Hey business owners and marketers, it's time to have a heart-to-heart about video marketing. If you aren't planning to dedicate a significant chunk of resources in your 2023 marketing plan to video, you're already missing out on one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience online. Honestly, it’s what people expect these days—from your website to your social media posts. Whether you are in manufacturing, private golf clubs, senior living, e-commerce, or SaaS, there's a place for video content in your marketing model.
If you are like me, you've heard thought leaders and read blogs touting the importance of video more times than you can count. There are tons of stats about how many videos are being created every month, the "best" length for a video, and the most popular viewing times. And while they are all interesting bits of knowledge, unless you are publishing A LOT of videos every month, they aren't all that helpful.
After talking with many marketers and business owners, there is still a lot of uncertainty around what types of video to create, how much to budget per year/project, and how to get started. So, I've created a quick list of things to consider for your video marketing strategy as well as a few tools that will help you get started.
Speaking of tools, click the link below to access our Content Blocking Template to help you plan your video strategy:
1. Increase Your Budget for Video
No matter what your video budget was for this year, you should plan to increase it for next year. If you didn't spend any money on video last year, now is the right time to start. If you did spend money, you should either start filling out the rest of your website with video or look to replace your older video assets - or both. If you are not sure what to spend, there are resources that can help you incorporate video into your marketing budget.
If you don't believe me, take it from Apple and Facebook. Both companies spend billions of dollars each year to create original video content. These are two very successful businesses whose business models didn't need to expand to video, however, these tech giants realize that there is massive potential in creating video content.
Image via HubSpot
Now, I know what you're thinking. "That's all great, but I'm not Apple or Facebook, and I definitely don't have billions of dollars to spend." You're right, but that's not my point.
My point is that we live in a time where every single company has a reason to be budgeting for and creating video content. No matter what your budget is, here are a few simple suggestions:
$0-$2,500: For this kind of budget, you will not be able to spend much, if anything, on a videographer. Instead, invest your money in a course or workshop to help you learn about video strategy. Focus on creating free or cheap videos like Facebook Live, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, webcam videos, etc. Depending on your budget, you can probably invest in an HD webcam or a good microphone to help you get the best quality possible.
$2,500-$5,000: With this budget, you'll definitely be able to afford to buy some basic recording equipment or hire a freelance videographer, but you may not want to rely on them to develop the strategy of your video. Again, I would suggest investing your budget in a class or workshop to help you learn the basics of video strategy.
$5,000+: With a budget greater than $5,000, you can afford to work with a production company that can advise you on what to produce and how to produce it. If you are not sure what kind of company to use, here's a simple guide to comparing video production companies.
2. Diversify Your Video Content
One video on your website can't do everything. Different types of videos have a unique purpose and drive different results. Certain videos function best as top-of-the-funnel content pieces that answer high-level questions, some types of videos work better for telling stories to elicit trust and emotion from your viewers, and other videos, like testimonials, showcase your credibility.
Take the time to think about other kinds of video content that you can create for your business or industry. Here are a few suggestions:
Look at your most visited landing pages and website pages, how could video enhance the experience of a viewer? Could you drive credibility and trust by adding a video?
Do you sell products? Would your prospects appreciate a video that simply walks them through the specifics of your products?
Have you told your customers' stories? Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, we all like to hear the stories of people who have success with a product or service.
Check Quora and Reddit for common questions that your potential customers have about your industry.
Do some keyword research around the most searched topics in your industry and create new blogs or web pages with videos to support the content.
3. Plan Your Shoots; Maximize Your Time and Resources
One thing many people don't realize is that unlike physical products, the cost of a video is not necessarily calculated on a per-unit basis. By mapping out your larger plan for video, you can often leverage the economy of time.
Whether you are trying to tackle your video projects internally or you have the budget to hire a partner, there is an efficiency when you can leverage previously shot footage and use it as part of your ongoing video strategy.
Creating a Blueprint
Our Blueprint for Video Marketing lays out a plan for turning your company video shoot into a total of 6 produced videos. This is done by creating a plan that allows you to leverage the time, and the subject matter experts to produce multiple short videos from the same shoot.
Here are a few other ways that you can maximize your time and money to produce more videos:
Plan multi-person interviews. Try to capture interviews when all of your essential experts can be in the same spot on the same day.
Focus on quality rather than length. If your experts can communicate a helpful message in a minute, then don't waste more money, time or resources trying to get your video to the 3-minute mark.
Have someone who just loves to talk? Try the Gary Vaynerchuk method of video creation and just let one of your subject matter experts talk about a particular subject and then cut it down into short videos to use in social media, website pages, emails and more.
4. Own Your Niche
Go to YouTube, Instagram and/or TikTok and spend some time looking at the videos that already exist in your industry. Look for ways that you can improve on existing videos, dive deeper into a specific topic, or cover something new. You can develop credibility and thought leadership by creating video content that helps your customers and prospects get the answers they are looking for.
Make sure to cross-reference the video topics you find against basic SEO keyword metrics to make sure that your topics have a high likelihood of being found through organic search.
5. Look for More Ways to Share Your Stories
We talk to companies all the time who "don't have interesting stories to tell," and to that, we call B.S. No matter what industry you are in, you have compelling stories to tell. You may not be a shiny tech startup in San Francisco, but you probably have an interesting history or a compelling customer solution. Otherwise, why do you show up for work in the morning and why do your customers hire you?
Telling stories, especially through video, humanizes your brand. It showcases something far beyond your brand messages, it showcases the heart and soul of your company and your people. Learning how to identify those stories can be a bit more challenging. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Share the behind the scenes of your latest product development.
- Tell the stories of your longest-tenured employee or customer.
- Show the everyday life of an employee or tenant.
- Talk about your experience at the latest trade show or industry event.
- Tell a client's success story.
- Showcase a training program or culture initiative
One of the best ways to identify and organize stories is with a Video Content Blocking spreadsheet. This simple spreadsheet can help you think more creatively about ways to feature your existing brand stories.
As marketers and business owners, we can't continue to sit back and ignore the fact that video is a content medium that is expanding its influence all around us. But don't let the sheer scale stop you from getting started. There are a lot of resources, classes, webinars, and workshops that can help you get started with video.
Do your research, make a plan, allocate a budget, and just take the first step in creating video content that your customers and prospects can use.
Don't know where to get started? Contact our video team and we'll let you know our recommendations on how and where to get started.
Editor's Note: This article originally published in 2017 and was updated in 2022.