Before you create a video, you have to understand what you want to achieve. You also need to consider what the outcome of each particular video will be. Do you want it to be informative, or funny? Do you want it to show off your brand as a whole or a specific product? These considerations will influence everything from colour scheme to script, so think carefully! Using a professional video production company is a good way to make sure you get it right.
Firstly, consider which stage of the marketing funnel you’re targeting. Are you trying to raise awareness of your brand or product? In this case your videos need to attract a new audience and introduce your brand to them in a memorable way. If your goal is to engage an existing audience, your video can be less explanatory but must still be captivating; or if you’re trying to nurture your prospects and close the sale, the video should reflect this. You could alternatively be creating an internal video to educate your employees or recruit new ones, in which case your video could be far more informative and to-the-point. All these ideas will form a video content marketing plan, which can help to ensure you get the most out of the videos you publish and share, to ensure maximum engagement and interaction.
It’s essential to consider and understand your target audience with your video content marketing strategy. If you create a video with no target audience in mind, it’s less likely to do well - it may not reach the people you actually want to see it, and the people who do watch it won’t be convinced. In order to successfully market your product or company through video, you need to understand which types of video resonate the most with your target demographic. Producing content which specifically speaks to your target audience is the best way to ensure that you grab their attention in the first place, and that their attention isn’t short-lived.
Different audiences will respond differently to certain styles of speech which is something you have to consider when writing your storyboard and script; it’s vital that you use language your target demographic will relate to. You must also consider where viewers live, their economic and cultural tendencies, and which devices you expect them to use; all of these factors will influence how your audience responds to certain types of video.
Your video strategy will be ultimately based around 3 key pieces of information; firstly, who your product or service is for - this will inform the tone of your video, and may well have already informed the persona your company embodies in all of its marketing. Secondly, what the purpose of your video is; this has to do with where your target audience falls on the marketing funnel and therefore whether your video needs to be primarily created with the view of attracting a new following or engaging with an existing customer base.
Thirdly, you need to think about which platforms they’re using, on which devices, and when. As we’ll look at in this next section, it’s not as simple as making a video and uploading it simultaneously to as many platforms as possible - as is the case with all aspects of video production, it’s a bit more complex than that.
The social media channels to consider regarding your video marketing campaign are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. The platform you’re using should affect both your marketing strategy, and the format of your video.
Facebook videos, for example, tend to do well when they’re emotive and fun. They can also be slightly longer than videos on other platforms. The average reach of a post on Facebook is 2.7 times higher when it includes video, and reports 1.9 times higher levels of engagement than non-video posts (Buffer). Because of this trend, Facebook has placed much more emphasis on video in its news feed algorithm over the last few months, making now a great time to be using this platform to share video. 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound (source), so you should consider adding subtitles to videos created for Facebook. Square videos also tend to do better on Facebook than rectangular ones.
YouTube, on the other hand, favours video which is less emotive and more educational; YouTube processes more than 3 billion searches every month and is the second largest search engine in the world, outranked only by Google. When creating video for YouTube, in-depth video descriptions and tags are essential, as are captions (YouTube videos get 40% more views when they have captions and subtitles (3Play)).
A platform on which more polished content may do better is Instagram; video posted on Instagram does well when it’s captivating, thoughtful and aesthetically pleasing. When creating video for Twitter, you should always try and upload native video rather than from a third party, because you get far more engagement this way (Buffer). Finally, just to make it all even more complicated, the optimum time to post your video differs platform to platform. For example, the best time to post a video on Facebook is on a Wednesday around 11:00, but Friday morning is the best time to post on Twitter (Sproutsocial).
When it comes to video production and marketing videos, there are hidden costs that you may not necessarily anticipate but could push you over budget. If you plan ahead and do your research, you can help avoid these surprise costs. Think about, for example, the creative resources you have at your disposal. Will you be able to come up with the script and storyboard yourself, or might you need to hire a writer or director? You need to know what kind of music you want for your video, might you need to pay royalties? Also, if you’re adding subtitles, will you type up and cut them in yourself or use a company? All of these things and more, if given some forethought, are much smaller potential problems. The most effective (and by far least the time consuming) way to ensure no hidden costs crop up is to use a video production company which has in-house writers, animators, voice-over artists and so on. This way, you can work with them to create something which stays within budget.
The quality of your video is as important as the content itself; a very low quality video will really detract from even the most engaging storyline. The lighting, camera angles and sound being not only of high quality but also in keeping with the tone of the video is absolutely crucial, and is something you can only guarantee getting right if you hire a professional film production company. Using a professional voiceover actor, for example, will leave a far better impression than an uncertain, amateur voice. In fact, according to Wyzowl, 75% of consumers have decided not to buy a product because the video voiceover annoyed them; getting the technical aspects of your video right will make sure it’s as effective as it can be.
33% of viewers will stop watching a video on social media within 30 seconds (Biteable), which means you have to get creative to ensure that your video will grab peoples attention straight away. Once you know the message you want to get across, you need to establish how you’re going to do that in an engaging way. This is part of why animation can be such a great tool, because animation can be so fun and captivating, and often less expensive than live-action. Most video production companies will have in-house animators, so they can be a good starting point.
Sharing your company values through video is a great precursor to building a trusting relationship with your audience. If they can understand your ethos and values through watching your video, and they relate to those values, the connection is there. The tone and mood of the video also acts as a kind of invisible narrative. The mood your video inspires in your audience directly affects their decision making with regards to your business - so make sure to set the right tone! The most important thing to remember is that consumerism is ultimately driven by emotion so above all you need to make your audience feel something.
64% of users use search engines when they want to buy something straight away. This means it’s essential that your website not only appears on search engines, but appears high. Search algorithms now prioritize web pages that have video on them as they tend to perform better than sites without, so just by having video in the first place you’re improving your SEO. However, having a video, no matter how engaging, on an otherwise blank website will do nothing for your marketing nor your SEO. You also need to surround your video with relevant and interesting content so that when people visit your website they actually watch the video.
There are three channels for distributing and promoting your video, and utilising all three is the best way to reach your target audience. Publishing your video on all of your owned channels, like your website and email list, is the easiest one. Paid distribution is the second channel and is great for targeting very specific demographics as search algorithms can show your video to people in specific locations, people who have relevant online interests, and so on. Your budget will determine how much paid distribution you can do.
Earned distribution can yield a very large return for minimal effort so is a great tool, however how organically this happens depends on how much your initial audience likes your video. This, again, is why understanding your target audience is so crucial.
For more information about how a video production company can help bring your content marketing plans to life, contact RAW Pictures today.