Twenty plus years of producing videos, my first question to a client has always been: “Who’s your audience?” So, I was a bit embarrassed when I realized that I did not answer that question satisfactory for myself when I started blogging about DIY Video Marketing for Small Business. I’m writing this from the “shame” corner.

It really doesn’t matter, if you produce a single video, a series, or a film for entertainment: You always start with your audience, which will inform your content, your message, and your call-to-action. Beyond that it touches on every aspect of your video marketing and production decision-making: From format, to context, to length, to where the video will be embedded.Selling to baby boomers will look very different from looking to attract digital natives (born 2000 and after): Where baby boomers might prefer the tactile experience of a catalogue, digital natives will want to watch a 30 second video on their phone. Europeans might perceive a sales pitch as being too aggressive and like to hear about your pedigree, Americans want to see statistics and hear what you will do for them going forward.

And these are just some very generic strokes. The more you hone in on understanding your set of potential customers, the more successful your messaging will be.

Scott Stern from the Central Marketing Agency (yes, he’s a former CIA agent), shared great resources with me, when I asked him to convince me why we should go through the work of creating customer personas:

As a business you have three basic stages of customer engagement and ideally you reach out at each of these stages with multiple touch points. Not all of those need to be video, but video certainly converts the best. If you don’t know whom you are talking to, then how will you talk to them?3stagescustomer-engagement

To take this a step further, here are five scenarios that your video can address:

Choose one of these five stages as your message. Anything else brings home lack luster results. Figure out where in the process you are for that specific video message. Next week we’ll look at some sample work for each of these engagement points. In the mean time get busy thinking about your customer avatar!

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