Since its inception, YouTube has grown to become the biggest video sharing platform in the world. It’s also the second largest search engine with over 2 billion monthly users turning to the platform for business, education, and entertainment.
According to a recent study from Hubspot, over 50% of consumers state that they prefer to see video content from the brands they interact with, compared to all other types of content.
This means that you have a massive opportunity to grow your business by leveraging the power of this video platform to connect with your ideal audience.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best ways to build a successful video strategy for your brand in 2020.
Without further ado, let’s get right to it.
Understand Your Goals
The first thing you must do when building a successful video strategy for your business is to understand your goals.
Setting measurable goals will help you to know whether or not you have achieved what you set out to accomplish with your new video marketing strategy.
What are you hoping to achieve with your video campaigns?
Do you want to grow your YouTube channel? Do you want to expand your personal brand on YouTube? Do you want to use videos as part of a course? Or maybe you want to use YouTube videos to grow your email list?
It’s a good idea to define goals for both revenue and your brand. But, whatever your goals are, first you need to get crystal-clear on the results you are hoping to achieve.
Here is a list of possible goals to shoot for:
- Raising awareness
- Increasing sales
- Increasing lead form inquiries
- Driving more blog traffic
- Growing a higher quality email list
- Capturing Google featured snippets for targeted keywords
- Boosting audience engagement
If you want to improve your marketing efforts, you need to have a solid marketing plan that has a strong focus on videos.
Videos will allow you to show your audience just how innovative your brand is. In addition, if you’ve developed an e-learning product that you’re trying to sell, videos can help you do that as well.
With more and more people consuming an ever-rising amount of videos online every day, video marketing is an integral strategy that will help you connect with your current viewers as well as reach out to brand new audiences.
The important thing here is to focus on creating the right video content for the different stages of your marketing funnel.
So, for instance, if your goal is to raise awareness of your brand, you will need to create videos focused on the awareness stage. These are videos that are designed to attract users and introduce your business to new audiences.
If, on the other hand, your goal is to increase sales, then you may want to focus your videos on the decision-making stage of the sales funnel. Your videos should present prospects with social proof, proof of customer satisfaction, reasons why they should choose your product over your competitors, and so on.
Plan Your Video Strategy
Your next step is to plan your video strategy. Although this may seem like a gargantuan task, it’s actually very simple. Follow the tips listed below to create an effective video marketing strategy for your brand.
Research Your Target Audience
In order to create successful videos, you first need to know who exactly you want to watch your content.
Define your target audience. Learn about what they want and need, as well as what their pain points are. With this information in hand, you will be able to create highly useful video content that is relevant and appealing to them.
Set a Video Budget
This is one of the most important parts of creating a successful strategy.
You need to get a sense of the amount of money you will need to invest into your video marketing campaign and then set a video budget, or, if your budget has already been fixed, then you need to determine how to get the most out of your video marketing dollars.
What Types of Videos do You Want to Create?
Your finances often dictate which creative avenues you’re able to explore. Depending on how much you have allocated to your video marketing spend, you can now decide on the types of projects that your video strategy will be mainly focused on.
For instance, will your productions include live-action or animation? These two differ widely in terms of the resources and time required to create each one.
In addition to that, you also need to choose the theme for your YouTube videos.
Some of the most common themes used by companies to develop video marketing strategies can be broadly classified as follows:
- How-to videos
- DIY videos
- Customer testimonials
- Leaderships discussions
- Help and support tutorials
- Recorded webinars
Whether you’re aiming for highly polished videos or gritty, authentic productions, the quality and style of your video will be a major factor in determining the cost and could even impact the number of videos that you are ultimately able to create.
Who Will Create Your Videos?
According to a Demand Metric study, B2B marketers report that a lack of in-house resources and a lack of budget are the top two challenges they face when it comes to creating video content.
The good news about getting started on YouTube is that you can shoot everything on a budget. Of course, if you do have the budget to hire a production company or if your employees can handle it, then go ahead and do that.
Some brands even go so far as to hire professional actors to tell their stories. But, for small businesses with even smaller marketing budgets, you can use simple tools for producing your video content.
Personally, I like to hire part-time contractors to edit my videos as my organization is still small. I’ve had a lot of success finding editors on places like Upwork or even Craigslist, then I use my favorite online timesheet tool to track what they’re doing each day.
From there, they submit edited content and I’m not paying exhorbit fees for their services as it’s all in-house.
Expensive editing software and services aren’t necessary for you to connect with people. In fact, the majority of audiences on YouTube tend to respond more to authenticity.
The more authentic your brand, the better engagement you will get on YouTube. Content is the most important part of your video marketing strategy and that is what you should focus on.
Best Practices While Filming
When it comes to using video to generate leads and grow your business, there are some best practices that you need to follow in order to experience the best results.
Focus on Stories, Not Sales
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your videos should be focused on stories as opposed to sales. If your videos are all about driving sales, they are likely to be ignored.
You need to create some sort of value for your viewers.
The absolute best videos are those that tell engaging stories to connect the brands to the viewer. The better your story, the more it’ll resonate with your audience and make it more likely that they will understand exactly what your company can do for them.
One brand that is particularly good at using storytelling to keep the audience interested is Coca Cola.
Make the Most of the First Few Seconds
When shooting your videos, you have to make the first few seconds count. People’s attention spans have decreased over the years. Today, the average attention span of someone online is just 8.5 seconds.
This means in order to create successful videos, it’s vital to bring your story to life as quickly as possible so you can gather instant interest from the people scrolling through their feeds.
Use those first few seconds to make it clear exactly what your video is about and to give your viewers confidence that the information your video contains is definitely worth their time.
Upload an Interesting Thumbnail
Thumbnails are an important part of what makes your video successful. Think of them as crucial first impressions, and by choosing the right ones, you will be able to increase your video play rate.
YouTube allows you to upload a thumbnail of your choosing that will show alongside your video. Make sure you choose a thumbnail that is interesting, unique, and designed to grab the attention of your viewers and get them excited and eager to see the rest of your video.
When creating videos, always optimize your content using calls to action.
A great CTA will compel your audience to take the desired action, helping you to meet your ultimate objective of growing your business. Make sure to vary your CTAs depending on the type of video, and the specific goals for that video.
Some popular CTAs to consider using include:
- Follow or Like Page
- Subscribe to channel
- Share with friends
- Check out other video content
- Leave a comment on the video
Optimize for Search
With billions of searches being performed daily on Google and YouTube, the two biggest search engines in the world, you need to ensure that your business is well represented in the search results by optimizing your video content for search.
Use Keywords in Your Video Titles
Make sure your videos show up in searches by adding your main keyword to the title. You’re likely already familiar with website or blog SEO, and YouTube SEO is no different.
You must include the keywords that you hope to rank for, but try to keep your title under 66 characters to ensure that the text is not truncated in the search results.
Add Descriptions to Videos
YouTube offers you the ability to add a detailed description to each video that you upload to the platform. You should make the most of this opportunity by including your main keywords as well as supporting keywords in the description.
Just don’t overdo it, though, and make sure your description tells a clear and compelling story of the content of your video – as opposed to being just a list of your keywords.
By optimizing your videos in this way, you ensure that they will get the maximum amount of engagement possible.
Find Your Brand’s Video Style
A study from McKinsey and Company shows that businesses with consistent branding experience 20% more success with their marketing than those without.
But, it can take time for a brand to find its style or voice.
Although this process may prove frustrating at first, it will get better over time. You just need to continue producing high-quality videos and engaging with your audience on a consistent basis.
Listed below are three brand examples of companies that have portrayed themselves in a unique way on YouTube.
Use their examples to inspire you to stay on brand and help you nail down the message in your videos
Slack is a business communication platform created by Slack Technologies, an American software company. It offers private groups, direct messaging, persistent chat rooms organized by topic, and various other IRC-style features.
The Dollar Shave Club is a California-based company that delivers personal grooming products to customers on a monthly basis. This video from their content creation team went viral and caused America to sit up and take notice.
One Hour Professor is my blog that offers tips and tricks to help individuals create and market online businesses. If you take a look at the YouTube channel, you’ll see how all the videos have a consistent branding style. That’s on purpose, I want to make sure the user sees a similar visual each time they see a video of me.
Embedding Videos For Success
Brands can use embedded videos in content as a complement to increase audience retention on their websites.
Videos are also a great tool that you can use to break down and further explain complex topics in your niche.
A lot of major brands have entire pages on their sites devoted to video. Follow the same strategy by embedding videos in your content to help engage current and potential customers for longer and effectively guide them along their buying journey.
One additional advantage to this, at least if you embed YouTube videos, is that it can lead to additional income every month.
Whether you are new to the YouTube marketing scene or you’ve been using videos for a while and are looking for ways to boost the results from your marketing efforts, follow the steps listed in this article to build a successful video strategy for your brand in 2020.
Additionally, while YouTube is still the largest video platform on the web, publishers should take note that the less they have to rely on platforms and tech giants like GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) to get their audience, the more secure their businesses will be in the long run. Surprisingly, there are lots of ways to monetize video content without YouTube.
Have you implemented any of the tips listed here in your video marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments section below!
Ron Stefanski is an online entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business. He spent 8+ years in the corporate marketing space until he became self-employed in 2014. He teaches internet marketing and business courses at three different colleges and owns a media company that consists of a portfolio of websites. You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com.