Creating a successful video marketing strategy for your business
Over the past decade, video has taken the internet by storm. First, through viral home videos; then, through the streaming of web series, movies, and television shows. And today, online video is no longer just for entertainment. Big brands and businesses are using video to market themselves and consumers are eating it up. But, for many smaller businesses, the idea of marketing with video is still daunting. This guide breaks things down to show you how easily (and quickly) you can get started with video, whether you’re looking for small business video tips or you’re looking to create videos for a larger company. Let’s dive in!
Looking to learn about a specific aspect of video marketing? Feel free to click on the following links to jump around in this article:
Setting Goals for Video Marketing – What are your video marketing goals? We’ll dive into the three stages of the customer journey—awareness, consideration, and decision—and how you can set video goals that play into each.
4 Types of Business Videos – Learn about four types of videos that can be used to achieve your video marketing goals, including brand videos, expertise videos, product videos, and ad hoc videos. We’ll also share real-life case studies for each video type.
Distributing Your Videos – We’ll show you how to optimize your videos for sharing, as well as dive into tips for creating videos for your website, Facebook videos, Instagram videos, Twitter videos, and YouTube videos.
Getting Started – Tips and advice for getting started with video creation, including where to look for photos, videos, and other elements to use for your video marketing. We’ll also share tips for shooting video and editing video.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of building your video marketing strategy, we thought we’d share a few compelling stats around why video is a must for today’s businesses—in case you’re not already convinced. According to Cisco, video is predicted to reach 80% of all internet traffic by 2020. And 85 percent of people say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018.
Why are consumers so engaged with video? Video tells a story in a way that text and photos alone simply can’t compete with. Through video, you can express your business’s personality and build a foundation of trust with consumers.
Video also stands out from other social media posts. In fact, in a 2015 report examining organic reach on Facebook, social media analytics service Socialbakers found that “native Facebook videos get more reach than any other type of post.” This still holds true today.
According to an Animoto report, 64% of consumers say watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchase decision in the last month, and Hubspot reports that using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and click through rates by 65%.
Not only does hosting videos on the Google-owned platform lead to higher placement in search results, but it may also increase your chances of being discovered by 1 billion YouTube users searching for content. And searching they are—in fact, according to a Google Consumer Survey, “67% of millennials agree that they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn.” If you’re not there to meet them with related content, you’re missing out on valuable leads.
What are your video marketing goals?
To make things simple, we’ve broken our strategy down into three sections: determining your objectives, deciding what videos to make, and distributing your videos. We’ll start with determining your objectives.
You should always understand why you’re doing what you’re doing before you jump in. Is your goal to increase brand awareness? Boost sales? Build a social media following? Before you start making videos, take some time to list out your goals so that you can plan to create the right content.
The Customer Journey
As a part of determining your objectives, it’s important to understand the customer journey. This will help you understand what types of videos will work best for achieving your goals.
STAGE 1: AWARENESS
Before a customer can buy from you, they must become aware of your business, a specific need or problem, and the fact that you offer a solution to this problem. This is where the first stage of the customer journey—awareness—comes in. During this stage, your video marketing strategy should be focused on getting your name out there to potential customers who don’t already know about you.
Ask yourself: What is the brand message you want to convey?
Pro tip: It’s important that videos geared towards awareness are easily discoverable and engaging. Creativity and personality are key in this stage. You want to make sure prospects remember you.
STAGE 2: CONSIDERATION
Once potential customers become aware of who you are, they move into the consideration stage. They’re trying to learn more about you, comparing you to similar products and services, and trying to make a decision about whether they want to become your customer or not.
Ask yourself: What can you do to make yourself stand out from the competition?
Pro tip: Knowledge is a key differentiator that can set you apart. By sharing useful and valuable information that’s relevant to your business, you’ll show potential customers that you know your stuff.
STAGE 3: DECISION
You’re going to love this stage: Decision is where the customer makes the choice to buy your product, visit your store, sign up for your mailing list, or take whatever action you want them to take.
Ask yourself: What can you do to convince the potential customer to take the dive?
Pro tip: Conveying a sense of urgency, with time sensitive deals or promotions, can be a solid strategy during this stage.
4 Types of Business Videos
1. Brand Videos
The first type of video you should have for your business is a brand video—that is, a video showcasing who you are and what you do. This category includes videos such as company overviews, about me or about us videos, highlight reels showcasing your portfolio to let your work speak for you, and videos about your mission and values.
Where to post: Brand videos work well on your website, at a trade show booth, in a storefront display, or anywhere you want to visually display who you are and what you do. They can also work nicely for Facebook or Instagram ads.
Case Study: Pure Barre Red Bank
Let’s take a look at an example of a brand video at work. Pure Barre Red Bank, a local tness studio in Red Bank, New Jersey, used Animoto to create a short video ad to market their studio.
It took less than a day for Pure Barre Red Bank to create and share their video ad on Facebook and Twitter, using photos and videos shot at their fitness studio, paired with text. The marketing video gave viewers a sneak peak into the member experience at Pure Barre Red Bank, without their ever having to step foot into the studio.
The text and branding options are perfect for getting the word out about what we do here at Pure Barre Red Bank, and it’s an effective way to share our specials and offers.”
Pro Tip: When you’re posting your video somewhere that viewers may not be able to hear it—on Facebook or Instagram, in a storefront, or at a trade show—well-written captions and titles are even more important.
2. Expertise Videos
As a business owner or marketer, you’ve got a unique perspective and insight into the industry you’re working in. A real estate agent, for instance, knows much more than the average Joe about the experience of buying and selling homes; a chef in a restaurant knows how to cook amazing food; and a florist, as you’ll see in the case study below, knows how to create beautiful bouquets. Sharing your knowledge through videos showcasing your expertise, such as how-to tutorials and behind-the-scenes videos showing you at work, is a great way to demonstrate your capabilities and show potential customers that you know your stuff.
Where to post: Expertise videos work well on YouTube, where you can reach the audience that’s searching for advice and how-to videos related to your industry. They can also make for shareworthy Facebook posts.
Case Study: City Girl Flowers
In this example, boutique floral designer Jill Gaynor teaches viewers how to create their own oral arrangements with videos on YouTube and Facebook, including a DIY flower gift box for Valentine’s Day. These videos give Jill an opportunity to show o her expertise, as well as her product.
Less than a year after uploading her first video, Jill’s YouTube channel boasts over 24,000 minutes of video watched, with the average viewer sticking around 1:03. The videos have also brought in sales. A music agent at a top talent agency saw the videos and hired Jill to create orals for gifts, events, and meetings.
Now Animoto is an essential part of my creative process in building brand awareness.”
Pro Tip: When creating expertise videos, don’t forget to add information to let viewers know where they can learn more about you and your business. In this example, Jill includes her website information to let viewers know where they can go to place an order.
3. Product Videos
Product videos give potential customers deeper insight into your product. This category includes videos about specific product features and specifications, videos showcasing how and why to use your product, “unboxing” videos, and videos addressing FAQs. Testimonial videos, featuring satis ed customers talking about your products, also fall under this category.
Where to post: Product videos and testimonials are most helpful on product pages on your website and other e-commerce websites where your products are sold. They can also work nicely on social media, especially if you’re telling a unique story about a product.
Case Study: Nu-Era Bakery
Nu-Era Bakery in West Virginia, took a unique approach and told the origin story behind one of their products—the pepperoni roll—in this example.
The video paired behind-the-scenes photos and video clips of the rolls being baked, in addition to an historical image, purchased from ShutterStock. They paired the photos and video clips with big, bold titles, making it easy for viewers to follow the story of the popular snack. When the video was done, they posted it on their Facebook page.
“The results were absolutely overwhelming,” co-owner Larry Albright told us. Nu-Era posted the video organically and it started taking off almost immediately. The original video was shared over 4,000 times and received over 200 comments, many with people tagging their friends, resulting in even further reach.
Pro Tip: When creating product videos, feel free to get creative. Share a backstory or go behind the scenes, like Nu-Era did, share a how-to video featuring the product, or take advantage of the power of video to showcase your product in use, from different angles.
4. Ad Hoc Videos
Ad hoc videos are the one-offs that are done for a specific purpose. For instance, event recaps, holiday videos, and videos around special occasions would fit into this category.
Where to post: For ad hocs, the distribution channels may differ depending upon what the video is about. We’ll discuss the types of videos that perform best for each channel later on.
Case Study: Rescue Chocolate
Rescue Chocolate, a vegan chocolate purveyor, reached over 1 million people and helped save the lives of Pit Bulls in Montreal with a well-timed ad hoc video in this example.
In September 2016, they learned of a bill that Montreal’s city council had passed banning Pit Bulls that would have resulted in an increase in the number Pit Bull euthanizations. Sarah Gross, the owner of Rescue Chocolate, wanted to spread awareness and encourage people to sign a Change.org petition related to the issue.
The fact that this video got people thinking about the issue nearest to my heart was invaluable.”
Pro Tip: Topical video content, tied to current events or holidays, can do wonders for driving engagement.
Distributing Your Videos
When it comes to video marketing, creating great video content is half the battle. But once your content is created, it’s time to distribute it. Where and how should you post your videos? We’ll provide some quick tips to help you boost visibility and get the best reach for your marketing videos.
Different types of content perform better in different places, which is why we’ll be breaking our tips down according to channel. We’ll dive into strategy for distributing videos on your website, on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Optimizing Your Videos for Sharing
Before we get into specifics, no matter what platform you’ll be sharing your videos on, there are a few things that you should always make sure to do:
- Choose a vibrant cover image. Your cover image, or video thumbnail, is one of the main factors driving people to watch your video (or not). Be sure to choose an eye-catching image that will make people want to click to watch.
- Don’t leave ‘em hanging. Always indicate the next step you’d like your viewers to take after watching your video. You can do this by adding instructions to the video with text, in a voice-over, or in the description of your social media post or ad.
- Plan for sound off. 85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound. Use text to ensure that your video can be understood with or without sound.
Distribution Tips by Platform
- Make sure your video content is easy to find. Unlike social pages, which have minimal navigation, your website will likely have multiple pages featuring different types of content and topics. Some good spots to feature video include front and center on your homepage for company overviews, your About Us page for behind-the-scenes and videos that tell the story of your company, and product pages for product videos.
- Test your site on mobile. Today, more and more people are consuming web content on mobile devices. According to our 2015 Online and Social Video Marketing Study, 55 percent of consumers watch at least one video on mobile per week. Always test your website using a mobile browser to make sure your videos are displayed and play properly.
What to post: Company Overview, Product Videos, About Me Video, Customer Testimonials
- Avoid the hard sell. On Facebook, you’ll draw more engagement with content that educates, inspires, and entertains over content that is just about your product or service.
- Captivate in the first few seconds. Because native Facebook video auto-plays in the News Feed, it’s critical to capture viewers’ attention in the first few seconds.
- Target. Use Facebook Ads Manager to get your videos in front of just the right audience. Target according to location, interests, and more.
- Go square. Square videos take up 78% more space in the News Feed. Create square videos to stand out and stop more thumbs as they scroll.
- Use text. 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, so plan for sound-off viewing.
- Think visual. Instagram was originally just a photo-sharing app and, as such, Instagram users are used to seeing beautiful, striking images in their feeds.
- Keep it short. Instagram videos can be 1 minute, but since they loop, and viewers can’t see how long they are, it’s best to keep it under 30 seconds.
- Showcase a product. Selling a visual product, like clothing or jewelry? A video ad featuring nice product shots can work well on Instagram.
- Remember to set a cover image for your videos. Once published, you can’t update.
- Plan for intent. What are your potential customers interested in? What are they searching for? Create videos around these topics so you show up when they search.
- Optimize metadata. Make sure to use good titles, descriptions, and tags with relevant keywords to make sure your videos show up in search.
- Educate. Showing up is the first step, but your videos also need to be useful. Create longer videos (2+ minutes) that share your knowledge.
- Be eye-catching. Choose a thumbnail image that’ll draw viewers in and stand out from other videos.
Be quick. Twitter videos can be up to 2:20. But since Twitter users are used to short updates, it’s best to keep your Twitter videos short too. Try 30 to 45 seconds.
Be punchy. Catch people as they’re scrolling by starting your video with an eye-catching image or video clip or intriguing line of text.
Be relevant. Join existing conversations and prep for events, trends, and holidays you know people will be talking about.
Use hashtags. Hashtags can help you get your videos in front of a wider audience.
Taking the leap into video marketing may feel overwhelming, but getting started is actually easier than you may think. You can create professional videos with a handful of assets, including your logo, photos and video clips of your products or services, your storefront or workspace, and yourself. And you may already have many of these on hand. Repurposing existing media can be a great way to save time when creating your first video.
Here are some places to look for photos, videos, and other elements to include in your video:
Images and video from recent trade shows and events
- Your mobile device
- Facebook and Instagram
- Stock image sites
- Dropbox or other photo storage apps (e.g. Flickr, SmugMug, etc.)
- Your website
- Brochures about your business
- Customer images and reviews on Yelp
Note: If images and videos were created by someone other than you, be sure to get their permission before using them in your videos.
Shooting Your Video
If you do want to venture out and shoot your own photos and videos, you don’t need to hire a professional photographer or videographer. You can easily shoot photos and videos on your own using a consumer camera (or even your mobile device!).
Here are a few tips:
Be aware of lighting. Make sure to shoot photos and videos in locations where there’s plenty of light. This will make for crisper, more professional-looking images.
Stabilize your camera. Shaky footage can be hard to watch. You don’t want to make your viewers dizzy, so be sure stabilize your phone or camera.
Shoot in landscape. While portrait (vertical) photography can often look nice, when it comes to video you’ll want to shoot in landscape (horizontal). This will make your videos look more professional, as the image will take up more of the screen.
Keep video clips short. If you keep your camera on and shoot a 20-minute video clip, it’s going to be difficult and time-consuming to edit out the parts you want to use later. Instead, shoot short video clips. Start recording a couple seconds before your shot and stop a couple seconds after you get the shot you want. This will make it much easier to trim down your footage when you create your video.
Want to learn more? Check out our full Video Creation Basics guide to shooting video.
Editing Your Video
Once you’ve compiled all of your assets, it’s time to edit your video. Whether you’re using a professional video editing software, or a program like Animoto, there are several things to think about and incorporate into your video.
Video style. Select a style for your video that fits with your business, in terms of fonts, colors, and effects. Animoto offers a collection of professional marketing video styles and starter templates that can easily be customized to t your brand.
Text. Think about how you can use text titles and captions to tell your story.
Music. Select music that fits with the personality of your business. If you’ll have people speaking in your video, avoid music with lyrics, as it can be distracting.
Call to Action. Don’t forget to add a call to action. You can let viewers know what to do next with a talking head, text slide, or a call-to-action button.
Pro Tip: Keep your videos short and to the point. In a recent survey, we found that nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer videos under 60 seconds. 10 to 15 images or video clips will result in a video that’s approximately one minute long.
Now that you’re armed with an understanding of why video marketing works, how you can use it to achieve your goals, and how easy it is to get started, you’re ready to begin reaping the benefits of video marketing. Good luck and happy video making!