You know you want a new marketing video. Heck, you know you NEED a new marketing video. But knowing you need a video and creating a video strategy are two different things, and trust me, planning ahead will make things much easier on you.
I know, I know… as a communications professional you already have a ton of work to do. Now, a video producer, is giving you one more thing to get done.
Don’t worry. I’m actually going to help you on strategy. While we do produce corporate videos, we are also provide video strategy consulting. We help companies and organizations with this stuff all the time.
Keep in mind, this is something you can do as a marketer to get better results from your videos. This is something you as an internal corporate communicator can do to ensure your videos have an impact on team members.
Having a video plan is super important for anyone using video as a communications tactic, and here’s why. The Content Marketing Institute did some research and found some amazing insights.
- 73% of marketers say video has become more important to their business in the last year.
- 85% of marketers say they get average or below-average results.
- Only 12% of content marketers say their organization uses existing videos to their full potential.
- When asked what they need to get better results, the most frequently cited answer (59%) was a video strategy.
This is why creating a video plan is essential to your video communications success.
I’m going to go over this as though you work for a company or organization, but for those of you at agencies… stick with me. We’ll get to you too, but everything below is good for you to read as well.
Three Tiered Video Strategy Consulting
Let’s start at the beginning. Video is a communications tactic, but it requires a three tiered strategy. This is the way I like to think of it.
- Tier 1: company/organization overall communication strategy
- Tier 2: department video strategy
- Tier 3: individual videos strategy
Let’s take a look at each, one at a time.
Tier 1: company/organization overall communication strategy
The first tier focuses on how video fits into your greater communications strategy.
For example, we have done a ton of videos for Alverno College in Milwaukee. It has a communications strategy that includes marketing, PR, internal comms, events, student relations, donor relations, and recruiting. There are probably more, but we have produced video for all of those needs.
Alverno leaders have clearly made a point of using video as a communications tactic, and that’s all you need to do for Tier 1. As a company or organization, when you list all of the ways you’re going to communicate with people, make sure video is among them. Put it in writing.
See… this is easy. Tier 1 took practically no work at all!
Tier 2: department video strategy
Okay, so you as a company or organization have committed to using video. Great! Now, you can move on to the next tier, and that’s having a department video strategy.
This is likely where you folks working for agencies might enter the picture, so again, while I’m talking from a company/organization perspective, this is all stuff you can do at an agency level.
Let’s use the marketing department as an example, but this mindset and strategy can be used for any department.
The marketing department is probably creating all sorts of content: blog posts, podcasts, slideshows, infographics, audiograms, et cetera. The thought of taking on another piece of content (and maybe the most complex) can be a bit daunting. Especially considering I’m saying you need a whole strategy to do it right.
Don’t think of it as adding content you need to plan a whole campaign around. I mean, you can certainly do that, but what I’m going to suggest is way easier an less time consuming.
Instead, I want you to think of video as a super-charger for your existing content or content you’re already planning.
Do you have a landing page getting good results? Take it from good to great by adding a video.
Did you pour all sorts of time and effort into a blog post, but it’s not performing how you would have hoped? Include a video that will keep people on the page longer.
Trying to get more engagement for a social post? Yup, make sure a video is part of the post.
Are you getting the point?
Video will enhance just about any content you are already creating. You don’t need to create a new strategy for it. You just need to incorporate video into what you already have going.
And here’s the best part… many times… you can use the same video across multiple channels.
I know, we like to create specific content for specific channels, but remember I’ve just given you a plan to use video as a side dish… not the main course.
Even if you did decide to use a video as a content centerpiece, there are no rules that say you can’t use it in other places, again, as complimentary content.
The big takeaway here is while you are planning your communications content, make sure video is going to be a part of the mix. This is super important from a communications standpoint, but also from a budgeting standpoint.
Many times, video is an afterthought. Something someone suggests once work is underway on a project. Then, they’d love to do it, but they don’t have the budget. Or, they don’t have the time or resources for a DIY video.
When you make video part of the plan from the beginning, you can budget these things in advance.
Tier 3: individual videos strategy
Okay… the company is committed to video, the department is looking for ways to incorporate it video into its content… now we’re going to get into the strategy you should use at the start of every individual video project.
These are questions you should answer. Write them down. Refer back to them. These answers will ultimately guide you to video success and are at the heart of our video strategy consulting.
Who’s Your Audience?
The first step seems like an easy one, but in my opinion a lot of people tend to get off on the wrong foot.
It seems logical to decide on the type of video you want to produce (About Us, testimonial, product video, et cetera). Now, there’s nothing wrong with starting this way, but I look at the process differently.
Your first step should be identifying your audience.
Is it customers? Prospects? Your employees? Who are the people who will ultimately be watching and benefitting from your video.
Here’s why I like to start here. It’s the most important factor in putting together the video, and I want it to be front of mind from the get go.
Anytime you’re faced with a tough decision to make regarding the project, your first consideration should be how it impacts your viewers. You should base your actions on what’s going to appeal to them most.
That’s one of the reasons I think it’s important to make audience identification the top priority when you start a project. Let me give you an example.
Your first instinct might be… we need an explainer video for a product. However, maybe the audience you want to reach is first-time buyers as opposed to existing customers. Instead of an explainer video, a testimonial might be more effective since you’ll need to build trust.
Identifying your audience will guide you in making a more informed decision.
What’s Your Goal?
A big failure for many video projects is that people don’t establish a goal. This is a huge mistake since there is so much data we can now collect.
Think about it ahead of time… what do you ultimately want this video to accomplish for you?
- Brand awareness?
- Push people through the sales funnel?
- Drive traffic?
There are all sorts of goals you can establish for video, so make sure to pick something and then decide on how you’re going to measure success.
You can use the video analytics provided through YouTube, Facebook, and Google… or whatever video platform you might be using.
Those numbers can tell you who’s watching, how long they’re watching, what they clicked on next… all sorts of stats to help show you how effective your video is and guide decisions you make on future video projects.
What Type of Video?
Now that you know who your viewers are, you can pick the type of video you need. Here’s a basic list to get you started:
- About Us video
- Marketing campaign video
- Event video
- Product or service video
- Recruiting video
- Mission or corporate culture video
- Event video
- HR video
Now, this is just a starter list. The possibilities are endless. I encourage you to consider video any time you need to communicate with a large audience.
How will you deliver the video?
You might be thinking… well, we’ll definitely post the video on our website, but we also might want it for social, and maybe we can use it in sales presentations.
That’s totally fine. I love it when companies find multiple delivery methods! We want as many eyeballs on your video as possible. The key thing is to simply figure out which is the most important delivery method.
For example, maybe you’ve decided you need a new About Us video to go along with a website redesign. Sure… that video has the potential to be shown across many platforms, but the main reason for it is to create a good first-impression on people who visit your website.
Knowing this impacts how long the video should be. Websites are a pull, not push delivery method. Since people have come to your site to learn more about the company, you can get away with a little longer video (2-3 minutes).
Had you decided your primary use for the video was social media, you’d want it to be far shorter, like a minute or less.
What’s Your Video Budget?
Budget is always an important consideration and video projects are no different. Do you need to produce low cost videos, or will you have a decent amount of money to work with? Deciding how much you want to spend will greatly impact the scope of what you produce.
Here are a few things to think about:
- DIY or professional production?
- Do you want a big production team or something less obtrusive?
- Do you just need someone to execute your plan or do you need someone to help with the storytelling?
- How many days will it take to shoot?
- Are any special permissions needed for production venues?
- Will consent forms for participants be necessary?
- Who will “star” in the video?
- What’s the deadline like? Quick turnarounds tend to cost more.
These are good things to keep in mind as you plan your budget, but if you want some really helpful information start contacting video production companies now. Production houses like ours are usually more than happy to help you plan how much money you’ll need for your project.
How do pick a video company? Check out our video production buyers guide.
How will you promote the video?
This falls under the category of… last, but not least. How are you planning to promote your video?
I can’t tell you how many companies mess this up. They produce an awesome video, post it on their website, upload to YouTube and Facebook that first week… and that’s it. Then, they wonder why nobody is watching.
Have a plan in place regarding promotion. It’s not good enough to just share it once. You have to make it a part of your regular content marketing calendar. Not just for that first week… for the entire year!
Now, maybe you plan to show it several times during that first week, and then you scale it back over the course of the coming months. That’s fine. Just don’t forget about it.
Promote! Promote! Promote!
Wrapping-up Your Video Strategy
Video is a great tool for your communications tool belt, but remember… you need a plan.
If you find this helpful but need more details, you can read more about it in my book, Lights, Camera, Impact.
Remember, it’s not good enough to simply produce a good video. You need a plan in place before production starts to maximize your video’s potential.
And there’s no time like the present! Start working on your video strategy now, so that you have a good foundation to work from moving forward.