In today’s hyper-digitized world, video communication is becoming increasingly important—and perhaps essential—for a successful marketing strategy. Data shows that consumers can’t get enough video. In fact, a 2020 research report found that 85% of consumers would like to see more video from brands in the year ahead.
There’s little doubt that video is attention-grabbing and effective in broadcasting a message. However, it can be rendered useless if not used properly. As much as video marketing material can improve brand recognition or facilitate a sale, it can just as easily turn someone off from your company.
In this article, I’ll share a basic strategy for effectively using video in your marketing strategy. This way, you can avoid the pitfalls that many companies fall into when first trying out video marketing, while also making sure you do everything right to generate leads and sales.
Video Marketing 101: How to Get Started
The importance of video for marketers cannot be overstated. Today, people consume advertising material through video platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram (including Reels and Stories), as well as Facebook. As these platforms continue to rise in popularity on a global scale, it’s important that we embrace them in our video marketing strategies.
Below, we’ve provided a simple outline for getting started with video marketing as a complete beginner.
1. Identify Your Target Audience Demographic
Big tech companies such as Google, Meta, and Snap provide excellent platforms for hyper-targeted video advertising. The beauty of these services is that you can easily pinpoint exactly who receives your ad, whereas in years past it was much more difficult to narrow your ad exposure to a simple gender or age group.
Ask yourself to draw up your ideal customer. Are they a specific age or gender? Do they live in a particular country or region, or have a particular level of higher education? You’re going to want to settle on specific numbers or data points on the following demographic factors:
- Age range
- Geographical location
- Income bracket
- Education attained
- Complementary interests
With these factors squared away, we can build a complete audience profile that can be targeted using social media advertising platforms. More than that, however, it gives us a chance to tailor our language and messaging so that it’s appropriate for the audience we’re trying to reach.
2. Construct a Customer Persona
You’re selling videos, but who’s buying? This is what you have to figure out based on the data collected in the first step. Try to identify lifestyle factors and personality traits associated with your target audience.
For instance, if you sell vegan, cruelty-free makeup and cosmetics, your target customer persona could be a 20-something year old woman who’s digitally native and responds well to corporate social responsibility, eco-friendly values, and profanity. Integrating these values into the creative elements of your videos will help you reach this core demographic.
3. Choose Your Production Method
When it comes to shooting, editing, and publishing your videos, you have two options. You can buy the equipment and invest the time required to learn the necessary videography skills, or you can hire professionals to do all the heavy lifting for you.
Even an entry-level professional video game such as a Sony a6000 with a microphone and image stabilization equipment (such as a caddy or gimbal) will cost you upward of about $1,000. Then, you need a workstation PC capable of running heavy-duty video software (such as Vegas Pro 14 or Adobe Premiere Pro) and, of course, the software itself. Altogether, the equipment alone will cost you several thousand dollars, plus dozens of hours spent learning the trade.
If this doesn’t sound like a worthwhile temporal or financial investment, consider hiring professionals. You could retain the services of a freelance videographer, or look into a marketing firm that can integrate video into your broader content marketing strategy.
4. Choose Your Timeline, Platform, and Budget
Your videographer’s rates are a fixed cost, and there’s usually no negotiating on that. However, how much you dedicate to your ad spend is entirely up to you. If it’s your first time experimenting with a video marketing campaign, I suggest an ad spend budget of at least $1,000 but no more than $10,000. Enough to make an impact, but not enough to jeopardize your company’s financial standing if the ad fails.
Your next choice has to do with the timeline of the campaign. Do you want to run the ad for one week, one month, or maybe even a full quarter? If you want to maximize your exposure, don’t overextend your timeline. If you’re running a simple four-figure (i.e., $x,000) campaign, I recommend running your ads between a 2-week and 4-week duration.
Last, choose the platforms you want to run the ads on. This will be determined by the form factor in which you shoot your promotional videos (e.g., vertical “selfie-type” videos are best for Snap and Instagram Stories, whereas long-form ads are better for YouTube) as well as your core target audience. If you have a younger audience, TikTok and Snap are preferable over Facebook, which has an older and more international user base.
5. Analysis, Analysis, Analysis
A follow-up analysis of your video marketing campaign is essential if you want to refine your methods and deliver a better performance each time. Take stock of key performance indicators (KPIs) associated with your video, such as:
- Rate of Play
- Engagement (i.e., likes, comments, and shares)
- View Count
- Click-Through Rates
If you’re continually improving on the above metrics without increasing your ad spend, then you’re doing something right. However, beyond that, you’re going to want to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. After all, video is only one part of your broader marketing strategy. After your video campaign expires, check these key metrics to see if your brand has improved on:
- Organic website traffic
- Social media following
- Cost per lead
- Average time on page
- Visits per channel
- Monthly website traffic
Again, if you see improvement on the above KPIs, then you’re likely on the right track. If you’re seeing stagnation or reduction, gradually tweak your strategy until you find a winning formula.
The Importance of Video in 2022
In the year ahead, we’re likely to see video marketing become even more popular than it already is. It’s now 2022, and the “pivot to video” has been well underway for several years. If you haven’t already embraced video in your marketing strategy, now is the time to start. By following the steps outlined above, you can position your brand for growth in the year ahead.