7 Elements of Successful Video Marketing (From Goals to Best Practices)
By Zach Basner
In 2017, it’s easier than ever to begin marketing your organization with video. You can now start creating clean, professional looking videos with your staff by simply using a smartphone and other inexpensive equipment.
Here at IMPACT, we’ve helped many companies get started creating video content, both in workshops and recurring training.
As many of us begin to learn and develop our skills on and off camera, how do we truly judge the success of our efforts? Further, how do we properly plan and execute video marketing within our organization to achieve our marketing goals?
You need to understand the elements that make successful video marketing possible for you. What would it mean to you if you could begin and end each video project with reasonable expectations and a way to measure success?
In this article, we’re going to identify the items you need in place to experience the peace of mind that comes from executing a successful video marketing plan and be able to show tangible evidence of performance.
#1 Video Editorial Calendar
Seems pretty basic right? However, this is the driving force behind every successful marketing plan we’ve encountered, and will probably encounter in the foreseeable future.
The reason having a schedule is so important is because it makes the process easier to comprehend, makes your publishing more consistent, and keeps your key staffers accountable.
Your video projects will likely have many moving parts, so making the process easy to understand for all those involved keeps momentum going. Your producers, camera operators, talent, and writers all need to know what they need to do, and when they need to do it.
Next, by maintaining consistency, you have a better likelihood of producing routinely better videos. As you maintain a routine, production will get easier. Soon, you'll be able to step up your production, get more creative, and experiment with more possibilities. Consistency is key.
Also, by keeping your video team accountable, you aren’t simply maintaining a level of discipline, you’re presenting your video as a culture and as a priority. What’s important gets scheduled, and what’s scheduled gets done.
#2 Pre-Production Checklist
Once you’ve established what videos you plan to produce, it’s time to execute on the strategy. Whether it’s a short film, explainer video, homepage hero, or a simple employee bio, you need to describe the results you expect from it. Additionally, you need to know who’s involved, a general timeline of events, and some basic SEO research.
By using a pre-production checklist, you’re building a synopsis of your film, and reverse engineering the experience you want your viewer to have. In most cases, you just can’t freestyle that. Before you even touch a camera, you’ll have a good sense of who the video is for and why you’re making it. Answering the “why” is among the most important elements that make great videos.
Additionally, understanding the buyer persona and journey stage of your viewer is vital to executing a video with a message meant for them. After all, the viewers of your video content are the same viewers of your written content. Although they may search for video content differently, they’re (most likely) after the same information.
#3 Tangible Goals and CTAs
For the sake of explanation, let’s just say you’ve determined the destination you want your viewers to get to, now you’ll need to build the bridge for them to get there.
Having this tangible goal, the viewer's destination, not only helps to measure the effectiveness of your message but also allows you to consider what the viewer needs to do next.
For instance, if you’ve determined that the purpose of your video is to drive leads via an eBook, you would then determine the calls-to-action you’ll use throughout the video and work them into your script.
If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have a strategy. If you don’t have a strategy, you’re just making videos to make videos. Focus on the prize and you’ll find that your videos will not only become easier to make, they'll become more effective at converting leads.
#4 Irresistible Intros
If there is one thing we can deduce from the information age, it’s that the attention span of an internet user is short. Not to mention we have more content selections than ever.
To put this in perspective, 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, making the first 10 seconds of any video the most imperative part.
So, how do you make your video more appealing upfront? In a study conducted by TubeBuddy and Hey.com, they discovered that simply including the word “you” in the first 5 seconds increased view counts by a whopping 97%.
Additionally, this increased engagement (likes and comments) by using some variation of you, your, or ya’ll amongst others.
This is an interesting study, and certainly worth testing in your own videos. However, this lends itself to a larger point. Viewers watch and interact with videos that they can relate to, and that affirm their problems and situations.
Make it clear upfront who the video is for and what they can expect from watching. One powerful method we’ve seen is the APP method from Brian Dean of Backlinko. The APP method stands for Agree, Promise, and Preview.
First, get the viewer to agree with you on something. State the problem they’re having, and affirm that it’s a valid problem and they indeed need a solution.
Next, promise them a solution and let them know brighter days are ahead. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Finally, preview what the solution is, how you’re going to show them, and how they’ll likely feel after attaining such valuable knowledge.
Now, all is right with the world.
#5 Clear & Consistent Branding
Video is a powerful and vital brand touchpoint, and in many cases, may very well be the first time a prospect interacts with your brand. While it would be cliche to say that first impressions are everything, you would probably prefer a “love at first sight” kind of experience with your viewers. And it goes beyond the visual element.
There are countless opportunities to brand your videos, but here’s a list of common ones:
- Lower Thirds
- End Screen
- Color Grading
Clearly branding your films, and creating a familial experience for your viewers creates a sense of community, keeps them engaged, and keeps your organization top-of-mind.
#6 Multi-Platform Strategy
As with other forms of content, utilizing the many platforms available to you (website, social media, etc.) you have the ability to expand your reach as well as target and retarget your ideal viewers.
Each platform has their own nuances, so you’ll need to know some things up front. For instance, what are the ideal dimensions, resolution, file size, or time limit per platform? If your goal is to get the viewer onto another platform, how will you link there?
This strategy must start in pre-production and carry over throughout all stages of the production process. As an example, if you were uploading a video with a goal of increasing your audience, your messaging will be different from YouTube to Facebook. On YouTube, you’ll be asking them to subscribe to your channel, whereas on Facebook they’ll need to “like” and follow the page.
In addition, you can use a “hand off” approach to increase your audience on a specific platform. If you were looking to increase your reach on Instagram, you might upload a teaser to other platforms and tell viewers to watch the rest on Instagram.
The possibilities are endless, but having a strategy in place makes it easier to communicate to the viewer exactly what they need to do next.
#7 Assembling a Video Team
Having the right people in place is an essential element to successful video marketing. When assembling your team, keep in mind that you'll need creative and ambitious individuals to fill the various roles needed.
First, you need to find out who is going to manage the process. Typically, and in our case here at The Sales Lion, the Content Manager or Content Marketing Manager will fill this role. If not, you'll need someone who is organized, timely, and has a vision that guides the process. They will determine the writing that needs to be done or do it themselves.
You also need someone to direct the video production. This may be the videographer or someone who has experience with video direction, but at any rate, you need someone who is able to focus your team on the goal at hand and get everyone on the same page. This role is vital if you plan to maximize on your production time and keep the team moving forward.
Next, find who is going to be in the production roles. This will be your videographer(s), assistants, or anyone on hand that can assist with the various tasks that go into constructing sets, setting up equipment, monitoring video/audio feeds, etc.
Finally, find your thought leaders and other talent that will be participating in your video projects. These may be different people at different times, but make a list of people to pull from as you begin generating content ideas and need qualified people on camera to execute.
In some cases, you may not have a big team to fulfill each role individually. However, you need to determine your key players and which part of the team's roles they will fulfill.
Defining Video Marketing Success
Success is sometimes used in a very vague sense. Yeah, of course, we want to succeed. However, what would it really mean to succeed with video marketing? More leads? More passionate brand advocates? Increased social reach?
Of course, you must answer that question yourself. You’ll likely have many goals you want to achieve. We encourage you, however, to focus your efforts on real, attainable goals. Put the work into pre-production, work to better understand the viewer’s journey, and stay consistent and irresistible.
Wondering where to begin?