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Complete video marketing guide with all the steps

GrowCategory
29 min read
Raisa Lynn

Are you looking to engage your target audience, increase brand awareness and drive conversions? If so, then video marketing is the way to go.

Videos have become the preferred content format for many consumers, and with good reason. They're engaging, shareable, and can convey a lot of information in a short amount of time.

But where do you start?

How do you create effective videos that resonate with your audience?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll provide you with all the tools, tips, and strategies you need to succeed with video marketing. From planning and shooting to promotion and measurement, we've got you covered.

Let's get started!

Related: How to make a video on a budget

What is video marketing?

Video marketing has become an essential tool for small business owners looking to stand out in the crowded online marketplace. But what is video marketing, exactly?

Basically, video marketing is creating and sharing videos to promote your products, services or brand online. This can include anything from product demonstrations and customer testimonials to educational content and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business.

The goal is to use the power of video to capture and hold your audience's attention, tell your story, and ultimately drive action. That action could be to make a purchase, sign up for a service, or simply engage with your business.

A few examples of brands that have successfully used video marketing:

Evian

The French bottled water company famously launched an iconic advertising campaign featuring dozens of CGI babies performing roller skating stunts.

One of the first major YouTube campaigns, it was so successful that in 2009 the Guinness Book of World Records officially declared this viral campaign the most viewed online ad.

Evian example of successful use of video in product marketing

GoPro

The action camera brand has built its entire marketing strategy around user-generated content. They encourage their customers to share their GoPro videos and use that content to create inspiring and engaging marketing campaigns that showcase the possibilities of their products.

Tasty

This is a food-focused brand that uses short and engaging recipe videos to promote their brand and drive traffic to their website. These videos are optimised for social media and are designed to be easy to watch and share.

Why you should consider video marketing

So why is video marketing so important for small business owners?

For starters, video is a highly engaging and shareable medium that can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level. By using videos to tell your story, you can build trust and establish a more personal connection with potential customers.

Here are a few more reasons to try video marketing:

  • Increased Engagement: Videos have been shown to generate more engagement than other types of content. According to a report by HubSpot, videos on social media generate 12 times more shares than text and images combined.
  • Improved Brand Awareness: Video marketing can help small businesses increase their brand awareness by reaching a wider audience. Videos can be shared across multiple platforms, including social media, email, and websites, making it easier to get in front of potential customers.
  • Better Communication: Videos allow small businesses to communicate their message more effectively than text or images. Videos can show how a product or service works, explain complex concepts, and tell a story in a more engaging and memorable way.

But that's not all. Video marketing also has the power to boost your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website. Google loves video content, and pages with videos tend to rank higher on search engine results pages than those without.

Plus, videos can also increase your click-through rates and conversions, making them an effective way to increase sales and revenue.

Overall, video marketing can be a powerful tool for brands looking to connect with their audience, tell their story, and ultimately spur action.

By creating engaging and high-quality videos, brands can differentiate themselves, build brand awareness, and ultimately drive conversions and sales.

Related: Google analytics for beginners

How to create a video marketing strategy

Alright, we get the importance of why video marketing is a no-brainer for your brand.

However, unless you’re a trained digital marketer, it can be a big task to come up with an actual video strategy, while also managing literally every other aspect of your business.

Don’t worry if you feel unsure of where to begin. With the right approach and guidance, developing an effective video marketing plan can be a smooth and rewarding process.

In the following sections, we'll explore some actionable steps and best practices to help small business owners like you, create a video marketing strategy that aligns with your goals and budget.

1. Define your goals

Determine what you want to achieve with your video marketing efforts. Are you trying to:

  • Increase brand awareness?
  • Bring in leads?
  • Drive sales?

Setting specific goals will help you measure the success of your videos.

Related: The Canadian entrepreneur's guide to setting goals

2. Choose your video type

Decide what type of videos you want to create based on your goals and target audience. Common types of videos include:

  • Product demos
  • Explainer videos
  • Customer testimonials
  • Educational videos

3. Identify your target audience

Determine who your target audience is and what they're interested in. This will help you create videos that resonate with your audience and drive engagement. Learn how to identify your target market here (6-minute read).

4. Develop your messaging

Person with a storyboard that maps out a video
Photo by dix sept on Unsplash

Create a clear and concise message for your videos that aligns with your brand and will appeal to your audience. Your message should be compelling and address the pain points or needs of your target audience.

5. Create a production plan

Develop a plan for producing your videos, including pre-production tasks (scriptwriting, storyboarding), production tasks (filming, editing), and post-production tasks (colour correction, audio mixing). This can also include a content calendar to help you pre-plan what type of content and when you need it by.

6. Choose distribution channels

Determine where you want to distribute your videos, such as social media platforms, your website, email marketing campaigns, or video-sharing platforms like YouTube or Vimeo.

7. Analyse and optimise

Measure the success of your videos by tracking metrics like views, engagement, and conversion rates. Use this data to optimise your video marketing strategy and create more effective videos in the future.

It's important to understand that by following these steps, you can create a video marketing strategy that helps achieve your goals, reach your target audience, and drive engagement and conversions.

Later on in this blog post, we'll be going deeper into each of these steps and providing you with actionable tips and advice to help you get started with video marketing.

Whether you're a seasoned small business owner or a first-time content creator, these steps can help you get the results you're looking for. So, let's dive in!

Types of marketing videos

There are various types of marketing videos that small business owners can create to engage their audience and build brand awareness. From product demos to customer testimonials, explainer videos and more, the possibilities are endless.

Each type of video serves a unique purpose and can be tailored to meet the needs of your business and target audience.

Let's explore a few different types of popular marketing videos you can create to take your video marketing strategy to the next level!

Product demos

Product demos are videos that showcase your product or service in action. It typically includes a walk-through of your product's features and benefits, as well as a demonstration of how it works and what problems it can solve for your customers.

The Twitch video above created by Bounty was clearly aimed at a young audience.

The video should highlight the unique selling points of your product and help viewers understand why they should choose your product over others in the market.

You can use different techniques like screen recordings, animations, and live-action footage to create an engaging product demo video.

Related: This easy-to-use visual tool is a must

Customer testimonials

Customer testimonials are videos that feature satisfied customers talking about their positive experience with a business's product or service.

These videos often include interviews with the customers, showing them using the product or service, and discussing the benefits they gained from it.

The goal of these videos is to build trust and credibility with potential customers by showing real people who have had a positive experience with your business.

They can even be created by your customers or followers rather than by you.

All you need to do is encourage your customers to create their own videos describing their experiences with your product or service. Then you simply share these videos on your social media channels or website.

Educational content

Educational videos aim to educate viewers on a particular topic related to the business's products or services. It can be in the form of:

  • A tutorial
  • A how-to video
  • A webinar
  • Any other format that provides valuable information to viewers

For example, a cooking school could create a video tutorial on how to make a particular recipe, or a financial advisor could create a video explaining the basics of investment planning.

The key to a successful educational content video is to provide valuable information that viewers can use and apply to their own lives or businesses.

Behind-the-scenes

Behind-the-scenes videos provide a glimpse into the inner workings of a business. They often focus on the processes, techniques and people involved in creating a product or delivering a service.

For example, a behind-the-scenes video for a restaurant could showcase:

  • How the chef prepares the food
  • The staff members who interact with customers
  • The overall atmosphere of the restaurant

This type of video can help create a connection with the audience by humanising the business and providing a sense of authenticity.

Behind-the-scenes videos can also help to build trust and transparency with customers by showing how a product or service is made.

Overall, these types of videos can help educate, engage and build trust with potential customers.

By choosing the right type of video for your target audience and goals, you can create an effective video marketing campaign that gets results.

How to shoot a marketing video for your business

Okay, now it's time to get into my favourite part — creating your own videos!

You already have a clear idea of your goals and your audience, so it's time to start putting that plan into action.

The importance of setting up for recording a marketing video cannot be overstated, as it greatly affects the overall quality and impact of the final product. A well-set-up video shoot can save time during the editing process. It can also convey a sense of professionalism and attention to detail, which can build trust and credibility with viewers.

Here is a general step-by-step process of creating a video for your marketing campaign, with actionable tips to help you bring your vision to life.

1. Choose the right location

The background of your video is important since it can affect the overall look and feel of your video.

Choose a location that is not only quiet, well-lit and visually appealing, but also complements your brand and the message you want to convey.

For example, if you're a fitness brand, filming your video in a gym or outdoor park would fit the message you want to convey.

2. Set up your equipment

Position your smartphone or camera on a tripod or stable surface. If available, use an external microphone to improve audio quality.

Audio quality is just as important as video quality in creating effective videos.

Poor audio can quickly turn off viewers and make your content difficult to understand, even if the video itself is visually appealing.

Additionally, while natural light is your best friend when it comes to video production, it can change throughout the day. So make sure to choose a time when the lighting is consistent or use additional lighting equipment.

3. Record your video

Start recording your video by following the script or talking points you prepared.

If you can, try to practice your script ahead of time and record multiple takes of each shot, especially if you're not confident in your first attempt. This will give you more options to choose from during editing.

4. Edit your video

After recording your video content, the next step is the editing process. This is where you can take your raw footage and music, captions or transitions and trim any unwanted bits.

For those on a tight budget, there are several affordable or free online video editor options available like GoDaddy Studio Instant Video Editor, iMovie, Filmora or Lightworks. All offer basic editing tools and effects that can help you create a quality video without breaking the bank.

If you are willing to spend a bit more on video editing, there are also professional editing services available that can help take your video to the next level.

These services can be found online, or you can hire a freelance video editor. It is important to research and compare prices and reviews to find the best option for your business.

Creating your first video be an exciting and daunting task. But don't let the idea of fancy equipment or a big budget hold you back.

You can create high-quality videos with just a smartphone and a few simple tools. The most important thing is to have a clear understanding of your message and audience.

Don't be afraid to show your sense of humour or inject some creativity into your videos.

Keep in mind that your video doesn't have to be perfect as long as it's authentic and is appropriate for your audience.

Tips to make your video stand out

Once you’re feeling confident in your planning and process, why not step it up a notch?

While a good script is key, there are a few extra things you can do to take it to the next level. Here are a few more tips and tricks to help you create videos that are even more engaging and effective.

Start with a strong hook

The first few seconds of your video are critical for capturing the viewer's attention. Start with a strong hook, such as:

  • A surprising fact
  • A provocative question
  • An emotional story

This will make your audience want to keep watching.

Use high-quality visuals

Quality visuals can make your video more engaging and professional. Visuals can be everything from graphics and animations to actual footage and photographs.

One of the key elements to consider is resolution. Make sure that your visuals are shot or created at a high resolution to avoid pixelation or distortion when viewed on larger screens.

Related: TikTok for business marketing — is it right for you?

Make your message clear and concise

Your message needs to be easy to understand and memorable, so viewers can easily recall your brand or product.

Your call-to-action (CTA) should tell viewers exactly what you want them to do next, whether that’s:

  • Visiting your website
  • Making a purchase
  • Following you on social media

It’s important to be direct and get to the point quickly, as attention spans are short.

People may lose interest if the video drags on or is unclear.

Additionally, try to avoid technical jargon or industry buzzwords.

Use music and sound effects

The right music can create an emotional connection and help reinforce your message. Similarly, sound effects can add a level of interest and professionalism to your video.

For example, if you are creating a product demo video, you can use sound effects to highlight the exciting features and benefits of the product.

When choosing music, it's important to make sure you have the rights to use it. There are many royalty-free music options available online, which can be used without any legal issues.

Incorporate your brand elements

Branding 101: always ensure that your look and feel is consistent across all your touchpoints — your website, social media channels, signage and videos.

This includes your:

  • Business logo
  • Brand colours
  • Tone of voice

By using the same logo, colours and tone everywhere, you can create a memorable brand that customers will recognise and trust.

One effective way to incorporate branding in your videos is by using dedicated intros and outros.

A branded intro is a short clip at the beginning of your video that introduces your brand, while a branded outro appears at the end and provides a call to action and contact information.

Related: How to make a logo you'll love

Add captions

In addition to making your videos accessible to those who can’t hear, captions can also improve the overall experience by making it easier for hearing viewers to follow along.

This is particularly true for videos that include technical terms or complex information that may be difficult to understand.

Make sure your captions are accurate, timed correctly, and easy to read.

Use contrasting colours between the text and background and choose a clear and legible font. With the right captions, you can make your video more appealing to a wider audience.

Experiment with different formats

While there are some tried-and-true video marketing formats, don't be afraid to try something new. Consider creating short-form, animated — or even live content.

By exploring different formats, you may find what your audience likes best. Experimentation could help you reach your video marketing goals in ways you weren’t expecting.

Choose a place to share your video

You have now planned, filmed and edited your video marketing content. The next step is to share it with the world.

But where do you post it?

Choosing the right platform is crucial in getting your video in front of the right people. You need a platform that is reliable, user-friendly, and has the right features to help your video perform well.

There are plenty to choose from, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few pros and cons for the most popular video hosting platforms:

YouTube

YouTube is in fact the second most popular search engine after Google — this means people are actually searching for products and services on YouTube. In fact, 98% of Canadians watch it and there are over 2 billion active monthly users.

Video thumbnail for YouTube

Pros: Free to use, largest video platform with a wide audience, can help with search engine optimisation (SEO), allows for monetisation and community building through comments and subscribers.

Cons: Ads may be displayed on your videos, may not be ideal for hosting private or sensitive content, competition can be high, you have limited control over branding and customisation.

Vimeo

Vimeo is similar to YouTube but with a more artistic and professional focus. It's a popular choice for businesses and creatives who want to showcase their work.

Pros: High-quality video hosting, no ads on videos, better for showcasing artistic or professional work, allows for password protection and customizable embedding options.

Cons: Paid plans required for certain features such as live streaming, Vimeo has a limited audience compared to YouTube, not ideal for community building.

Facebook

Facebook boasts 32.4 million users in Canada and over 2.8 billion active monthly users. This makes it a powerful tool for businesses to reach a large audience. Meta integrates sharing, selling and advertising across both Facebook and Instagram.

Pros: Large audience, videos can be easily shared and embedded, good for engaging with a local audience, allows for live streaming.

Cons: Ads may be displayed on your videos, algorithm changes may affect your video reach, competition can be high, you may have limited control over branding and customisation.

Instagram

There are around 19.9 million Instagram users in Canada, and over 1 billion active monthly Insta users. This network is particularly popular among younger demographics. Meta's integration with Facebook has seen the two platforms become like two sides of the same coin.

Pros: Known for showcasing visually appealing content, videos can be easily shared and embedded, allows for live streaming and Stories.

Cons: Limited video length (60 seconds for feed videos, 15 seconds for Stories), limited audience compared to other platforms, algorithm changes may affect video reach, and competition can be high.

Wistia

Wistia logo

Wistia is a platform designed specifically for businesses and marketers.

Pros: Professional video hosting with branding and customisation options, allows for lead capture and works with marketing automation tools, no ads on videos.

Cons: Paid plans required for certain features such as marketing tool integration, limited audience compared to other platforms, not ideal for community building.

Ultimately, you should refer to your goals and target audience when deciding where to post your video marketing content.

If the people most likely to buy from you spend all their time on YouTube, that’s where you should post.

All of these platforms are popular among audiences for one reason or another but may not be suitable for all types of businesses.

Tips for video marketing on social media

We've covered different video hosting platforms — now let's focus on tips and best practices for using social media for your video marketing.

Person taking an outdoor video with his phone

Know your audience

Again, understanding your target audience is crucial in video marketing, particularly on social media. Without knowing your audience, your videos may miss the mark and fail to generate clicks or shares.

Nothing is worse than a tone-deaf video that actually harms your business image.

Make sure you’ve done your research on your target market’s demographics (age, gender, income, etc), interests and product preferences. Use that information to create videos that resonate with them.

Keep it short and sweet

People scroll quickly on their feeds, so it's important to capture their attention within the first few seconds of the video.

According to a study by HubSpot, videos that are less than two minutes long tend to perform better on social media. Video links are shared 12 times more than text and link posts combined.

Make sure it can be viewed on mobile

Most people scroll social media on their mobile devices, which means your videos need to be optimised for viewing on smartphones and tablets.

This requires creating videos in a vertical format that fits the screen of a mobile device, as well as making sure that the video content is easy to watch on smaller screens. Include subtitles or captions to ensure your message is conveyed even without sound.

Also, short videos are easier to watch on mobile devices, so try to keep them at two minutes or less.

Share on more than one social network

Don't limit your video marketing efforts to one social media platform. By sharing your videos on multiple platforms, you can increase the chances of them being seen by more people.

This also gives your audience different ways to engage with your content.

For instance, you can share a promotional video on Instagram and then share a longer behind-the-scenes video on YouTube to give people a more in-depth look at your business.

Another benefit of sharing your videos on multiple platforms is that it can help with SEO. By sharing your videos on different platforms and linking back to your website, you can increase the chances that your business will appear in search engine rankings.

Related: Local SEO for Canadian businesses

Use hashtags

Hashtag graphic

Hashtags are like keywords that people use to search for content they might like on social media platforms. By including relevant and popular hashtags in your video posts, you can make it easier for the right people to find your videos.

Hashtags can help increase the visibility of your videos on social media.

You can also create branded hashtags specific to your business or marketing campaign. Branded hashtags can help you build brand awareness and encourage user-generated content from your audience.

For example, Coca-Cola created the hashtag #ShareACoke to promote their personalised Coke bottle campaign in Australia. Customers were encouraged to share photos and videos of themselves drinking Coca-Cola using the hashtag, which helped to spread the campaign message and generate buzz on social media.

Take a look at the top-performing hashtags in Canada for inspiration.

Engage with your viewers

Social media is all about building relationships. By responding to comments and questions from your viewers, you can build a relationship with them and establish a sense of trust and loyalty.

Social media also gives you a chance to learn more about what your followers like, which can help you create more targeted and effective videos in the future.

One example of effective audience engagement is hosting a Q&A session on social media, where viewers can submit questions and have them answered in a video response.

This shows that you are listening and responding to their needs.

Share your video widely

While social media is a great way to reach more people and engage with your target market, it can also be unpredictable.

Algorithms can change and suddenly your videos aren’t reaching as many people.

In addition, social media platforms can have technical issues, or even shut down altogether.

That's why it's important to have other channels such as a website or email newsletter, where you can share your videos and have more control over their distribution. These channels are "owned" by your business, meaning that you have more say in how your content is shared and promoted.

Here are some additional places to share your videos:

Your blog

By integrating your video content into your blog posts, you can provide your audience with a more dynamic and immersive experience that keeps them on your site longer. Including videos also increases the likelihood that they will share your articles with others.

Plus, embedding your video on your blog can help to showcase your expertise in your industry. By creating high-quality video content that is relevant to your audience, you can position yourself as a valuable resource and a trusted authority in your field.

Not sure how to start blogging? You can learn how to start a blog here.

Email

Including a video that you’ve created in an email campaign you’re sending out to your customers can help grab the attention of the recipient and provide a more interactive experience.

A study by Campaign Monitor found that including a video in your email can boost click rates by 65%.

For example, you could include a product demo video in an email to showcase a new product and encourage customers to make a purchase. Be sure to include the word "video" in the subject line to get more people to open your email.

Paid advertising

With paid ads, you can reach more people than you’re likely to reach via search engines alone.

This can help you expand awareness of your business and attract new customers.

Examples of paid advertising options include:

By using paid advertising along with your organic social media and other marketing efforts, you can amplify the impact of your video marketing strategy.

Influencer marketing

The difference between influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC) is that influencers are paid to promote your brand, while UGC is content created by your customers or followers for free.

While UGC can be an effective way to build brand loyalty and social proof, influencer marketing allows you to reach a larger audience.

This can be particularly effective for new or niche businesses looking to gain visibility.

For example, a small clothing brand could partner with a fashion influencer to create a video displaying their latest collection.

The influencer could share the video on their social media channels, reaching their large following of fashion-forward individuals who are likely to be interested in the brand's clothing. This can lead to increased website traffic, sales and awareness.

Learn how to find influencers to help promote your business in this article (7-minute read).

PR outreach

You can also reach out to media outlets, bloggers and journalists and ask them to share your videos and potentially feature them in their publications or on their social media platforms.

Don't confuse PR outreach with influencer marketing.

With PR outreach, you're targeting publications or media outlets favoured by your target customers. Influencer marketing, on the other hand, involves working with individuals who have a large social media following.

For example, a company that produces eco-friendly products could reach out to environmental publications or bloggers to feature their video content on the benefits of using sustainable products.

It's important to diversify your output and not rely solely on a few platforms for sharing your content. By using multiple channels, you can increase the reach of your video marketing content and engage with your audience in more places.

How to gauge your video performance

The last step in the video marketing process is to track your performance to see how your videos are being received by your audience.

Carefully tracking the metrics below can help you measure the success of your video marketing strategy and identify areas for improvement.

Here are the most important numbers to track:

Views

This is the number of times your video has been opened. It's a simple metric but provides a good indication of how appealing that particular video is.

The number of views can help you determine the effectiveness of your strategy and whether you need to adjust your approach. You can also use views as a benchmark to compare your latest video to previous videos or even competitors’ videos.

Engagement

Engagement refers to the number of likes, comments and shares your video has received. It's an important number, as it can help businesses:

  • Identify their most enthusiastic supporters
  • Take steps to foster stronger relationships with them

On the other hand, low engagement rates may mean that the video is not interesting to the audience.

Click-through rate (CTR)

CTR is the percentage of viewers who followed up on a call-to-action (CTA) in your video such as Subscribe to my newsletter or Shop now.

Click-through rate is a good indicator of how effective your video is at driving your audience to take your desired action.

A high CTR show that your videos are engaging, and your CTA is effective. On the other hand, a low CTR could indicate that your CTA is not clear enough, or that your video isn't resonating with your target audience.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of viewers who took a desired action after watching your video, such as:

  • Making a purchase
  • Filling out a form
  • Signing up for a newsletter

It’s more specific than click-through rate (CTR), which only measures the percentage who click on a CTA without considering whether they complete the desired action.

This is one of the most useful metrics, as it shows how many viewers turn into actual customers or leads.

In addition, tracking conversion rate can help you calculate the return on investment (ROI) of your video marketing efforts.

By comparing how much it costs to produce and promote the video to the money generated, you can determine if your video marketing campaign is profitable.

Watch time

This number shows how long viewers watched your video. It's important because the longer viewers watch, the more interested they are in your content.

Watch time is also an important factor in how video hosting platforms like YouTube and Vimeo rank and recommend videos. These platforms prioritise videos with high watch times. The longer your watch time, the more often your video will be presented to viewers.

Social media metrics

Social media platforms provide their own set of analytics, including impressions, reach and follower growth.

Impressions refer to the number of times your content was displayed, while reach refers to the number of unique users who have seen your content.

Follower growth is also an important metric to track, as it can indicate the success of your overall social media strategy. If your videos are driving a significant number of new followers or subscribers, it can be a good sign that they are resonating with your target audience.

While these measures can be useful for understanding the success of your video marketing campaign, they should be looked at in context and not viewed in isolation. Try to analyse a combination of metrics with your specific goals and audience in mind.

Let's say you have a video with a high number of views but a low engagement rate.

Phone showing metrics for Instagram

While a high number of views might seem impressive, it doesn't necessarily mean that the video was successful in achieving its goal. The low engagement rate might indicate that the video didn't hit home or that the call-to-action wasn't clear enough.

Watching these numbers can give you a deeper understanding of the impact of your video marketing efforts and make informed decisions about how to improve going forward.

Final thoughts

Like almost everything, video marketing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy.

Experiment with different formats, platforms and messages to find what works best for you.

Viewer habits are constantly changing, making them unpredictable. This is why it's crucial for businesses to stay on top of evolving trends to be able to keep their videos from getting lost.

As someone who has been making YouTube videos for over 10 years, I can attest to the power of video content in building an engaged community and driving business success. In my experience, creators who are most loved by their viewers tend to:

  • Stay true to their brand and values
  • Experiment with different formats and styles
  • Always put the needs and interests of their viewers first

All of this to say, video marketing is about creating valuable and engaging content that your audience loves. With the right approach, any business can harness the power of video marketing and take their online presence to the next level.

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