As you are probably well aware of, video marketing is now one of the most sought-after forms of content on the internet. We see it every day in all shapes and sizes, and in numerous areas. From short social videos to fully produced short films, so many companies are capitalizing on their marketing efforts using video as the medium.
With no indication of video marketing slowing down, how are you ensuring digital marketing success with video now, and in the future? Have you even started? Regardless, it’s imperative you begin to plan what your video marketing strategy looks like in 2019. If this seems like an impossible mountain to scale, take a couple of deep breaths and relax, because I am here to help. I want to help you consider everything you need to be successful when planning, and executing a video marketing strategy as the clock strikes 12:01 AM on January, 1st.
So, let’s dig in.
Assess & Audit
It’s critical to take a look inwards and focus first on what you currently have instead of what you want. Ideally you have existing video content in one form or another, but if you don’t, there is another way to approach this (which I will get into below). You need to benchmark where you are currently, and here are the critical areas to help you get there that can be created as one document for maximum visibility:
List Out Current Videos
Compile everything, even video content that isn’t live on any video hosting channels. This is potentially the first glimpse you will get of EVERYTHING you have to work with now.
Current Video Statistics
For each video, highlight the performance. This is mostly a step to help benchmark your future growth of these assets, but it can also help jumpstart your approach to recommended changes in how you market. Statistics to focus on should be:
- Video Views/Plays: How many times your video has been played (obviously…).
- Impressions: How many times a visitor has been on a page that HAS your video on it, but not necessarily played. Essentially traffic to a page that holds your video on it.
- Play Rate: The percentage of actual plays versus total impressions.
- Engagement: A percentage that shows how MUCH of your video(s) is being watched. Are people watching from start to finish? Or do they stop after the 10 second mark? This stat is massively important to show how compelling your video message is.
- CTA Clicks & Traffic: Are people taking an action at any time during your video to click back onto your site? This shows the performance of a specific ACTION that you have set up for a viewer to take the next step.
Current Video Placement
For each of your assets, notate all of the places they can currently be found (I would suggest providing links for each). From a YouTube link, to a page that you have that video embedded on your website, everything counts. To take this a step further, you can notate if it’s a “video link”, “embedded video on site”, “referral embed on another company’s site”, etc…
Do you have consistent titles and grammar? Do all of your videos have proper descriptions? Do you have consistent branding and logo usage? Completing this part of the assessment helps in a few ways: it ensures your videos are optimized for search results, but it’s also a clear representation of your brand. The point of this exercise is to start building a style guide for consistency, and to showcase your assets in a professional manner. (SIDE NOTE: You need to get granular. Write down video titles and descriptions EXACTLY HOW THEY READ, meaning if your video on YouTube is titled with all capitalization, damnit, write it in all caps.)
Begin to brainstorm how you can use these current assets in more ways than you are currently doing. If all you are doing is uploading your videos to YouTube and calling it a day, you should have plenty to fill into this section. There are so many ways to cook a chicken, and likewise, there are so many ways to market your videos, more importantly your company.
The output from doing a current asset audit could be exponential. As I finish an asset audit, I know exactly what videos we have, how we can market them in new ways, and even what videos need a bit of a facelift with new titles, descriptions, updated logo usage, or if they need to go away completely (that’s right – you can be bold and say “this video does nothing for us, in fact it’s a bad representation of our brand, so we need to delete it.”)
For Those With NO Video Assets
I would advise you to do as much of this exercise as you can, but because you can’t focus on your own videos, focus on your competitors. What are they doing right? How can you learn from how they evidently approach their own video marketing strategy? This is your benchmark.
PS: For you that DO have video assets, you can still learn just as much by researching your competitors video channels as well.
Begin Your Strategy
At this point you have a firm understanding of where you currently sit with video. You have a plan of attack for any current assets you have, and it’s now very evident on where you should head with video production in 2019. If you are already thinking of what videos you want created; stop, because you have a few more steps to complete before you map out your future state. Your goal is to strategize for videos that will help drive business. This involves looking at everything encapsulated in your marketing stack and sales funnel. Your strategy needs to be tight, and here is what you will need.
Buyer’s Personas & Journeys
Every company has a target audience, and within that, there are potentially a few specific persona’s you are trying to attract. You set up all future video content foundation around who these people are, how they interact with your content, and the triggers that are most likely to help them make a decision. Mapping out your consumer paths can tell you exactly what type of video you need and what message/tone it needs to have at every milestone in the buyer’s journey. This is a critical launch point to understanding where your video marketing needs to go.
Products & Service Offerings
Every company has something to offer, and I am assuming you are no different. One of the best ways to educate and provide context to prospects is through video. Map out your current products/services, and if possible, you should stack rank them by popularity. To make the most out of your marketing videos, you want to focus on the important, and in most cases that’s something that will drive revenue. If you strategize your future video production in this way, you are truly focusing on the “low hanging fruit” assets that should be considered first.
With visibility into your offerings and the persona’s you are targeting, it’s time to focus on the funnel hot spots. What I mean by this is where do you see the most success in closing a deal or sale? How long is your sales process? Do you find you lose prospects in specific areas of the buyers journey? It’s a two pronged approach to understanding the video content you need to create now, and what stage of the funnel it fits immediately. To do this you need to focus on where you are currently successful (because video can simply make that even better), and the areas that may be broken where video could make an impact versus other forms of content that is failing in gaining attention and confidence in your prospects.
Inquire for Help
One thing I notice a lot is that people have a hard time in asking for help. I’d argue that humility is your friend in this situation. We know how important a strong open relationship between marketing and sales teams can be, and strategizing your video content with open feedback gives you perspective well beyond yourself. Use the support of colleagues in different job roles, specifically sales, to provide insight into the videos THEY think could be important. Although I have this listed last in your initial strategy phase, approaching the entire strategy process with a team onboard is crucial, so don’t wait until the end to show off your plan. I promise, you will thank me later.
Best Practice's to Consider
As you build the foundation to what your 2019 video marketing strategy looks like, you should consider some best practice's when it comes out visualizing and finalizing your plan:
1. Video Length: For videos that are meant to educate and explain, you have a tight window to capture the attention span of your audience. Wistia states that videos up to 2 minutes long drive's a substantial amount of engagement, which in this case is what you want. Consider more interactive content such as webinars or vlogs as different when it comes to optimal length (in this case longer is sometimes better). Do your research based on the video you are trying to produce.
2. 75/25 Rule: Considering HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Flywheel, there is a balance to where you should focus your video marketing efforts. This is opinionated, but you need to build video that matters to the bottom line and ultimately pushes prospects through the convert, close, and delight stages. If you can focus 75% of your efforts in videos here, you can then start to build more of the brand focused videos to help people understand who you are, and what you do. You may have more fun creating videos that speak to you and your company, but your bank account may say they enjoy the videos that actually solve for your prospects.
3. Bottom-Up Approach: In line with the 75/25 rule, prioritize videos that may help drive sales the easiest. Meaning you should start by creating videos that your sales team can use as ammunition in the sales cycle. It's a reverse approach to the buyer's funnel, but solving the most critical areas first, and then building messaging to support a close or decision message, will help your company answer business making questions first.
Video Content Editorial Calendar
The moment we have all been waiting for: creating your 2019 calendar of all video content to create. You now have a firm understanding of your current video assets, you also know the areas that you should be focusing on as you move into the new year. It’s time to get these video assets inked for creation while sticking to deadlines. To achieve a high amount of detail so that you can create your videos properly the first time, here are several items you should have noted for a production team to confidently execute:
1. Video Titles: Build titles that will stick with your audience, and conform with how your brand titling should be (remember the exercise I suggested earlier?). You want your audience to watch based on a hook, but you also want your videos to be found on search engines, so you need to consider an SEO approach to how you move forward.
2. Video Type: Deciding on a video type can take you in several directions, but ultimately you need to decide on what will resonate. In all honestly the message itself is what you need to be focused on, but visually it can make a world of difference. From live-shoot testimonial or interview style, to digital 2D explainers, or a mixture of the two; all types serve a purpose, and each type is better within specific use cases. After you decide on what videos you need based on content needs for your funnel, the video type will most likely be running through your head, but don't overlook this step.
3. Video Topic: Paint a picture of "why" you are creating this video. This description is meant to tell your team what this video is meant to be about, what the message is, and what you are hoping the audience will do after watching. Give as much high level clarity so that everyone gets a glimpse of the output.
4. Video Mission: What are you hoping to achieve with this video? Is this prospect facing, is this client facing, is this team building? Treat this like creating a company mission statement; "this video is meant to educate our C-Suite prospects on why our solution is the best, and we hope they reach out for a consultation after watching." Let me be clear, this is not setting metric goals for a video, this is setting a goal for how you hope this video is perceived. You will understand quickly if videos in your strategy are meant to help drive revenue, or if it's meant to help build credibility and culture (both important in their own rights), but you need to articulate it's purpose before production so that your message can resonate with who will ultimately watch it.
5. Channel Placement: Decide what video hosting channels this video will be featured on. Once again, what seems like a "no-brainer" step is actually not. Let's say you create a video meant to train your clients on process right after you sign the deal, do you want your prospects or the public to see this on a very open channel like YouTube? If you're confused, reread step #4. As someone who continually builds editorial calendars and video strategies, channel placement is just as important as your mission and topic. And because we have several channels that allow our video content to succeed, it's never a perfect science to understand why each video is placed in one, or multiple areas, it ultimately comes down to the places you know it will work. From YouTube (social focused) to TwentyThree (marketing funnel and automation focused), you need to utilize technologies that will help provide context around success...and we use both for a reason.
5a. Site Placement: I consider this step a part of Channel Placement, because site placement can ultimately help determine channel placement. Having a YouTube channel, and a more digital marketing focused video marketing technology like TwentyThree for instance, you lean heavily on utilizing a video marketing platform to showcase how your videos are connecting to key metrics and marketing funnel stats. Understanding your previous research and audit, pinpointing where your videos should play a key role on your website will be easier going through these exercises.
6. Start/End Date: Seemingly simplistic in what we have above, but you need to set deadlines and structures to maintain velocity. Very much an item for project management, but also a point to showcase what you are suggesting is produced, and when it's meant to go live. Get in a rhythm with your team so they know when to expect certain assets. Every video production teams timeline is different, and includes different processes, but if you are in tune with that timeline it will be easy to map out how many videos you can create, and when those videos are meant to be in the works
Creating a video marketing strategy that lasts is the entire message here. Understandably, it's a lot of blood, sweat & tears to get there. You can't create videos and then forget they ever existed. We rely heavily on tracking video stats at various intervals after they have been live for some time, and that's what sometimes leads us to making changes to how and where it is seen. It's restarting a micro-dose of the audit process above to ensure you are continuously improving on your video's health and progress, and it also showcases videos that are working for future success. Having the backbone to say a video is not working is important. Knowing when you need to scrap a live video, or when to give it a little more visibility and support goes a long way. A team can only produce so many videos in a year, and especially as you approach 2019, consider how you can better position assets that are live for better success.
What's in Store for 2019?
We have seen the shift in video marketing trends from 2017 to 2018. Growth has been a theme for many companies growing their video library, and that isn't set to slowdown. What is changing is the numerous formats that are now easily accessible to companies of all skillsets when it comes to production. With the rise in live-chat and bots, and new generation technology around VR and AR, you can expect that businesses of all shapes and sizes are going to breathe life into these formats to be able to generate revenue in areas that never seemed possible. Don't jump to what's trendy, but focus on a video marketing approach that works for YOU. In a digital age where computer screens and technology is taking over, don't forget how important a "face-to-face" connection can influence a decision, and even how video can make it easier to do that.
Our team is built to drive our own video marketing efforts for year's to come, and we keep up with trends on everything important as to how video plays into our success. We are here to help you out as well, so contact us to help kick off your 2019 video marketing strategy and execution in a positive direction.