A few years ago, as I started focusing on video marketing for small business, it all seemed crystal clear to me. There were only five stages of video marketing:

  1. Development
  2. Creative
  3. Pre-Production
  4. Production
  5. Post Production

As you can see, these five steps did not include strategy, distribution, or analytics! The above categories were what I knew as a filmmaker. I have come to realize, that what I knew about back then was video PRODUCTION, not video MARKETING.

The moment we talk about video marketing, versus video production, we also need to talk about strategy, distribution, and analytics.

Today, after years of hands-on experience, I have a much better understanding of what a lay-person needs to know to be successful at video marketing for their business.

My focus has shifted from sharing all that I know, to sharing what clients need to know for a successful, sustainable, cost-, and time-effective video marketing strategy.

So, what are the most important things to know about video marketing strategy?

  • Video marketing is a feedback loop that starts and ends with strategy (see diagram above)
  • Strategy informs distribution, and the outcome of your distribution efforts informs your next round of strategy. One does not exist without the other
  • Storytelling, shooting and editing are merely the execution steps, called video production

What is your video marketing strategy? And, where should you start?

Here are three steps – the first of which is an overview

Step 1: Ask yourself the following questions (and we’ll get into more detail with step 2 and 3)

Strategy (marketing):

    1. How does video tie into my overall marketing strategy?
    2. Who is my audience and on which channels do they hang-out?
    3. What do I want my prospects to do after watching the video?
    4. What video style works for my message, and the platform I’m using?
    5. What’s my story?

Practical considerations (production):

    1. What’s my timeframe to get videos done?
    2. What assets do I have available (talent, physical, digital)?
    3. What budget do I have?
    4. What can I do myself?

Step 2: Focus on our audience and their experience:

  1. Decide who your audience is (be as specific as possible) [wouldn’t this happen before step one? Considering question #2 of step #1 is “who is my audience”? – LZA]
  2. Know where in the buying cycle you are addressing your audience (see below)

Your marketing should always address people according to where they are in the buying cycle. This means you either need to:

  1. Create solution awareness
  2. Create product awareness
  3. Create consideration
  4. Convert your audience to customers
  5. Retain your audience as customers

So, what does that mean for your video marketing strategy?

Chances are your video will fall into one of the four categories below. Each addresses people at a specific point in the buying cycle and will determine not only what kind of video you should make, but also how and where the video should be hosted and posted.

  1. Problem-Aware:

Your video will move potential customers from being aware that they have a problem to being aware of the solution to their problem.

In marketing lingo: You’re moving leads to solution-aware:

  • Video Content: Talk about the importance of the problem you solve. Be an authority in our field. No mention of your specific services or products
  • Where to Post: your business’ social media platforms
  • Call-to-Action: “There is an easy solution to your problem”. Point leads to free resources, your blog or vlog
  • Video Context: Stand-alone videos that can be posted/hosted wherever is needed
  1. Solution-Aware:

Your video will inform potential customers that know that there are solutions for their problem, to learning that your product can be a solution to their problem.

In marketing lingo: Your video will move leads to product-aware:

  • Video Content: Talk about your areas of expertise. Distinguish yourself from the competition. Mention your solutions
  • Where to Post: Post videos on social media, your blog or vlog, and webpages
  • Call-To-Action: “Check us out”: Point leads to your landing, and/or service/product page
  • Video Context: Stand-alone videos that can be posted/hosted wherever is needed
  1. Product-Aware:

Your video will (ideally) move your potential customers to consider your product as the best solution to their problem.

In marketing lingo: Your video will move leads to consideration:

  • Video Content: Highlight free consultations and benefits of working with you
  • Where to Post: Post videos on your website, or embed them on your social media pages
  • Call-To-Action: “We are the best solution for you”: detailed product/service page
  • Video Context: These videos live within your sales-environment and do not stand alone
  1. Consideration:

Your video will help customers to decide and buy from you.

In marketing lingo: Your video will move leads to buying from you: 

  • Video Content: Ask for their business! Offer a deal or incentive for them to ACT now!
  • Where to Post: These videos live on your product or services page or an appropriate ‘sales’ environment elsewhere
  • Call-To-Action: “Buy now [before benefit runs out]”
  • Video Context: These videos live within your sales-environment and do not stand alone 

Step 3: Focus on distribution platforms: Where does your audience hang out?

There are many different distribution channels, but you should consider:

  1. Your website
  2. Facebook
  3. Instagram
  4. YouTube
  5. Twitter
  6. Snapchat

Each distribution platform has its own technical specs, and they change regularly and often. Below are few aspects to consider. And, for more detailed info read: How Video Plays on Social Media.

  1. Video file size, format, and length
  2. Platform appropriate language and imagery
  3. Does the platform allows for closed captioning and transcription
  4. Audio considerations: Do videos have auto-start, to they play default in mute, etc.?

With these considerations, you are on your way to start thinking about strategy, storytelling and video format!

And remember: there’s strategy and distribution (and with that analytics) to contend with when dealing with video marketing. Storytelling, shooting and editing is video production. If you do your homework upfront and keep the video marketing cycle in mind your videos will produce the results you are going for!

Curated Link Pack:

  1. I like the infographic in this article – even if a year old – that breaks down the different types of videos and which client interaction they are best for: https://vimeo.com/blog/post/how-to-build-successful-video-production-strategy
  2. Another great infographic (also a year old) explaining the customer journey! If you are fuzzy on what “customer journey” means, read the article! https://vimeo.com/blog/post/what-is-video-marketing-and-how-can-you-do-it-well
  3. I like the advice in this article on WHAT your videos should do: 1. Provide value, 2. Position you as the likeable expert, and 3. Create trust with your customers… http://www.business2community.com/video-marketing/video-establishes-know-like-trust-target-audience-
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