No that long ago, video for business was very much a straight forward affair. A corporate video was almost a replacement for the traditional company brochure and it gave an overview of what the company was all about. Once the video had been made – showing the premises, the people, the service, the products it was then wrapped up into a three minute production. Once finished it was burned onto a DVD and distributed to prospective customers and responses to enquiries. Sometimes it would have been shown on a continual loop in reception areas and maybe played on exhibition stands, shown at the annual conference used in sales presentations. It was also the sole preserve of large companies with large budgets with the resources and scope to show how big they are.
Then the YouTube revolution happened and anyone could put a video online and broadcast their own works. What followed was an evolution of not just video making but also the displaying and use of video. It soon became about the views and the likes and the shares. Then it was about having a video on your website, particularly on the homepage and the advent of as many people as possible seeing your corporate video. This is when video marketing became a thing.
Since then, the use of video has become something of an art form and certainly a dedicated strand of marketing. The video production element has gone full circle – first of all it was all about the quality. Then it was the content that was most important, it has since come back to quality of production but now there is a new factor – planning and distribution. Any video strategy, much like any other marketing plan, needs to have certain components to be a success. We take a look at some of the main areas to consider here when setting out your video strategy.
Before you pick up a camera, think about what you want to say. This isn’t just for the video that you’re about to create, this is your overarching messages that represent your business. Your key messages should run through everything you do to promote your business. What you need your customers to consistently hear, what your business and it’s products stand for, what you want your business to look like to the rest of the world. Once you have these in place, then whatever your video is about, the underlying key messages will always radiate through. It means that you don’t deviate off brand and your customers get the consistently same communication in everything that they see from you whatever format it comes in.
Understanding your audience is key to the timings that you release your videos. Are there certain times of the year that your industry sees spikes in activity or interest. Are certain times of the day crucial to your audience? If so should that have an impact on the release of your next video. It also means that you may need to be reactive to situations and be ready to piggyback onto anything that develops in your industry.
It’s no longer about a ‘one hit wonder’, drip feeding continuous content is much more effective to get a consistent message across and to engage with your audience. If you are going to produce a series of videos then what is your schedule for getting the videos out there? Once a week, once a month? Putting a plan together to schedule your distribution could be key to getting maximum exposure.
Do you have distribution strategy in place? Do you know the most effective platforms to use? If you know that a certain social media channel is where your audience is, do you know enough about it to use it effectively. Are there advertising or boost options, what are the limits of length of the video, what size format do the videos come in – check out our service on vertical video here which is all about social media videos in 9:16 format. Do the channels have any restrictions or limits i.e. how long do the videos stay on for? How can you repurpose the content?
What do you want your viewers to do once they have seen the video? Is there a direct action required, is it purely about brand awareness and exposure or are you generating sales? Your video strategy needs to plan for what the customer will do after watching and then you have to be ready for it. Don’t ask customers to call a number but have nobody ready to answer the phone. This is where timings might come into place too. Don’t release your video on Sunday asking people to visit when your shop is closed. Whatever you want your viewers to do, be explicit about telling them.
Know what you want to achieve before you start. You video strategy should take into account the goals you are looking for so that you can see if it’s working. You might get lots of views of your video but nobody has made a purchase and that’s what you really wanted. You can then see why that is – is your call to action right, are you distributing it on the right channels, have you got your timings in line with the habits of your audience? Any strategy should be fluid and flexible and a video strategy is no different. If you are able to, tweak and change it accordingly if things aren’t going right so that you can achieve your goals.
So this video thing is a bit more sophisticated than it was a few years ago but that doesn’t mean it’s more difficult to implement. Don’t forget too that quality is still important. Yes, almost any smartphone has the ability to film in great quality but that doesn’t mean you’ll make quality video. If you can do a good a job filming with your phone then go ahead and make your own content but always bear in mind that what you put out is a reflection on your business. Remember that video accounts for so much of internet traffic now and social media channels have a ‘video first’ approach so if you want to stand out, we are getting very much back to the quality is king approach. This is where we come in, we can advise on video strategy, we can produce the quality video to represent your brand and we can work with you to deliver exactly what your business needs. Make sure your brand gets the best possible representation online.
Blog writer: Adam Snelleksz is a director of CMA Video and has worked in marketing for over 20 years. He has worked in video production in Birmingham for five years with CMA Video and has been using video for marketing for nearly 10 years. He also set up the video TV channel Blues TV, the official online channel of Birmingham City Football Club. Some of the projects that Adam has used promotional videos for include the Birmingham Half Marathon, the European Gymnastics Championships and the World BMX Championships.
Our video marketing blogs have been recognised as one of the Top 50 Video Marketing Blogs on the internet. We hope you enjoy reading them and gain valuable insights into what we do here at CMA Video and show that we’re not just another Birmingham video production company but we do more from animation videos to event filming, video strategy to social media video campaigns.