Here’s how to tie strategy into video production and inspire viewers to take action
Video is an incredibly powerful medium. It brings words to life, provides an exclusive look into businesses, humanizes brands and, at its core, tells a great story. And viewers agree: One-third of all online activity is spent watching videos, and it’s expected that by 2022, 82 percent of internet traffic will come from streaming and downloading videos. For marketers, quality video content provides an opportunity to engage viewers—reducing the number of support calls brands receive, increasing traffic, sales and the time visitors spend on a webpage, plus many more benefits. But to make the most impact, you need a video content marketing strategy. Here are our best video marketing tips for getting started.
What is a video content strategy?
A video content strategy is a plan that outlines how to utilize video to share your message through video storytelling. A full strategy considers the content you will create along with the platforms you plan to share it on. This may include your website, YouTube and Vimeo as well as social media channels like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and more. This strategic planning phase ties the videos you produce to the goals behind their creation, the audience they’re meant to engage and, finally, the method for reaching that audience.
“I see a lot of content that gets put out there without a purpose, then misses the mark in terms of ROI or impact. Brands and businesses who are using video content well absolutely do see the return on their investment,” says Yakkety Yak Director of Operations Lindsay Swift.
Whether you’re shooting a 30-second explainer clip or a 20-minute docuseries, taking the time upfront to identify your audience, message, call to action and distribution plan will ensure your content is relevant, meaningful and reaches the right audience.
How to Approach Your Video Content Strategy
“Asking yourself what you want people to see or experience visually through the video will help you increase viewers’ understanding and their emotional connection,” says Lindsay.
To make sure your brand’s videos hit their mark, craft each one around a specific goal. Before starting a new project, ask yourself the following five questions to narrow down your strategy in advance. This helps focus your content around the message and audience—and tell a story that inspires viewers to think, feel and act.
Who is your target audience and why do they care about what you’re sharing? An impactful video begins with a deep understanding of your audience—who they are, what they care about and what moves them. If you aren’t sure how to identify the people you’re speaking to, check out our target audience worksheet. Then, make sure your goals and what you’re communicating lines up with your intended viewers.
What is the message you’re trying to share with this video? The message should be meaningful to your audience and impact all the individual video components, such as the storyboard, headlines and characters. In addition, all of the main and b-roll footage you include should highlight or strengthen this message. Understanding the message helps determine a video’s style and how to best bring it to life—either by leveraging existing assets and imagery, filming original video footage or creating custom animation. Incorporating a few different styles in your overall video strategy keeps content fresh and engaging from one video to the next.
Where will your audience encounter the video? A video can live on your website on a product page, a blog or as an alternative to a hero image like the one on our homepage. Videos can also be used in paid advertising or shared on your brand’s social media channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. As a marketer, it’s crucial to distribute videos across the social channels your audience frequents so they can easily watch and interact. Your video’s intended “home” will also impact other factors—video length, aspect ratio, readability and more. So be sure to answer this question during the planning phase.
When and how frequently will you release new video content? Whether weekly, monthly, bi-annually or another publishing cadence, determining go-live dates in advance makes it easier to set timelines and move the project forward. This can also include planning to repurpose one piece of content for multiple platforms—for example, taking 60 seconds of a 20-minute video for IGTV or reusing content from a blog for a Facebook video.
Why are you making this video? What do you want people to learn, feel and do as a result of viewing it? This is your call to action and it should inform all of the other components, including audience, content, video type and more. If you’re having trouble narrowing down ideas, create a document with common FAQs about your business or brand. Then, aim to answer at least one of those questions in your video. By organizing your thoughts into a single video message, it’s easier to move forward with crafting storylines.
How will you create, produce and release your video? Mapping out your production plan in advance and then managing media planning and placement from end to end allows for cohesion at every stage of production. Start by determining the footage needed for the video. Will you need to shoot new original footage or is their existing footage available for repurposing? Or, will you feature animation or still images in your video? Make a decision informed by strategy and craft the medium around your goals and audience. And if you plan to bring on a collaborator or influencer, set that plan in motion before getting started.
A winning video content strategy aligns your goals with all aspects of production and helps craft videos with impact. If you’re looking for a partner to handle your next video project, check out our video production services, which expanded when Yakkety Yak acquired Kindred Content, a video production company, earlier this year. We handle everything from strategy to production and editing to releasing your new video into the world.