So at this stage of the process, you have created and produced your video content. In all likelihood, you are satisfied—perhaps extremely satisfied—with your creation. And this is a great thing! The content creation and production process are fun. It can exercise your creative muscles. It can even bring your team closer together.
But having said this, you absolutely cannot rest on your laurels here. The work isn’t close to being done. Even if you create the most compelling, high-quality video for your audience, there is no guarantee of success unless your audience can actually find that content.
In actuality, this is much easier said than done. Not only do you need to know where your audience is, but you need to ensure that they can—and will—watch your content.
This is where video marketing strategy comes in. Even though you should be thinking about video marketing strategy from the beginning, it is especially critical when you are finished producing your content. Instead of releasing your content into the wild, you need to have a deliberate, concrete plan for how you will accomplish your video marketing goals.
Sometimes it is better to maximize conversions rather than views. Other times, you may want to obtain the most views possible in order to spread the word about your brand. Whatever the case may be, you need a strategy to help you get there.
Video Marketing Strategy: Some Basic Requirements
While it may be somewhat difficult to provide general advice about video marketing strategy, there are some basic requirements that you should include when developing your custom plan. Whether you work for a small startup or a large leader in your sector, you can rely on several first principles to help you accomplish your video marketing goals.
First, settle on where your video will appear. As discussed, this is one of the more important decisions that you will make. Contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t necessarily in your best interest to be on each and every platform. This holds true even if your overall objective is to increase brand awareness for your organization.
Instead, you need to be picky. Spend some time figuring out where your audience likes to hang out. For example, if you work for a teenage apparel company, you will undoubtedly want to spend more of your time on Facebook and Instagram compared to other platforms. While it may seem intuitive to you—especially if you already have a built-in social media presence—it is worth taking the time to discover where your audience truly is.
With all of this said, you will likely want to include your video content on your website. There is nothing wrong with this. In most (if not all) circumstances, you will want your video content on your company’s blog or another webpage. Nevertheless, there is a right and a wrong way to do this—which I will further explain below.
Search Engine Optimization
Distribution is definitely one of the juggernauts of your video marketing strategy. Beyond distribution, however, you will absolutely need to pay attention to search engine optimization (“SEO”). SEO, if you need a reminder, is a strategy that is used to increase your page rankings on search engines like Google. To put it another way, by allocating time and effort to maximizing your SEO, you increase the chances that your video content appears on the first page—or the first listing—of certain keyword searches.
SEO is definitely an acquired skill. It takes time to learn some of the nuances in order to rise to the top of Google. But that is no excuse for not trying. On the Internet, you can find many guides that provide detailed examples of improving your video content’s SEO. Nonetheless, an effective SEO strategy comes down to a few key principles. The most important (in my opinion) focuses on an intelligent keyword strategy.
If you are just starting out—or are searching for some new keyword ideas—we recommend that you use Google’s Keyword Planner. While you will need to open a Google AdWords account in order to access Keyword Planner, it is absolutely worth your time. By submitting one keyword idea, Keyword Planner can provide lots of granular data about the competitiveness of that keyword, average monthly search counts, and top of page bid figures. Pairing up Keyword Planner with Google Trends will provide you with some fantastic keyword ideas—no matter your niche. Ideally, you are doing your keyword research before creating and producing a particular video, but you will still want to do this exercise even if you have already shot your video.
Once you have your targeted keywords for your video, ensure that the title and description of your video hit on the particular keywords that you are targeting. A word of caution, however. You don’t want to blindly attach keywords to irrelevant content. In other words, don’t attach a particular keyword to a video that has little (if anything) to do with that keyword. If you do this, your video will not only experience high bounce rates (harming your SEO) but will also turn off your audience. This bait and switch will cause your audience to be skeptical of your future content. This is a bad situation and one that you should desperately avoid.
These are just some basic first principles that comprise an effective SEO strategy. You will want to work on building reputable backlinks to your content and focus on your website’s technical SEO. It is a time-consuming, yet critical job that can help your audience discover your video content.
Optimizing Your Marketing Funnel
For nearly all of us, we aren’t creating video content just for the sake of creating video content. Our time is valuable. Consequently, we need our video content to serve our business goals—whatever they are.
Many businesses take on video marketing to get new customers and retain current customers. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with this. What is wrong, however, is when these businesses aren’t honest about these goals. By designing your video marketing strategy to optimize your marketing funnel, you will find it easier to accomplish your goals.
There are several important things to keep in mind here. First, ensure that you are creating content for different parts of your funnel. I alluded to this earlier in this book, but it is worth repeating. Harder sells, for instance, are more effective at the bottom of your funnel than the top of your funnel. Those at the top of your funnel will be more interested in hearing about the product or service itself and how it can help them. Once again, step into the audience’s shoes here and create content that is most relevant for them—no matter where they are in your funnel.
Next, post your video content on simple, easy-to-understand landing pages. Landing pages can be extremely effective tools to increase conversion rates and generate leads. They don’t need to be intricate. In fact, simple landing pages are often more effective than complex landing pages. Make sure the viewer can easily identify your video and call to action. For instance, place your video at the top of the screen and your call to action immediately below it. Keeping things nice and simple increases your chances that the viewer converts. I will be speaking about landing pages in more detail in chapter eight.
As far as calls to action, I have spoken about why they are so important. Keep in mind, however, that your call to action needs to be relevant to your audience—no matter where they are in your funnel. For example, the call to action for those at the top of your funnel could be a free ebook or webinar recording. The call to action for prospects at the bottom of your funnel could be a hard sell or even a time-sensitive discount. These are just suggestions, however. You need to analyze your audience, your video marketing objectives, and the potential calls to action that you can offer. From there, create landing pages, add calls to actions, analyze the data, and iterate as necessary.
It can be difficult to speak about video marketing strategy simply because it is so personal to each company. One strategy that may work for your competitor may be completely counterproductive for your company. Alternatively, aspects of video marketing strategy in a completely different sector could be used effectively in your sector.
Whatever the case may be, there are some clear takeaways here. First, you and your team should pay attention to video marketing strategy—from the moment you start your campaign until you conclude it. Paying more attention to this topic at the beginning leads to higher payoffs down the road.
Additionally, pay close attention to distribution, SEO, and optimizing your marketing funnel. Don’t be afraid to iterate and change course if you feel like things aren’t working. Above all else, however, be laser-focused on your audience’s wants and needs. Your audience is your north star. Go to where they are and deliver awesome high-quality content. They will not only thank you but will be even more likely to purchase your product or service.