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The Complete Guide to Video Marketing Strategy

There are plenty of ways to present your company to potential customers, but no method is quite as popular as video marketing. It’s well known that video is one of the most engaging forms of advertising to use on the…

The Complete Guide to Video Marketing Strategy

There are plenty of ways to present your company to potential customers, but no method is quite as popular as video marketing. It’s well known that video is one of the most engaging forms of advertising to use on the internet.

Messages about your brand’s intention, unique features, benefits, culture and more can be communicated (even without words) in just under a few minutes. With such a strong medium, it may seem like it’s hard to go wrong. However, poorly executed video marketing campaigns can do more harm than good for your company. 

Content

    There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to video marketing. Often, it can be difficult to balance everything with even a single video project. Unlike a short film or a podcast, video marketing has a goal beyond entertainment (although that’s certainly part of it).

    In the end, you are competing for the attention of your audience and trying to convince them that your solution is worth the money. To have the best effect, you’ll need to consider everything. That includes the core advertising strategy, the creation of the video itself, the method of distribution, and the content that surrounds it.

    At Vidico, we have enough experience helping businesses meet their marketing goals with high-quality video to know what it takes. In this piece, we’ll cover everything you need to know about creating a video marketing strategy. This way, even if you’re starting from scratch, you can start building a winning campaign for your brand. 

    Stages of a Video Marketing Campaign

    If you have never developed a complete video marketing strategy before, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why it’s important to develop a plan in stages and track your progress to completion.

    That said, just about any content creation cycle can be broken down into three main stages. We will call these the strategy phase, the creation phase, and the promotion phase.

    Stages of Video Marketing Campaign

    First, you’ll need a plan or strategy for your marketing campaign. This will determine what you are going to create and how it will relate to the audience. This phase is all about brainstorming about which types of videos will best get your message across. Here you will form goals and work to understand your audience.

    Second, you will have to create the video content itself. Although you won’t be making a feature film, video production in any form is no small task. This phase involves the script, equipment, set design, acting, shooting, and editing of your video project. Depending on the size of the campaign, you will likely have more than one video to produce and polish for release.

    Lastly, you have to promote your video on the proper channels. This phase is about distributing your videos at the right time and making sure it is seen by the right people. Your strategy from the first phase will inform how you get people interested in what you have created for your campaign.

    Developing a Video Marketing Strategy

    If done right, many different people will see your video. You will want to understand how to move them in your direction at every stage. This means considering your target audience and the types of videos you can use in this campaign to best influence decisions.

    As the first stage in the process, the strategy portion is where you develop the core ideas behind your campaign. You will start by setting goals, planning benchmarks, assigning key roles, and taking many other practical steps toward success.

    There are a lot of ways to attract more customers to your business. Developing a strategy is about choosing a consistent method to bring viewers on a journey toward becoming a customer. 

    The Buyer’s Journey

    While each viewer will be different, and the dynamics of each target audience will vary, sales is about guiding strangers on the path toward your company. In this case, the path is both a natural and a manufactured one.

    There is a real path to decision-making that people naturally follow for most choices. At the same time, there is a path of influence that is paved by the marketer. For this reason, it’s best to think of your strategy in relation to the emotional and psychological path that people travel on when making a purchase.

    Essentially, there are four parts to influencing the buyer’s journey that are relevant to your video marketing strategy. Here’s what you will want to do, in order:

     

    Generate Awareness > Convert to Leads > Close Deals > Retain Customers


    Actions at each stage intercept the decision-maker at a key point in the buying process. Let’s look at each stage individually. 

    Generating Awareness

    Before you make a single sale, understand that you are dealing with complete strangers. In reality, no one knows about your company until they hear about it from a friend, see a piece of advertising, a store sign, a flyer, or in this case, a video. 

    Now, you probably already have a customer base that’s fairly regular. But it’s good to think in these terms. Your unreached potential customers are complete strangers from the start, so you have to start by simply getting the word out. In a media-flooded world, you are competing for attention with thousands of other 30-second clips. To be most effective, try to make a quick, memorable connection first off. 

    You are competing for attention with thousands of other 30-second clips. To be most effective, try to make a quick, memorable connection first off.

    Conversion

    Any experienced salesperson knows the difference between a warm and cold lead. This second stage of the journey is where buyers go from being aware to interested. The difference may seem as subtle as a harmless website visit, but it’s actually huge. 

    Think about all of the websites you visit just one time and then never again. Now think about all of the websites you never visit even once. You probably can’t even imagine that number. While you might not ever purchase from those one-time visit sites anyway, you will never purchase from the zero-visit sites (if you never visit them). 

    The change occurs when the customer starts to think that your brand might be a good fit for them. In this stage, customers will fill out a form, make contact with your company, share it on social media, or take some other step in your direction.

    Closing Deals

    This is where every video marketing campaign is aiming to move people. Creating interest means almost nothing without making actual sales. This stage is about getting the customer to exchange money for your product or service. 

    This is marketing’s goal, and it often requires a more in-depth solution to convince an interested lead to spend money on your brand. You will need to show them more valuable aspects of your brand at this stage and relate it to their lives more directly. Studies have shown that many people make buying decisions based largely on emotion. While this does not mean that a purely subliminal marketing strategy is the best way to go, it does mean that you will need to influence your leads with more than just the facts. It will have to speak to something in their lives and meet some level of need within them. 

    Customer Retention

    A business without repeat customers will become volatile or die. For this reason, it’s important to keep your existing customers engaged with the relationship to your brand. To do this, you will need to make them feel welcome in the short term and valued in the long term. There are a number of ways you can do this through customer service, but your video marketing strategy will play a key role in presenting new ideas that keep your brand fresh

    Your video marketing strategy will play a key role in presenting new ideas that keep your brand fresh. 

    Developing A Plan

    A long-term video marketing plan will have multiple people working to complete a larger project. This project should be scheduled with time-dependent goals and a clear mission for the company.

    At first, it’s best to just start brainstorming. Ride inspiration from good ideas and motivation until you start to get a general idea of your angle on your target market. Then, you can nail things down to a more solid plan.

    To start, try answering the following questions: 

    What is the Goal of the Project?

    We know that the goal of any profitable business is to make more money. That’s obvious, but it doesn’t quite nail down what your marketing strategy is going to accomplish for you. To keep your campaign strategy focused, you will need to document specific and measurable objectives. 

    Ask how you can use video marketing to make more money. For instance, you might want to gain more traffic on the website, increase sales on a certain item, encourage more form submissions, or a number of other things. 

    A good way to do this is by creating a mission statement. This isn’t something you’ll need to publish or share, but it will help keep your team focused for the duration of the project or campaign. For instance,  you could write out something like this: “At (company name), we make (type) video content for (specific buyer personas), so that they (exactly what you want them to do).” 

    Create a mission statement that looks something like this: “At (company name), we make (type) video content for (specific buyer personas), so that they (exactly what you want them to do).” 

    Keep in mind that you will likely need a variety of goals and different videos in your campaign to achieve those goals (we’ll talk more about that coming up). For now, just remember to avoid the “One-Goal-Fits-All” approach. Customer acquisition isn’t always the best strategy, either. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer and nurturing and retaining customers is just as important as acquiring new ones. 

    What is your Budget and Timeline?

    Many creative projects work best when you disregard all your limits until the editing process. A video marketing campaign is not one of those projects. 

    Businesses will often justify spending only what is available within the marketing budget. They also usually have a timeline for completing creative projects. For this reason, it’s best to know your budget and deadlines and then plan to create something that’s achievable well within those boundaries.

    You do not want to sell your creative team on the idea of a big budget video with lots of special effects and highly paid actors if your financial team won’t sign off for it later. More extravagant video projects also take a long time to shoot and edit than smaller-scale pieces.

    Who Can Help You Achieve this?

    Once you have an idea for your goals, budget, and timeline, start assigning people to key roles within each aspect of the project. Who will handle the funding, shooting, scripting, editing, promotion, hosting, and the maintenance among everything else? You probably already have some idea of this, and there may also be room to change as you do more planning and understand the needs of the project overall. Start by simply getting an idea for the tasks required and assigning key roles for each. 

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    Who is your Target Audience?

    One thing that can truly derail your video marketing strategy is a lack of audience research. Because of this, understanding how your audience behaves on each platform is essential to choose the right creative approach and messaging. An undefined target audience will often miss the mark for engagement and may even offend the people you’re trying to reach.

    A target audience is always imaginary, but it should be based on real profiles, data, and insight from the market you sell to. Start by creating personas with characteristics of different people who might be interested in your brand. This will help you tailor your video toward their interests and core values. 

    Tailor your video toward your audience interests and core values considering some of the most common (and some uncommon) use cases for your brand or product.

    Consider some of the most common (and some uncommon) use cases for your brand or product. How does each persona’s interest in your product differ? You can also start considering what channels your target audience might frequent and gain insight on how to communicate to them from there. 

    How Can you Meet your Audience at Each Stage of the Journey? 

    To create a truly winning video marketing strategy, you will want to meet your audience with a decision-driving video at each stage of the buyer’s journey. While a lot of this work is done during the promotion phase, you’ll want to have a general idea of what messages are most important to your audience. Brainstorm ideas for how visual and emotional messages can influence those decisions along the way and what conversion techniques you can utilize. 

    To create a truly winning video marketing strategy, you will want to meet your audience with a decision-driving video at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

    Types of Videos

    Sometimes a good single-run commercial will emerge that carries the entire campaign (such as during the Super Bowl). However, these are usually rare and require a lot of money to produce and distribute properly. Instead, you will likely want to use a variety of videos that are each defined by a different goal or intention. There are a number of ways you can accomplish these goals when you consider video styles and tones later on. First, simply focus on how you want to approach the audience and what each video is aiming for. 

     

    To decide this, break up the overall goal of your strategy into smaller goals. Think of these videos like players on a team. Each person has a different strategic purpose, and each plays a role in achieving the larger goal. Here are a few common types of videos that you might use: 

    Acquisition

    Acquisition videos aim to create interest in something, hence the name. This type of video is used to acquire more traffic or generate awareness of the brand. Often, these videos present an ideal image of what it looks like to be a customer. Because they are mainly trying to make an impression, most acquisition videos don’t carry a lot of tangible information. Some of them don’t even have words or speaking parts. Instead, messages in this type of video will be absorbed quickly through the visuals or music alone.

    Social Media Promotion

    Much like acquisition videos, social media promotional videos aim to create content that is easily shared and interesting to talk about. Not only do they try to make an impression, but they also want to give others a reason to share that content with their friends. Because of this, social media promotions are geared toward the social aspects of a brand and often contain minimal information.  

    Explainer

    This type of video creates interest and makes an impression by explaining how a product works. While this might not seem like such an interesting thing to watch, these videos are often very good at conversion. Viewers come away from the experience saying, “That makes sense, and it sounds like a good idea.” 

    Although they do have more depth, explainers are more like acquisition videos disguised as demos. In other words, they don’t lay out the whole picture. They explain the practical value and features of the product, but just enough to get viewers to explore further. They can also help present unique solutions in a way that helps skeptical buyers believe in them. 

    Brand Culture / Awareness

    Often, brand culture videos are created for recruiting. Their goal is to make a good impression for the company’s employment brand by promoting company culture, values, and benefits. In these videos, you often see employee testimonials and motivating visual messages. However, you can also use brand culture videos to attract new customers. These videos will often do a bit of explaining for your product as well. Sometimes, people want to understand the ethical qualities of a company before making a purchase from them. 

    Live Video

    Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow participants to broadcast themselves live at any given moment. Live videos drive interest by making the content seem exclusive and allowing the presenter to speak directly to audience comments in real time. In this way, live videos can keep some members interested in your company or help repeat customers feel valued and connected to your brand. 

    Conversion Demo

    While they may not have much of an effect on strangers, conversion demo videos play a key role in convincing leads to become customers. For example, you might have some leads that need more information about the technical aspects of a product before making a purchase. A good example of this is found in software demos.  Many customers will want to watch the tool in action to decide if it would be worth the money. Conversion demos are similar to explainers, but tend to go more in depth and focus on showing off all the important features of a product. 

    Testimonials

    Testimonials and case studies show how your product or service impacted someone’s life or met someone’s needs in a positive way. Much like product reviews on Amazon, video testimonials are a powerful way to build up credibility with your target audience. Show off your history of satisfied customers by having them tell their own stories about your brand.

    You can also increase the impact of some testimonials by asking prominent social media influencers to try your product and review it on their platforms. While this can sometimes take away from the authenticity, it can be very effective to those who value that person’s opinion.

    Customer Retention

    Most of your effort in your video marketing strategy will be on the front end. In other words, you will likely produce more videos for potential customers than you will for existing ones. Because of this, there is less variety when it comes to customer retention videos. Still, it’s essential to remind them of things like upcoming promotions or new features for your product or service. You might even produce a video saying, “Thank you for being a new customer.” Either way, any video content that keeps them on your website longer will usually be good for your business. 

    Educational

    Especially for more complex products like software, existing customers will want to watch orientation videos that help them better understand what they are using. Customers who don’t know how to use a product will naturally feel like it has no use to them.

    You can curb most of the early frustration by creating educational tutorial videos about your product or service. This will make your customers feel well-supported in their recent purchase while also showing them how the product has value to them. 

    Style and Tone

    Now that you have an idea for some of the video types that are available, you can start to think of how you will convey your message and achieve the goal of each piece. This will largely depend on your target audience, your business goals, and what you are trying to sell. 

    Consider how your target audience will respond to certain aesthetic choices. Also, think about the voice and culture of your audience. Since the variety of options for modern video creation is expanding even for low-budget productions, you have room to be creative in how you present your message. Your audience will often reward you for it. 

    While the best videos allow these styles to overlap, here are some common video styles you might use: 

    Live-Action Scenarios

    Scenario videos tell a story using actors, sets, props, and dialogue. While these are not real people or situations, they are imagined to present the ideal use case for your product or service. The scenario then presents your brand in what customers can imagine as their own narrative for success. This style of video can be very effective in helping customers make decisions at any stage. 

    Documentary

    Documentary videos are about presenting the facts of your brand in a way that also tells a story. These might also include some testimonials from customers, employees, and other experts that provide an ethos to your company. People also have a unique attachment to history. Because of this, you might also choose to showcase a brief history of the company or at least highlight historical elements to create credibility in a certain community. 

    Lifestyle / Aesthetic

    A lifestyle/aesthetic video can be hard to describe, but you usually know one when you see it. They present stylized images, music, montages, and a variety of mood-driven striking visuals to evoke an emotional response from the viewer. Lots of athletic brands and designer clothing brands will use this type of video to communicate something about how it feels to use their product. Much like delicious food commercials, the selling points are often sensational. Because of this, these videos are usually pleasing to watch. 

    Animation

    Animation is now so common in video advertising that we might not even notice it some of the time. Because of this, it is often good for any stage of your campaign. Not only is animation cheaper than live-action, but it can also be visually engaging when done right.

    Animated explainer videos have the potential to create highly detailed visual representations that would be hard to communicate in narration or text. Beyond that, if your aim is to be inclusive, many styles of animation can present iconic images of people without being stereotypical or offensive.

    Presentation

    Classic presentation videos (in which someone speaks directly to the camera) can also be impactful, depending on your audience. Because they mimic the intimacy of a classroom setting, people often feel connected to the presenter in a similar way. These can be used to welcome customers to your platform or to address leads in a more personal way.

    Screencasting

    Most often used for software demos, screencasting videos record your computer screen and present the interface of the program as you use it. This style of video is great for introducing viewers to the layout of your program and teaching them how to use it. Often, you can use a combination of styles to make the concept of watching a screen a bit more interesting. When done right, these work well for orientation and conversion demos especially. 

    360 View and AR

    While 360 video and augmented reality are not as popular as some of the other video styles, the attraction to these styles is often in the novelty itself. They may not be practical for all situations, but when used well they can create some really stunning and engaging interactions for your viewers. In the end, it’s good to keep an eye out for new technology and creative ways to present video content. 

    Videos for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

    Now that you have some idea of what videos you could create, think about how each type of video and style might impact your customers. An effective video strategy should include a mix of video types, styles and messages for different points in the buyer’s journey. Keep in mind how these might overlap as well.

    A good exercise is to think about what different kinds of content might address your personas’ questions at different stages of the buying process. For instance, the video that introduces a persona to your company will be different from the one they’ll need when they’re in consideration mode. 

    Think about what different kinds of content might address your personas’ questions at different stages of the buying process.

    Generating Awareness

    During the first stages of video marketing, there isn’t a strong need for information depth just yet. For this reason, acquisition videos and social media promotions work great for generating awareness of your brand. Exciting or compelling media creates interest and a desire to share that content with others. Most messages you would want to communicate at this point will likely be emotional or subliminal, so a lifestyle or aesthetic video could work well. 

    Conversion

    Once you have people visiting the website or looking for your name, it’s time to show them more about why your brand is worth considering. This is where you could use an explainer video that lays out how your brand works for certain situations.

    There are multiple style options for this. An explainer video could show a person in front of a camera demonstrating your product in their hands. However, a different business with a different audience might have an animated explainer video to show off how the service works. You could also use a brand awareness video to introduce them to what you stand for as a company. Whichever type of video you choose, it should aim at getting people to submit their information or otherwise become a lead so that your sales team can help bring them to a close.

    Closing Deals

    Smart buyers are careful about where they spend money. To convince them to take a chance on your brand, you will need to put a little more thought or information into your third-stage videos.

    For this reason, both conversion demos and testimonials work great here. Your leads might be interested in your solution and many others, but until they watch it in action through a demo video, they might not decide yours is the right fit. For software, screencasting is a natural choice in this stage. Even still, some people might not be convinced until they hear from someone who also tried your brand. A testimonial video with reviews of your product may be enough to tip the scales in your favor.

    Retention

    Once your customer has made a purchase, you will want to make them feel welcome. Most often, you will greet your customers with walkthroughs or tutorials about your product or service. Videos that highlight new or existing features are also a good practice.

    Live videos also work great here to make the customer feel like they are part of your crew. Videos like this often show behind-the-scenes content. Plus, being able to comment on your product live with an employee of the company (and receive live responses) can create a solid connection with your audience. Since these videos happen post-sale, there is less need to convince the viewer of anything new. Instead, there is room to focus more on the information itself and simply delighting your customer with engaging content.

    Creating the Video Content

    Once you have your strategy in place, it’s time for the fun part: creating your videos. It’s likely that you will have at least one video for each stage of the project, and you won’t want to cut back on quality.

    As you go into the creation phase, make it a point to keep things fresh and interesting. A lot of times, brands want to stay with what they know. For instance, you might think it’s a good idea to choose a safe tone of voice or style that has worked for you in the past. However, this often leads to stagnation that can quickly kill your marketing strategy. Audiences get bored of seeing the same thing and stop paying any attention to those trends over time.

    Differentiation is key here, and an important exercise is to constantly define what the brand is, what it stands for, and what you are looking to accomplish. Continue testing new ideas and learning what works better to convey your messages. 

    In this section, we’ll cover the entire process of producing your video content in the context of your marketing campaign. There is a lot that goes into creating a video, and often companies choose to hire a video production agency for the best results. 

    However, if you’re doing this work yourself, you will want to understand the planning stages, the camera equipment required for shooting, set design, and editing. We’ll offer as many tips as we can along the way to make sure you’re prepared to create something truly worth watching. 

    someone sketching a storyboard

    Storyboarding and Scripting

    You probably realize by now that video production requires a lot of planning before shooting day. While you have already done a lot of planning in the first phase of your campaign, it’s essential to spend time blocking out the specific details of how you want your videos to go. This starts with a storyboard and a script. 

    Storyboarding

    Too often when you create a script, you may write something that just doesn’t seem right on screen. Storyboarding can help organize the visual elements that viewers will pay attention to first. A storyboard differs from a script in that it provides a visual representation of your video, not a written one. Creators for TV shows and cartoons will often do this step first. It works by creating a series of boxes on a page with sketched images of each shot or moment in a sequence. These images don’t have to be perfectly drawn, but should instead be representations or symbols of each shot.

    Storyboarding can help organize the visual elements that viewers will pay attention to first. A storyboard differs from a script in that it provides a visual representation of your video, not a written one.

    Essentially, it works like a script for the camera operator or editor. While there is some room to change this during the shooting, it can be a great way to organize your visual storytelling before shooting. You can also make timing notes or adjust the size of your boxes to communicate the length of each shot.

    Writing the Script

    Remember that bad visual quality can be forgiven, but bad audio will truly irritate viewers and will cause them to stop watching. In addition to recording quality and music, you will want to pay careful attention to the words that your voiceover narrators or on-screen actors will say. How you compose the words in your script will determine how your message is understood by the audience and how it engages them to take action.

    Because of this, it’s best to start with a hook or a phrase that catches the viewer’s attention and speaks directly to the stage of the journey you are trying to target. Write using language that your viewers will understand and respect. Be sure to end with a call to action. You want to lead them in some way to make a decision about your product. 

    Start with a hook or a phrase that catches the viewer’s attention and speaks directly to the stage of the journey you are trying to target.

    When creating a script, you will likely want to follow typical screenplay format. If you are not familiar with this, there are a number of programs that can help you format your script properly (such as Final Draft or Celtx). You can also format it manually using a visual guide. This format is not only cleaner, but it also helps with timing. One properly formatted page equals about one minute of screen time. 

    However, you might choose to use other formats that directly fit your model, especially since you might not be filming something longer than one minute for your advertisement. Sometimes, each spoken line will be paired with a sentence or phrase describing the matching shot in a grid fashion. This can help your team memorize the sequence of your video quickly.

    Casting

    You might not think casting is very important when self-producing a marketing video, but it carries a great weight with regard to how the video’s message is received. 

    Good acting often goes unnoticed in advertising. However, poor acting will almost always make the audience cringe. This is because the goal is not to pay attention to the actor but the message of the video as a whole. When the acting is believable and engaging, the message is more likely to be received. When the acting is bad, it’s all we can think about. Not only does it make your product seem less desirable, it can even cause potential customers to view it as a scam, or think you aren’t taking them seriously.

    While you probably don’t need an Oscar-winning performance to get your message across, it’s important to choose actors and narrators who speak well at the very least. Keep in mind that this person will be the main focus for the viewer. An actor with a strong personality and speaking skills is essential to making your video engaging, especially if this person is present on screen the whole time. 

    Consider Your Set

    Before you start shooting your video just yet, you will want to know where you are shooting. In essence, there are two types of sets you can use. A controlled set is an area where you control the environment. This is often a studio or dedicated room. You can choose to shoot on location in private or public places where the background is the environment that is already in place. This is called location shooting. There are advantages and disadvantages to consider with both. 

    Controlled Set

    Most often, video production agencies will choose to shoot in a studio or on a controlled set of their choosing. This can even be a temporary setup in a room or office building, but it is usually undisturbed except for filming your project. 

    The advantage in a controlled set is that it allows you to directly manage the shooting environment. As long as you have the resources to do it, you can control the lighting, background, props, sound, and anything else you might need without much outside interference. A controlled set is also essential if you are using a green screen (such as with animation or kinetic typography).

    However, it does take more work to make the set feel authentic. You can’t put two office plants on a green backdrop and expect an audience to believe the video takes place in a forest. More work will need to go into the set design, but that also gives you the ability to make it look exactly how you want (if you have the budget). 

    Location Shooting

    Location shooting is still fairly common, especially when you want to film something that would be hard to mimic via green screen. In a real location, such as a park, a hotel lobby, a forest, or even someone’s backyard (used with their permission of course) there is little extra work involved in making the set how you want it. The set is already created for you and the authenticity is already there.

    That is both the advantage and the challenge of location shooting. You can capture the real world in its natural state, but you often have to battle with weather, lighting, sound interference, and other people using that location.

    While big budget productions have the ability to block off entire city streets or rent out a bank lobby for the day, you may have to work around the elements already present in that location. Bystanders may walk into a shot, or you may have car horns or people talking in the background that will interfere with your video or audio. Often, you will not be able to edit these things out of your files fully and you will have to shoot or record again.

    Camera Equipment

    To make the most of whatever set you choose, you are going to need to pick the right camera equipment and learn how to use it effectively. Good lenses and proper camera settings are essential to creating high quality video. If you’ve never used a camera to create video before, it can be tough to understand at first. With that, keep in mind that nothing teaches quite like experience and a willingness to be creative.  

    Choosing the Right Camera

    There are a lot of people who believe that shooting with an iPhone works just as good as using a professional camera. We disagree. At Vidico, we shoot videos with cameras from some of our favorite Netflix shows because we value that same level of quality in all of our productions.

    That’s not to say that iPhone cameras aren’t good. They are actually very impressive, and some people have used them to shoot feature-length films. If all you have is an iPhone, and you can’t afford to hire a video production company, you can get by using manual mode. However, we prefer to use professional camera equipment.

    What is professional camera equipment? For the average filmmaker, a DSLR camera is probably the best choice. Not only are they affordable, but they will allow you to control all of the right settings (more on that later). These cameras also allow you to use a variety of lenses to achieve the right shots. Some examples of DSLR cameras that are good for shooting video include the Nikon D6, Nikon D850, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

    Alternatively, you might choose to use a mirrorless camera. These are similar to DSLRs, and some even argue that they create better quality video. Instead of using a mirror (like a DSLR), these cameras use a digital viewfinder to capture photos and videos. This makes the design a little smaller as well. The Sony A7 III  and Fujifilm X-T4 are both good with shooting 4K video.

    You can even use the same cameras as Hollywood productions if you have a big enough budget, such as the ARRI Alexa, Canon EOS C500 or C700, or even the Panavision DXL2.

    While you will need to do your research on a variety of camera models to know which one is the best for your production, just know there are plenty of options available. 

    Choosing Lenses

    It may not seem obvious, but the lens you use with your camera will likely be the major difference between a sub-par shot and an outstanding one. We won’t talk too much about the different lenses, but it’s important to know that they can make or break your video quality in some ways. When shooting a variety of videos, it’s wise to invest in a variety of lenses. 

    Your most basic lens will likely be a wide-angle lens. A 50 mm lens can be used for close to mid-range shots. You may also want to choose a lens with zoom capabilities so that you can manually change this if you want. Again, you will need to research which lens will work best for your project. ut some good examples include the Canon EF-S 18-135mm and the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM L. 

    Camera Settings

    Whichever camera and lens you choose, you will want to be able to adjust the camera settings manually to have greater control over each shot. If you’ve never had the time to play around with your camera, be sure to do plenty of test shots before filming day. Each of the settings on a camera can be overwhelming, but  you will be able to use them all to your advantage with time and practice. Let’s look at each of them briefly. 

    • White Balance – White balance is essentially the color temperature of the shot (measured in Kelvin). The higher white balance, the warmer the shot. The lower white balance, the cooler the shot. Unless you are trying to go for something more stylistic, you will usually want to adjust a shot in warmer light by lowering the white balance to make the shot appear more natural.
    • ISO – ISO determines how sensitive your camera is to light. In darker shots, you will want a higher ISO. In lighter shots, you will want a lower ISO. While higher ISO can allow you to shoot things at night, it does come with the risk of producing a grainy shot.
    • Frame Rate – Frame rate is the setting that determines how fast your video is being recorded. This is measured in frames per second (fps). For a cinematic feel, cinematographers will typically shoot at 24fps. On the other hand, news broadcasts and live videos usually shoot at 30fps. For slow motion, you will likely be shooting at 60fps or 120fps.
    • Aperture – Aperture determines how much light comes into the camera. It is measured by what is called the “f stop.” The lower the f stop, the more light comes in. The higher the f stop, the less light comes in. This not only determines the depth of field for a shot but also helps with other aspects of shooting. For instance, you can improve the visibility of your night shots without getting a grainy image by lowering the f stop (letting more light in).
    • Focus – Focus is where you determine which parts of your image are clear and which are not. This illustrates a visual layer of importance and creates depth in your shot. During a video, you want your focus to be stable for the duration of the take. To do this, make sure to set it manually. Auto-focus will likely readjust during a shot or not focus properly at all. While you might struggle to find the right focus points, it’s best to hone in on your subject’s face. The rest of the shot will find its place after that.
    • Shutter Speed – In photography, the shutter speed measures how fast the camera shutters or snaps. In video, it is directly related to the frame rate. A lower shutter speed can create motion blur, so be careful when adjusting this setting.

    Using the Camera 

    Once again, learning how to use a camera takes experience. Playing with your camera and taking test shots is the best way to figure out how to use your specific model. While there is certainly no end to the training available for using camera equipment, we’ll cover a few tips to get you started and help you create the look you are aiming for. 

    • Use a Tripod. First, be sure to use a tripod to stabilize your shots. You can do some minor adjustments in editing to fix shakiness, but manual correction isn’t perfect. Any unstable shot will likely look unpleasant and even disorienting.
    • Use Multiple Angles. While there is certainly a lot to consider in this area, it’s important to know that a high angle (facing downward at the subject) generally indicates the subject is unimportant or weak. On the other hand, a low angle (facing upward at the subject) puts the subject in a more powerful or important position. When the camera is directly facing the subject in the front, the viewer is generally more engaged with that speaker.
    • Use Multiple Shot Types. Shot types are usually distinguished by the distance between the camera and the subject. The best marketing videos use a variety of shots to tell a story. This will keep the video feeling dynamic and avoid stagnancy when it is edited together.Long-range or wide shots as establishing shots that set the stage for the rest of the story about to be told. You can then show conversations or interviews with medium shots (from the chest up). This is usually followed by a close-up of either the subject’s face or the movement of a specific object (sometimes in slow motion).
    • Pay Attention to Composition. For this, follow the rule of thirds. Imagine a grid of nine equal-sized boxes laying over your shot. You can usually turn on a grid setting on your digital screen when you are lining up the frame. When the lines appear, try to use one of the right or left vertical lines to split your subject down the middle. Position them also between the top and bottom horizontal lines as well. 

    This ensures a balance to the shot and keeps it from feeling too cramped or awkward. While some shots will be positioned in the very middle of all the grid lines, keep in mind that this often creates a specific mood and is a stylistic choice you can consciously make. 

    Lighting

    Lighting the set is one of the most important things you can do for both a controlled set and a location shoot. If you are able to, you will want to make sure you have a three-point lighting system on your subject. These three points are the key light, fill light, and backlight. 

    • Key Light – This is the main light source. It will likely be the brightest and most intense. Place this at a 45 degree angle in front of the subject, angled down. If you were to only use this light, you would likely see hard shadows on the subject’s face and behind them.
    • Fill Light – Usually dimmer than the key light, the fill light both softens shadows and provides depth to your subject. This light will be placed at a 45 degree angle in front of the subject on the opposite side of the key light. You may also want to use a diffuser or a translucent cover over the bulb to soften the light.
    • Backlight – There is usually only one backlight behind the subject. This is used to diffuse shadows and separate the subject from the background. You don’t want to make this light too bright, or else you risk creating a halo behind the subject’s head like you might see in old movies (unless this is the effect you want, of course). 

    To accomplish this level of sophisticated lighting, you will of course need the right equipment. Plenty of lights, diffusers, reflectors, and of course adjustable light stands will be essential. While you can do some color correction in editing, you can also use color gels over your lights to cast  light that is specifically -colored on the subject. 

    While you may not be able to set up the perfect lighting when shooting outside, you can at least make the most of the natural light with one or two additional lights and some reflectors.

    sounds levels peaking

    Sound

    Many cameras have built-in microphones, but they are usually not good enough for any high quality production. For your video marketing campaign, be sure to use a separate microphone connected to a dedicated recording device to capture the sound of your actors or presenters speaking. 

    Usually, a unidirectional shotgun microphone will work well for capturing individual voices and ignoring background noise. Sometimes, you can attach these to the camera directly. However, depending on the camera’s distance from the subject, a boom pole and a dedicated operator to hold it over the scene may be necessary (as long as you keep it out of the shot). 

    In some situations, you may want to use clip-on lapel microphones. While these can be hard to disguise inside of an actor’s clothing, they do capture speaking pretty well as long as nothing  rustles over the rest of the clip. For this, each actor will need their own microphone, and this will allow you to isolate each persons’ audio. 

    Finally, be sure to always test your microphones for sound levels before you start shooting. Have your actors read your script in short pieces first. Sometimes, a louder delivery may cause audio clipping or “peaking.” This means the amplifier is trying to record or put out sound at such a high voltage that it becomes distorted. You can usually visualize this by watching the levels spike and/or become red during certain parts. Sometimes these clipping waves will look like they suddenly take up the whole vertical span of the clip visualizer. This is something you definitely want to prevent by increasing the distance between the subject and the microphone or adjusting the audio gain on the recorder. Remember that bad audio is not something the audience looks over very easily. 

    Tips for Shooting Day

    Now that you’ve gathered your equipment and have your script and storyboard, your actors, your set design, and everything is in place, it’s time to do the actual work. Shooting the video is where you put all of these techniques to work, and although plans may never go exactly as expected, you can make the most of your shooting day with a few best practices. 

    Tip # 1: Create a Shooting Schedule

    If you haven’t already done this, you want to block out real dates and times for which you will be shooting each part of your video. This helps with two things. First, a schedule ensures that your team is productive by letting everyone know what’s on the agenda for each day so they can be ready to shoot when the time comes. Second, if you are shooting in multiple locations, a shooting schedule helps you remember to get all the necessary shots at those locations to remain efficient and avoid a reshoot. This schedule can also include team members who will be on set that day, and even a list of important props for each shot.

    Tip # 2: Stick to Your Script

    While there will be some room for spontaneous shooting when new ideas come up, you want to be sure to shoot everything in your original script/storyboard at least once. You have already decided the course of the story early on. New ideas may seem grand in the moment, but may be unusable in the editing room. 

    Tip # 3: Shoot with the Editor in Mind

    A good editor can turn even some of the worst footage into a masterpiece later on. However, it always works better when you help them do their job more effectively. 

    Typically clapping with your hands or using a clapboard in front of each shot will help editors sync up the audio and video without much trouble. 

    You should also do multiple takes of each shot. You might not catch some mistakes during shooting and may have to discard an otherwise perfect take when you go to edit. Leaving a bit of space both before and after the end of a shot before cutting will be helpful to make sure editors don’t trim too close to the action. 

    Tip # 4: Pay Attention to Continuity

    You will also want to pay attention to continuity and viewer perception to some degree while shooting. Editors can do a lot to put shots in a logical order during editing, but some things cannot be undone. A cup that wasn’t in a previous shot, changes in lighting, or an actor wearing different clothes will almost certainly be noticeable to the viewer who is paying attention. Keep your set controlled and review each previous shot before taking the next to be sure it matches together.

    Other things might not be so obvious. For instance, imagine you are shooting an interview between two people from one side of the conversation. Draw a line between the two speakers and never shoot from the other side of that line. It may seem like no big deal, but even if you capture their faces close up during each phrase, it will disorient the viewer if seen from the other side.  The same principle can be applied to some other shots to be sure the viewer understands the actions as being together. 

    Tip # 5: Have Fun on the Set

    As a general rule, be sure to have fun when creating your video. Shooting day is often one of the most engaging and team-oriented things you will do with your company. Everyone is using his or her abilities to create something together that builds up an image for your brand. 

    Trying to be creative or engaging in an environment that is stiff or uninviting will not only be unpleasant. It can also create terrible performances due to nerves and cause unnecessary mistakes caused by too much pressure. Try to create a supportive environment and enjoy the process of creating the video. When you do this, your efforts in all other areas will go a long way. 

    Editing

    When you finally have all of your shots, you can then take these to the editor to have them stitched together into the final product. Be sure to spend plenty of time on this phase and polish your videos into something you’ll be proud of. Most of the time, hiring an editor will yield the best results, especially if you’re not familiar with editing videos or the programs required. 

    That said, professional editors typically use one of two programs. Adobe Premiere Pro is probably the most commonly used, and it works on both Mac and PC. As universal as Adobe’s programs are, Premiere Pro is certainly the choice if you are using Adobe After Effects or Adobe Spark for special effects in your video. 

    The other popular choice is Final Cut Pro, which only works on Mac. The advantage here is that Apple optimizes their hardware and software to work together, so the smoothness of the experience is often unmatched. 

    Whichever program you use does come down to preference at the end of the day. Based on our experience, here are a few best practices that will help your team nail it in the editing room.  

    Organize your Clips

    Before you start editing, it’s a good idea to organize and label your clips in specific folders on an external hard drive. Instead of watching or listening to each clip before cutting or placing it, labels save time by helping you identify each file quickly. 

    Watch Tutorials for Editing Tools

    Usually your editing software will have some tutorials for new or intermediate users. If you’re not totally familiar with how to use the program, be sure to take advantage of these. They usually offer editors a lot of control and creative options. 

    One great example is the use of color correction. If the color of your shot did not come out as you imagined, you can adjust these in different ways to make the color seem more natural. You can even stylize your shots with color grading tools that give the image a certain mood or tone. 

    Use a Variety of Footage

    Hopefully during shooting you captured some B-roll (general footage that demonstrates what you’re talking about, or provides a sense of place) as well. If not, you can use stock footage to supplement your video with some basic footage of your idea, aesthetic, or product. These can be used to break up the monotony of an interview or create a visual representation of your message.

    Cut the Fluff

    Keep in mind that you may also have some really great footage that just doesn’t fit with what you are trying to accomplish. While it may seem unbearable to see it go to waste, sometimes these clips need to be cut for a variety of reasons. Be critical during this phase and only keep the clips that make your video stand out to viewers. 

    Add Visual Effects

    With voiceover narration, some of the video’s points may be missed if viewers are seeing your video in passing while using the internet. This is especially true on some formats where videos may play in silent mode by default. Adding visual graphics to your footage can help get your point across and reinforce what the viewer hears while watching. 

    If you choose, you can also add special effects to make your piece visually impactful and interesting to watch. Some effects may even be necessary  for your storytelling. 

    Just be careful – too many effects for no good reason will only make your video look cheap. In addition, live action and special effects can be difficult and expensive to achieve with good quality. As an alternative, you can use an animated video to illustrate some stories that would require extra special effects. 

    Add a Variety of Sound

    During the editing process, you will likely be adding voiceover narration depending on the type of video you choose. You may want to record this after the visual clips are already put together so that the narrator can time their speaking properly.

    In addition, adding music will almost always benefit your final product. Music not only generates a specific tone or mood, but it also provides a rhythm to the video. Your editors can cut and arrange clips to specific beats within the song you choose, and it helps viewers retain the general impression.

    To add music, you have a few options. In many cases, you may choose to pay an artist to create a track for your video marketing campaign. If you have the budget to do this or choose an already popular song in your target market, it can provide you a unique advantage. However, you will have to pay royalties to the artist on these for as many times as the video plays.

    Alternatively, you can use royalty-free music. Royalty free music often requires a fee up front to use, but it does not require continuous payment for each use like other pieces and it can be very cheap. If you only publish on YouTube, you have the option of using the YouTube audio library. However, since you will likely want as much freedom to publish your video on a variety of channels, you will probably want to use another royalty free library such as Audio Jungle or Soundstripe

    Best Practices for Exporting

    The final step in the editing process is to export the polished piece so that it can be published and distributed on the proper channels. While this is a very simple step, it’s a good idea to consider the right settings for exporting your video, the file types, and the resolution for each platform. 

    Most often, you will want to export your video as an MP4, .AVI, or .MOV. Try to upload your video at a resolution of at least 1080p. Each video platform will likely have its own recommendations for resolution, file size, and playback speed. Be sure to review these guidelines when you choose to upload and export your video. 

    Final Thoughts On Producing Videos

    By reading to the end of this article, you might say, “Videos should be quick to produce so we can keep up with a release schedule. Why is there such a long timeline?” However, this is a common misconception. Producing a quality video takes time and involves more than one layer of scrutiny. The process becomes faster if you have a clear and efficient process of production. 

    Producing a quality video takes time and involves more than one layer of scrutiny. The process becomes faster if you have a clear and efficient process of production. 

    At Vidico, our team has developed systems that make this process as smooth as possible. But we don’t operate on a blind model where we present a finished product with something you didn’t expect. We have a clear end-to-end production process with a constant level of quality control, meeting the brief at each stage. From scripting to storyboarding to production, every stage includes revision rounds and feedback loops to ensure clients have control over every stage of the process. At the end, this translates to happy faces and a record of 5 star reviews.

    Video Distribution

    The third part of a video marketing strategy is the promotion (or distribution) phase. Once you have your videos edited and polished, it’s time to release them to the masses. Pay careful attention to some of the best practices covered in this section. A poor distribution strategy can cause your marketing campaign to fall completely flat.

    If you have not already, start by determining your distribution budget. While you can distribute your video using only the channels you already own, even a small marketing budget will help your campaign reach a much wider range of viewers. 

    Be sure to set specific goals for your distribution plan early on. Just like the other phases in your strategy, you will want to track your success here as well. We’ll talk more about metrics later on in this section. But for now, consult your team to see what kind of data will define success for the project. 

    That said, let’s dive into the best practices for distributing and promoting your video.

    people viewing a mobile video on their friend's phone

    How to Distribute Your Video

    Often companies only want to use video on one or two channels, or use agencies that only deliver videos that work well for those particular channels. This is a missed opportunity. Distributing your video in a small range like this ensures that your brand will not get the most out of the video and its collateral assets. 

    Video campaigns should instead be omnichannel, meaning they can be used across a vast array of platforms and placements. Each audience or persona will interact differently with media in different places, and it’s important to get wider coverage of at least three channels (using  paid and organic promotion). Don’t be afraid to try new avenues for promotion. Any associated video elements can be used in your website, social channels, print, and other media to familiarize customers with your video and messaging (and maintain brand consistency). 

    There are a number of places on the internet that will allow you to distribute your video to reach your target market. Similar to television, certain personas will likely be using or watching different channels and you’ll want to understand how each one behaves on those channels. Luckily, the tracking methods for advertising on the internet remove a lot of the guesswork of understanding your target audience. 

    Be sure to optimize your video for mobile, since this will be your primary method of distributing your video. This means having the right size and quality of video to allow it to play beautifully on a phone screen. 

    Paid or Organic Advertising

    Within the realm of advertising on different channels, you can use both paid and organic methods of distributing your video. Companies can pay to have their video featured in a news feed on a social media platform, at the beginning of a YouTube video, on a search results page, or in the content on another website. 

    Organic (or earned) advertising is when the traffic to your video comes from existing social media followers or by simply ranking high on searches due to quality content. The advantages to both types are worth the effort it takes to utilize both of them. 

    For now, we’ll distinguish between four main channels: Social media, video hosting platforms, other paid promotions, and your own channels.

    Social Media

    Advertising on social media has plenty of advantages for your brand, the first being that almost 48% of the world’s population uses it actively every day. 

    While each platform works differently, the distribution strategy on this type of channel has two relatively consistent goals. First, social media advertising is about creating a community that values the brand. Second, you want to present something interesting enough to generate comments and shares across that platform.

    On each of these platforms, you can pay for advertising as well. This gives you much more control over how you target your audience. This will also give your ad more visibility up front and access to the ad network for retargeting those users. Beyond that, you can also pay social media influencers to present your video to their existing network of followers.

    Paying for advertising on different channels is a great idea, but you can also use a professional account to post your video for free. This way, you can reach both your existing followers and anyone they choose to share your post with.

    For the best practices, let’s look at each social media network on its own.

    Facebook

    Facebook is one of the best platforms for publishing video to your target audience. Because of the social nature of the platform and the autoplay function in a user’s feed, video on Facebook has a way of finding itself to your viewer’s eyes almost naturally (if optimized correctly). 

    To take advantage of autoplay, you will need to upload your video directly to Facebook instead of linking out to an external site. You should also add text to your post or a description surrounding the video. Since many platforms like this will autoplay videos on silent by default, you may also want to add captions. 

    On Facebook, you can also “go live” via Facebook Live and present yourself to your followers in a live broadcast of whatever you want to show them. Facebook automatically saves your live videos if you choose, but you should keep in mind that the benefit of a live video is an exclusive look in real time. You can be sure to reach your best view count by presenting the video at the right time when your audience is active on the platform. 

    Instagram

    While Facebook allows you to create longer content, Instagram videos are best kept much shorter. Because this is usually a much faster paced platform, start with something exciting to grab the viewer’s attention.

    Due to the silent play setting on this platform, it’s important to not put the most important information at the beginning of the video as it may be missed. However, you can achieve an exciting opener by using motion in the first few seconds of your video. You can also try adding captions or an attention-grabbing text graphic at the beginning instead.

    Twitter 

    Much like Instagram, Twitter is a platform that lends itself to brief interactions. While it may be better suited for other types of content, it is still worth the effort to distribute your video here. 

    Some of the most popular content on Twitter is about news and celebrities, but the 140 character limit ensures nothing is too long-winded. For this reason, it’s also good to post videos on Twitter that on the shorter side.

    Making personal content that speaks directly to followers is a good practice, but be sure that it is interesting and worth sharing with a wider audience. You can also gain access to new users who are interested in the same topics by using the right hashtags. Just be sure not to go overboard with too many hashtags. 

    LinkedIn

    While LinkedIn is technically a social media platform, it lends itself to content that has a bit more substance than the videos that could appear on Twitter or Facebook. Demo videos, informational content, opinion pieces, or original ideas about your industry are all well suited for LinkedIn. 

    The guidelines for posting on this platform basically ensure that the professional user base is given something interesting to think about. Acquisition videos may not be a good fit here, and emotionally-driven content needs to be tempered by the professional tone of the platform. 

    TikTok

    As a newer platform, users are still defining how TikTok is best used. While it may not be the best place to put your marketing content, don’t count it out just yet. Many videos are recorded and posted using only a smartphone, but you can upload videos from your files directly when using the desktop version of the app. 

    TikTok, like many other platforms, recommends content to users in a continuous feed. This means that videos play automatically as the user scrolls through them. For the most part, you are better off using acquisition videos or brand awareness videos here. However, the type of content best suited to the platform varies from user to user. Still, it is best to keep these videos short (under 15 seconds).

    You can also add hashtags and descriptions that trigger relevancy. While there are options available to post advertising on the platform, they are still developing. It may be a better idea to post directly to a business account and gain traffic naturally on TikTok. 

    Video Hosting Platforms

    When posting your video anywhere other than social media, it’s essential to have it hosted by a platform such as YouTube or Vimeo. Since Google Ads uses YouTube as a hosting platform, it is usually the most popular platform among personas. For paid video ads, you can either pay to have the ad play before the viewer’s chosen content or have it appear in suggested videos and search results. Paying for advertising on these platforms allows you to reach more of a targeted audience and track the ad’s success with a variety of tools. However, you will still want to post the video ad on your own professional channel for hosting on other websites. Let’s talk about each one in depth. 

    YouTube

    Not only is YouTube highly addictive for regular users, but it is also an extremely popular hosting platform. In fact, it’s the second most frequently visited site on the internet. 

    On this platform, users aren’t usually looking to be sold something. They are looking for interesting content such as tutorials, insightful presentations, or humorous entertainment. If you are posting a video here, try your best to use something related to what viewers are looking to consume during their visit. This will also help your video rank higher on search engines. Keep in mind that when you post your video directly to YouTube, you can also embed that YouTube video link on your own website so that it plays seamlessly.

    Still, due to the distracting nature of the video suggestions and the regular video feed, it’s best to upload videos to YouTube mainly to gain traffic to your own website. Like other platforms, you should add captions and an interesting title. If you choose to upload the same video to YoutTube and your own website, be sure to give it a similar but unique name. 

    Vimeo 

    Vimeo can sometimes be considered a more serious or professional platform for video hosting, and for this reason it’s not as popular for all video audiences. However, there are still plenty of advantages to uploading on this platform. 

    First of all, you can still use Vimeo as a hosting platform. The player allows you to distribute video to all social media and embed your videos directly into your own website. For business subscribers, Vimeo will also offer you a higher video resolution than other hosting platforms.

    When posting directly to Vimeo, you will also have a bit more control over the audience you are trying to reach by adjusting the privacy settings on your video. To make the most of uploading on this platform, don’t forget to upload a transcript of the video as well. 

    Other Paid Promotions

    You can also utilize other paid channels to distribute your video to a wider audience that may also be interested in your brand. These include paid search results and native advertising on a blog or other website. Because you often pay per click on the action you most want users to take, there is often very little risk involved in this method of distribution.

    Paid Search Results

    While you might already be ranking high on search results, you can pay for search engines to feature a link to your video on a search page. This allows your page to appear before any of the organic results when a user searches for keywords within your chosen category (with a disclosure, of course). To use  this method effectively, be sure to research keywords that relate to your video or brand in general. Different search engines may offer more traffic for certain words, and you want to pay for the one that will expose more people to your video.

    Blogs and Other Websites 

    Paying for native advertising on a blog or website relies mainly on that site’s ability to drive traffic. Your video in this case will be embedded within the content on that page, and those browsing the content or reading the article will come across it naturally. For this reason, you don’t want to pay for your video to appear on a site that no one visits. Although these are usually pay-per-click, they won’t be worth your time. 

    However, you might not want to advertise on the most popular websites either. Remember to consider your target audience and don’t just post to a wide, undefined range of people who might not be interested in your video or product. You may still have to pay for all of those clicks without ever earning a conversion or sale. 

    Your Own Channels

    When thinking about your own channels, consider the places in which you can already publish your video freely on your own terms. Most often, this includes your email subscriber list and your own website. The advantage to both of these is that they are free to you, and you have the greatest control over how you use them. 

    Email 

    If you already have an email list for people who subscribe to your written content or newsletter, you can use this avenue to distribute your video right away. 

    The statistics for engagement in this kind of distribution are surprising. Back in 2015, a study from Syndacast showed that putting the word “Video” in the subject of an email increased its open rate by 19%. The same study showed that doing this can also reduce your unsubscribe rate by 26%. 

    When distributing your video by email, be sure to embed your video into the email itself and enable autoplay to start when the email is opened. Surround your email in a short piece of content or a message that addresses the reader directly and includes a call to action at the end. 

    Your Website

    This is where you want all of your viewers to end up eventually. For this reason, posting your video directly to your website is essential. If done right, you may not even have to lure them in from other channels. Google recognizes that viewers who click on video links on the owner’s website tend to stay longer than links on other pages, causing your website to rank higher over time.

    When posting to your website, be sure to use an engaging thumbnail that piques the interest of the visitor. Spend time devloping an interesting title and include a call to action as always. Since viewers are already on your page, this is a unique opportunity to embed the video right onto a page with purchase options directly available. 

    SEO Tips

    Creating a winning video is great, and so is putting it on the right channels for your target audience to see. However, you want to be sure that the pages where you put your videos are optimized to the best of your ability. While other platforms will only allow you to post or market within their existing framework, you can have much more control over your own website. To make the most of your marketing campaign, be sure to implement the following tips to help your page rank higher than others. 

    Tip # 1: Make Your Video Visible and Relevant

    In case you didn’t already know, you will need to make your video and its dedicated page visible to crawlers so that it can rank on search results in the first place. Once you take care of that part, the rest is about making the technical side more crawler-friendly. Give the video file a title with real, whole words (not abbreviations) that relate to your content. While you don’t want to stuff this title with keywords, you want to use terms that are relevant to your audience’s keyword searches. Don’t forget to include a transcription of the video that can be ranked in these searches as well. 

    Tip # 2: Surround your Video with Good Content

    When you publish your video on your own website, you don’t want it to float around on an empty page. Embed your video inside written content to make that page rank higher on searches and give your visitors a little more substance. To carry this even farther, make sure the content on that page is of the highest quality. This will not only give your customers a reason to stay longer and read your article or blog post, but it will also trend higher on search results over time for being relevant and interesting.

    Tip # 3: Create an Interesting Title

    Don’t just name your video using a generic string of keywords. Carefully crafting your video title will both improve your search ranking and catch the eye of potential viewers. For this reason, titles should be unique and interesting. Aside from the thumbnail image, a title is just as important to your viewers deciding to click “play.” However, beware of making your title feel gimmicky. Internet users are wise to cheap clickbait, and your best customers will scroll right past titles formulated using those tricks. Instead, focus on making the title informative of the content and subtly intriguing with a promise to provide value. 

    Metrics

    If you put in the time and effort, your video marketing campaign is almost sure to succeed at whatever goal you set for it. Still, you will want to track this success in a measurable way for everyone involved. If for some reason things are not working as they should, you can assess certain metrics for your video to readjust your strategy. This is where your goals for the project become quantifiable and your team defines success for the campaign overall. 

    Goals and How to Track Performance

    Start by discussing your overall goals for the project. Remember that well-defined goals are both objectively measurable and time-bound.  Keep this in mind when you decide which metrics you will use during this final phase. Your KPIs will be the most relevant, but you will want a variety of metrics to gauge your video’s success throughout the campaign.

    To gather this data and gain insight from it, there are two main services you can use: Google Analytics and KISSmetrics. Because both services focus on different areas of ad tracking, it’s best to use both to obtain a composite picture.

    That said, Google Analytics offers a lot. There are a variety of reports you can create to understand the impact of certain factors on your business as a whole. Google Analytics offers mostly quantitative data. It provides a wider range of information than KISSmetrics, but mainly shows the information alone (like the traffic volumes during certain times, view counts, etc.). It answers the question, “What is happening?”

    While quantitative data is essential, so is qualitative data. KISSmetrics attempts to put a face to the data by answering the question, “Who is making this happen?” With this service, data can be attached to a specific user, and these numbers can be analyzed to create valuable personas which help you better understand your target market. This is valuable because it focuses on the behavior of the person interacting with each link. You can then use this to optimize your distribution on different channels and understand how best to retarget your leads. 

    Common Metrics to Use

    Some data will be more relevant during certain parts of the buyer’s journey, but a wide range of data will help you get a more accurate picture of how well your video does its job. With the right program, you can track almost anything you want regarding the users who click on or interact with your video. Here are a few of the best (and most helpful) metrics to help you understand how your video is performing overall: 

    • Impressions – This is the most basic metric for measuring how many times a user has encountered your video. One impression is equal to one time a person loaded up your video on a given page. It doesn’t need to be played or looked at. It simply means it appeared on that person’s browser or application.
    • View Count – View count measures how many people have actually viewed your video. Many people may see your video on a page or encounter it somehow but never click on it. However, keep in mind that different platforms measure a “view” in different lengths of time. In some cases, a view could be considered 30 seconds. In others, it could be as little as one second.
    • Play Rate – Sometimes people may encounter your video without ever playing it. The click-through/play rate shows you what portion of people will click on your ad out of the sheer number of impressions. It is expressed as a fraction or percentage (number of views divided by the number of impressions). This is the first step in understanding how engaging your video is to potential viewers.
    • Completion Rate / Engagement – While views are certainly desirable, you want your viewers to watch the entire video. Completion rate measures how many people watched your complete video after clicking on it. This can also help you understand your video’s ability to engage viewers. If you have a low engagement rate, your content may not be interesting enough or the video may be too long.
    • Bounce Rate – While not directly related to the video, measuring the bounce rate on your site can help you adjust distribution of your video for better visibility. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your site before reaching a desired point. In this case, that desired point is the page with your video on it. If most of your users are landing a certain page and leaving before they see your video, maybe it is time to move your video to a more active page.
    • Conversion Rate – Conversion rate measures how many times a person has clicked on your CTA after watching your video for some length of time. This is also an important piece to measuring engagement. It also helps you better understand how effective your video is at getting viewers to take the desired action.
    • Comments and Shares – While this is not necessarily a key metric, you can use the number of comments and shares to gauge the relevancy of your content to your viewers. If something sparks a lot of interest, people will comment and share the content with their friends (whether on social platforms or via private messaging). The best thing about this type of metric is that it is usually built into social platforms already.
    • Survey Results  – Although it may be hard to get audiences to participate, surveys provide some of the most valuable and direct feedback you can get. Try putting a survey or questionnaire at the end of your video to gain insight into what viewers thought of your content. Just make sure that answering the survey is easy to complete by providing multiple choice answers or a scale of 1 to 10. 

    Calculating ROI

    At the end of it all, your stakeholders or bosses are sure to ask, “Was it worth it?” A video marketing campaign can be very expensive, and you’ll want to have something to show for that investment. 

    While measuring ROI will vary with each case, it will always be directly related to the goals of your project and your distribution plan. We recommend having a clear picture of the KPIs you want to measure before the video is distributed. Then, compare the results after three to six months, depending on the type of video. 

    For example, if your plan is to produce a brand video, then you want to focus on brand awareness metrics like brand perception (surveys before/after video), search volume of brand-related terms, direct and organic traffic, and even some engagement metrics like percentage of returning users. Measure the cost of the entire project against what these results are worth to your business and bottom line. 

    How Airalo Uses Video For Acquisition

    We interviewed Adam Wesolowski, VP of Growth at Airalo —  the world’s first eSIM store for travellers to access over 100 eSIMs at the most affordable, local rates from around the world, all via eSIM compatible smartphone, tablet or PC. Airalo offers both connectivity and freedom so travellers never have to carry multiple SIM cards or change their number again, no matter where they are in the world.

    We were tasked to produce their very first animated brand video and to help them distribute it across different channels like Product Hunt, YouTube and Facebook.

    How Airalo Uses Video For Acquisition

    What convinced you to put resources behind producing video content?

    We know that video is a great medium to consume information and video is worth thousands of words. We wanted to develop brand awareness quickly and stay on top of people’s minds for a travel connectivity solution, so video content is a part of our long term growth strategy.

    How video has helped solve/minimize acquisition-related challenges?

    Airalo is an eSIM marketplace for travellers and one of the most important things we do is market education as the technology is quite novel and the market is developing. There’s no better medium than video to educate customers and explain Airalo’s value propositions. Therefore we see tremendous value of using video in growth activities like brand awareness, user acquisition (video ads) and converting them down the funnel (explainers, how-to’s).

    How did you distribute and measure video?

    We distribute mainly on YouTube and Facebook, using their measurement systems (YouTube Analytics, AdWords, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager)

    What are some of the results you've achieved with video?

    I can just say that our YouTube True View ads get around 40-50% view rate, which is a result we’re really proud about.

    Can you tell us more about Airalo?

    Airalo was founded in 2019 and now has over 120,000 users. We’re a remote-first team of 25 members spread across 10+ countries and four continents and what glues us all together is our commitment to change the way people connect.

    What advice would you give companies pursuing video content-driven growth?

    Experiment constantly. Create multiple variations of one video and test it out via paid media, and scale the one that’s been working best.

    Conclusion

    Overall, a video marketing strategy is difficult to create and release effectively. Different companies have different needs, and so will your unique target audience. There will be a lot of different people involved in the creation and distribution of your videos. Strategy is key.

    Unlike a Hollywood movie, you are not going to release this product into theaters for a limited run. These videos can be released on multiple platforms for extended periods of time. You have these at your disposal to reach your audience at multiple points in their customer journey. 

    There are a lot of possibilities available to anyone willing to use video to market their brand, but it’s hard to know what option is best for reaching your audience. Let us show how your next video can impact your audience with a free script and video concept today.

    At Vidico, we believe that high quality video is the only type of video worth creating. It’s our passion to create content that tells the unique story of your brand’s mission and vision in a way that engages the audience both visually and emotionally. Check out some of the videos we’ve created for other companies you know.

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