There is no denying the power of video. For years, marketing has relied on video to tell stories. From TV commercials to entire movies made to promote a product, videos have consistently served as a medium to help amplify brands’ messaging. In the past, producing videos has been expensive with few people having the skill set to do. However, with the widespread use of smartphones today, almost everyone is walking around with a high definition video camera in their pockets. Because of this, video is more popular than ever and anyone can create one. With video being so widely attainable, there is no excuse for a company to not be publishing video content regularly.
While anyone can create a video, it is a little more complicated than simply pointing your phone at something and pressing the record button. Creating a simple video strategy will allow you to make the most out of the time and money in order to produce a quality video your that your target audience will connect with.
Step 1: Understand Your Audience
It’s time to dig deep and get specific. First and foremost, you need to have an understanding of what information is valuable to each of your business’ audience segments. We’ve found that creating a few buckets to categorize your videos is extremely useful to ensure that each one is is specifically targeted to the correct audience.
In our experience, the easiest way to categorize these buckets is to break up your audiences by various stages they might be in. Just like in a real life, there may be times where you need to address people differently based on who it is and what’s going on in their life. The same is true when considering your target audience and how to best reach them.
The three key stages that we have found to be helpful when breaking up your audience are awareness, consideration and decision.
People who are in this stage are those who either don’t know they have a problem or are those who have just discovered their issue. Selling your solution to this audience can be a waste of time simply because they don’t fully understand the problem that they are facing. To best target audience members in this stage, help them understand the problem in a way that is easy to digest.
At this stage, your potential customers have started investigating the options they have to solve their problem and need all the information they can get. The best way to connect with audience members in this stage is to explain the information they are looking for with detailed content.
More often than not, your audience in this stage is looking for very specific information in regards to the solution you’re offering. This is your chance to really sell yourself by differentiating your solution amongst all other options available to them in order to ensure their decision to move forward with your business.
Now that you have some generic buckets, it’s time for you to clearly define your ideal customer and anticipate exactly what it is that they want to hear from you. If you have already created audience personas, you are ahead of the class and should use those to help further separate your audiences into different buckets. If your company has not yet worked through creating personas, check out this blog on how to create audience personas. This exercise will help you to thoroughly understand who your audience is and what they value.
However, if you don’t have time for all of that work, here are a few questions you should answer about the target audience that go beyond the basic demographics, to help you create meaningful videos.
- Where does your audience spend their time online?
- What other videos are they watching?
- What TV shows do they watch?
- What questions do you get the most from your customers?
Step 2. Define the Purpose of Your Video
Creating videos simply for the sake of having videos, won’t get you far. Every video that you create, needs to serve a purpose. Take the audiences that you have just defined and think about what they will get out of the video. Try to think of the content in your videos as something to barter with. Your audience’s time is worth something and so is your content. Make it a fair deal.
Make Your Differentiator Apparent
What makes you different should be prevalent in every video that you publish.
Step 3. Plan-out Your Content
There are some people that can step in front of a camera and feel right at home. However, for the majority of us, we need a little more structure and a good idea of what we are going to say and do before pressing record.
One of the best ways to begin planning your video content strategy is to start looking around at what other videos are out there. Make a list of your competitors and keep tabs on the content they are publishing. This can help you to see what others are doing well and determine the ways in which you can differentiate your business through future videos. Spend some time watching popular videos and take notes on what aspects you find successful and will help you to connect with your audience.
Use What You Have
Take some time to look through all of the content that you have produced to determine what you are missing, what you have too much of and what you could reuse in a video. Don’t waste creating videos about topics that you have covered over and over in other formats. Instead, repurpose your most successful content from a different medium and adjust it for video to get more mileage out of that topic.
Step 4. Outline Your Video Process
Once you have a clear direction of the videos that you want created, outline exactly how that will happen. Who is ultimately responsible for getting the videos completed? Who will be in front and behind the camera?
This doesn’t have to be perfect on the first try. Start by writing a rough outline of the steps that need to be taken and who will be assigned those tasks. As you begin creating videos, you are bound to find things that work for your team and things that you might have missed. Continue to update your process with what you find works best.
Take time to think about how your brand will be represented in all of your videos. What will your voice and tone be like? It’s often helpful to have one person be the brand keeper during this process to ensure your videos stay consistent with the brand identity.
Step 5. Promote Your Videos
All of the hard work that you put into your videos won’t mean anything if the video never sees the light of day. Finding the right platform to publish your video on shouldn’t happen after the video is complete. Where your potential customers will encounter this video should be top of mind throughout the process of creating them. For example, Facebook has different promotion options than YouTube and knowing that before starting the creation process will make your video more impactful.