Google the phrase “video content marketing” and you’ll find more than 2 billion results. Its popularity as a search term is no surprise when you consider that video is the No. 1 form of media used by marketers, according to HubSpot’s 2020 “Not Another State of Marketing Report,” and the top way to attract new customers on social media.
Let’s face it, most people are visual learners and in this age of immediacy, we want information fast.
So what does it take to create video content that converts? A great hook, valuable information, targeted content and creativity, to name a few. Let’s dig in.
This content marketing approach refers to video recordings or live streams that companies create to educate viewers and, more specifically, engage their target audience. Videos can be posted on a company web page, shared on social media, included in emails and more.
The goal? By providing useful information free of charge to your target audience, you’re more likely to remain top of mind when a prospect or existing customer needs your goods or services.
Many marketers favor promotional and brand storytelling videos, but there are other types of video content that can lead to conversions:
Keep in mind that video content marketing is a bit different than video advertising, which has more of a focus on selling as opposed to informing.
The benefits of video can be best summarized in the words of James McQuivey, vice president and principal analyst with Forrester Research, who said 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Although McQuivey’s words lean toward hyperbole, the point is clear — and so is the data: Videos increase conversion. So much so that 80% of marketers indicated that video has directly helped raise sales.
Here are some other benefits of video content marketing:
Your video content strategy will guide you in developing compelling content that helps viewers make purchase (and repurchase) decisions. Here are focused and time-bound strategies for how to create video content.
When you’re creating a video content strategy, first determine what stage of the marketing funnel the majority of your target audience is in. This will allow you to prioritize video content that aligns with that stage, whether awareness, consideration or decision.
Consider this: What is the purpose of the video? Are you looking to attract new customers, engage users or nurture prospects?
Knowing which stage of the funnel to target will drive the goals for your video content. For example, those in the decision stage might benefit from a product review video or a case study video, while those in the awareness stage might benefit more from an educational or how-to video blog post that addresses a paint point.
Understanding what stage your buyer is in also will help you identify which platforms are best suited for your content (e.g., LinkedIn for business-to-business marketing). Consider leveraging insights from specialized analytics platforms, such as BuzzSumo, to understand how certain topics are performing and compare how well they are performing on different channels.
Once you’ve determined who your target audience is for a specific video and identified what you want to address within the content, you’ll need to outline your story.
When you’re crafting a storyline and determining how to make a good video, ask yourself the following:
After you’ve answered these questions, map out exactly how your video will flow. Determine if you’ll animate the video, use real people or a combination of both.
Then write a script, ensuring your introduction piques interest within the first few seconds and includes at least 1 call to action (CTA), whether your goal is to ask viewers to subscribe to your video channel, like your content or something else. Avoid tangentials, stick to the subject at hand and be concise but thorough.
Keep your team aligned and aware of project expectations by identifying a timeline for each aspect of a project as well as the project as a whole, including strategy, production and distribution.
Break down the smaller components of each phase, which could look like this:
Assign a deadline for each task as well as the larger component. For instance, the distribution phase as a whole might take 3 weeks, with a focus of 1 week per distribution channel.
Once you’ve estimated how long each step should take, adhere to that timeline.
If you’re outsourcing your video content marketing efforts, consider how much you’re willing to spend throughout your complete project timeline and stay within those budget parameters.
Now that you have your strategy, storyline and script in place, it’s time to review how to create a good video. If you don’t have an in-house team to produce your videos, you may hire a freelance videographer or an agency.
Whether you’re determining how to sequence a vlog or how to make a promotional video, there are several steps to follow. While programs and processes may vary a bit, generally, these steps will apply when you’re looking to create video content.
If you’re shooting video in which real people are involved, consider the following components for a successful production day:
Once you have your rough video, the editing process can begin. With editing software, such as Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro, you’ll be able to upload your video and splice pieces together. For instance, if you had several takes, you could cut and paste video as you like, deleting some clips or adding in others.
After you’ve locked in your video, you can work on overlaying audio or sound effects if desired. Make sure the added audio syncs up with the video.
At this point, you can focus on other aspects that can increase production value, such as adding animations or graphics, as well as inserting transitions between scenes. Now is also the time to add any on-screen text.
Consider if your video would benefit from color correction. This can help with the visual flow, providing a cohesive look to clips taken at different times.
At the start of your video, insert a title card, which is a title graphic with the name of your video. At the conclusion of the video, add an end card, which should promote your brand, include your logo and have a CTA. You also could include your company’s web address here.
Here are some video making and conversion tips to keep in mind when you’re on the quest for creating visual content that engages your audiences.
Think about it. Would you rather watch a video titled “10 Business Marketing Tools” or “Top 10 Marketing Tools Your Business Needs Today”? Also, be sure to work your primary keyword into the title of your video. Additionally, include secondary keywords in your description and video tags.
A thumbnail can be the only thing a viewer sees that will either draw them into the video or turn them away. Be sure to create a custom thumbnail that will make your audience want to click play. Consider testing different thumbnails to see which one drives the most traffic.
Monotony is as dull in video as it is in life. Break up your talking head with complementary graphics and on-screen text. Take a look at this example in which we see a shift from the spokesperson discussing different forms of collateral to graphics illustrating the collateral types the speaker has mentioned.
While you want to create valuable content and boast a good watch time, you don’t want to create a long video that’s full of fluff. Clear, concise and powerful is the goal.
A good rule of thumb is 2 minutes or less. Length, however, will vary depending on various factors, including the platform, audience and type of video content you’re promoting.
While we often think of the benefits of video as incorporating both audio and visuals, it’s important to make your visuals as impactful as possible. Why? Many viewers these days watch videos muted. Take Facebook, for example, where 85% of viewers watch clips with the sound off. This is just another reason why including complementary graphics is so important. Also, be sure to use the description field to your advantage and add captions, subtitles and on-screen text where possible.
Most viewers watch video content marketing on a mobile device, so be sure your video display is mobile responsive. Check that text is legible and images are clear.
One conversion tip when making your video is to have characters or speakers point or gesture to a call to action or draw attention to the video CTA with arrows or other eye-catching directions. You can also have the speaker explicitly tell viewers to complete the video CTA throughout the recording and again at the end.
Just as you’re being intentional with the users you’re seeking to target, be deliberate about the content you promote across platforms. Avoid duplicating video content and keep in mind the different sizing and spec requirements.
Leveraging video for marketing is only expected to grow over time. According to Marketing Charts, in 2021 people will be watching videos at a rate of 100 minutes a day, while ad spending for online videos is projected to increase $16 billion. Without a doubt, understanding how to make a good video is essential to building your brand and driving conversions in 2020 and beyond.