4 Steps to Building a Smart Video Strategy

Building a video strategy When done right, video increases a customer’s understanding of what a brand does, what makes them different, and why they should buy in. That kind of understanding leads to increased awareness, engagement, and of course, sales. It’s no surprise over half of marketers believe video is the channel that delivers the best ROI. When clients come to you to create video for them, they want their marketing investment to pay off—and they have high expectations. It’s up to you to deliver. The key to delivery is having a clear strategy behind each video you produce. Follow these 4 steps to produce a client video that sizzles, instead of fizzles.

1. Get to know your client.

We’re not talking about making nice with your client contact (although you should do that, too). Do the work to actually understand your client’s business, by asking these questions:
  • What sets them apart?
  • Is this a service-based lead generation business or an e-commerce store?
  • Who are their customers?
  • What motivates their customers’ purchasing decisions, and what unique value does the business provide them?
  • Where are their customers spending their time online?
The more you know the answers to these questions, the better able you’ll be to tailor your video strategy to this particular client. You’ll brainstorm video ideas that help them overcome current pain points and connect better with their customers. You’ll know to leverage certain best practices that are proven for their industry, and to tweak the promotion channels you’ll recommend for their video (more on this in step 4). Providing these extra value-adds make you stand out to the client. You’re not just a vendor looking to make a quick buck; you’re treating them as a valued partner.

2. Mutually decide on the video’s goals.

Once you understand the business, it’s time to understand the business goals for the video. Instead of a hard sell, video is always used to educate, inspire, or entertain. No matter which feeling your client wants to evoke in their audience, the video should also build trust at the same time—in the client’s business, their leadership, or their product. Your job is to narrow this down and make it specific to your client. Often, if you ask a client which goal they want to go after, they’ll eagerly answer, “Let’s do it all!” This is a teaching opportunity for you to remind them that the most effective videos have a clear focus. After all, you only have a few minutes to get your point across. For example, one of our clients at Your Marketing People is a chiropractor and personal trainer. She wanted us to create a video that highlighted both aspects of her business. But, upon reviewing her business structure, we saw that there was more room for growth on her chiropractic side, so we suggested focusing there. During the research phase, we learned that much of her target audience doesn’t understand the unique benefits of her niche, Upper Cervical Chiropractic. With trust being a pivotal pain point in the chiropractic world, thanks to unfortunate stereotypes and the chronic pain customers are living with, we uncovered our goal for the video: to educate and build trust.

3. Tailor the video content plan to serve that goal.

After deciding on a goal, the next step is to figure out the best way to clearly communicate the message. This is the step where you get into the meat of the video. How will you structure the storyline of the video, and which subjects will need to be involved, to execute the vision? With our chiropractor client, we decided to do an interview style video. This allowed us to interview customers and position the client as a trusted educator, building credibility. Interview style videos are popular because they help a business feel like a person, instead of an impersonal brand. That helps audiences connect. Other popular video options include animation videos, which can make a boring product tutorial fun and engaging, as well as brand videos, which share the story behind the business—again, building trust and personalizing the brand. At Your Marketing People, we aim to use real people whenever possible, instead of actors. By featuring actual customers and employees, the video feels more authentic. Plus, due to their firsthand knowledge, these folks are better equipped to reveal exactly what it is that makes a business special.

4. Develop the promotion strategy.

Finally, you and the client have to decide where the video will be shared and how it will guide the customer further down the funnel. Many production companies fall short by thinking about promotion only after the video’s been produced. This is a bad idea. The target promotion channels can determine the length, format, and even the subject matter of the video, so it’s important to do this step before production. Some of the promotion strategy will be dictated by the questions you answered in step one, such as which social channels the client’s audience uses. If your client isn’t sure which promotion channels they need, guide them toward the answer by asking questions like, “What action do you want your customer to take after watching this video?” and “What platforms will make the process of moving from viewer to customer as easy as possible?” Common video promotion tactics include:
  • Uploading the video to the customer’s website, YouTube, and/or Vimeo
  • Promoting it through organic social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Using paid social advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to help the video reach more viewers beyond the client’s current audience
If your client plans to promote the video using social media, our recommendation is to keep the video—and the message—short and sweet. Limit yourself to 2 minutes tops. A note on paid vs. organic promotion: If your client’s goal is to move people down the funnel as quickly as possible, we recommend going the paid route. The organic route is crucial, especially for earning views in the long-term, but it’s better for videos where brand awareness is the goal. For paid promotion, you will be directly pushing your client’s audience to take the next step after watching the video. The video should end with a clear CTA that outlines this next step. If the goal is lead generation, the video may entice them to provide their information so they can be entered into an email drip campaign. If the goal is sales, the video should direct them towards a landing page that matches the video, and provides any additional information the viewer needs to make a purchase.

Build Your Video Strategy

Video is a unique medium that requires its own creative strategy if you want to be successful. Never go into a client video without a strategy, and don’t just repurpose the strategy you used for your last client. Use these 4 steps to develop a targeted strategy for each client. Trust us, it will pay off. Are you looking for a strategic partner? At Your Marketing People, we create, develop, and produce videos from ideation to promotion. Learn more about our video marketing services.
Success is in the results.