s fault. However, if you are creating your first video marketing campaign, there is a good chance that you will run into obstacles and challenges that you may not even be aware about right now, and that’s okay. To deal with such situations, it is a good idea to add some buffer time to your timelines.

Step 5: Determine A Realistic Budget

Despite being the last step in this process, the consideration of budget is perhaps the most influential one. This is because your budget will determine the production value of your project and may even influence the timelines.

To come up with a realistic number, you will need to shop around. If you don’t have an in-house social media and production team, you will have to actually go out in the market and research the average cost of the services you will need in order to successfully implement your plan and launch your campaign.

Certain video production techniques may cost dramatically more than the others. So it is better to go out and research about these before you actually start producing your videos.

After following these five steps, you should be equipped with the following:

  • A goal that you will pursue with your video marketing campaign
  • A set of personas that you will target
  • The kind of video you want to produce to achieve your goal
  • A realistic timeline and budget estimate

With this, we are not ready to dive into the video production process.

Let’s go:

Producing A Marketing Video

In this section, I will be outlining the exact process that we follow while creating marketing videos. However, before that, I want to take a moment to address a common misconception that video production is an expensive undertaking.

While producing professional videos can be expensive, there are numerous ways to cut down costs involved in the production process, especially if you are producing a video in-house.

Yes, producing a video without professional help is absolutely possible. The best part is, you don’t even need expensive equipment to get the job done. You can implement the process I will share in the coming sections with the following equipment:

Equipment Needed To Produce Marketing Videos In House

Camera: You don’t necessarily need a professional DSLR camera. If your marketing video has elements of the real world, you can record your marketing video with your smartphone camera.

On other hand, if you are recording a video to show how your digital product makes lives easier, or even a customer testimonial, all you need is a webcam camera. Most modern laptops come equipped with a camera that is decent enough to produce a basic marketing video. SImilarly, you can easily find free screen recording software online.

Lightning Equipment: If you have never recorded a video before, you may find lighting equipment to be unnecessary. However, the reality is that cameras capture light very differently than the human eye. In most cases, to make your characters and objects appear natural and communicate the right kind of depth of field, you will need a two or three point lighting rig.

Thankfully, you have a large variety of very affordable options that you can order online. If you have a hefty budget, you may be tempted to order premium rigs that cost more but I will advise against doing that. Instead, start with a cheaper rig and then upgrade later as you produce more complex videos that demand better equipment.

Microphone: A quality microphone can turn out to be the difference between a video with a crappy sound and a video with professional sound quality. That’s right, as far as basic marketing videos are concerned, you don’t need a lot more than a quality mic to get desired sound quality in your video, while eliminating ambient sounds at the same time.

Sure, there is a microphone in your smartphone, and there’s also a good chance that there’s a built-in microphone in the camera you are planning to use. However, these built-in microphones offer restricted capabilities. Since they cannot be positioned away from the recording device, such microphones have to be designed to capture more sound and are multidirectional. This results in the capturing of a lot of noise, which produces less than desirable results when you are trying to produce a video that will represent your brand in front of potential customers.

Video Editing Software: Video editing software will be your best friend when it comes to actually putting together raw footable into something comprehensible and coherent. Thankfully, video editing technology has made some impressive advances and these days there are a number of online video editing software that one can use effectively without any prior experience. My personal recommendation is InVideo. The editing tool offers everything I have ever needed for making quick marketing videos.

Video Compressions Software: Video files are usually large in size and most platforms have to impose a restriction on the size of media you can upload on them. There are of course, exceptions like YouTube.

However, there are restrictions on media file sizes everywhere else, including your website. Don’t get me wrong, you can upload (almost) anything you want to your website. But uploading large video files is bound to make your website load slower and degrade the quality of the user experience.

You can find a variety of free and premium video compression tools online that will help you compress your video files to an acceptable size. The general industry standard is currently 627 kb per second at 720p resolution.

With the list of equipment out of the way, let’s jump right into the production process.

Marketing Video Production Process

By now, you have a clear video marketing strategy designed to help you achieve a clear goal. You should also have all the equipment you need to produce your video. Now, it is time for the most exciting part of this guide-the actual production process.

The process can be broken down into five steps, that can further be categorised under three categories. Let’s look at them in detail:

Pre Production Stage

Step 1: Brainstorming And Conceptualisation

This first step is dedicated to perfecting the concept of your marketing video. Begin this process by determining what kind of video you will be creating. This decision should be easy if you have executed the previous steps in this guide correctly.

Once you have decided the type of video you want to make, it is time to decide what style of video you want to make. This decision will greatly influence your actions and experience in the production stage.

The common video styles that are popularly used for marketing videos are animated videos, narrative videos, lifestyle videos, and documentary style videos. There are, of course, many other styles that you can choose from. However, certain video style-type combinations have been proven to work really well. For instance, using animation style for explainer videos is a popular practice.

With that said, the choice of the style of video will also depend on your budget and the availability of resources at your disposal. After all, you cannot hope to create an animated video without having the expertise of an animator on your side.
While making the above-mentioned decisions, you may also be able to find more direction for your video. Besides deciding the type and the style of your video, use this step to create an outline of your video’s story, its plot, its messaging, and even think about the characters you want in your video.

Step 2: Storyboarding

Some experts argue that storyboards are not a necessity but in our experience, storyboards make the production process much easier to manage. This is because using words (in a script) to describe actions and visual elements is not always clear enough.

Having a storyboard allows you to clearly depict these actions and better visualise the events that will take place in your video. The visual cues in a storyboard are also incredibly effective when communicating with cinematographers and video recording professionals.

You don’t have to worry about the quality of your storyboard. It doesn’t need an artists’ touch. Even if you build vaguely clear drawings and represent characters with stick figures, it’s okay. All you need to ensure is that your storyboard is effectively communicating the ideas you came up with in the previous step.

Step 3: Script

This is where you start getting into the small details of your video. Your script should outline (in detail) elements like dialogues, voice-over, sound, music, visual cues, and all the other details that will enable you and the others involved in the production process to record the perfect video.

One of the trickiest aspects of writing a script is getting the dialogues right. This is because most of us don’t realise that we speak, read, and write words at very different paces. Although, the average reading pace, two words per second, is quite close to the average number of words we speak.

So you can use that measure as a rule of thumb. This means, if you are creating a 2-minute video, the content should not be more than 240 words.

Production Stage

Step 4: Compiling Raw Footage

Notice how I didn’t say record raw footage. While recording is a perfectly fine option, there are certain videos that you can make with stock footage and effects alone. Or, you can combine both the techniques. That means, shoot a bit of your own footage and complete the video with some stock footage.

While there are a number of sources where you can find stock footage, I want to recommend using a service like Biteable. It gives you access to not just a large library of stock footage, but also to an incredibly simple and easy to use video editing tool.

If you have decided to shoot your own footage, this is the step where you will do it. A lot of work has gone up to reaching this step and the shoot day may feel exciting. You may even feel accomplished, and that’s a good thing.

Use those feelings to stay motivated throughout the day but make sure you don’t lose sight of the fact that the day is critical in deciding the quality of the final video that will be shown to your prospects.

On the day of the shoot, regardless of whether you are shooting the footage yourself or working with a production company, make sure enough attention is being paid to the following elements:

Desired Audio And Visual Quality: Even if you are DIYing this step and producing your first video, you must ensure you produce a video that offers high quality audio and visual experience. Nobody wants to watch a pixelated video with a soundtrack filled with unnecessary ambient noise. Not to forget, even you don’t want such a video representing your brand.

Thankfully, ensuring a decent audio and visual quality is easy if you have all the equipment we discussed in the previous section. On the day of the shoot, all that is left for you to do is ensure that your equipment is working the way it should.

Lighting: The importance of lighting in a video is often underestimated. However, the truth is that lighting is one of the most important visual aspects of your video. The kind of lighting you use can be the difference between a delightful and positive marketing video and one that looks shoddy and unprofessional.

Remember, the lighting you use will determine the tone of the video, and will play a big role in communicating the mood of your video. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that the lighting can potentially influence the entire look and feel of every element within the frame.

Styling And Design: Styling and design are other elements that influence the mood and tone of your video. Styling mainly includes the physical appearance of the characters on the screen. Their makeup, their clothes, and the kind of lighting falling on them will all influence the emotions communicated when they are in the frame.

Similarly, the design elements include the elements that are often referred to as ‘extras’. These include background characters, props, and set decorations. Don’t be fooled by the name ‘extras’, these elements are equally influential to the main characters that appear in your video.

Paying attention to these elements will help you ensure that your video looks the way you had imagined it while creating the storyboard.

Bonus Tip: On the shoot day, it is a great idea to shoot some extra footage, a couple of extra shots in different settings and tones (but still relevant to the video). Similarly, it is also a good idea to use the opportunity to snap a few photographs of your characters and your product in focus (if the video is about a product). This extra footage and the extra photos can be used to improve the final product in the editing stage. However, even if that doesn’t happen, you will have raw footage that you can use for your future videos and photographs that you can share on your website and social media channels. Remember, the only content that you will not benefit from is the content that you don’t produce.

Post Production Stage

Step 5: Editing

Editing your video will enable you to create the final product. As mentioned earlier, you can make use of online editing software like Biteable or InVideo. You will obviously be using the editing tools to put together the raw footage in the correct sequence.

Here is a list of additional actions that you will perform while editing your marketing video:

Visual Editing

Visual editing is the post-production element that will transform your raw footage into a professional-looking video. In this step, you will cut and put together your raw footage. Then, you will go on to adjust the visual elements of the final footage, including elements like the white balance, colour, contrast, and clarity.

The tricky part is that there is no one-size-fits-all setting for these elements that will work with all videos. These settings will depend on the emotions you want to communicate through your video, along with the emotions you want your brand to be associated with.

For instance, if you sell sports equipment online, you may want your video to have a happy vibe with bright visuals. On the other hand, if you are creating a video for a garden restaurant, you may want dim lights and a romantic vibe to your video.

Sound Effects

This is also the stage where you will be overlaying the necessary sound effects on your sequenced raw footage. This will include recorded dialogues and the voiceover. This is also the stage where you set the perfect volume for dialogues and the narration.

Besides these, it is also a good idea to spend some time experimenting with ambient sounds for the background. It may not seem like much, but the right soundtrack can be crucial when it comes to communicating the right emotions with your marketing video.

Graphic Effects

Graphic effects include the transitions, the graphic overlays, and the text graphics. These elements, when used right, will enable you to create a final product that is consistent with your brand’s identity.

This is also the time when you add the visual effects like names of interviewees and their designations, along with your logo in the necessary areas.

Conclusion

Before wrapping up, I would like to remind you that developing a video marketing strategy and producing the right kind of video to support your strategy can be overwhelming. However, if you follow the steps outlined in this guide, you should end up with a finished marketing video and a strategy that will help you inch closer to your marketing goals.

With that said, if you can afford it, I strongly recommend getting help from qualified experts. This won’t just help you ensure that you have a professional-looking video for your video marketing needs, it will also help you speed up the production process.

At Digital Web Solutions, we have successfully helped hundreds of our clients with their video production and distribution efforts to drive measurable results. Make sure you are also finding a dependable set of partners when seeking external help for your video marketing efforts.

Finally, if you have more questions related to this guide, ask them in the comment section below. I promise I’ll respond promptly. If, on the other hand, you think that I have missed out on mentioning an important piece of information, add to the guide by sharing your advice and experiences in the comment section.