Video is taking over marketing. For good reason – video builds trust, boosts conversions, and can be highly engaging and shareable if done right. In fact, video generates 1200% more shares than images and text combined (Wyzowl). With the rise of platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Reels, video marketing is more important than ever for brands wanting to reach and resonate with audiences.
This guide will walk you through the key steps to create a successful video marketing strategy. You’ll learn how to develop compelling videos optimized for your target audience, distribute them effectively, analyze performance, and convert viewers into customers. Following the strategies outlined in this guide will help you dominate with video marketing to boost brand awareness, traffic, and sales.
Video Marketing Overview
Video marketing refers to promoting products, services, and brands through visual videos and multimedia content. It has become an essential component of digital marketing and content strategy due to the massive popularity and engagement potential of online video platforms.
Video is one of the most powerful mediums for capturing audience attention and conveying information. According to Cisco, online videos will make up more than 80% of all internet traffic by 2021. Video has also become the content format that consumers prefer, with 80% of people choosing to watch a video to learn about a product over reading text.
The unique benefits that make video marketing so effective include:
- Stronger emotional impact – Videos are able to stir emotions and connect with audiences in a deeper way than plain text or images. This makes the message much more memorable.
- Higher conversion rates – Viewers are more likely to engage with and act on a video since it delivers information in a more compelling format. Studies show video can increase conversion rates by over 80%.
- Improved SEO – Videos boost your website’s search engine rankings by increasing dwell time. YouTube is also the second biggest search engine after Google.
- Wider reach – Videos are easy to share across social media platforms, allowing brands to expand their audience and visibility. Even a short 30 second video can generate a large number of views.
As technology improves and online behavior shifts further towards video, it has become a required channel for successful content marketing and lead generation. Businesses that fail to adopt video marketing will likely fall behind competitors. The strategies covered in this guide will show how to fully leverage video and multiply the return on marketing investment.
Develop a Video Marketing Strategy
Creating a strategic video marketing plan is crucial for effectively reaching your target audience and achieving your business goals through video content. Follow these key steps when developing your video marketing strategy:
Identify Your Goals
First, clearly define what you want to accomplish with video marketing. Common goals include increasing brand awareness, generating leads, boosting conversions, improving customer retention, driving web traffic, and growing social media followers. Set specific metrics to track for each goal.
Research Your Audience
Gather demographic, behavioral, and psychographic data about your target audience. Analyze what types of video content would be most appealing and engaging to them. Look at the video content your competitors are producing as well.
Choose Video Types
Consider what formats will work best for your goals and audience – live action, animated, interviews, tutorials, case studies, product demos, testimonials, etc. Will you create short snackable videos or longer premium content?
Map Out a Content Calendar
Plan out the types of videos you will produce and when. Aim for consistency, but also variety. Repurpose content across platforms. Identify opportunities to produce seasonal or timely content as well.
Optimize for Each Platform
Tailor video content, style, length, and promotion for each platform like YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, and more. Optimize thumbnails, titles, descriptions, captions, hashtags, etc.
Promote Your Videos
Develop a distribution plan to share videos on your website, email, social platforms, paid ads, influencer campaigns, and other channels. Leverage existing contacts and remarketing.
Continuously analyze video metrics like views, completion rates, clicks, conversions, search rankings, audience retention, etc. Refine your strategy based on what performs best.
Following a structured video marketing strategy will help maximize the impact of your video content and measure results. Adjust plans over time as you gain insights into what resonates most with your audience. Consistency and optimization are key.
Choose Video Platforms
When creating video content, one of the most important decisions is which platform to use to host and share your videos. The main options to consider include:
YouTube is by far the largest and most popular online video platform. With over 2 billion monthly active users, it offers unmatched reach and discovery. YouTube supports videos up to 15 minutes for regular users and 12 hours for YouTube Partners. It also provides detailed analytics on views, traffic sources, demographics and more. YouTube works well for most businesses and content creators seeking to build a large audience.
Vimeo focuses more on creative, high-quality video content from filmmakers, animators, musicians and other artists. It has a smaller audience than YouTube, but attracts a more engaged, professional viewership. Vimeo supports up to 8K resolution and provides detailed analytics. It offers paid plans for ad-free viewing and increased storage and bandwidth. Vimeo is ideal for creatives showcasing art, films, music videos and more.
Given its massive user base, Facebook’s native video platform can help videos reach and engage huge audiences. Facebook auto-plays videos and emphasizes shareability. It supports videos up to 240 minutes and live streaming. Facebook provides insights into views, shares, comments and more. The platform works well for viral content and campaigns driving engagement and sharing.
Instagram emphasizes short, captivating, mobile-optimized video content. Videos can be up to 60 seconds long in feed posts or up to 15 minutes on IGTV. Instagram provides reach across its over 1 billion monthly users. Built-in editing tools make it easy to enhance videos without third-party apps. Detailed analytics are provided on views, likes, comments and more. Instagram is great for brands seeking engagement from followers.
LinkedIn allows uploading longer videos up to 10 minutes directly to its platform. It provides strong reach to the site’s influential professional audience. LinkedIn videos appear in feeds and user profiles. The platform displays viewer statistics and sharing analytics. Posting business-focused videos can establish thought leadership and expertise.
The major online video platforms each offer unique audiences, features and benefits. Businesses should analyze their goals and target viewers to determine the best platforms for hosting and sharing their video content.
Create Compelling Video Content
Creating compelling video content that engages your target audience is crucial for video marketing success. Here are some tips to make engaging videos:
- Focus on storytelling – Tell a compelling story in your video with a beginning, middle, and end. Outline the story arc beforehand.
- Hook viewers quickly – The first 10 seconds are critical. Use an interesting opening question, statistic, or statement to grab attention right away.
- Use quality visuals – High-resolution, well-lit, attractive visuals are essential. Invest in a quality camera and editing software.
- Highlight benefits – Explain how your product or service solves pain points and improves lives. Focus on emotional connections.
- Use on-screen text – Insert text overlays to communicate key points and statistics. This boosts engagement.
- Simplify complex topics – Break down complicated ideas into easy-to-understand concepts using visuals and everyday language.
- Inject personality – Let your brand personality and passion shine through. Being genuine fosters connections.
- Interact and ask questions – Invite viewers to comment, subscribe, or take action. This builds relationships.
- Check length – For the highest engagement, most videos should be under 3 minutes. Only go longer if essential.
- Optimized for sound off – Design videos to convey key information even without sound through text, images, and captions.
- Test and refine – Seek feedback before finalizing videos. Be willing to improve them based on viewer reactions.
With compelling content and smart distribution, video can captivate audiences and drive real business results. Focus on crafting high-quality, engaging videos tailored specifically to your goals and audience needs.
Optimize Videos for Search
Optimizing your videos for search results is crucial for discovery and views. Here are some best practices:
- Use keywords in titles and descriptions. Research keywords people are searching for related to your video topic and incorporate them naturally into titles and descriptions. The title is the most important since it’s the main text search engines see.
- Add an SEO-optimized transcript. Create a transcript of your video and include it on the page. Transcripts allow search engines to read your video content and rank it better. Make sure to edit it for clarity and keyword optimization.
- Include links in video descriptions. Link out to related and useful resources to extend the value for viewers. Use keyword phrases in anchor text where appropriate. Links signal to search engines the video content is credible and useful.
- Create shareable snippets of content. Turn sections of your videos into shareable quotes, infographics or stats that can be shared across social media. These help distribute keywords and raise visibility.
- Add chapters. Use chapters and time-stamped links in descriptions to make it easy for viewers to jump to relevant sections. Chapters also give search engines more focused content.
- Optimize with cards/end screens. Use end screens to link to your most important and relevant videos. Link to playlists to promote binging.
- Leverage YouTube SEO. Make use of YouTube-specific SEO like tagging videos, optimizing custom thumbnails, curating playlists, and gathering backlinks to your videos across the web.
By focusing on search and discoverability, you can dramatically expand your reach and gain more interested viewers. Optimize your video content for both search engines and real users.
Promote Your Videos
Once you’ve created high-quality, compelling videos, it’s time to get them in front of your target audience. An effective video promotion strategy will help maximize viewership and engagement. Here are some key strategies for promoting your video content:
- Leverage social media: Share your videos across all your social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Post your videos natively on the platforms when possible. Ask followers to like, comment and share.
- Email marketing: Include links to your new videos in your email newsletters and campaigns. Dedicate an entire email blast to your latest video.
- Website: Feature videos prominently on your homepage, product pages or sections relevant to the video topic. Make sure they are easily visible above the fold.
- Embed on other sites: Look for partnerships, guest posting or other opportunities to embed your videos on third party sites. This expands your reach to new audiences.
- Paid video ads: Consider promote great performing videos through YouTube ads, Facebook/Instagram video ads and other platforms. Retarget people who have watched part of your video already.
- Submit to influencers: Identify relevant bloggers, YouTubers or industry experts. Pitch them to feature or review your videos on their own platforms.
- Optimize for SEO: Include transcripts, meta descriptions and tags. Use keywords in titles. Add closed captioning. Help videos rank high in organic search.
- Include calls to action: Add end screens, cards and links that drive visitors to convert on your website after viewing videos.
With a solid promotion strategy, you can maximize the impact of your video content and reach wider audiences with your message. Test different tactics and analyze performance to refine your approach over time. Video presents an enormous opportunity to engage and convert – promote wisely.
Measure Video Performance
Measuring and tracking the performance of your video marketing is crucial to understand what is working and optimize efforts going forward. There are several key metrics to focus on:
- Views – How many times a video is viewed and how that changes over time. This helps gauge interest and demand for the video.
- Watch time – The average duration viewers are watching your videos. This indicates if they are engaging with the content.
- Audience retention – The percentage of viewers watching the full video vs. dropping off early. High retention is a positive sign.
- Social engagement – Likes, shares, comments on the videos on social platforms. This shows viewers are interacting with the content.
- Traffic sources – Where views are coming from – YouTube search, social media, website embeds, etc. This helps determine optimal promotion channels.
- Conversions – How many viewers take intended actions after watching like signing up, purchasing, etc. The key business goal.
Using YouTube Analytics, Facebook Insights and other analytics tools, track these metrics over time. See how they vary by video, audience, and platform. Use the data to optimize your future video content and promotion strategy. Continuously refine based on performance data.
Convert Viewers to Customers
Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention with high-quality videos, the next step is converting those viewers into customers. There are several strategies to increase conversions from your video content:
Add Clickable Calls-to-Action
Include clear calls-to-action at the end of your videos or in annotations during the video. These CTAs should encourage viewers to subscribe, download an ebook, schedule a consultation, or purchase a product. Make the CTA visually stand out and link directly to a conversion page on your website.
Gate High-Value Content
Consider gating some of your best content behind an opt-in form. For example, hide a demonstration video or how-to tutorial behind a landing page that requires viewers to submit their email address. This converts anonymous viewers into known contacts for further nurturing.
Promote Limited-Time Offers
Create a sense of urgency by promoting special discounts, coupons, or limited-time deals in your videos. Make viewers feel like they need to act now instead of later to get exclusive savings or bonuses.
Use interactive video platforms that allow you to customize CTAs for individual viewers. Personalized CTAs with the viewer’s name or location have much higher conversion rates than generic calls-to-action.
Retarget Website Visitors
Install tracking pixels on your website so you can then show relevant videos in ads to visitors after they’ve left your site. Retargeting past visitors helps continue the conversation and remind them about your offerings.
With strategic calls-to-action and conversion optimizations, you can turn curious viewers into lifelong customers through video marketing.
Future of Video Marketing
Video marketing is only growing in popularity and shows no signs of slowing down. Here are some key trends to watch for in the future of video marketing:
Live video is becoming increasingly popular on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Brands can engage with audiences in real-time through live videos and create an authentic connection. Live video allows for more interaction through comments and reactions. Look for platforms to find new ways to incorporate interactive features into live videos.
With video growing as a content medium, video SEO will become increasingly important. Optimizing video titles, descriptions, and metadata will help videos rank in search results. Tools that automatically generate captions and transcripts will also boost SEO. Videos optimized for SEO will reach wider audiences.
Videos will become more customized and personalized. With AI and machine learning, platforms can learn viewer preferences and habits to recommend hyper-targeted videos to each individual user. Personalized video experiences will increase engagement. Brands can also customize video messaging for different buyer personas.
Virtual reality and 360-degree videos allow for more immersive experiences. By transporting viewers into a virtual world, brands can create engaging video content. VR technology will become more accessible and adopted by brands for experiences like virtual tours, simulations, and training.
Bite-sized videos that quickly convey information will only increase. With mobile media consumption rising, compact video formats like Stories and Shorts will be key. Short videos optimized for mobile are a trend for brands to incorporate.
The future of video marketing will require brands to stay on top of emerging trends and technologies. As video marketing evolves, there will be new opportunities to creatively engage customers through sight, sound and motion