Many brands are starting to look closely at where content marketing and video production intersect and, consequently, how to use content marketing videos to drive traffic and establish a company as a thought leader. It’s an interesting time for content marketing videos—most brands haven’t evolved past the most common forms of content marketing (text blogs, whitepapers and eBooks)—which is exactly why the world of content-based videos remains unsaturated and a great way to get attention.
Looking to create viewable content for your brand? Here, I give you a step-by-step guide for your content marketing video:
The first step to any marketing effort is to understand your audience. Creating a video that appeals to everyone may get you more overall views, but creating a video targeted toward a specific demographic will result in a higher number of quality leads. Think about the age, gender, title/role, location and available time of the people you want to watch your video.
As an example, here’s a content marketing video LaunchSpark created about The Lean Startup. The video was aimed at 25 to 45-year-old predominantly male founders or directors of marketing at tech startups in North America. How well do you think we addressed the audience in the video?
You also want to define your video goals. Is your end goal to get views? Leads? Customers? Make these goals quantifiable. If your video doesn’t have goals, how do you know it was worth your time to create?
After you know the people you’re talking to, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to teach them. If you’ve already defined your buyer personas and conducted interviews with actual buyers, you already have a head start. Ask them what topics they’re interested in and what types of subjects they’d like to know more about.
If you don’t already know many people in your target audience, find out where they hang out. Are they participating on message boards? Are they members of any clubs? This is a great way to join conversations and learn more about what interests your audiences.
Tip: Don’t lead them into agreeing with what you think they find important; rather, ask open-ended questions and see where the conversation goes. You’ll find a topic organically.
Once you’ve picked a topic for your target audience, it’s time to create the video. This is a whole world in itself. If you don’t already have an in-house video department, you need to evaluate if you’re capable of producing the video in-house. If you determine you don’t have the right mix of experience, equipment and time, a video production agency is a good alternative.
An outside agency can guide you through script writing, storyboarding, style boarding, sourcing voiceovers, video production and sound design. Video experts can also guide you through things like how long your video should be.
Tip: A content marketing video isn’t about your company; it’s about a topic your audience will find interesting. Think about whether time-starved people will find your content interesting enough to watch through a video’s entirety, and always link to your company website at the end of the video. If the viewers make it that far, you can assume they value the content enough to care who you are.
So you’ve created a great piece of content—excellent! However, this isn’t where the process ends. Your video likely won’t achieve your goals without greasing the wheels. To start, pick a video hosting provider with advanced functionality. At LaunchSpark, we use Wistia primarily because of its wide range of social sharing buttons (so viewers can share), social media integration (so viewers can watch within a tweet) and email address collector (to build your email list). See this blog by Dan Romanski to help determine which video hosting platform may be right for you.
Tip: To further push your video, consider paid advertising. This helps you get it into the hands of your viewers, so they can push it further. Don’t assume it’ll fall into their laps.
Once your video starts to get views, look at how viewers are interacting with it. This is another reason LaunchSpark uses Wistia: It provides heatmaps that show which parts of the video people are watching, re-watching and skipping. Wistia also provides engagement graphs to show where viewers are dropping off and how your video library performs over time. We all think our content is amazing, but the stats don’t lie.
The whole purpose of the evaluation stage is to understand how to improve your video. Are your viewers dropping off when the video gets down to the details? The overview section might not be clear enough for them to care about the details, or the audience might not have enough information about your product to seek information about the nuts and bolts.
With solid analytics, you can make new hypotheses about your content, update your videos and see what works. Remember, the purpose of content marketing videos is to get viewers to convert. If your videos aren’t meeting their goals, evaluate what isn’t working and optimize future content to perform better.
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Photo Credit: jsawkins
With an MBA from the Rotman School of Management and a passion for technology ventures, Shawn Arora founded Toronto-based LaunchSpark Video to help companies tell their story in a clear and compelling way. When he’s not reducing scripts down to the bare essentials, Shawn can be found travelling, DJ’ing and meditating.