An even better way to connect with customers is to put them behind the camera. User-generated content is more likely to generate a response than company-generated content. Instead of spending hours coming up with a script and producing a powerful video, invite your customers to create one of their own. Offer a prize for the best video showcasing customer use of your product and you’ll likely get an overwhelming response.
On the other hand, you also need to give the creatives behind your videos enough space and freedom to produce excellent content rooted in your initial audience and competitor research. This involves coming up with creative approaches to turn those audience insights into artistic expression generating the desired emotion, thought and behaviour in the right people.
With 360° videos, viewers “scroll” around to see content from every angle — as if they were physically standing within the content. This spherical video style allows viewers to experience a location or event, such as exploring Antarctica or meeting a hammerhead shark. Virtual reality (VR) allows viewers to navigate and control their experience. These videos are usually viewed through devices such as Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard.
The definition of video marketing is not complex. In fact, it’s rather simple: using video to promote or market your brand, product or service. A strong marketing campaign incorporates video into the mix. Customer testimonials, videos from live events, how-to videos, explainer videos, corporate training videos, viral (entertainment) videos — the list goes on.
Deciding what story you want your video to tell can be the most fun and the most difficult part. You’ll want to outline the following four elements, which serve as theExtended ArticleHow Thoughtful Video Storytelling Can Give Your Business a Competitive AdvantageWhen you think about storytelling, you probably think about fairy tales and bedtime as a child. But storytelling can be so much more! It’s… Read More basic framework of your story.

Begin with a review of your existing video content. Which formats and topics have you covered, and which have you missied? What's working and what isn't? A thorough audit will help to pick out the strengths and weaknesses of your current videos and suggest areas for improvement. Check out our blog post for a guide to conducting your own video audit.
As you’re planning your entire production, from creative ideation to actual video distribution, you should have a timeline to stick to. You should actually have multiple — overall timeline, production timeline, distribution timeline, and more. Your timeline serves as your guiding light, keeping you aware of how much you’ve done and what’s left to do.
Because your definition of a “conversion” is up to you, the metrics to measure here can vary. Generally, a strong video will have a high percentage of clicks, calls, signups, or sales. A strong video may also lead to more interaction with your brand, meaning your video has maintained the viewer’s attention, but they may need just a little more information before making their decision.
After you’ve honed in on your audience, focus in on where they spend the most time online. That is where you want to run your video content. For example, if your audience is on Facebook, you’ve got loads of helpful features to support your efforts and creative freedom. If your audience is largely on Instagram or YouTube, you’ll want to continue your analysis to see the style of video that works best on these highly visual platforms. 
No matter your industry, target audience, or whether you're B2B or B2C, there is no doubt that today a large portion of your potential buyers are on social media. And well-planned, consistently-created video allows you to connect with that audience time and time again to drive awareness and enagagement more effectively than any other form of content.

Cash rules all! Yes, creative planning and strategy are important, but let’s be real. Without the proper budget, it’s going to be difficult to get exactly what you want. Plan for the money and resources at your disposal. Plan what you’ll create or shoot in-house and what you may want to outsource to a production company. Plan what you can splurge on and what you may want to save on.

Native advertising embeds your video content onto a third-party website in a natural way that doesn’t disrupt the user’s experience. For instance, if you own a bakery and created a commercial about all the different types of cakes you sell, your video might be naturally embedded on a food website in an article about baking. This advertising is slightly more expensive than social or search ads, but have high returns thanks to the relevance of the content.
Owned distribution is always a must, though, since you own and have complete control over these channels. There’s the lowest barrier to entry here and they also have the most opportunity due to how many different options for distribution you have. If one form of owned doesn’t work, another surely will. And, if your goal is to capture leads, using your owned channels is especially crucial.

Posting your video on social platforms is also basically required, though the social channels you choose may differ depending on where your audience is most active. You’ll also want to think about posting your video natively; most social platforms give native videos preference over video links from other sources. Post your video natively where you can, and keep an eye on your platform-specific data.
It’s ideal to break your month down into categories. You want to execute 1 branding video per week that shows off your business to every customer and can be run as an acquisition or re-marketing asset. Then you’ll add in any special sales or promotions. This category can include a teaser video, a video for the sale itself and a final “last call” video right before your promotion is over. Next, you can add any special campaigns and/or offline event videos into your monthly plan. And finally, sprinkle in at least 1 video a week that is playful and is created specifically for the goal of engagement.
Want to get the word out there and boost your visibility on social media without taking years to build the audience? Then you should certainly leverage influencers. But the key is to find the right influencer. You don't have to go with influencers with millions of followers. You could opt for micro-influencers with tens of thousands or even a hundred thousand followers.
But this isn't just about posting your ideas on your own blog. You should start authority blogging. Use platforms like Medium to post content. Answer questions on Quora and Reddit. Or get out there onto LinkedIn's publishing platform. These are all authority domains that anyone can post on, which have massive audiences, giving you instant and immediate reach right now.
As you begin creating videos, you'll notice a key difference between video scripts and your typical business blog post — the language. Video language should be relaxed, clear, and conversational. Avoid using complex sentence structures and eloquent clauses. Instead, connect with your audience by writing in first person and using visual language. Keep the language concise, but avoid jargon and buzzwords.
The first step in creating your video strategy is outlining your video’s goals. Ideally, you’ll want to create a video forExtended ArticleThe Right Video Content for Your Marketing FunnelBefore you embark on creating a video marketing strategy, it’s important to know what stage of the marketing funnel you’re targeting. This is important… Read More every stage of the marketing funnel. But, initially, you’ll have to decide which stage is the most important to target.
Tripods range tremendously in price, and the quality of your tripod should depend on the level of camera and lens you have. If you're shooting with your phone, you can get by with a table mount like the Arkon Tripod Mount or a full-size tripod like the Acuvar 50” Aluminum Tripod. For a DSLR, Manfrotto makes a variety of trustworthy tripods starting with the Manfrotto BeFree and increasing in quality and price from there.

And always shop around Extended ArticleHow Much Does It Cost to Produce a Video?Video is probably the most compelling way to tell your company’s brand story. But video shoots are difficult and time consuming to organize, and… Read More — not just literally, but figuratively. Ask industry experts how much they charge for certain services (scripting, sound editing, social media distribution, etc.) and how much you might expect to pay if you hired a freelancer or full-time employee instead. Most agencies are more than happy to give you any information you might want, or guide you to others who can better help.

Earned distribution, like owned, is free. You have relatively little to lose using it other than time and effort, but unlike owned and paid, the payoff can be drastically more unpredictable. From SEO efforts that boost your search presence, to building relationships with influencers you’ve never met, you never quite know what your ROI will be — it can be enormous or it can fizzle to an end. But don’t skip earned distribution altogether! Take a little more time to think strategically about which earned channels will help you accomplish your video goals.
Instead, place a laptop below the eye-line of the camera. Break the script into short paragraphs and record it section by section until you capture a great take of each. If you plan in advance when the final video will show b-roll (supplementary footage or screenshots), you can have your talent read those lines directly off the laptop like a voice over.
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