Video marketing for business is a real, tangible thing. And let's be very clear right off the bat -- this is not another post on viral video. Your organization, large or small, does not need a video to "go viral" to realize it's impact. That said, your organization does need video on some level.
In the past decade the landscape of buyers has changed drastically. Updating your marketing strategy definitely means incorporating new media, social media, and yes, video, into your marketing mix, but bad video may be worse than no video. And bad video is really, really easy to make.
When creating a video strategy, like any marketing strategy, you need to take some time to effectively lay out your goals, deliverables and decide how you will measure the successfulness of your efforts. Without getting into a 101 on analytics, here are five things that your video strategy should include:
1) A Clear Purpose
Why are you making the video that you're making? There are plenty of uses for video in your organization, so it's important to nail down what your video's primary use will be. While it sounds great in theory to cover a large variety of topics in a "one-size-fits-all" style, it actually is a giant waste of time. It's Chris Anderson's theory of Long Tail Marketing: Our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of "hits" (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail.
Our culture and economy is moving away from a small number of mainstream products at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail.
2) An Identity
Someone or something to relate to. The entire purpose of video is to put a face to your organization. Now, that doesn't necessarily need to be a human face, but it does need to be a relatable image, voice, character, style or something. Your video(s) should build confidence in your target audience that you are an authority on whatever it is that you are trying to communicate, sell, raise money for, etc.
3) A Decided Production Quality
Before you upload the $60 video, and before you write the $6,000 professional video check, you have to decide what production quality you are going for. And before you decide just based on the initial investment, think about this: at the end of the day, the reason why video production companies encourage organizations to move away from the DIY iPhone camera isn't just because of the quality of images, it's because of the quality of content. Pointing a camera at someone talking about themselves (or their company) and calling that compelling isn't going to work.
The examples you see of single point-and-shoot videos working only exist in training spaces with individuals branding themselves as an "up-and-comer" or an "at-home trainer". They don't work for companies trying to be brand leaders. Video is story. Story is narrative. What you buy when you buy a professional video is the storytelling and positioning more than anything else.
4) A Set Style
This isn't to say you absolutely must sit in this genre of storytelling forever once you start. However, if you're trying to communicate a serious message, don't have a goofy actor in a clown suit jump around telling jokes.
It's really, really, really important to identify the type of message you are trying to communicate so that you can effectively select your style of communicating. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, "The medium is the message". And that is never more true than in the world of video, where you are dealing with visual content, audio content, and often times very complicated or dense information.
The medium is the message.
5) A Call to Action
Every single video needs to have a call to action. Most sales don't happen because the organization is too scared to ask for the sale. You are making a video to obtain something... so ask for it! Whether that's a donation, a purchase or even a Facebook like, you need to ask your audience for it!
Putting some answers below those five points will help bring your video strategy into focus. Are there more steps? Absolutely. However, this will give you a strong leg-up.
And remember, your organization, large or small, does not need a video to "go viral" to realize it's impact... but you do need video on some level!