Just as your blog needs regular updates to build an audience or subscriber base, great video marketing also depends on consistency and frequency. But how do you create great videos time and time again? Well, similar to how you can streamline other content creation initiatives, churning out great videos requires that you learn a particular, scalable workflow.
Whether you’re working on episodic content in a series, or simply creating videos on an as-needed basis, the whole idea of commitment to a regular schedule could be scaring you away – but it shouldn’t! By promising your audience new videos on a regular basis, you can gain a valuable subscriber base who are loyal to your brand and help share your messages.
Although every organization will differ based on resources devoted to video, if you use the following 8 steps as a guide, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a video content marketing machine (it takes some work, but it’s less intimidating with every asset you make!).
Step 1: Plan Your Upcoming Topics and Scope
As you get started with video, it’s easy to think “we’re going to make everything and be amazing for everybody!”. As enthusiastic as this is, it’s unrealistic and you shouldn’t try to boil the ocean (sorry, muppet, that’s a terrible approach).
Instead, get strategic and determine:
- What topics will you cover and for whom (Consider if there are competitors in your space doing a particular subject really well. Should you cover a different niche?)
- What value will your videos deliver to your target (are they primarily educational? Are they pointing to other useful/downloadable assets? Are they intros to people on your team? What’s in your mix and what purpose does each video serve?)
- Will you deliver repeatable “segments” that audiences can look forward to?
After you’ve decided on the unique purpose you’ll serve and how you’ll do this, make a list of all of the videos you’d like to make in a quarter. Look at what kinds of videos perform well in your industry and consider variations you can do on these topics that pertain to your target audience. If your audience gets their SEO news from a particular source, consider what that site is doing especially well and mimic how they deliver their content. Pick a content hero and study their ways like a jedi; the key is choosing a site that’s not a competitor, but successfully targets the same audience as you. Look to partners in your space!
As an example, if you’re in the business of marketing automation platforms, your video topic list might look like this:
As a rule of thumb, if it makes a good blog post, you could probably turn it into an informative short video (or make a video component to add to a blog post!).
Step 2: Build a Realistic Timeframe per Video Project
- How many videos can you actually create in a month or a quarter given your other content objectives, budget, and resources?
If you have an in-house videographer, you could be creating a video per week – it just depends on the complexity of that video. A simple, talking-head style interview can be shot and edited within a week, but a complex creative campaign or videos requiring motion graphics will likely take longer. Each videographer will also have a different workflow to be aware of.
Build a list of video types and get your videographer to give you an approximation of how much time a given concept should take (i.e. what’s the production time – including editing – for an animated short versus a live action video?) This will help you when scheduling realistic timelines and campaigns.
Additionally, implement key learnings as you go. In other words, don’t plan a new video interview series with 10 assets in it, start with just 4 or 5. This lets you to gain experience with producing videos, but it also gives you the opportunity to assess each video’s performance with the resulting engagement data. If your target audience bails ten seconds into all of the videos, take the time to determine if it’s your topic or style of production that isn’t working out and modify future content accordingly.
Step 3: Create an editorial calendar scheduling video releases
When you know what videos you want to make, and when you can have the assets, map the schedule of video content to an editorial calendar; it can be the same calendar you use to plan your blog. Ensure everyone involved in the video process can see it, and that there’s some buffer time built in for feedback before a video goes live. It might be a good idea to build in pre-production time and post-production into your calendar too. It’s up to you and how granular you want to get.
Step 4: Coordinate the Extra Assets Needed for Video Campaigns (and Decide Where Videos Will Live)
While you might be uploading videos to YouTube and calling it a day, YouTube alone isn’t a video content strategy and embedding content on your own website with a video marketing platform presents a ton of benefits. Before filming a video, decide where it will live on your site (A video resource hub? Your homepage? In a blog post? On it’s own dedicated landing page?). If creating a content campaign around a high-level asset, be sure to coordinate the following for a successful launch:
- The video’s script (and the required approvals)
- landing page (can be built specifically for the video campaign, or you can use a video resource hub)
- Social promo images (for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and retargeting ads, etc.)
- Email marketing images (for including the video release in your newsletter, or other emails)
- A custom call to action frame for the end of the video
- A custom video thumbnail image
Overall, put some time into how you’ll present the video on your website and how the page where it lives contribute to the video’s overall goals (i.e. lead generation, brand awareness, etc.). For more info on what a dedicated video landing page should include, see this post.
Step 5: Write Your Scripts (or Rough Outlines)
Some video types might not require scripts, it all depends. If certain product-based B2B videos (like a tour of your platform) require a script, or your announcing something important, etc., you can create a set of structured talking points to guide your on-screen talent. Here’s some quick considerations:
- Keep it short! One page of double-spaced bullet points usually creates a video that runs from 60-90 secs, depending the size of type and amount of dialogue. You’re aiming to make videos (for the top of the funnel) that range from 60-90 seconds in length, ideally, as these maintain attention the best in the discovery phase of the buying cycle.
- For customer testimonials, create rough questions: Instead of classic Q&A for interviews of any kind, ask leading questions like “Tell me about a time when you _____…” – these questions deliver more valuable story-based feedback.
- Use simple, conversational language – being too jargon-y or complicated is a surefire way to lose your audience right away with video. Always make things clear and concise to maintain attention for longer.
Step 6: Book/organize your video shoot logistics
Sometimes creative ideas require filming in different locations, but whether you’re filming in your office or on location based on a story you’re hoping to tell (maybe it’s a customer testimonial in their office), book your location, confirm with your videographer, and look out for things like:
- Fans and overhead noise: Sometimes air conditioning or pipes will produce a buzz or humming at your location and can ruin your audio.
- Windy locations outdoors: You might not even hear the wind at your outdoor shoot, but the mic will pick it up.
- Adequate Light: is there enough light in the space or should you bring some equipment?
Step 7: Edit, Build in Feedback Time, and Define Feedback Rules
Not all video projects require a first cut, but it’s often a good idea to get the video edited to a certain ‘presentable-as-is’ point and then solicit some feedback from key stakeholders. Sometimes jokes fall flat, or boring parts of a video emerge and it’s necessary to cut or modify this stuff before your video goes live. Test your video with teammates, and those in your target audience and make final adjustments as needed.
Depending on how far along you are in the process it’s a good idea for your videographer to define the feedback rules in this phase. (I.e. “the story/content is set in stone, we’re just looking for any concerns with audio or song choice at this point in the game, thanks!”).
Step 8: Release, Promote, and Measure!
When you’ve got an approved video asset, build up a beautiful launch email with customer-focused copy and send it to a targeted list. Remember, use an image of the video’s custom thumbnail in the email and redirect viewers to your website or blog post where the video is actually located. Getting folks over to your site (where they’ll encounter more of your strategic video marketing and CTAs) is a key way to drive folks through the funnel.
After promoting on all relevant social channels and some targeted LinkedIn groups (where your target audience live), start reviewing video analytics to determine your performance. Look at how much time individuals spend on average with a video, and take a look at video data within your CRM contact records to see which leads have watched a certain threshold of video content. If someone’s watched 3 product videos all the way to the end, they might be qualified for a call from your sales team.
Overall, use your resulting video engagement data to determine not only your audience preferences, but which types of videos they actually enjoy watching and which should continue to make up a huge portion of your video strategy. Custom Salesforce reports can even let you know which videos are influencing won deals!
Following these eight steps should set you on the path toward some excellent, regular video releases for your brand. If you have any questions, or want to share some steps you’ve perfected at your company, leave a comment below!