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Video Marketing Strategy: 
The Ultimate Guide


If you’re here, it’s because you know the importance of video marketing. Brands can no longer get by using written content and images alone — nowadays, that’s uninteresting and unengaging for consumers who are inundated with live streaming, interactive 360 videos, augmented reality, and more.


And, because of this growth, you’re now behind if you aren’t releasing branded video content regularly. But, if you’ve never created a video for yourself, getting started can be tough. That’s where we come in!


With this guide, you’ll learn the ins and outs of video marketing, from figuring out which type of video you need to how to distribute it for maximum results. Start browsing below to learn everything you need!




Video marketing strategies are nothing new. Just like you wouldn’t create a commercial and buy airtime during the Super Bowl without researching and strategizing, you shouldn’t create a digital marketing video without first doing the proper research and creating a plan. Your video marketing strategy will ultimately be what guides you — your budget, your timelines, your production processes, your conversion metrics, and more. So getting this written down and finalized should be step one of your video creation process.


Before we dive into the specifics, here’s an overview of the steps.


How to Build a Video Marketing Strategy

  1. Start with your video goals.

  2. Find your target audience.

  3. Figure out what story you want to tell.

  4. Keep creative requirements in line.

  5. Stick to your timeline.

  6. Maintain a realistic budget.

Now that you know where we’re headed, we’ll go into detail about how to execute each step.


Start with Your Video Goals


The first step in creating your video strategy is outlining your video’s goals. Ideally, you’ll want to create a video for every stage of the marketing funnel. But, initially, you’ll have to decide which stage is the most important to target.


  • Awareness: Here, a challenge or opportunity is defined and the viewer realizes they have a problem. Videos in this stage should attract users and introduce your brand to a new audience.

  • Consideration: The viewer is now considering how he or she will solve the problem they’re faced with. They’re researching, asking for recommendations, watching product reviews, and trying to find cost-effective solutions.

  • Decision: The solution has almost been found and you want to remain top of mind. Present your prospect with proof of customer satisfaction and prove why your product or service should be chosen over your competition.



If you want to attract a new set of customers to your brand, you’ll want to create an awareness stage video. If you want to engage your audience, you’ll want a consideration stage video. If you’re close to closing the sale and need to nurture your prospects, you’ll want to create a decision stage video. You can also create a video to delight those who have already purchased from you, or an internal video to help motivate your team or recruit new employees.


Find Your Target Audience

Now that you know what stage of the marketing funnel you’ll be targeting, it’s time to figure out who your intended audience is. This is also a crucial step; if you create a video without a specific audience in mind, it’s much more likely to be a flop. Those who are meant to watch it won’t, and those who do watch it won’t convert. So, how do you know who your target audience is.


The key is developing your buyer’s persona. If you already have one — great! Creating a buyer’s persona (or a few) is usually done when a company is developing its product or service offerings. Presumably, the people you want to buy your product are also the people you want to reach with your video.

With your buyer’s persona mapped out, you’ll know exactly who your target audience is. To finalize your audience strategy, just make sure you have the following figured out:

  1. Who your product or service is for — this will be your buyer’s persona.

  2. What the purpose of your video is — this will be where they fall within the marketing funnel.

  3. Where your target audience hangs out — this will inform how you distribute your video.

With these three questions answered, you’ll know not only who your target audience is, but how to reach them, as well.


Figure Out What Story You Want to Tell


  • Protagonist with a goal – This person should align with your target demographic.

  • Conflict – This is your customer’s pain point.

  • Quest – This will be how you introduce your product or service.

  • Resolution – This is how your product or service solves the problem.


These elements of your story should take the viewer on a journey — one that should align with your brand mission.

Also think about what emotion you want your story to impart on the viewer as you craft your story. Do you want them to laugh? Should they feel inspired or happy after watching your video? Whatever emotion you want your viewers to have, think about that as you write your script. Everything from the props and the location to the colors and the wardrobe will communicate this, so choose every detail wisely!


Keep Creative Requirements in Mind

As you craft your story, keep in mind the people who will need to approve your video (your manager, your company’s founder, your marketing department, etc.) and the time it takes to implement their feedback. Sudden changes in scripting, messaging, goals, and more can throw your whole production off-kilter. But still, these changes are all too common. Take a look at our creative guide that’ll help you manage creative feedback from everyone on your team.

Always (Try to) Stick to Your Timeline

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.

Timelines are crucial for every member of your team. Marketing might have their own timeline, production might have their own, and your social media department will have their own. Basically, be a good sport and keep everyone informed of schedules, changes, and completion dates.


Maintain a Realistic Budget


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.


And always shop around, 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.

Certain videos and features might cost you more than others, too, so be sure you research this all before you settle on the type of video you want and how you’ll go about creating it.





You’ve got your amazing video and your entire team loves it. Now what? How do you actually get people watching it and sharing it? Well, that all comes down to distribution!

Distributing your video on the right channels is essential for your video’s success. Owned, paid, and earned distribution channels each have their own pros and cons, but using the right balance of them all can propel your video to new heights, spreading your brand awareness and converting users at every stage of the marketing funnel.


Let’s take a look at each of these in a little more detail.


Owned

Publishing your video across all your owned channelsis probably the easiest way to distribute your video, and the one method that cannot be ignored. It includes every channel you own, like your website, PDFs, digital documents, email lists, ecommerce pages, apps, and more. These channels are the primary sources of information about your company and brand, so use every single one you can intelligently and with purpose.


Website

From your homepage to your ecommerce pages, put your video on as many pages as possible on your website; this will help not only drive more visitors to your site, but engage them once they’re there. If you have more than one video, even better! This is the first place you’ll want to start gathering video views — and probably the most impactful of all the views you’ll get.


Blog

No matter what your video is about, publishing it on your blog is a must. Home to informative, educational content, as well as more brand-specific marketing content, visitors will expect your blog to host any and all relevant product news you have to share. Better yet, if someone is browsing your blog, they’re ready to commit time to your content. What better way to engage them than video?


Email

Email is an easy way to reach those who’ve already interacted with your brand or given you their contact information. A direct line of communication, you can embed your video in any newsletter, email sequence, automated email, or promotional email.


Social Media (organic)

Social algorithms are increasingly prioritizing video content, so you’ll want to make sure you’re promoting your video numerous times on all your social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. Video generates 1,200 percent more shares than links and images combined, so this is a required (and easy) place to promote your video and reach a large audience.

Because you own these channels, there should be no issue using them to distribute your video. With a simple website update or email blast, your video can be in front of more people, telling your brand story to those who most want to hear it.


Paid

Paid distribution, or paying money for the distribution of your video via advertising, has become almost essential to the successful marketing of any video. Because most sites don’t charge for the use of their services (think Facebook or content sites like Buzzfeed), charging for distribution has become their one way of earning money — meaning video creators like you sometimes have to pay more to get your content seen by a wider audience.

But that’s OK! Even a small advertising budget can pay off big, and with the right balance of paid and non-paid distribution, your video can reach exactly the right people.

Here are a few paid distribution methods you should take full advantage.


Search Ads

Search ads aren’t video-friendly just yet, but you can target high-volume keywords related to your product, service, or brand and create a landing page for your video content. Whether your goal is to educate about a certain topic or introduce your product, you can drive these high-traffic keywords to your page for a low cost per click and get huge returns.


Social Media (Paid)

Just like organic posts, paid social media posts can spread your content far. Paid posts, however, allow you to target the exact type of person you want watching your ads. Organic posting is only shown to your immediate fans, but with paid advertising, your content can target all sorts of demographics, locations, income levels, interests, and beyond —  ensuring only the people most likely to purchase from you actually see your ad.


Native Advertising

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.


Sponsored Content

This is any form of content which was paid for, usually by a company promoting another company or brand. It is written in the style of the site publishing it, much like native advertising, but isn’t actually an ad — it’s a valuable piece of written or visual content meant to inform the viewer. Usually, sponsored posts get organically shared via social networks, too, so they get an extra push when it comes to distribution.


Influencer Outreach

Influencer outreach is both a paid and earned type of distribution. Basically, you reach out to “influencers,” or social accounts or personalities with a lot of followers, to share or promote your content. They may do it for free, but the right influencer may need a bigger incentive. Work with them to create a video you’ll both benefit from.


Earned


Earned video disturbiution one of the trickiest types of distribution due to its uncontrollable nature. Try as you may, earned media means you’re essentially leaving this distribution up to chance, though there are some definite efforts you can make to push the needle a little further in your favor. Since earned media is totally free to implement, it’s just a matter of putting in the effort and not being afraid to follow up.


Social Media

Social sharing is one of the simplest forms of earned distribution. It often happens organically, but you can encourage social shares by getting the ball rolling. Set up a schedule to post your video content from your corporate and personal accounts on every social channel you’re active on. Send a private message to friends and family to do the same. If you know anyone in a related field or industry, make sure they share your content, too! Though it’s not the best method, you can even incentivize shares by creating a contest or giveaway through an app like Rafflecopter.


Product Reviews

An easy way to get others to create content for you and talk about you is by sending your product to online reviewers, like YouTube influencers, or asking your customers directly to write or record their own reviews. This increases your brand’s credibility (as long as the reviews are positive) and spreads brand awareness.


Traditional PR

Depending on your industry and the type of video you create, your video could benefit from more traditional types of publicity, like a press release or publication on a trade website. Working with a PR agency could be beneficial, but you could also reach out directly to site administrators on niche sites related to your field, like health and wellness sites, fitness sites, major food websites, tech sites, and more. Ask to be featured in their newsletter or send them your press release with a link to your video directly — the more official your campaign, the better!


Influencer Marketing

This covers any type of marketing done for free by an influencer, including shoutouts on social media, product reviews, endorsements, mentions, and more. Many influencers are willing to help you distribute your content in exchange for something, maybe a reciprocal mention, a trial of your services, or an ongoing relationship. Think about what you’re willing to give for the promotion of your video. Depending on how much they can up your exposure, it just might be worth it.


Which type of distribution is best for me?


We can’t say this enough: It all depends on your video goals and strategy.

Ideally, you’ll use all three distribution methods. You know your audience and hopefully you know how they’ll respond to your video. Focus on the distribution method that’ll give you the biggest return. If you’re in the film industry, focusing more on paid distribution might be your best bet. If you’re in the field of cancer research, earned media might be the way to go. Are you an entrepreneur that just launched your own startup? Spread word via your owned channels. It all really depends, so do a little research and see what fits your situation best.


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.


Paid distribution is super important as well, but how much you can do will likely be limited by your cash resources. You’ll want to think more strategically about where your highest-converting audience is and dedicate most of your budget there. And because there are so many different forms of paid advertising even within one single channel (Facebook has 11 different types of advertisements alone), you want to test every channel and every type of distribution method. Until you know which will give you the highest return, hold back on spending your entire distribution budget.


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.



At Dream Engine , we’re picky about our metrics for success. We love viral videos with tons of views, but honestly? We’re more interested in videos that deliver results. A million views looks good on paper, but might mean zilch for your bottom line.


We encourage you to adopt this results-first frame of mind. Keeping an eye on the metrics that actually help you accomplish your video goals is more important than anything, so don’t be blinded by the glint of a high impression count — or at least not impression count alone! Learn how specific metrics actually translate to video success and you’ll get not only a million views, but tons of sales, as well.


Key KPIs for Success


So, besides video view count, what are the important metrics you should be

tracking?

Metrics for success differ from goal to goal. We’ve classified some of the essential metrics based on where your ideal viewer falls within the marketing funnel. While tracking every single metric below would be ideal, we know your resources, data platforms, and reporting capabilities might be limited. If you can’t track them all, instead focus on tracking the metrics relevant to your goal.


Attract

Do you want to attract a new audience to your brand? This top-of-funnel goal is the broadest and probably the easiest to measure. Attracting an audience means presenting your brand as the solution to a problem that was recently introduced to the viewer. This will likely be your first interaction with them, so you want to make sure it’s a memorable one.

View count is important here, but so is your number of unique visitors and brand awareness and recall lift. Luckily, most video hosting platforms share these data points, so they should be easy to come by. Lifts in viewer perception are a little more difficult to find, but are often measured by surveys or quick questionnaires on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

Focus on the following metrics:

  • Views

  • Impressions

  • Unique Users

  • Awareness Lift

  • Ad Recall Lift

Engage

Do you want to engage your audience? Since you’ve already introduced yourself, now you need to work on keeping your viewers engaged. Video is one of the most engaging forms of content, so you need to make sure your video is doing its job. Your video should be fun, interesting, captivating — don’t lose your audience in the first few seconds!

Watch time and view-through rate are two of the most important metrics to measure engagement. These are the most absolute numbers that’ll give you an idea of how engaging your content is. Less absolute numbers include lifts in favorability and brand interest. You can also use things like comments and shares to measure engagement when you post your video on social media.

Focus on the following metrics:

  • View-Through Rate

  • Watch Time

  • Favorability Lift

  • Consideration Lift

  • Brand Interest Lift

Nurture

It’s time to nurture your prospective leads! If your audience has made it this far down the marketing funnel, your marketing efforts are paying off. Nurturing is one of the harder stages, but luckily, it’s quick and easy to measure. If you’ve done a successful job nurturing, you’ll see it in conversions. What those conversions are are up to you — you might want sales, social shares, contact information, you name it. But the completing of a desired action means your video is accomplishing exactly what you want it to.

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.

Focus on the following metrics:

  • Clicks

  • Calls

  • Signups

  • Sales

  • Purchase Intent Lift

Delight

Your viewer is now an actual customer! Your goal here revolves around keeping them interested in your brand for future purchases or added value. Any video that delights is a success — and the longer they watch, the more likely it is they’re delighted. The tone of your video here will matter greatly. Chances are a long, boring educational video won’t delight your customers as much as a funny, short, social media video will. Keep this in mind when reviewing your data: The view-through rate of a 15-second video will likely be much higher than that of a two-minute video.

Keep an eye on those crucial watch metrics (views, view-through rate, impressions), but also focus on metrics like return visits and repeat purchases. These will show you just how trusted your brand is, and how successful your video is at delighting post-purchase.

Focus on the following metrics:

  • Return Visits

  • Social Engagement

  • Favorability Lift


How to Measure ROI


You’ve got your KPIs — but KPIs alone don’t equal money in the bank. You’ve still got to translate your KPIs into accurate, reliable figures that your marketing team can get behind.


This is an important step, but remember: not every metric will correlate directly to revenue. Some metrics, like lifts in brand favorability or consideration, don’t pay off immediately. They can take months or more to come to fruition, so be patient and make sure you’ve got in depth tracking enabled so you can do a better job tying your video metrics to ultimate sales.


But there are some tips you can use to estimate how much money your video is bringing in.

In the attract stage, your watch metrics, like view count, impressions, and unique users, gives you a pretty accurate account of how many people you’ve introduced your brand, product, or service to. You might have a formula for how many top-funnel users end up converting, so you can apply that to your unique user count.


You can also measure your true conversion rate or use a cost per view calculator to figure out how many views your video needs before it becomes profitable. Behavior tracking can also give you a picture of how many people watch your video, browse your site, and then convert.


The engage stage is the hardest to correlate to cold, hard sales. Because users aren’t necessarily looking to purchase here, they can watch your video, learn some information, and not come back to your website for a long time. Try to implement detailed tracking information to show you big-picture user behavior; drop cookies and retrieve path information for every person who views your video or goes to your site. Then, you can see what percentage of visitors end up buying from you.


If you’re targeting prospects and hoping to nurture them, you’re hopefully giving them a direct action to take. Measuring the ROI here means simply creating tracking links that will give you this information directly.


Increases in your desired action taken should show you your exact lift in revenue. (For instance, if you count an email signup as your conversion, your lift in signups should relate directly to a lift in sales, all other things constant. Plus, you’ll have this user information on file and can then track if or when they convert.)

You’ve got your KPIs — but KPIs alone don’t equal money in the bank.

Finally, revenue that comes from delighting your customer should be easier to track since you already have a purchase on file. You’ll likely have a user profile for each customer or some form of contact information from them — every return visit won’t correlate to a new sale, but tracking their behavior will give you a good idea of how many return visitors convert. Then apply this percentage to the number of return website visitors and you’re set! Hopefully, your sales department will also have a good idea of how many first time buyers purchase more than once.


Picking the Right Data Platform


There are enough analytics tools out there to make your head spin. When it comes to video, which are right for your team or company?

A big part of what’ll dictate which analytics platform you should use will depend on your budget. If your company is super data rich and every department is highly dependent on accurate reporting, you might already invest in a robust paid platform that can meet your video needs. If not, there are tons of free tools you can use that are just as good as some of the bigger, paid-for options.


Video Hosts

Picking a video host is pretty much required. Luckily, most video hosting platforms give you a wealth of information and tons of insights in real time. Sometimes those insights are enough, but because you’re distributing your video in different places, you don’t want to limit your data to just one source.

  1. YouTube

  2. Wistia

  3. Vidyard

  4. Vimeo

  5. SproutVideo

  6. Cincopa

  7. BrightCove

Social Platforms

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.

  1. Facebook

  2. LinkedIn

  3. Twitter

  4. Instagram

Analytics Platforms

An analytics platform will give you the best overall picture of your important data and where it comes from. The good thing about these platforms are how they’re able to tie all your marketing efforts together — your advertising, your social posts, your referral sources, even audience demographics and more. These simplify tracking efforts and put all your data conveniently in one place. There are tons of analytics tools, but here are our favorites.

  1. Kissmetrics

  2. Google Analytics



You’ve seen the difference the right video can make. Let us help you get started!



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