Video is conquering the internet, but where’s the marketing strategy?

01st June 2017

87% of online marketers like you are currently using video content in their digital marketing strategy. This makes complete sense. Video is conquering the internet, more likely to engage website visitors, and generally consumers just prefer it to text.

But to really make video work for your brand, you need the right marketing and activation strategy planned at the outset. When so many brands are using video in the crowded marketplace, this becomes even more important.

Why is video marketing the right strategy?

The purpose of your video is a good place to start. Why do you need a brand film? There are many good reasons to add video to your marketing strategy, but you need to be clear of the marketing objectives for your particular brand campaign.

Do you want a short-term sales uplift?

Is it all about attracting new customers?

Are you looking to engage and build loyalty?

At the planning stage, identify what a successful results deck will look like when you present it to your bosses at the end of the campaign. Clarity of purpose at the outset brings you closer to achieving these goals.

Who is your video for?

Marketers need to have a clearly focused viewer in mind to maximise the chance of reaching these identified objectives. Don’t try to please all of the people through one video; if you do, you’ll fail to engage anyone.

Strong, engaging creative comes from expert insight; use audience data to draw the key emotional motivators in order to develop content which chimes with them.

What kind of content will stick for your target audience?

The video below shows emotional storytelling in action. It tells an inspirational story based on our desire for friendship and being given a fair chance, endowing positive, caring associations with the brand.

However, these motivators can revolve around more than being happy or sad. Think about the emotions around fear of missing out, career aspirations or peer approval. I recommend writing down all the potential motivations for your audience and push it as far as you can until you find the one which will resonate most.

Is it on brand?

Your video should be consistent with your brand proposition, furthering your purpose and reinforcing your messages, whether it’s a long-form content on YouTube, a short Twitter video or a Live Facebook film.

This may involve thinking of brand archetypes, asking what kind of character your brand has.

A lover, an explorer, or a sage?

With so much content out there vying for attention, this exercise is useful, helping to differentiate your brand and make impact quickly across channels and formats. Find out more about brand archetypes on our blog.

A multi-channel digital approach

Where are your audience spending time online? You can no longer simply upload your video to YouTube and then share a link via your social media channels. It’s vital to create content for different channels – or at least re-edit and go native (i.e. upload a video to Facebook or other social channel). If you’re producing content for Facebook, knowing that 85% of videos on this social channel are watched in silence will impact your creative.

With more and more watching videos via mobile, there are opportunities for brands to reach consumers in the moments when they’re browsing online looking for information or just want to be entertained in a spare moment.

Your video needs to be tailored to the context of viewing at each stage of the buying cycle. Hero, hub and help content can be useful ways to tackle your content marketing strategy.

Heroes are those big brand content pieces from tent-pole events to brand advertising campaigns designed to raise awareness and attract new audiences. Here’s a recent campaign from Heineken, “Open your World”, which keys into the divisive political atmosphere by testing the adage that people can solve their problems over a pint.

Hub content helps brands to build a loyal following through regular or episodic content from interviews and behind-the-scenes insight to case studies. Brands cut through the noise here when they understand the audience’s passion points and create quality content to meet these desires.

Here’s a series from GE, “In the Wild” which investigates a particular aspect of tech and engineering related to the work that the brand does. It takes a documentary approach pulling people back to find out more by informing them in an entertaining way rather than direct selling. 

Help content is about reaching audiences via search, allowing brands to maximise the opportunities of the growing queries for how-to content via YouTube and online.

Here’s a recipe video from Whole Foods Market, which keys into healthy trends; it was posted in a timely context when everyone has good intentions in January and has racked up over 400,000 views.

Seeding your content

In addition, you cannot just expect to create a video and then wait for the views to come. Brand films must of course be seeded via your owned channels organically, but earned and paid channels are now almost certainly part of the marketing plan.

With your digital marketing campaign activated, you can test and analyse each piece of content both paid and organic and assess what’s working hardest to help the marketing team achieve their goals. The results can help you improve the campaign on the move – for instance, by testing and tweaking Facebook ads – as well as providing valuable insight for the next campaign.

To conclude, here’s a film to give you a taster of how to move your audience and build your brand:

Looking for help with your content strategy? Download our free guide.

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