The complete video marketing guide with how-to steps

SkillsCategory
30 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. In fact, up to 85% of customers are more likely to buy a product after watching a marketing video.

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 production to promotion and measurement, we've got you covered. Let's get started!

What is video marketing?

In today's digital age, video marketing has become an essential tool for small business owners looking to stand out in a 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 brand story, and ultimately drive action, whether that's to make a purchase, sign up for a service, or simply engage with your brand.

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

Dollar Shave Club: This company launched with a viral video that showcased their unique selling proposition: high-quality razors delivered to your door for just $1. The video was funny, and irreverent, and quickly went viral, launching the brand to success.

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.

BuzzFeed’s Tasty: They are a food-focused brand that uses short and engaging recipe videos to promote their brand and drive traffic to their website. These videos are optimized for social media and are designed to be easy to watch and share.

Why video marketing matters

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 brand's story, you can build trust and establish a more personal connection with potential customers.

There are several reasons why video marketing matters for small businesses. Here are a few:

  • 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 drive sales and revenue.

Overall, video marketing can be a powerful tool for brands looking to connect with their audience, tell their story, and ultimately drive action. By creating engaging and high-quality videos, brands can differentiate themselves, build brand awareness, and ultimately drive conversions and sales.

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 already in the business of digital marketing, it can be overwhelming for small business owners to figure out how to come up with an actual video strategy, while also managing literally every other aspect of your business.

It's understandable that you might feel intimidated by the process and unsure of where to begin. But 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.

Starting with, creating and implementing a video marketing strategy. It ensures that videos align with business objectives and provide a return on investment, and allows for data-driven decisions to optimize videos and refine the strategy over time. Here are some steps for creating a video marketing strategy for your small business:

1. Define your goals

Determine what you want to achieve with your video marketing efforts. Are you trying to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Setting specific goals will help you measure the success of your videos.

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, and educational content.

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.

4. Develop your messaging

Create a clear and concise message for your videos that aligns with your brand and resonates with 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 (color 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. Analyze and optimize

Measure the success of your videos by tracking metrics like views, engagement, and conversion rates. Use this data to optimize 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. So, let's explore a few different types of popular marketing videos you can create to take your video marketing strategy to the next level!

1. 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 video should highlight the unique selling points of your product and help your audience 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.

2. 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 received 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 the business. They can be created by your customers or followers of your brand in the form of user-generated content (UGC), rather than by your business. This type of video involves encouraging your customers to create their own videos showcasing their experiences with your product or service, and then sharing these videos on your social media channels or website.

3. 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, or any other format that provides valuable information to the audience.

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.

4. Behind-the-scenes

Behind-the-scenes videos provide a glimpse into the inner workings of a business or brand. It can showcase the processes, techniques, and people that are 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 interacting with customers, and the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. This type of video can help create a connection with the audience by humanizing the brand 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 or delivered.

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 effective video marketing campaigns that drive results.

How to create a marketing video for your business

Okay, now it's time to get into my favorite part - creating your own videos! With your strategy in place, 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 and convey a sense of professionalism and attention to detail, which can build trust and credibility with the target audience.

Your process might differ from someone ele’s but 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 when it comes to creating effective video marketing content. 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 footage. 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. These options offer basic editing tools and effects that can help you create a quality video without breaking the bank.

However, 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 marketing content can 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.

One of the great things about video marketing is that it allows you to showcase your brand personality in a way that other forms of marketing can't. Don't be afraid to show your sense of humor 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 resonates with your audience.

Tips to make your video stand out

Everyone needs to start somewhere, but once you’re feeling confident in your planning and process, why not step it up a notch? While good content 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 video content that's 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, or an emotional story, to make your audience want to keep watching.

Use high-quality visuals

High-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.

Use clear and concise messaging

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 it’s visiting your website, making a purchase, or following you on social media. It’s important to be direct and get to the point quickly, as attention spans are short, and viewers 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

Appropriate music can create an emotional connection with the viewer and help to 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 ensure that 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 branding

Branding 101: always ensure that your branding is consistent across all your video marketing efforts, including your website, social media channels, and other promotional materials. By doing so, you can create a cohesive and recognizable brand that customers will remember 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.

Add captions

In addition to accessibility, captions can also improve the overall viewing experience by making it easier for viewers to follow along with the content. This is particularly true for videos that include technical terms or complex information that may be difficult to understand without visual aids.

Make sure they are accurate, timed correctly, and easy to read. Use contrasting colors between the text and background, and choose a clear and legible font. With the right captions, you can improve the accessibility and engagement of your video, and make it more appealing to a wider audience.

Experiment with different formats

While there are some tried-and-true formats, don't be afraid to try something new. Consider creating short-form, animated, or even live content. By exploring different formats, you may discover what resonates best with your audience and helps to achieve your video marketing goals in ways you weren’t expecting.

Choose a video hosting platform

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 hosting platform is crucial in getting your video in front of your target audience. 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, but here are a few pro’s and con’s for the most popular video hosting platforms:

YouTube

YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google and has over 2 billion active monthly users.

Pros: Free to use, largest video platform with a wide audience, can help with search engine optimization (SEO), allows for monetization 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, limited control over branding and customization.

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, limited audience compared to YouTube, not ideal for community building.

Facebook

Facebook has over 2.8 billion active monthly users, making it a powerful tool for businesses to reach a large audience.

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 video reach, competition can be high, limited control over branding and customization.

Instagram

Instagram has over 1 billion active monthly users and is particularly popular among younger demographics.

Pros: Good 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 is a platform designed specifically for businesses and marketers.

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

Cons: Paid plans required for certain features such as marketing integrations, 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. All of these platforms are popular among audiences for one reason or another, but may not be suitable for all types of businesses.

Video marketing on social media

We've covered different video hosting platforms, but let's focus more on how social media can be a powerful tool for video marketing. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok offer easy ways to share your video content with a wider audience, engage with your followers, and increase your brand awareness.

In fact, according to a recent survey, social media video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. So, if you want to take your video marketing efforts to the next level, it's essential to leverage the power of social media. Let's dive into some tips and best practices for using social media for your video marketing.

Related: Check out our Video Marketing on Social Media guide.

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 engagement or conversions.

Nothing is worse than a tone-deaf marketing campaign that actually causes harm to your brand image. Make sure you’ve done your research on their demographics, interests, pain points, and preferences, and use that information to create video content that resonates 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 2 minutes long tend to perform better on social media platforms.

Optimize for mobile

Most people consume social media on their mobile devices, which means your videos need to be optimized for mobile viewing. This involves creating videos in a vertical format that fit the screen of a mobile device, as well as ensuring that the video content is easy to view on smaller screens, and using subtitles or captions will ensure your message is conveyed even without sound. Also, short videos are also easier to consume on mobile devices, so try to convey your message in the first few seconds of the video to grab your audience's attention.

Share on multiple platforms

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, and also give 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 your audience a more in-depth look at your business.

Another benefit of sharing your videos on multiple platforms is that it can help with SEO (search engine optimization). By sharing your videos on different platforms and linking back to your website, you can increase the visibility of your brand online and improve your search engine rankings.

Use hashtags

Hashtags can help increase the visibility of your videos on social media. Hashtags are like keywords that people use to search for content on social media platforms. By including relevant and popular hashtags in your video posts, you can make it easier for your target audience to discover your content.

In addition to including relevant hashtags in your video posts, 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 personalized Coke bottle campaign. 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.

Engage with your audience

Social media is all about building relationships. By responding to comments, questions, and feedback from your viewers, you can build a relationship with them and establish a sense of trust and loyalty. It also provides an opportunity to learn more about your audience and their preferences, which can help you create more targeted and effective video content 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 not only encourages interaction with your audience but also shows that you are listening and responsive to their needs.

Share your video

While social media is a great way to reach a wider audience and engage with your target market, they can also be unpredictable. For example, algorithms can change and suddenly your content is not reaching as many people as it used to. In addition, social media platforms may experience technical issues, or even shut down altogether.

That's why it's important to have other channels, such as a website or email list, where you can share your video marketing content and have more control over its 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 channels to consider:

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. This not only helps to build trust with your audience, but also increases the likelihood that they will share your content with others.

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

Email

Having 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. For example, you could include a product demo video in an email to showcase a new product and encourage customers to make a purchase. According to a study by Campaign Monitor, including a video in an email can increase click-through rates by up to 300%.

Paid advertising

With paid advertising, you can reach a larger audience that you may not have been able to reach organically. This can help you expand your brand awareness and attract new customers. Examples of paid advertising options include YouTube Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. By using paid advertising in conjunction 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. While UGC can be an effective way to build brand loyalty and social proof, influencer marketing allows you to reach a larger audience and can be particularly effective for new or niche businesses looking to gain visibility.

For example, a small clothing brand could collaborate with a fashion influencer to create a video showcasing 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 brand awareness.

PR outreach

Reaching out to media outlets, bloggers, and journalists to share your video content and potentially feature it in their publications or on their social media platforms. Influencer marketing can be confused with PR outreach because with influencer marketing, you're typically working with individuals who have a significant social media following, while with PR outreach, you're targeting publications or media outlets that can provide wider exposure.

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 utilizing these additional channels, you can increase the visibility and reach of your video marketing content and engage with your audience on multiple platforms.

Track your video performance

Finally, you'll want to track your performance to see how well your videos are resonating with your audience. Carefully tracking metrics can help you measure the success of your video marketing strategy and identify areas for improvement. Let's take a closer look at how to track the performance of your video marketing content.

Views

This is the number of times your video has been viewed. It's a simple metric, but provides a good indication of how many people have watched your video. The number of views can help you determine the effectiveness of your video marketing strategy and whether you need to adjust your approach. You can also use views as a benchmark to compare your performance to previous videos or competitors in your industry.

Engagement

Engagement refers to the number of likes, comments, and shares your video has received. It's an important metric, as it can help businesses identify their most enthusiastic supporters and foster stronger relationships with them. On the other hand, low engagement rates may indicate that the video is not resonating with the audience, and adjustments may need to be made to improve future content.

Click-through rate (CTR)

CTR is the percentage of viewers who followed up on a call-to-action in your video. It's a good indicator of how effective your video is at driving your audience to take your desired action. A high CTR indicates that your video content is 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 content is not 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, or signing up for a newsletter. It’s a more specific metric than click-through rate (CTR), which only measures the percentage of viewers who click on a CTA without taking into account whether or not they actually completed the desired action. CR is a more meaningful metric for businesses, as it directly measures how many viewers are converting into actual customers or leads.

In addition, tracking conversion rate can help businesses calculate the return on investment (ROI) of their video marketing efforts. By comparing the cost of producing and promoting the video to the revenue generated by conversions, businesses can determine if their video marketing campaign is profitable and adjust their strategy accordingly.

Watch time

This metric measures how long viewers watched your video. It's important because the longer viewers watch, the more engaged they are with your content. A high watch time shows that your viewers are interested in your content, while a low watch time suggests that your video may not be capturing their attention or providing value.

Watch time is also an important factor in how video hosting platforms like YouTube and Vimeo rank and recommend videos. These platforms prioritize videos with high watch times and engagement, so optimizing for watch time can help improve the visibility and reach of your video content.

Social media metrics

Social media platforms provide their own set of metrics, 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 video content is driving a significant amount of new followers or subscribers, it can be a good sign that your content is resonating with your target audience.

While these metrics 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 use a combination of metrics and analyze them with your specific goals and audience in mind.

For example, let's say you have a video that has a high number of views but a low engagement rate. 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 resonate with the audience or that the call-to-action wasn't clear enough.

By these KPIs, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of your video marketing efforts and make informed decisions about how to improve your strategy going forward.

Final thoughts

It's important to remember that video marketing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy, and you should experiment with different formats, platforms, and messaging to find what works best for you and your audience.

Social media platforms are constantly evolving and changing, making them unpredictable. This is why it's crucial for businesses to stay on top of evolving trends to be able to protect their content from being lost in the ever-changing landscape of social media.

As someone who has been making YouTube videos for over ten years, I can attest to the power of video content in building an engaged community and driving business success. In my experience, the creators who stay true to their brand and values, experiment with different formats and styles, and always put the needs and interests of their audience first, tend to be the ones who are most loved by their viewers.

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

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