Want Better Video Marketing? Improve Your Processes


Marketers are increasingly turning to video for a simple reason: it gets results. Research has found dramatically better ROI, conversion rates, retention, and more when marketers use video.

Of course, there’s always a catch.

Video can be highly intimidating for marketers without prior experience. It’s easy to assume that you can’t possibly use it because you don’t know how to shoot and edit video on a professional level. As a result, for most of us video marketing is a minefield we’re too afraid to enter at risk of wasting time, resources, and our reputations.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are very low-risk ways to start experimenting with video marketing. It comes down to understanding the approaches available to you and using the right mindset to avoid waste.

What Is Video Marketing?

Any marketing that uses video to convey its messages is video marketing. That could be television advertising, sharing videos on social media, or working with a Youtuber to promote a product. Importantly, this could include anything from spending months shooting and producing a full documentary to spending 15 minutes making a basic video slideshow on your laptop.

The other element of video marketing is the difference between creating videos and creating video marketing strategies. These require two very different sets of skills. It’s a mistake to assume that just because you know how to produce great videos you’re ready to use video marketing. But we’ll cover that in more detail later.

Types of Marketing Videos

Depending on the type of marketing video you create, the effort, strategy, and potential uses can vary widely. So it’s important to begin with an understanding of the basic types.

Types of Marketing Videos

Interviews

This is a common type of marketing video because interviews are seemingly simple to create: just get one or two cameras, an interview, and an interviewee, and you’re ready to go! The problem is that this seeming simplicity underlies just how hard it is to get interviews right.

So you can think of interviews as high risk, high reward. Done right they can be tremendously insightful. But too many are overly long and require viewers to watch the entire interview to find the useful insights they want. That’s why you may want to consider editing interviews to ensure they’re shorter and denser. Alternatively, you can always break them up into smaller videos and use them individually.

Demos

In the context of video marketing, a demo could be anything from a video tailored to show existing customers how to use a product to promotional videos aimed at attracting new customers.

Regardless of where in your funnel you use a demo video to target customers, they should provide useful information that’s difficult to convey in any other medium. In other words, ask yourself whether the thing you’re explaining is better done through text, images, or video before you invest the resources in producing a demo video.

Testimonials

One of the most popular types of video marketing is the humble testimonial because hearing other people say good things about a product or service is incredibly impactful. For example, 97% of B2B customers listed testimonials as the most reliable type of content when evaluating a product or service.

Ironically, high production values can make testimonials look too polished or even fake. This is why they’re one of the most accessible and impactful forms of video marketing. Anyone with a smartphone can easily record a customer testimonial and upload it to a website without any specialized knowledge.

Animation

Without a doubt, one of the most difficult types of video marketing is animation. While there are some simple free animation-generating tools out there, for the most part it requires greater time, effort, and resources to get right.

That said, it’s still usually easier to animate many things compared to filming them, so it may still be the easiest way to create what you envision. Just be sure to consider all your options before investing in something like custom animation when simpler options might get the job done.

Explainers/How-tos

Many marketers subscribe to the value-first approach to marketing. The idea is to build a relationship with a prospective customer by providing them with something valuable before you ask for something in return. Explainer videos are an excellent tool for this because they allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and ability to provide value upfront.

This approach is excellent for building trust and developing stronger customer relationships. Just be aware that a single video is unlikely to get you there right away. Often this strategy requires time and a steady stream of quality content to bring the results you want.

The Goals of Video Marketing

As should be clear from all the types of video marketing mentioned, it can have a wide range of goals. That said, one of the worst mistakes you can make in your own video marketing is having unclear, unrealistic, or unspecified goals. So let’s run through some options and how you can choose the best ones for your situation.

Video marketing can target customers at every stage of their journey. It’s effective at creating awareness, educating, converting, and supporting over time. However, a single video is never going to be able to do it all, so it’s vital to focus your efforts on one segment.

The Goals of Video Marketing

That said, video is particularly excellent at some specific types of marketing. For example, targeting mobile users, building trust, and educating customers. It’s best to use video tactically where it will have the greatest impact. So begin by considering where your current strategy is most lacking. Then, consider how your video marketing goals might connect back to broader strategic objectives for the company.

Ultimately, great marketing objectives begin with that connection, stay flexible as time passes, and give individual marketers the freedom to find the best ways to achieve them. Video marketing is no different.

Getting Started in Video Marketing

The good news here is that today, most of us have all the tools we need for basic video marketing at hand. Most smartphones today are fully capable of capturing videos with enough quality for use in video marketing. That said, there are a few things to decide before you begin.

First, consider your brand image. In some cases, highly polished videos might look too polished and create skepticism. In other cases, anything other than highly polished content might look out of place next to a company’s broader image. While decent image quality can be fairly easily achieved, two other areas really make a difference.

Audio

Far too many video creators ignore the importance of audio, resulting in videos that can be grating to listen to. If you need to capture live audio in a variety of settings, consider investing in a basic clip-on mic. These will be the most flexible, as larger microphones will be more visible and can’t be used in as many locations.

Lighting and Setting

While many first-time video marketers focus on buying a nice camera without giving lighting a second thought, more experienced practitioners know that lighting is what really makes the difference. Compare video from a high-quality camera with bad lighting to video from a regular camera with great lighting and the latter will win every time. So consider investing in a basic lighting setup if that polished look is important for the video marketing you want to do.

Editing

Once you’ve captured a video you will need to edit it. While basic video editing can be learned pretty quickly, anything more complex will probably require an external person. Just be aware that bringing in someone external means increasing the probability of delays, so be sure to sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure everyone is on the same page about expectations for work and its delivery.

Mindset

More than getting any of these technical elements right, the key to a successful start in video marketing is having the right mindset. It’s easy to get caught up in buying equipment and learning new skills, but this is far more likely to make the difference between success and failure.

MVPs

For example, every video marketer should be thinking about Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). This enables you to avoid investing weeks or months of effort into a video only for it to fail. Instead, determine how to create a video that enables you to test your ideas while investing the least possible resources.

For example, you might start by creating some very simple videos just to test whether your audience engages with them at all. Then you can try a new type of video to see how your audience responds. This enables you to test one idea at a time and more precisely understand what lessons to draw when something works or fails.

For example, if you’d like to try video marketing without having to solve any of these challenges (minus the mindset part), you can always start with influencer marketing. This removes the need for you to create your own content and offers an easier way to try out video marketing.

Structure Experiments

Whether they succeed or fail, every video you create should teach you something. Making this happen requires thinking about structured marketing experiments that consider what question you’re answering, what data you’re collecting to answer the question, and how you’ll collect that data. Then, ensure your results are statistically significant, and voila! Now you have actionable insights you can use to improve your marketing.

Focus on Stakeholder Value

Video or not, one of the worst mistakes marketers make is forgetting to deliver stakeholder value with their work. This means both ensuring your video marketing goals tie back into broader organizational goals and ensuring the content you create is valuable to your customers. Neglecting either your own senior leaders or your customers will result in work that undermines those critical relationships and fails to deliver real value.

In the following paragraphs, you'll learn how to create a video marketing strategy. Before that, why don't you take a minute to check if bad processes are currently eating your marketing budget?

How to Create a Video Marketing Strategy

Even the best marketing video isn’t worth much if it isn’t tied to an effective strategy. But what should go into that strategy? How are video marketing strategies different?

As with any marketing strategy, it starts with stakeholders.

Understand Your Stakeholders

We mentioned stakeholders a moment ago, but we haven’t yet explained how you can determine who they are and understand what they find valuable. A stakeholder is anyone invested in the marketing you’re doing, whether that’s salespeople, customers, or senior leaders.

If marketing is going to provide value to these stakeholders, it needs to begin by understanding their needs. Fortunately, this is usually as simple as asking. For customers, it might require some experimentation, but the key thing is to always have them on your mind.

In part, this is all about avoiding vanity metrics. For example, you can brag all day about how a video got X number of views, but if you can’t show how those views contribute to a company goal then it’s meaningless.

Understand Your Audience

Your video marketing can’t be for just anyone, it needs to be for YOUR specific audience. Content that’s for everyone is effectively content that’s for no one. So consider who your audience is and test those assumptions! This could be through demographic data collected from somewhere like YouTube or customer surveys.

However you approach it, remember this is a never-ending process. No audience is permanently stable so you’ll always need to evolve along with yours. This is where experimentation comes in, but more on that in a minute.

Determine the Best Type of Video

Once you’ve considered your stakeholders and audience, you can think about the type of video that will best deliver value for them while still considering the MVP rules we mentioned earlier. That might mean using AI to create something quick and cheap or simply filming yourself in front of a homemade background. 

For insights into the best options, look at what your competitors are doing. While they might not have the best approach, their video marketing can help inform what questions you should be asking. For example, if they exclusively use animated videos, maybe you should test whether those will work for you.

Also, consider budget and timeline when choosing your video type. Spending double the money and time to create a video that delivers 20% more value isn’t the best use of your resources. So be sure to balance these considerations and think about how faster video production times means increasing the speed at which you can test and incorporate ideas.

Decide What Metrics to Track

Tracking metrics is the only way to know whether your strategy is working, so you need to choose them before you produce anything. Ensure the metrics you want to track tie back to broader goals, and that you’re able to track them. Then be ready to adjust as you go. It might turn out that one metric isn’t as valuable as you thought it was. Don’t stick with it just because you decided four months ago that it was important, figure out what other metrics will do the job.

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment!

As with any marketing, video marketing should use experiments to teach lessons. A faster cadence means everything about your marketing improves more quickly. It’s a bit like compound interest, the benefits of running experiments and incorporating learnings more quickly add up over time because each additional learning adds more value.

How to Apply Efficient Video Marketing

Ultimately, even if you get all the fundamentals we just mentioned right, your video marketing is still dependent on the processes behind it. Inefficient processes will result in even great videos coming too late and costing too much. So how can you ensure your video creation process is smooth?

Visualize Everything

Begin by visualizing your process. Putting your work onto something like a Kanban board enables everyone involved in the video production process to see work status at a glance. This is particularly valuable when everyone isn’t working in the same location or time zone because there’s no need to send messages asking about what’s happening. Instead, that information is always available.

Visualization also makes it easier to spot bottlenecks and measure your processes. For example, many Kanban tools measure how long work takes on average, enabling you to precisely measure the cost of various steps and find ways to lower them.

Employ User Stories

Few things are more frustrating than waiting for work to be done only to see that it’s not what you needed. This is particularly problematic when that work comes in the form of a video that may have taken days to produce. This is where user stories come in. They make it easier to specify what an end product should be and who it’s for, keeping everyone on the same page.

Use WIP Limits

We’ve talked a lot about MVPs, delivering value, and the importance of experiments. All of that relies in part on shortening the time needed to deliver value and being able to incorporate learnings into new work quickly. All of that becomes more difficult when you have tons of Work In Progress (WIP).

One solution is to limit WIP. For example, you might only have two videos in production at any one time. This ensures that people focus more on finishing what’s already been started instead of starting something new. The result is videos that get completed faster and incorporate more lessons from past work.

Check-In Daily

Daily standup meetings are a great way for marketers to stay on top of what’s happening and quickly help colleagues who run into trouble. Instead of a situation where a video creator gets stuck because of a problem and spends three days trying to solve it, everyone becomes aware of the issue at the next standup and can help them resolve it faster.

Find Ways to Improve

It’s always easy to finish some work and just move on to the next thing without taking time to reflect. That’s why scheduling occasional retrospective meetings is so valuable. Here, you can take time to discuss what’s working, what’s not, and what can be done to improve. Those ideas can then be tested and evaluated at the next retro.

Great Video Marketing Starts with the Right Approach

With mindset and approach being so critical for great video marketing, it makes sense to begin there when getting started. Our Agile Marketing Fundamentals course will equip you with all the basic concepts you’ll need to do great video marketing no matter how you want to approach it. So before you get caught up in cameras, microphones, animation, or lighting, equip yourself with the bedrock marketing concepts that all great video marketing is built on.

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