Why should your company's inbound marketing strategy include a well-considered video marketing strategy?
The answer is simple: video has solidified its current position as the King of Content. And content, as you probably already know, is the central component to a successful inbound marketing strategy.
The bottom line is, people simply love to watch videos - especially the good ones. Compelling videos are proving themselves time and time again to serve as a tool for improving all sorts of marketing metrics, including engagement, shares on social media, and most importantly, sales conversions.
So whether you're developing your first inbound campaign or you’re struggling to get your content to perform as well as you think it should, it might be time to evaluate how video can influence your efforts in light of your business goals.
A Quick Reference Guide to a Successful Video Marketing Strategy
Start by Asking Yourself: “What are my Business Goals for Video Marketing?”
You already know that any inbound marketing strategy needs to support the end business goals. So to help you see what we mean, here are some great examples of how businesses today are using video as a means to accomplish some of the more common video marketing goals:
This home improvement company is showing its customers what they can do for them within the context of existing projects. This encourages new leads that are impressed by what they see to contact the company and in some cases to hire them.
Improve Brand Reputation:
Domino’s had some problems with taste, including their infamous cardboard-tasting crust. This 2012 video highlighting their massive improvement effort helped to change their brand image, and they have been increasing in sales each year since.
Attract More Visitors:
Home Depot shows you how you can do something pretty sweet to your garden, then shows you exactly where you can search for and buy those products on their website so you can do the same sweet thing, too.
Highlight the Culture of a Brand:
Here at ManoByte, our culture is at the core of everything we do, and this video helps us to let others know how amazing our company truly is. And because we are passionate about what we do, we serve our customers better.
Improving Customer Service:
Comcast has a pretty intense reputation of providing poor customer service. In their recent effort to change customer perception, they’re creating some compelling videos highlighting the actions they are taking to make the changes people want.
After you’ve identified what your specific business goals are for video, you can then develop proper metrics to test your progress (more on that later). These metrics will let you work backward through your sales funnel to make sure each step has been optimized and leads consumers directly to your end goal.
The Basics of Developing Successful Video Marketing Content
Now that you know what you hope to achieve, it's time to work backward through your marketing funnel. These are things to consider:
1. Know Your Buyer Personas
If you’ve followed our blog at all, you probably know what buyer personas are already, but for all you newbies out there, we’ll help you out. Buyer personas are a fictional image and characteristics of the kind of consumer you plan to target. The more fully developed these personas are, the better they work. Their descriptions help ensure that marketing content is likely to appeal to targeted consumers.
To build your personas, you need to know and define their story. In doing so, identify the stories that are most likely to resonate with your target audience. Once you truly understand your personas, it should be easier to develop videos that are likely to attract and engage them. Successful marketing campaigns require both an emotional and rational connection.
2. Select Video Platforms and Appropriate Video Content
Once you've decided which persona stories you want your videos to target, you still need to make several critical decisions before you create or order any content. Choices include which video platforms to use, how long they should run, and exactly what you want the videos to accomplish. Let’s take a closer look at these items.
3. Understand Video Platforms and Length:
Obviously, your choice of platform may determine its optimum length. Conversely, the video purpose may impact your choice of platform. Some popular places to store and publish videos include YouTube, Wistia, Instagram, and SnapChat. Of course, you might also post videos to your website as well, but even these videos are generally hosted on a video platform.
Let’s take a look at some of the various elements to consider regarding length and platform selection:
- You might want to use short-form content on social networks to increase brand recognition and direct more traffic to your site.
- If your primary goal is to increase site traffic, you might even experiment with using a linked image that looks like a video to encourage users to click-through.
- Typically, longer and more in-depth videos are saved for the company website or even to use as opt-in content.
In other words, your video marketing strategy might require videos of different lengths and formats depending on your goals. For instance, short-form content might promote the longer and more valuable videos that you use as an incentive to get users to sign-up for your email list. You can develop shorter videos for SnapChat and Instagram, where your time is limited.
4. Know the Video's Goals:
Each piece of content should get created with its aim in mind. To understand this more fully, consider a couple of scenarios:
Platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow you to collect leads right on the site. In this case, your social content might be the last step in the funnel for that particular campaign. So, after you have collected email addresses or phone numbers, you can move on to the email or mobile part of your inbound marketing strategy.
In some cases, the actual purpose of the video is to direct as many users as possible to a targeted page on your website. If so, short and catchy videos that encourage social site users to click a link may prove most useful. One popular strategy to get social site users to click-through to a website to watch a video doesn't even use a teaser video. it just uses a linked image that only looks like a playable video while the actual video gets posted on the company site.
How to Keep Your Audience Engaged
One of the tricky parts of video marketing campaigns is maintaining an audience's attention after it’s over. Do they click or continue with the actions you want them to? The following steps can help you keep them moving toward your goals:
1. Offer Other Relevant Videos
If you need to support a local dentist, videos about dental issues are likely to attract more quality traffic than cat videos, no matter how popular cat videos have become. It's tempting to increase engagement and sharing by exploiting particular evergreen or currently popular topics. However, your real test will be how well these viewers convert into customers.
2. Use Marketing Automation to Create Future Content
Your retail brand might run several different campaigns at the same time. Be certain that you can easily target your current audience with products of interest to them. If you captured your lead's interest with a video about men's running shoes, you'd probably have more success promoting sporting or men's products after that video airs. If your prospect already bought shoes, he could probably also use some socks.
3. Keep ‘em Coming Back for More
You can find multiple ways to keep leads engaged both before and after they've made that first purchase. You could consider using survey marketing to learn how consumers felt about their experiences with your company. Consider offering additional videos on related topics. If you need to close more sales, discounts and loyalty programs might help retain customers and prospects.
Keep Measuring, Testing, and Tuning Your Video Marketing Strategy
You shouldn't assume that you can optimize your video marketing strategy in one pass. The online environment changes so fast it's not even certain that a highly optimized inbound campaign will remain consistent over just a couple of months. If you devised your marketing funnel to support your sales goals, you should already be working on developing measures of success right away. In fact, many marketers would say that if they can't measure their marketing, they simply can't use it.
What to Measure:
Your metrics might include conversions, website visits, subscriptions, downloads, or other measures that tell you how effective your efforts were. It's important to avoid relying on "vanity" metrics, such as number of Twitter followers, even though they are relatively easy to measure. Even more distinct social statistics or traffic numbers might not tell you anything about how well your marketing performs with the business goals you’ve identified. For that, you need to make sure that consumers are progressing from one part of your funnel to the next. In the end, they need to leave an email address or buy something to complete the buyer's journey you’ve led them through.
Valid Metrics and Results:
- Who Starts the Video: If few consumers ever watch your video, it won't matter how effective it was. Think about ways to motivate more people to push the play button. These might include using a more engaging thumbnail, enhancing the video description, and adjusting the video size.
- Video Watchers: After viewers start the video, it's also important to measure how long they stay engaged. Even YouTube uses the watch rate in their ranking algorithm because it's a great way to measure video quality.
- Amount of Conversions into Prospects and Customers: This describes the percentage of consumers who watch the video and then take an intended action. This action could include subscribing, making a phone call, or making a purchase. Since this metric tells you how well your video accomplishes your goals, it's one of the most extraordinary measures.
- Social Interactions: In some ways, social signals can be vanity metrics. Alternatively, they might tell you how many watchers are passing on their personal recommendation of your content and brand to their friends or colleagues. If you aren't satisfied with your social stats, you may need to devise ways to encourage viewers to take action. For example, you might ask viewers to leave a comment or make social sharing buttons more visible.
Reap the Benefits of a Successful Video Marketing Campaign
Video marketing can help your company achieve many important business goals. At the same time, it isn’t a single effort. You should carefully map out your video strategy alongside a holistic inbound marketing process. If you can figure out which elements will best support your goals, you can implement a plan out the right combination of metrics for a successful inbound marketing strategy using video.