“Video is WAY too expensive. We just can’t do video right now…we really want to…next year, next year.” Meanwhile, in the other marketing camp: “We spent $10,000 on one video and it didn’t perform well. We got burned, we can’t do video again.” And, these people: “Yay, we have $3,999 budgeted for video content this year! Let’s create an entire series! It’ll go viral! We’ll convert them all!”
Ah, video content dreams — stifled by budget constraints, fear and loathing, and unrealistic expectations. This happens. We’re hungry for video content. It’s attractive. It’s effective. Producing video content makes our brand look good while making our non-video-producing competitors look bad.
So, why are CMOs on the struggle bus with their video marketing approach? Because their video content strategy is all wrong. Or much worse, the strategy is completely MIA.
Ready to get more from your next video content investment? Bust out your digital note-taking app of choice and take note.
Why use video marketing?
Because everyone else is doing it. Don’t you wanna be cool? Kidding. Although, there is some truth to that.
In a SiriusDecisions Global CMO Study for Emerging Companies, CMOs revealed the top influences on their marketing strategy over the next two years and their associated challenges.
Improving brand awareness, perception, or preference alongside an increased focus on customer experience were the main priorities for CMOs. Video marketing can help CMOs hit these marks, as long as they align their marketing strategy with the company’s growth vision.
Here are several tantalizing reasons you should use video marketing:
- Create a memorable brand experience to stand out.
- Increase time on page to improve SEO performance.
- Humanize your brand to spark genuine conversations.
- Build upon rich assets to expand content effectiveness.
- Meet customer expectations to stay competitive.
Presumably, you know why you should be using video and you want to produce video content more than anything else. Instead, it’s more of a question of how you can make video work within a restrictive marketing budget. (Just don’t forget the writing. All great videos start with great script writers.)
Demand Metric and Vidyard reported that 94% of video marketing budgets have remained constant or grown. Marketers are prioritizing video content, and so should you. But, are you ready to loosen the purse strings? And, do you know what it takes to produce quality video content without blowing your budget?
Video marketing strategy with a cost-effective mindset
Your video marketing strategy should take a 360-degree approach. It’s not about creating one video—it’s about creating as many content assets as you can. A cost-effective video marketing strategy depends on working smart with both resources and creative decisions. So when hiring freelance videographers, please the following in mind:
1. Think in terms of day-rates.
Typically videographers charge a day-rate for a film shoot. On a shoot day, fill the schedule to the brim. Capture tons of raw footage so you have more to work with, even if some of the content will be used for a future video project down the road.
2. Provide clear direction with shot lists.
A video content project requires a team of creatives. Because of this, everyone will have ideas and methods they prefer. A shot list serves as a checklist that anchors the team, providing clear direction so everyone can work together in achieving the same creative output.
3. Reduce costs with edit decision lists.
Where does video get expensive? Usually in post-production. An edit decision list (EDL) operates in a similar fashion as a shot list. The goal is to minimize the back-and-forth process by setting clear expectations about which shots to use and which to ditch.
4. Produce episodic video content.
When you’re addicted to a TV series, you binge-watch. Take a cue from Netflix with episodic video content, which is about as cost-effective as you can get with video. You create a video series and keep pressing the button. Episodic video content offers thematic consistency, giving your audience something to get hooked on and look forward to watching again and again.
What can you do in three days of video shooting? Can you create 700 content assets? Yes. Yes, you can. Even if you have a small budget and a big brand story to tell, you can do it. As long as your lofty dreams are grounded by video content distribution.
Getting more mileage with video content distribution
I wish I got paid handsomely every time I heard a marketer cry, “We spent $10,000 and all we got was one lousy video.”
Having content tunnel vision puts you at risk for spending a lot of money on a single, costly video content asset. Too many marketers blow their budgets on a shiny video for their website and call it a day. Being savvy with content distribution is how you will get even more mileage out of your video content investment.
Of course your video content should live on your website, but this should not be its only home. Where you place video content depends on the messaging and CTA, whether that is a hero background on your home page or a video resource library. On the flipside, if you have videos stored elsewhere like YouTube, see if any of that video content deserves a place on your website.
Perhaps the most overlooked part of a video marketing process is the transcription. You see videos in blog posts all the time with no transcribed text below. By transcribing video content, you’re giving the Google robots text to analyze, which increases the SEO value of your content. Rev is a fantastic transcription solution to save you time and resources.
Repurposing video as blog content doesn’t need to be one-to-one either. One video might merit its own blog series. A customer success video can have tons of topics hiding within the responses from the interview. Rather than one transcribed customer success story, how about that plus three other topically related blog posts?
In the spirit of squeezing everything you can out of your video content, don’t stop at your blog either. Repurpose your video content on other content publications like Medium and LinkedIn publishing. The import functionality on Medium is an effortless way to repurpose your video blog content, and you won’t get dinged for duplicate content.
Social media videos should be sliced and diced (and formatted) to appease short attention spans. A/B test to find out how your audience responds to messaging, horizontal vs. vertical, or length. Do your LinkedIn followers prefer 1-minute or 8-minute videos? And, note that native videos perform better across the board, compared to posting YouTube video links.
Amongst many other capabilities, Vimeo PRO allows you to post natively on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. A social media automation tool like Buffer also shares natively to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. As of today, LinkedIn native video is not an option through Buffer so you have to post video content manually or risk less engagement by automating with a YouTube video link.
About 83% of marketers say video gives them a good ROI. Your landing page is a conversion driver, so it’s a great place to have a powerful video center stage. If landing pages are your bread and butter, make this edit a priority in your video content marketing strategy and repurpose other assets from this one.
YouTube is a bit of a unicorn in this equation. It’s social media, but it’s also a content platform in its own right. If you decide to make episodic video content, you can really build out this channel and build up an audience of subscribers as a result. To make sure your videos are seen on YouTube, optimize like crazy — and, of course — cross-promote on other channels.
From newsletters to email marketing campaigns, email is still relevant and effective as a content distribution channel. Embedding video within emails tends to be unreliable. Instead hook the reader with an enticing thumbnail, teaser message, and a strong CTA that links to the video landing page.
The great Ann Handley of MarketingProfs once said: “Quality content means content that is packed with clear utility and is brimming with inspiration, and it has relentless empathy for the audience.”
When video is done right, it is jam-packed with all of these qualities. Video content can be one of the most wonderfully human portrayals of your brand, second only to having a great conversation with someone in the same room.
As such, quality video content will never be a cheap date… nor should it be. Video is rich content that impacts awareness, engagement, and conversions. It’s your job to fight for budget or make magic happen with the budget you have today. Now you know how to get the most out of your content investment… CUT!