How to Integrate Video Into Your Client’s Marketing Strategy
Marketing is all about telling stories. Whether through a Facebook post, an email newsletter, or a weekly blog, what you choose to write about and the way you choose to do it tells customers and prospects a story not just about what a business sells, but also what kind of business it is—its mission and its purpose.
But the written word is just one tool in a marketer’s kit. With the emergence of Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook Live, video is becoming an increasingly popular medium through which to reach customers. According to a recent Hubspot report, more than half of all people prefer interacting with video content from a brand over any other form of marketing media.
As a marketer, you’re likely aware of these trends, but do you know how to capitalize on them? Read on as we take a look at how to integrate video into your client’s marketing strategy.
Develop an Approach
The first step to approaching a video strategy is understanding which video platforms are the right fit for your client’s business. Where are their customers and prospects viewing videos? What social media platforms are they most active on? You can put all the time, energy, and money in the world into producing high-quality video content, but if it’s not making it in front of prospects’ and customers’ eyes, it’s useless.
This study from Pew Research Group can serve as a starting point to identifying the proper social media channels. Unsurprisingly, platforms like Snapchat and Instagram skew younger, with the majority of users falling between the ages of 18 and 24. Facebook and YouTube are more popular across all age groups.
The other important thing to note in that study is that most Americans are on more than one social media platform; this means that part of the strategy should be thinking about how to create content that’s tailored to each specific type of social media so that prospects and customers aren’t encountering repetitive content across platforms.
Use Video Throughout the Hourglass
Video is a medium that can be applied at different points throughout the marketing hourglass to reach customers and prospects wherever they are in their journey and to (hopefully) move them along to the next stage.
You can create different types of video content for each part of the hourglass; each has its own unique purpose and approach.
- Know, Like and Trust: Those who are encountering a brand for the first time are just looking to understand what they’re about and why they’re unique. They’ll be drawn in with shorter videos that really show off a brand’s personality. Think brand films that establish an identity and showcase a mission statement or “quick tip” videos that cover ways the company is able to help with prospects’ pain points. These videos should be less about hammering home why a specific product or service the company offers is worthwhile, and more about letting the essence of the brand shine through.
- Try and Buy: Once a prospect is familiar with and trusts a brand, the next step is to get them to take the product or service out for a spin. Videos can help at this stage by getting more granular about the pain points the business is addressing and might include webinars or longer thought leadership videos like a TED Talk. Videos that can help close the sale are those that allow the user see what their life would be like (and how it would be better) if they purchased the good or service. This is where an effective testimonial or demo of a specific product comes in. Videos at this stage should allow leads to go in depth and learn specifically about the solutions being offered by a business.
Let’s apply this approach to a concrete example. Say your client is a landscaping company.
The “quick tip” video might be about how to pick the best flowers for your window box. The more in-depth explainer video for those in the try and buy phases could be about how to establish a lawn care system (using the company’s goods, services, or patented approach) that helps customers cut down on water usage and pesticides while still maintaining a lush green lawn. And the repeat and refer video might be one that includes the landscaper’s dog mascot welcoming new clients and letting them know about the online calendar tool that customers can use to book future lawn and garden care appointments.
See How it Went
Once the videos go live, you’ll want to check the analytics regularly to see how people respond. With any video campaign, there are a few KPIs to keep in mind. Yes, of course there’s the view count (how many saw the video). But you’ll also want to keep tabs on play rate, which represents the number of people who played the video divided by number of impressions it received. You can also track metrics on the completion rate: the number of people who watched the video all the way through, divided by the total number of all views.
These numbers can help you understand what topics or styles of video are grabbing a user’s attention initially, and whether or not the content of the video is engaging enough to hold the viewer’s attention for the long haul. Once you’ve put a handful of videos out there, you’ll begin to see patterns in the metrics and will be able to lean into what’s working and get rid of the approaches that are not successful.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Now that you have a handle on where to post videos and the type of content you’d like to create for your clients, you need to think a bit about the practical steps to creating a video.
- Get the right equipment. You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to make a decent looking video. The vast majority of us are smartphone users, which means we all walk around with high-quality cameras in our pockets. Teach your clients about some basic camera techniques (how to frame a shot, how to get a higher quality visual by understanding frame rate), the basics of lighting a room, and have them invest in an external microphone that can be connected to the camera. These small, relatively inexpensive steps can elevate a video from looking amateur to near-pro in no time.
- Script it out. Leave the improv to the cast of SNL, and instead develop a script for whoever’s going to be speaking during the video. Unless your client was an actor in a former life, it’s likely that they’ll be a little nervous getting in front of the camera. Don’t leave things to chance. Having a script, or at the very least a series of talking points that touches upon everything you’d like to cover, will ensure that the final product is in line with what you intended to create.
- Learn video editing. A lot can be fixed during the editing process. Portions of different takes can be fused together to create an error-free message, sound can be enhanced to remove background noise, and lighting can be altered to give the video a brighter, more professional feel. Picking a video editing software that’s easy for a non-professional to use and watching some quick tutorials about how to best approach the editing process can help give the video some extra professional polish.
You don’t have to be a director or videographer to create great content for your clients. You’re a marketer, so you understand how to tell a story. Getting a handle on the basics of the recording and editing process and understanding how to tailor the hourglass approach specifically to video will allow you to seamlessly integrate this valuable medium into your client’s existing marketing strategy.