Definition of Video Marketing
If a photo’s worth a thousand words, then how much more valuable is video? That’s the basis of video marketing, a forward-facing marketing strategy that integrates engaging video into your marketing campaigns.
Video marketing can be used for everything from building customer rapport, to promoting your brand, services or products. Additionally, video marketing can serve as a medium to present how-to’s, promote customer testimonials, live-stream events and deliver viral (entertaining) content.
How Video Marketing Works
On the surface, the how of video marketing is pretty simple: Your brand creates videos that, in some way or another, promote your company, drive sales, raise awareness of your products or services, or engage your customers. In practice, it’s a little more complicated. Like many of your marketing efforts, video marketing is data driven, so you’ll want to monitor various metrics and track customer engagement.
To develop your video marketing strategy, you’ll want to:
- Allocate resources. You’re going to need to designate some budget for video – at the least, decent equipment, good editing software, and a video marketing guru (or, better, team) – as well as time to create it.
- Tell your stories. Storytelling has never been as important as it is in video, so get brainstorming: What stories do you want to tell? How will you tell them?
- Engage. It’s not enough to simply tell your stories; you must engage your audience while you do so. How will you make your stories interesting? What will hook your audience?
- Keep it short. There’s no set length for marketing videos (although there are recommendations), but the general rule is that shorter is better. Be ruthless with your editing. Cut, cut, cut out everything extraneous. Attention spans are short, so make the best of what you get.
- Publish. Publish your videos far and wide – embedded in your website, uploaded to Google-owned YouTube, and on all your social media channels. Then, promote, promote, promote.
- Analyze. Track metrics and stats, to determine which videos do the best – and why.
Examples of Video Marketing
Video marketing is all over the Internet. Look no further than your favorite brands, your Facebook, your YouTube homepage, and there it is: successful video marketing that has found its way to your eyes.
Want to see a few best-of videos in action? Check out this list of enjoyable video marketing campaigns from Hubspot, 10 great examples from Forbes, or these 17 great examples from Big Commerce.
Benefits of Video Marketing
The benefits of video marketing are many. Let’s begin with the easily quantifiable: statistics, numbers, and data – oh my! Of note:
- Video helps you connect with your audience. Today, so much of a company’s marketing efforts are designed to help build trust. Video is the bridge that links what you say to who you really are, allowing customers to peer behind the curtain and get to know your brand.
- Video is an SEO gold mine, helping build backlinks to your site, boosting likes and shares (which can effect search rankings), and driving traffic to your site. And let’s not forget that YouTube is owned by Google, so be sure to post your videos to YT and tag, tag, tag with keywords/key phrases!
- Videos boost information retention. If your customers hear something only, they’re likely to retain about 10% of that information three days later; by contrast, if what they hear is accompanied by relevant imagery, they’ll retain an average 65% of that information three days later.
- In 2017, video content will account for an estimated 74% of all online traffic. Your customers love video. Would-be customers also love video, which means good video marketing can attract new visitors.
- Email subject lines that include the word “video” see a 19% increase in open rates, and a 65% boost in click-throughs.
- Four times as many customers would prefer to watch a product video, than read a product description.
- Do you like money? Then consider this: after watching a video, customers are 64-85% more likely to make a purchase.
Challenges of Video Marketing
Once upon a time, cost was a serious challenge to video marketing: The cost of equipment, editing software and, from an end-user’s perspective, the data cost of consuming online video.
Today, those challenges are mostly in the rear-view mirror. Yes, you still need some budget – good equipment, editing software and a delivery platform are more affordable than they once were, but they’re not free – and you do need a marketing team with experience in video, but these are all surmountable obstacles.
In fact, the biggest challenges of video marketing in 2017 are strategic: How to build a solid and effective video marketing strategy, how to create content that people want to consume, and how to create engaging videos that get shared. Additionally, video content marketers need to have a solid understanding of metrics, and how they indicate a video’s success and areas for improvement.
Through Smart Audiences Segmentation, you can identify audiences with multiple attributes and criteria that go beyond simple segmentation, and create content that targets specific audiences.
Best Practices for Video Marketing
From these challenges, rise video marketing best practices. And it all comes down to strategy: If you want your video marketing to have results, then you must plan, test, analyze, and test again. Yes, the goal of your videos is to tell a story and engage your customers but, from a marketing perspective, your videos must also align to your sales funnel. What is the purpose of each video? Who is the audience? How does the video further your marketing goals?
Bottom line, overall strategy and data should drive your video marketing strategy. First, plan a solid strategy to develop video(s) for each level of your sales funnel. Outline the content and goals of each individual video. Determine what metrics will best determine a video’s success. Then, test. Analyze. Tweak your videos (and their deployment), when necessary. Work to make them more effective. And whatever you do, do do video; in 2017 and beyond, it’s the cornerstone of your brand’s marketing efforts.