Video marketing is all the rage now. Everywhere you look, you see one of those sideways triangles imploring you to click and play a video so you can hear someone’s marketing message. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartfelt, sometimes educational, video marketing is going to continue to dominate business marketing budgets.
If you’re just getting started with video or you have already gotten your toes wet and are now slogging around with soggy shoes, these nine articles will help you with your video marketing:
How to Mimic the Masterpiece Video Marketing of PBS
In this piece by Tubular Insights, Bree Brouer talks about what makes the Public Broadcasting Service so good at video marketing and how you can learn from what they do and use it in your own video marketing efforts. Plus, it has a super cute video starring Cookie Monster, so there’s that.
B2B video marketing trends: firms challenge publishers to help them do more
This NetImperative piece references a study conducted by LinkedIn that says video marketing is the biggest priority for B2B businesses. However, businesses are also not sure about how to measure the effectiveness of video marketing and they want publishing platforms to do more for them in this area.
How To Create High-Performance Video Marketing
From the vaunted (virtual) halls of Forbes comes this offering by Chris Frantz, which suggests that businesses concentrate on one or two high performing platforms for video rather than trying to spread themselves over multiple platforms. It also contains the cute, little phrase: “thumb-stopping content,” which we just love.
Why Your Facebook Videos Need to Be Different From What You Put on YouTube
Kinda sorta related to the last entry (but not really) is this one from Torrey Tayenaka on Entrepreneur, which talks about how you have to differentiate video on Facebook from video on YouTube because people are usually on these two sites for different reasons and in different circumstances. Therefore, you have to adjust your videos accordingly.
11 Ways to Create a Strategy for Live Video Marketing
Specific to live video, this Edgy Labs blog post by Sophie Fitzpatrick goes into detail about how to use live video to draw people into your brand, which platform would be best for your specific business and what you need to do to make it must-watch television. Well, must watch video, anyway.
Google launches Reach Planner for YouTube & video ad forecasting in AdWords
Straight up news here, as Ginny Marvin outlines the newest tool from Google to help marketers figure out how far their video ads will reach. This sounds like it’s going to be a highly useful tool. It’s currently in beta testing. We bet it’ll see a lot of usage once it gets fully released.
Google expanding YouTube Director onsite video ad service to more than 170 cities
More exciting news from Google, as Amy Gesenhues outlines how the company is expanding its YouTube Director onsite service from just six initial launch cities to a whole heckuva lot more now. If you’re not familiar with YouTube Director onsite video ad service, it’s basically coaching from a personal ad director who will help you create a professional looking ad as long as you commit to spending at least a minimum amount on Google ads.
Stop Thinking of Video Content Like TV: Creating a Modern Video Experience
Apparently a lot of marketers still think of online video marketing in terms of television and Jonathan Crowl implores those marketers to stop thinking of it that way. He instead says brands should take inspiration from Lowe’s on how to come up with a video strategy that employs a connected content creation and distribution plan that puts the brand front and center rather than YouTube or any other platform.
How to Use Video Design To Increase Your Conversion Rate
“Video design” isn’t a term you hear a lot of when talking about video marketing. It’s the general look of your video and how all the shots are set up and what title cards are used, etc. In this Business2Community piece, Anton Eliasson tells you how you can create a professional looking video without having to shell out a buncha money.
No matter if you’re big or small, a startup or well established, if you’re in the business of making money, you’re going to need to use video to entice your audience and turn them into customers. One type of video that works amazingly well for that is a 2D animated explainer video. Click here to get started on planning and pricing your very own 2D animation video.
Your MissionAs with any marketing strategy (or pretty much anything you’re trying to accomplish), you should have a mission statement to help guide you. Not some 500 word creed, but just a one-line statement that covers:
- The type of content you will be creating.
- Mainly educational?
- purely entertaining?
- super artistic?
- A mixture?
- The general tone of your brand and the needs of your audience will help you decide.
- Who you’re making these for.
- Outline your target audience in as much detail as you can muster.
- Having individualized customer personas will help you with this.
- What this audience should get out of your videos.
- What is the value of your videos for the people who watch them?
- What will your videos help your audience do?
[Company name] makes [adjective] video content for [target audience] to help them [what you want your videos to accomplish for your audience].
For example: Company X makes educational and entertaining video content for people who want to listen to their favorite music while living an active lifestyle.Often when companies start using video, it’s not just for sales and marketing. Large enterprises may use them for many reasons across many departments, both internally and externally. You may need multiple mission statements for each department that is going to use them. Obviously, your internal videos for your employees will be for different purposes than your externally facing ones. For example, you may have videos for sales, HR, corporate events, internal communications, products, etc.
Your TopicsOnce you know what you will be using your videos for and you have your mission (or missions) clearly outlined, you should decide what types of stories you will need to tell to fulfill each of these roles. Let’s say that you have the following functions you want to use videos for:
- Human Resources
- Corporate Events
- Recorded webinars
- How-to videos
- Thought leadership interviews
- Product explainers and demos
- FAQ answers
- Behind-the-scenes corporate culture videos
- Customer testimonials
- Documentary-like case studies
- Corporate event recaps
Your CreatorsWho will be making your video content will depend on what kind of production quality you want and how much of a budget you have. If you aren’t that concerned with quality and you are on a shoestring, you may be able to just get away with some phone-shot videos. If you want high production value and you can afford it, you might be able to get your own in-house videographer and some equipment. For maximum flexibility, going with a videography agency is a good call. If you’re going to mix in some animation (and you totally should), it’s probably best to go with an animation agency. (We can recommend a good one.) We’ll just leave this here … Regardless of how you decide to proceed, make sure you outline how the work will flow by determining:
- Who is responsible for coming up with creative concepts
- Who writes the scripts
- How final approvals are procured
- Who organizes the logistics of video shoots or creation
- How you get feedback for the videos
- Who distributes the videos when they’re complete
Your Content’s HomeAlthough it’s perfectly fine to have a YouTube or Vimeo channel and host your videos there, or upload them straight to Facebook for that platform, you will also want them to live on your site. Like any website, the likes of YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook all want to keep people on their site. That’s not good for you because they can easily get distracted. You need to try and get people onto your site and keep them there. Put links back to your site in your video description boxes and have a landing page ready for people to start them on a content journey where they become increasingly immersed in your branding experience and hopefully end with them converting to a sale. A lot of big brands have entire video sections where they either host their own videos or have their YouTube videos embedded on their sites. You can embed your videos on your site in relevant blog posts to start off and then when you create enough of them, you can create a space on your site, organized by category, where they can all live.
Your PerformanceYour brand isn’t just creating videos for the heck of it. You’re creating them to act as a content gateway for people to draw them into your brand. To see if what you’re doing is working, you need to dig into your analytics and make sure your investment is generating a strong ROI. Look at your video data to see which ones are being watched, how long they’re being watched and what platforms draw the most eyeballs. Some of the more important numbers are:
- Drop-off rates – How much of your audience watches all or or most of your videos?
- Click through rates – How many people click your CTA link at the end of the video?
- Consumption rates – How many of your videos do your individual leads watch in a given time period like a day, week or month?
Write Down Your Social Media Marketing StrategyJust like with studying, writing down marketing plans makes a big difference. According to CoSchedule, marketing professionals who take the time to document their marketing strategy are over five times more likely to achieve success. In addition to that, 88% of people who set concrete marketing goals achieve them. You can split your strategy into high-level and low-level portions.
High-LevelThis section should include overarching goals for your strategy. It should:
- Describe how social media fits within your overall digital marketing plan.
- Include guiding principles for brand voice.
- State what values you want your brand to express.
Low-LevelThe low-level strategy is more about the nuts and bolts about how things are going to be done. It should:
- State how often you want to post per week or per month.
- Outline what platforms you plan to post to.
- Plan a budget for the next quarter.
- Determine the sources of the content you want to share.
Coordinate Social Posts with Specific CampaignsA lot of social media posting is of the “just because” variety, as in: you post just because you feel like you should be posting something. Of course, you should be posting just because it’s something that businesses basically have to do nowadays, but in 2018, try tying some of your posts to special events, promotions or specific sales campaigns. For these special events, create customized graphics and post ideas that are different from your usual posts. Think visually so you can capture attention and use some strong call-to-action posts to try and collect early sign ups to your event. These specialized, limited time social media campaigns help you evolve quickly with your platforms by getting you to set concrete goals at the beginning of the campaign and monitoring how close you came to those goals at the end. This allows you to make more informed decisions for the next special event campaign. Think of each specialized campaign as a little learning experience and a chance to experiment.
Develop Content Marketing Assets and Landing Pages Just for SocialA lot of business social media is just shooting links at people, but you are doing it wrong if you are just being a link cannon. Make 2018 the year you stop scheduling a bunch of links to be fired at your followers. Instead, make it the year that you start creating content pieces of real value for your audience. Not just blog posts, but content pieces that get actual traction like infographics, which get around 41.5% engagement, on average. Only video gets better ROI than infographics. Along with these content pieces, have multiple landing pages so you can send specific audience segments to different landing pages rather than sending them all to a generic “Contact Us” page. One lead capture landing page might be focused on 18-year-old college students while another one is geared toward 30-something professionals and another one toward new parents. Each of these segments could have their own call to action that would cater specifically to them, increasing your chances for getting them as a lead. Developing specific content marketing assets and tying them to targeted landing pages helps connect your social media posts to revenue generating customer actions.
Invest in Professional VideoOh, look! This post has something about video. Who woulda seen that coming?
[First we start with some statistics.]Businesses that use video marketing:
- Generate 66% more qualified customer leads than businesses that don’t use it.
- Earn 54% more brand awareness than businesses that don’t use it.
- Experience significant benefits and positive ROI, according to 77% of small business owners who use it.
[Then we layer on some logic.]If you haven’t done it yet, dip your toes into video by turning a photo slideshow into a short video or make a few live videos that showcase your expertise in an area. (Answering customer FAQs is a great way to do that.)
[Now we slyly tell you how what we do fits into this.]If you really want to upgrade your social media presence in 2018, though, you need to invest in some professionally done video assets that you can share on social media because not only will these get attention, their professionality will reflect the quality of your services. Only a high quality business would bother investing the money in a high quality video, right? They provide you something to link to within other campaigns and you can embed them on your site, in your blog or in an email. They make a much better sales pitch than a bunch of text and you can reuse them for multiple purposes. For an especially attention grabbing video, we suggest a high-quality animated video.
[See how smooth that was?]
Promote Posts to Targeted Audience Segments via Paid Social AdvertisingWith Facebook recently announcing that business posts are going to have less organic reach on the platform, paid advertising is going to be important in 2018 on Facebook and other platforms. Target accordingly. Put all this stuff together (but especially the animated video part) and you’ll have yourself a completely revamped social media strategy for 2018 that will rocket your brand to the top of people’s minds when thinking about your industry. Click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much a professionally done animated business video will cost.
On the consumer side:
- Where are they watching videos?
- 84% watch videos on their mobile device
- When are they watching videos?
- 33% during lunch hour
- 43% during the afternoon
- 56% during the evening
- 38% before bed
- 16% in the middle of the night
- Where do consumers engage with branded videos on a daily basis?
- 49% – Facebook
- 32% – YouTube
- 24% – Instagram
- 22% – Snapchat
- 22% – Twitter
- How much do branded videos influence purchasing decisions?
- 64% of consumers say watching a branded social video influenced a purchasing decision within the prior month
- When it comes to liking and sharing, people are most inclined to like and share:
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Funny videos
- Educational videos
- Emotional videos
On the marketer side:
- At companies that have created at least two videos within the prior year:
- 48% create 4 or more videos every month
- 27% create 6 or more videos every month
- How are they creating these videos?
- 92% of marketers make videos with assets they already have
- 81% of marketers optimize their social videos for mobile viewing
- 39% specifically create square and/or vertical videos
- Should you use sound?
- 85% of video on Facebook is watched with the sound off, according to Digiday and 39% of consumers are more likely to finish watching a video with subtitles
- 65% of marketers use text over images either most of the time or always
- 51% of marketers use closed captioning either most of the time or always
How Animation Fits Into ItSo, it’s clear that you should be pumping out quickly made videos with assets that you already have (think photos and graphics), but you should also be considering more of an investment in video content. According to the Animoto survey, of the marketers they asked:
- 63% invested in Facebook video
- 51% invested in YouTube video
- 25% invested in Twitter video
- 25% invested in Instagram video
- 63% were planning on investing more in Facebook video
- 62% were planning on investing more in YouTube video
- 52% were planning on investing more in Twitter video
- 50% were planning on investing more in Instagram video
When a company decides to have an explainer video made, sometimes they try to save money in certain areas. They might choose a less costly form of animation or opt for only a minute when they were going to go with two minutes. One area that is common for people to try and save money when having an explainer video made is with the voiceover.
Is a professional voice actor necessary?
The answer to this question depends on the answer to another question: How professional do you want your video to be? Having a professional voice actor perform the voiceover work for your video will give it that extra sense of professionalism that will be lacking if you decide to do it yourself or you get one of your employees to do it (unless, of course, you are a professional voice actor yourself).
Going through the process of creating a professionally done animated explainer video and then doing the voiceover work yourself is kinda like making a delicious sundae and then topping it with an olive.
While most business people don’t have the skills to write a script, draw up a storyboard and then turn that storyboard into an animated masterpiece, they are quite willing to pay to have that done. But, almost all business people do have a voice and that’s why some of them believe they’ll be able to handle the voiceover themselves or have Alice from accounting do it.
But, just like real acting, voice acting is an art and professional voice actors have honed their skills and knowledge to be able to do it well. That’s why their voice is the cherry and not the olive. It’s not as simple as just reading a script.
Sometimes it’s not money people are trying to save, but rather time. Pulling all the elements of a good explainer video together takes time and sometimes a voiceover artist is busy and people have to wait for them to become free. But, in their excitement, some business people don’t want to wait and decide to do it themselves.
This usually ends up wasting time anyway because most people will discover that if they do it themselves, it will need to be redone. It really doesn’t take that long to make an explainer video and people are better off just waiting the relatively short amount of time. If they are in a real hurry, they can pay a higher fee to have it expedited.
It’s easy anyway, right?
A lot of people believe doing a voiceover is as simple as hitting record, reading a script and then overlaying it onto the video. But, that’s not true. It’s a skill and the fact that there is such a thing as a professional voiceover artist should tell you that. The job wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t needed. The reason commercials, movie trailers and other videos sound so good is because the people doing the voiceover work are professionals. That’s the company you want your video to be in: The professionally done ones.
Let the robots do it.
Voiceover software is available, but the one thing that software is missing is the human element. People are going to know it’s software doing the voiceover. You can’t disguise that stilted robotic speaking (yet, anyway).
Your brand, your voice
You may feel that because it’s your brand and you know your audience best and you want to make a real connection with that audience that it should be your own voice representing your brand. However, as instrumental as you are in your brand’s success, that doesn’t mean you should speak for your brand if you don’t have the requisite skills.
You may think that you can just do it a whole bunch of times until you eventually get it right, but if you don’t have any experience or skills with doing voiceover work, getting it right will be extremely difficult. Wait until you make a live action brand video and then let your voice speak for your brand.
Just use a professional
An animated explainer video has many steps and one of those is the voiceover. It’s a crucial step in bringing the entire video together and giving it that polished, professional feel that will draw in potential customers and clients, introduce them to your brand and make them want to do business with you. Click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much it will cost to have an animated explainer video done for your business. (You don’t even need to talk to anyone!)