People love to consume video. Whether we’re at their desk or on their tablet or phone, we’re all consuming a remarkable amount of video. The world of video marketing is growing exponentially, with hundreds of millions of hours of online video competing for our attention.
Four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers, and over half of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the content with the best ROI.
If your business has not yet embraced video marketing, it’s time to start; but getting started in this space can be understandably intimidating. Here is a quick planning guide to ensure that your marketing videos are clear, on-point, and effective.
Develop a Crystal Clear Value Proposition
What is your video about?
Or, in other words, why are you making this video? This is the first, essential step in planning your marketing video that you’ve got to fully understand before you can move on.
Be Clear and Direct
Video provides the opportunity for an unparalleled connection with your audience, but the tradeoff is you’ve got a very small window of opportunity. If your video is unclear or fails to engage, they’ll abandon it as quick as they’d hit play. It is imperative that your message be crystal clear and immediate.
1 Message Per Video
Videos aren’t cheap and they’re certainly not easy. Even if you save costs by doing yours in-house, you’ll still spend plenty in time and resources (more about this later). It may be tempting to cram everything you can into your video. Resist that temptation.
One video equals one message. You want your audience to walk away knowing what that video was about, not trying to remember everything it was about. Avoid including your entire sales pitch — quality, service, unique solution, etc. Every element of your marketing video should support the one key message. Don’t add extra fluff that will come between your value proposition and your viewers.
Determine the Type of Video
Now that you know what it is you want your video to say, it’s time to determine how it’s going to say it. Video is a powerful, versatile communication medium, and the possibilities for creatively engaging with your audience are endless, but there are a few video “types” that are proven to effectively reach online audiences (especially in the B2B space).
This is a great way to convey company personality and purpose. You might think of this as a “profile” or industrial video. This is the one place where the “1 message per video” rule can be bent a little, as these tend to be a bit longer in length (5-minutes and up) than your average video. Still, keep in mind what the key point is you want to communicate, and make sure that the video focuses itself on message.
Product or Service Video
These videos focus solely on one of your products or services. The best of these focus on how this product or service will affect your targeted viewers. How will it help solve their problems? reach their goals? change their lives? In the B2C space, Apple is incredibly good at this.
These are concise, easily-digestible — and often quite entertaining — video tutorials that, as the name implies, explain something to the audience. They’re often animated and the epitome of clarity and engagement.
Webinars, Vlogs & Personalized Video
These are the simplest of the bunch when it comes to production needs, but they’re anything but easy to execute effectively. They’re usually filmed with a locked-down camera (mounted on a tripod, unmoving) and often filmed in a single, unbroken take. Ideal for providing helpful “quick tips” to your audience (usually under 2 minutes) or capturing an interview with an industry thought leader in a two-shot. Content and message are king here, because all other bells and whistles have been minimized or removed.
Decide on the Scope and Budget
Will your marketing video be shot in your office with your own equipment? Or will the production require hiring a professional?
The scope of your marketing video is directly tied to the type of video you’re making and the audience you’re trying to reach. Branding and product/service videos are usually best made by professionals, while webinars and vlogs could conceivably be shot internally. Technology is moving at such a pace that tools, such as Wistia’s Soapbox, allow you to record simple, quality videos with your webcam.
Your video budget is then determined by the type of video and the scope. Hiring a professional can be expensive and may seem cost-prohibitive for simpler projects. But there are several, often-overlooked costs associated with producing in-house that you should keep in mind when planning out your project.
- Who within our company is responsible for producing the video content?
- How long will it take for us to write the content copy internally?
- How long will it take us to film?
- Who internally is editing it? How long will that take?
- Who’s responsible for uploading, publishing, optimizing and sharing?
Even if you have your own video and audio equipment, marketing videos take time to do correctly because there are so many production elements that come together to make a comprehensive whole. When budgeting, ask yourself if your team has ample time to focus on video production.
Video is not just the marketing platform of the future, it’s the most effective, engaging medium for reaching your audience today. Video marketing can be an intimidating area to get into, but once you do, the opportunity for results is incredible. Just plan your production one step at a time, and don’t be afraid to engage a professional when the video type and scope demand it. And, importantly, have fun! Before you know it you’ll be regularly releasing effective video content to your ever-growing audience.