Your video marketing strategy is every bit as important as execution. Whether you've just stepped onto the scene, or you've been using videos for ages, you need a road map outlining what it's all for. Also, where you plan to go, and how you'll measure success.\nA solid plan can be the difference between knowing how much ROI your content is delivering and throwing metaphorical spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.\nIf your business is already off and running with video, congrats! You've successfully cleared one major hurdle: the fear of getting started. Now's the time to put a strategy in place.\nA video marketing strategy will help you meet your goals and create video content that addresses real business objectives.\nStarting from scratch? No need to worry. You can make your video content intentional from day one.\nYou can start to use video to increase qualified leads in your sales pipeline and prove ROI. The trick to making your videos count is to build purposeful, measurable strategies rather than random bursts of video excitement.\nDeveloping a video marketing strategy should begin with nine steps. Read on for a deep dive into each of the main elements of a video marketing strategy.\nHow to Build A Video Marketing Strategy.\n1. Define Your Video Marketing Goals.\nIn order to know whether you've actually achieved what you've set out to accomplish with your video marketing strategy, you need to set measurable goals.\nContent intelligence platform Conductor recommends defining marketing goals for both revenue and your brand.\nRevenue-based goals focus on things like increasing lead form inquiries while brand goals involve things like growing a higher quality email list, driving more blog traffic, or capturing Google answer boxes for targeted keywords.\nBrand goals can be just as important as revenue ones because they help position you for future success and often take into account qualitative feedback.\nSome common video marketing goals include:.\nBrand Awareness\u2014typically measured using brand recall and recognition, frequency\/quality of mentions, or video views.\nDemand Generation and Conversion\u2014typically measured by lead count, impact on conversion rate, or influence on sales opportunity and pipeline generation.\nViewer Engagement\u2014typically measured by average engagement (also known as the average length of time viewers watched the video). How to Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals\nAs with any kind of marketing goal, following the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting framework is a good place to start.\nSpecific\nThe goal should zero in on a specific aspect of your strategy. After all, saying you want to get more views is great, but what does it actually mean?\nMeasurable\nThe goal should be accompanied by a relevant key performance indicator (KPI) and metrics that can be used to measure its success.\nAttainable\nThe goal should be something that's within reach of your department without "sandbagging" (deliberately setting a goal that isn't a challenge for the team to reach). Try starting with a baseline and determining a desired increase (or decrease, as the case may be) from there.\nRelevant\nThe goal should be relevant to your overall business objectives AND a good fit for the types of objectives that video is best suited to meet\nTime-Bound\nThe goal should have a timeframe in which it can reasonably be achieved so that you can accurately measure how effective your efforts have been. While some goals can be tackled in a quarter or two, others may require a longer timeframe, like a year. Go one step further by breaking down your overall goal into weekly targets. That way you know what you need to be doing, every step of the way.\nAn example of a S.M.A.R.T. video marketing goal\u2014one that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound\u2014might look like this:\nWe will increase time on page for key pages on our website by 15% this quarter by embedding relevant videos.\nThe sky's the limit! Just keep in mind what goals video is best suited to meet\u2014it can often be used to help you achieve your existing marketing goals.\n2. Create a Video Marketing Strategy Mission Statement.\nJoe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, recommends you start your content marketing strategy with a mission statement. It's helpful to have one of these for your video strategy too because it gives your team an easy-to-remember purpose to rally around.\nYour mission should be a simple, one-line statement that answers the following questions:\nWhat type of video content do you plan to make?\nWhether you're leaning towards educational, entertaining, or a mix, your brand's expertise and audience needs should determine your approach here.\n.\nWho are you making this content for?\nOutline your target demographic with as much detail as you can. You can't create great videos without determining the buyer personas you want to appeal to and their pain points.\n.\nWhat should your audience take away from your videos?\nThink about what value your content will add and what tasks or goals it will help your audience accomplish.\n.\nIn order to justify creating different types of videos (including some that may not be directly related to your product), your business needs to understand why you're creating video stories, who you want to watch your content, and what you're trying to accomplish.\nYour video marketing mission statement should look something like this:\n"At (company name), we make (type) video content for (specific buyer personas), so that they (exactly what you want them to do)."\n3. Research Your Target Audience for Video.\nTo be successful with video, you first need to know who you actually want watching your content. Defining a target audience\u2014and learning about what they like, what they need, and what their pain points are\u2014will help you create video content that connects.\nMany marketers seem to share the misconception that if they create a video that doesn't rake in millions of views, they've failed in a major way. Fortunately, this is far from the truth.\nWhile a broad reach can be desirable for B2C companies, things are a bit different in the B2B space. No matter what industry you're in, recognize that your objectives will differ.\nB2B brands often have a harder time developing videos for widespread reach, but don't get discouraged. Not everyone needs your product or service; that's why it's important to attract and maintain the leads worth following up with.\nWhen it comes to your target audience, the more specific the better. It's okay if your content isn't interesting to anyone outside of that group; you're aiming to help viewers self-qualify.\nIs Video the Right Medium for Your Audience?\nStart by looking at the buyer, customer, and\/or user personas your company already has. Research what their video preferences are: Is it a good medium for reaching them? If so, what types of videos work best? Build a profile of your video audience from there.\nIf you don't already have personas, now's the time to create some. Use whatever sources of information are available to you to learn about the people you're trying to connect with. Include anything about your persona that's pertinent to your content creation, such as how they learn, what kind of content they prefer to consume, and more.\nFor a deep dive into other information, you could include, check out HubSpot's guide to creating buyer personas.\nMapping Your Video Content to the Buyer\u2019s Journey.\nNext, map the buyer's journey for your product or service so you can identify points where video content can help potential customers move along the path to purchase (and what type of video is best suited for the task at hand).\nThink about what different kinds of content might address your personas' questions at different stages of the buying process. For instance, the video that introduces a persona to your company will be different from the one they'll need when they're in consideration mode.\nAs you move forward with creating new videos, ask yourself every time which persona the content speaks to and at what point in the customer journey.\n4. Decide What Kind of Videos You'll Make.\nBefore you dive in and start filming, you need to figure out what kinds of videos you're going to make.\nThink about what story you want to tell, how you can best do that through video, what video styles and types are best suited to sharing that story, what kinds of videos your target audience likes, and more.\nIt's important to consider where video will fit into your organization's customer journey and marketing funnel (or flywheel). Remember that your audience will likely need different video types and messages at different points in their journey.\nWhen you're first getting started, choose a few styles and types of video to test and see what works and what doesn't. Depending on the stage of the funnel or flywheel, this may constitute what gets the most reach, what gets the most engagement, or what drives the most leads or conversions.\n5. Set a Video Budget.\nAs you make your plan, it's important to think about what sort of video budget you'll have to work with. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to get a sense of how much you'll need to invest or, if your budget is already fixed, how to get the most bang for your buck.\nWhat Types of Video do You Want to Create?\nYour budget for video really depends on the types of projects you outline in your video strategy. Your finances will often dictate the creative avenues you can explore.\nEvery production, from live-action to animation, will range in terms of the time and resources required, so there isn't a definitive answer when it comes to setting a video budget. Whether you aim for polish or gritty authenticity, your production quality and style will also be a factor in the cost and may even impact the number of videos you're ultimately able to create.\nWill You Create Videos Internally or Outsource them to an External Production Company?\nB2B marketers cite allocating staff time and resources for video production as a top challenge for creating video, according to a Demand Metric study. This issue inevitably begs the question: "Should we try making videos ourselves or should we enlist the help of a video production company?"\nIf you plan to produce videos internally, you'll need to think about who will be responsible for creating them. Will you hire an in-house videographer or a video production team?\nA good way to determine which direction is best for your business is to outline your expected output. Across the board, we're seeing the majority of businesses increase their volume of videos produced.\nWith the shift to remote and hybrid work, coupled with video creation tools that make it easier than ever to develop video content, the majority of businesses (close to 50%) are creating over 51 videos annually, according to findings from Demand Metric.\nEven if you're not at this level of volume just yet, you'll have to consider whether you're creating campaigns (one-off assets) or a program (regularly scheduled videos as part of a cohesive content marketing strategy). This will often make the difference in deciding whether to produce videos in-house or outsource. You'll want to consider what is reasonable for your company based on your size, the scope of what you'll need to communicate, and your budget.\nWhile there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to video production, there are a lot of companies succeeding with a combination of in-house and production agencies. According to our annual benchmark data, as company size increases, so does the use of external resources for video content creation. Most small and medium companies use exclusively internal resources to produce their video content. Large enterprises are more evenly split between internal, external, or both. How Much Will It Cost?\nDeciding whether you want to produce your videos in-house or outsource them will play a big role in your costs, both per video and for your entire video program.\nVideo Production Company Costs.\nWhen outsourcing your videos, you can expect to go in with a typical budget ranging anywhere from $5,000 to upwards of $15,000 per video asset. This range is pretty standard for a run-of-the-mill explainer video, but again, the budget will change as you opt for higher production values.\nAdvanced videos with an "advertising look and feel" will range anywhere from $5,000 to $60,000 for major productions. On average, most budgets for a polished production (the kind that comes equipped with a full production crew) usually land somewhere between $20,000 to $35,000.\nWith these numbers in mind, if you wanted to outsource one basic explainer video per month for a year, you'd be looking at a baseline of around $60,000 at the very low end of this spectrum. All video production houses vary. We recommend you call around to get quotes that mesh with your brand's needs and budget.\nIn-House Videographer Costs.\nIf you're looking to go the in-house production route, you'll likely be looking to invest in your own equipment, train a staff member, or even hire a videographer. Video producers earn $47,500 USD per year on average, according to PayScale.\nWhether you hire a dedicated producer or train an existing employee, they should know how to conceptualize, capture, and edit footage from concept to completion (depending on their skill set and experience). You'll want someone who can break down complex B2B products and work with videos from pre-production to post.\nThey should be imaginative, good with metaphors, and have a great sense of your target audience. Aim to hire someone with a great sense of timing when it comes to editing and someone who's talented at directing people in front of the lens.\nWhat Sort of Video Equipment Will You Need?\nIf you plan to go in-house, you'll need to think about the nuts and bolts of production.\nEven if you keep things pretty basic, you'll likely still need to invest in some video production equipment. However, this would be a one-time upfront investment. For many companies, deciding to do production in-house often ends up being more cost-effective in the long run.\nFor traditional, professional video production, you'll want to consider the following equipment:.\nVideo camera.\nTripod.\nStabilizer.\nLighting equipment (things like lights, light stands, etc.).\nAudio equipment (such as a wireless microphone kit).\nEditing software.\nIf you're thinking of going the smartphone route, think about:.\nLighting case (such as a selfie ring light) or clip-on light.\nLighting kit.\nTripod.\nStabilizer.\nLens.\nMicrophone.\nEditing app or software.\nLooking for specific equipment recommendations for video production? Refer to this content about tools for traditional video production and smartphone video production, or find out what kind of equipment you can get for different budget points.\nWhy You Need Video Marketing Software.\nYou should also consider what video marketing software your team will require to edit, organize, manage, host, and analyze your video content. There are a variety of free and paid options including ones created specifically for business use (like Vidyard\u2019s enterprise video platform). Do some research, check out some demos, and determine what best meets your needs.\nDo You Want to Hire Actors?\nDepending on the story you want to tell, you may be happy with having employees star in your video or you may want to bring in professional actors to play certain parts.\nKeep in mind that bringing in actors will increase costs.\nIf you go the employee-actor route, think about getting release forms set up to ensure you're legally allowed to use their image. While this may sound intimidating, it's usually a simple, one-page form.\nSome companies even have new hires sign this documentation along with onboarding paperwork. If you plan to make a lot of videos and want employees to feature prominently, you may want to consider something along these lines.\n6. Establish Who's Responsible for Video Creation.\nDepending on the production quality you're aiming for and your budget, you might be able to invest in an in-house videographer or a team of marketers dedicated to video. However, you might also be outsourcing content to an agency or production house.\nNo matter how you're operating with production, be sure to outline who:.\nWill be responsible for creative concepts and storyboarding.\nWrites the scripts, when needed.\nGets a say in the content and who's responsible for final approvals.\nOrganizes the logistics of a video shoot.\nShoots and edits video content.\nIs responsible for distributing the finished videos.\nYou may also want to define an "editorial board" of major stakeholders who are consulted for input on videos. You definitely want feedback at critical points in the video process. But, be mindful of an excess of cooks in the kitchen.\n7. Think About Your Video Campaign Strategy.\nThere are two main ways to approach video content. Most businesses will employ a video content strategy likely involving a combination of both.\nFirst, there's evergreen, "business as usual" (BAU) content: This could be a regularly scheduled video series, supporting content for core pages of your website, how-to content for support pages, customer testimonial videos, and other video content that has a long shelf life.\nSecond, there are campaign videos, which usually run for a shorter period of time. These can range from video ads for your business to promotion for something your company is doing (such as a new product or a sale) to topical social videos to timely video content that's seasonal, aligns with a holiday, or hops on a trend. Campaign videos tend to have a shorter shelf life and are often retired after they've served their specific purpose.\nFor each video campaign you tackle, you'll need to create a video marketing campaign strategy. Essentially, this is a mini-version of your main strategy. It should answer all of the pertinent questions for the individual campaign. As with your overarching strategy, you'll need to think about cost, target audience, goals, and more.\nThe big difference here is timing. This element, while important in your general video strategy, is of the utmost importance for video campaigns. This is because campaigns often rely on timeliness.\nHow far in advance you begin planning these projects will vary by production house or videographer. But as a guide, you'll want to book your campaign six to nine weeks in advance of the delivery date. For particularly complex projects, allow 10 to 13 weeks.\nSample Video Production Timeline.\nIn terms of timeline, the breakdown typically goes something like this:\nOne week to share the brief and research options.\nOne to two weeks for concept development.\nOne to two weeks to lock down the script and pre-production details.\nOne week is blocked off for production (most shoots will take one to two days).\nTwo to three weeks for post-production.\nKeep in mind that timelines will vary depending on the type of video you're creating for your campaign. For instance, a basic talking head will take far less time than the average motion graphic video.\nPlus, don't forget to schedule the time you'll need to plan for distribution and any other elements that may accompany the video in the campaign.\n8. Figure Out Where Video Content Will Live.\nAfter you've accumulated a ton of content, you need to decide where your videos will be hosted. When releasing any video, it's critical to leverage multiple distribution channels to maximize reach and engagement.\nVideo Marketing Distribution Channels to Consider Include:.\nMultiple pages on your website (blog, a resource hub, product pages, etc.).\nInbound marketing campaigns.\nOutbound email marketing campaigns.\nSocial media channels (the ones your prospects are present on).\nYouTube.\nYour sales reps.\nWhen getting started with video, make a list of the distribution locations that make sense for you. Think about providing a dedicated place where visitors can explore all of your video assets on your own website.\nMany major brands now have entire pages on their websites devoted to video. They're focused on creating a video content hub that will keep potential customers engaged for longer and guide them through their buying journey.\nDistribution isn't the only part of this equation; you also need to determine how you'll organize, host and manage your video content. When your team has only five videos, this may not seem that important. However, as your video library grows, it quickly becomes crucial to effective video marketing. And it's much easier to put a system in place from day one than it is to try to shoehorn things after the fact.\nWhen it comes to video hosting, organizations use either a free, paid, or a combination of both to manage video content. As the volume of video production goes up, so does the need for a more robust online video platform. Those who want to get the most out of their video content should consider leveraging a platform built for business.\nFree platforms remain the most popular video hosting solution, but business platforms continue to grow year over year. Source: 2022 Demand Metric State of Video Report.\nVidyard, for instance, makes it easy to manage all of your video assets. In addition to hosting, this video software offers the ability to create video hubs and access advanced video analytics.\n9. Measure Your Performance.\nJust like you track key performance indicators (KPIs) for your written content, the same should apply to your video content. You need to produce, release, then review your video's engagement data. In doing so, you can justify your investment in video and understand how well you're performing. In fact, video analytics rank as the number one online video platform feature for businesses.\nMetrics might still be a scary word, but video is actually easier to track and measure than you might think. You can get detailed viewing data with the help of an online video platform.\nVideo metrics you should track for each video marketing campaign you release:.\nNumber of Views and Unique Viewers. This isn\u2019t a measure of success on its own. However, it will help you understand if your distribution strategy is working.\nAttention Span and Drop-Off Rates. Does more than 60% of your audience make it to the end of your videos on average?\nClick-Through Rates.\u00a0Split test the results for email content with and without video content.\nDemand Generation. The number of new leads and opportunities generated as a result of watching the video. Or, how a video is influencing pipeline and revenue.\nContent Consumption. How many videos do individual leads watch in a day? A week? A month?\nThis step in your video marketing strategy is to determine how you'll collect this critical information. Typically accomplished with the help of the online video platform of your choice.\nOnce you have a set strategy, you'll be able to see how your video content aligns with your business objectives and start using assets more effectively.\nThis post was originally published on December 3, 2018. It was updated on May 9, 2022.