Consumer appetite for video content shows no signs of slowing down, with a Cisco report forecasting that 82% of all internet traffic will be video-based by 2020.
With all the positivity surrounding video marketing’s potential it’s easy to consider it a virtually risk free endeavour but don’t make the mistake of producing video content unprepared. Unlike static content such as infographics, articles and blogs, video is almost a living thing with a whole host of considerations those new to video won’t have faced before. Music, setting, animation styles, voiceover actors; literally every aspect of a video communicates something about your brand to its viewers.
What’s more, production costs for video creation can easily spiral if they aren’t kept in check. It’s safe to say video marketing comes with its fair share of things to consider before you get stuck in. Here are some of our suggestions to shape your planning before you hit the big red record button:
Define your purpose for video
Any marketing activity should be designed as the solution to a need or problem. So what’s the need? What’s the problem you want your video to solve? Are you looking to better communicate your brand message, your vision, your personality? Are you looking to get a particular audience’s attention? Or are you looking to sell a specific product or service?
A clear rationale needs to be fleshed out before you start doodling storyboards. Your video content needs a purpose and alongside that a set of KPIs you’d like it to achieve. The reason this is such a paramount decision to make up front is that depending on the purpose of your video content, your entire approach and planning will likely change.
Understand your audience’s needs
Once you’ve narrowed down the purpose of the video, you’ll need to give serious thought to your audience and their needs. If it’s a brand video, look at feedback you’ve received as a brand. Review which of your previous marketing campaigns were successful. There will be aspects of your brand’s personality and tone that causes users and existing fans to gravitate to you. Use these as the foundation of your new video campaign.
If you’re looking to sell products or services, again look at feedback you’ve received from customers and questions asked by potential buyers. This includes tapping into your customer services team for what they’re hearing on the front lines. It’s always wise to see what successful competitors are doing with their video content. Draw inspiration from their activity and identify what audience needs they set out to address with their videos. What do you like or dislike about their productions?
Understanding your audience will also help you make some key overarching decisions regarding your video’s style and tone. Will your audience respond best to a formal or informal style of communication? Is there a personality your audience has come to expect from your brand or one that as a demographic they are likely to respond to best?
Research your audience’s video consumption habits
So you’ve identified a genuine use for video content and tied it your business goals. You’ve also tailored your video plan to your audience. The next step is understanding how your identified audience actually consumes their video content.
Google reports a seismic shift in viewing habits. Driving this change in behaviour is the prevalence of mobile internet and on demand video viewing. A study carried out by Flamingo and Ipsos Connect unearthed lots of interesting information about viewer behaviour and consumption preferences. Some of its findings include:
- One in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video
- Half of YouTube users who watch YouTube videos on their smartphones watch while at home
- The time spent watching YouTube on a TV screen has more than doubled year over year
- Those who watch YouTube videos on beauty, fashion, entertainment and pop culture prefer to watch on their smartphones
- Those who like to watch travel and food videos prefer to watch on their desktop
- News, sports and comedy fans choose to stream YouTube videos on their TV
You need to consider your particular audience’s viewing habits so that you can present your video accordingly. By understanding what their preferred device is and how they favour video viewing, you can begin to plan the best type of content and most relevant delivery method. You won’t want to shoot an epic battle scene or use mind blowing special effects if your audience tends to watch videos on their small cell phone screens for example.
To make sure you have your consumers at heart, you’ll want to dig down. There are a few ways you can do this but whichever option you go for ensure you make this research a core part of your pre-production planning,
Use Google Analytics. If you have already posted a few videos, you have a wealth of data at your fingertips. Mine it for useful information such as optimum viewing times, average duration and device type. When did your videos get the most views? Which device was used most often? How long did your viewer watch for? With this information you have a blueprint for when you should publish your next video, which device to optimise it for and roughly how long your video should last.
If you’re new to video marketing and you don’t have previous campaigns to fall back on, you can ask your customers directly with a survey (try a tool such as Survey Monkey), a telephone poll (if you have a customer services team who can do this) or a question on your website.
There’s no doubt that video content is a powerful traffic and sales driving tool as well as an influential route for effective brand communications. It can even be used at point of sale to boost conversions. To maximise the potential of this content type and how it contributes to your greater marketing strategy and planning, it’s worth investing time for proper planning up front.
In part 2 next week – how to market your video and reach your audience.