The Elements of Video Marketing to Accelerate the Shareability of Your Brand

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Are you an executive producer? YES. You can be. Your brand must produce compelling content that is designed for each stage of the customer journey. Video marketing is now one of the top three most effective social media marketing tactics and has gained popularity because of the enhanced analytics surrounding it. From “Softening the Beach” to “Buy Better” thought leadership, online video is a great way to introduce your brand and message to a growing audience of mobile and search-related video viewership. 78% of U.S. Internet users watch online videos. It isn’t just about entertainment. Your video strategy must consider what the customer or prospect needs to see or hear from your brand to engage and take action.

The cost of creating videos has been dramatically reduced. Don’t believe me? Hit up Best Buy this weekend and take a look. Or, better yet, check out the iPhone 6 campaign to see the stunning imagery captured with, what is now, considered a handheld mini-studio. (Sure, your brand integrity may require a bit more expense, but you don’t have to go crazy to get your point across.)

The real “cost” is in the planning, storyboarding, and thinking about your video strategy. So, I’ve laid out some simple steps to help you get a handle on the process of creating your video strategy, steps that will actually produce meaningful, relevant content and create the result you (and your executive team) are looking for.

Step 1: Consider Your Audience.

First you must determine if the video is for an existing customer or prospect, and then where in their customer journey will they be prompted to see this content? (Note: If you haven’t mapped out your customer journey, that truly is ground zero for all marketing efforts.) Stop and think - what are your customers and prospects passionate about? Remember, video is about capturing the emotion of a storyline in a way that draws the viewer closer to the content, the personalities, and the publisher. Your marketing efforts certainly earn loyal customers, but video has the power to create a Brand Ambassador – someone who cares and shares in the vision of your brand and your cause. Video helps make your brand hyper-local – even when the community is geographically dispersed. These ambassadors share your brand through likes, links, and love to everyone they come across. Customers and prospects have different needs along their journey with the brand. Understanding this component provides clarity for the next step.

Step 2: Consider Your Purpose.

Not all content is created equal. If your content is for an existing customer, determine if your purpose is for retention (think value proposition reinforcement or thought leadership engagement) or activation (think up-sell or cross-sell of a new product). If your content is for a prospect, determine if your purpose is for acquisition (think audience building, awareness or top-of-the-funnel activity) or activation (think specific call-to-actions, offers, or mid-funnel thought leadership).

Step 3: Consider Your Subject Matter.

If for acquisition, you may have to fight brand anonymity or position the product/service with thought leadership content that demonstrates your industry knowledge or tells the stories around client success. If for retention, your video content must be catered to fight attrition, bolster credibility, or to create more excitement around the coupling of a specific product/service to grow share of wallet. If for activation, think of a creative way to tell stories around client challenges, fight the cost-of-change-to-value mindset, or demonstrate the benefits in a compelling and engaging manner.

Step 4: Consider Your Video Length.

There are three different lengths of videos and each is relevant to the type of content you have decided in the first three steps. A “Micro-Video” runs 20 to 30 seconds in length. Typically, these are instructional in nature or have a quick burst of humorous content. The next is a one to two minute “Vignette”, which provides more time for facts, figures, and other information to be conveyed. Finally, there is the "Short Story." The length can range from ninety seconds to five minutes to provide time to develop a much more in-depth storyline around the messages you are trying to convey. Obviously, each of these lengths has a different result in terms of the number of people who will be willing to watch a longer version on YouTube versus a short one in the Facebook feed.

Step 5: Consider Your Traffic Drivers.

Planning how and when you will distribute the content is the final decision you must make. There are three proven methods (outside of the Holy Grail of viral video status) to get your video in front of the right audience at the right time in the buying cycle.

Email, in most cases, drives more engagement than the other digital channels in the arsenal. Enhancing your email strategy with a video can shift your message from “buy now” to “buy better”. In fact, using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and reduces the amount of unsubscribes by 26%.

Paid search and SEO, which includes researching and using the keywords users type into Google, will help you name your video so it appears on search results pages and effectively launch an online ad campaign to drive people to your video.

Leverage social media as part of an editorial calendar and utilize your followers and audience across multiple channels by making your videos a priority in your content planning. Once you begin to create the videos, look for creative ways inside your business to keep the show alive. Also, look for ways of reusing content you've already created (think blogs that might turn into quick on-camera reads). You’ve already paid once to create it, why not get more bang for your buck?

Video is the leading driver of ROI content according to 52% of marketing professionals worldwide. So grab your camera and start planning. And, as always, the team at Signet is here to help!

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