Why should you build a content plan?
Before you invest in video content for your brand, you’re going to need a content marketing strategy. One that both meets your brand’s goals and engages your intended audience.
What is a video content strategy?
Your content plan is going to be what separates you from achieving a return on your investment and throwing your marketing dollars down the drain. If you’re afraid to get started with video, this is going to be that compass that will point you in the direction to start running. If you’ve already started, this might just be the course correction your business needs to start getting the results you expected in the first place.
Let’s start at the beginning: where your goals meet your audience’s needs.
Broadly, every businesses’ goal for video should be to increase the number of qualified leads in their sales pipeline, whatever that pipeline looks like. Whether it’s a Youtube subscriber count, contacts in a CRM, or followers on social media.
Developing a video content strategy begins with these steps.
Defining Your Video Marketing Goals
Some common video goals include:
Researching Your Target Audience
It’s important to consider where video content fits into your organization’s customers’ journeys and marketing funnel. To do this, you’ll want to start with a buyer persona or personas depending on how many segments exist in your business. What matters is that you have a deep understanding of not just basic demographic information on how to classify your audience, but psychographic information on who your audience is. That is their beliefs about the world, preferences, communication styles, etc.
When you can clearly articulate your buyer personas, you’ll be armed with the information to start testing a range of content styles, lengths, and tones so what works and what doesn’t. Depending on the stage of the funnel, this may constitute what gets the most reach, what gets the most engagement, or what drives the most leads or conversions.
Creating A Video Content Calendar
A video content calendar will help you ensure your brand's consistent presence throughout the year and align content programming with your marketing calendar. It is not an opportunity to do pretend work and fill up every week of the year with ambitious projects that will never see the light of day. It’s a chance to bring your entire marketing, sales, PR, and video production teams together and look at the year ahead with your pipeline in mind and plan for what you can. For the things you can’t plan for, you can make provisions.
Your content calendar will help guarantee the execution of your strategy by keeping track of key events like:
It will give you an idea of the gaps, key holidays and events that you may want to plan around.
Setting a Video Budget
Your budget for video initially depends on the kinds of projects you’ve highlighted in your content calendar but other factors like the financial, human and creative resources available to you will affect how you execute on your content planning. Based on these factors, you’ll have to make a choice on whether to tackle creating your video content internally with a dedicated video producer/production team or externally. Regardless of how you choose, it is important that you have one person within the organization that is responsible for executing on your video content strategy.
When you’re outsourcing video content, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000 per video. This range is pretty standard for an average video, then again, that budget will go up as you go for higher production value.
More highly produced videos with an “expensive look and feel” will range anywhere from $5,000 to $60,000 for major productions. On average, most budgets for a polished production (the kind that comes equipped with a full production crew) usually land somewhere between $20,000 to $35,000.
With these numbers in mind, if you wanted to outsource one basic explainer video per month for a year, you’d be looking at a baseline of around $60,000 at the very low end of this spectrum. All video production houses vary. We recommend you call around to get quotes that mesh with your brand’s needs and budget.
In-House Videographer Costs
If you’re looking to go the in-house production route, you’ll likely be looking to invest in your own equipment, train a staff member, or even hire a videographer. Video producers earn $47,500 USD per year on average, according to PayScale.
Whether you hire a dedicated producer or train an existing employee, they should know how to conceptualize, capture, and edit footage from concept to completion (depending on their skill set and experience). You’ll want someone who can break down complex B2B products and work with videos from pre-production to post.
They should be imaginative, good with metaphors, and have a great sense of your target audience. Aim to hire someone with a great sense of timing when it comes to editing, and someone who’s talented at directing people in front of the lens.
Maximize Your Reach and Impact
So you’ve made a couple of videos or about to make video a big part of your marketing strategy but aren’t sure what to do with those videos for maximum effect. Well, here are a couple of ideas on how to make the most of your video content after production.
Don’t just post your videos on your website and call it a day. If you have longer content, take the time to make shorter edits for Instagram or Facebook, post your longer-form content on Youtube where longer-form content performs better. Depending on the kind of content you’re producing, you can even extract the audio to create podcasts or transcribe shorter content into blogs.
When you post online, ask for viewers’ opinions and respond to all comments posted under the video. Use viewer requests to improve your content strategy and eliminate the guesswork from figuring out what audiences want.
The smart paid promotion money is on promoting free and helpful content. So make it part of your content strategy, especially when you’re starting out and just growing your social channels, to invest some of your Ad spend into promoting your video content on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
If you’re making content that is truly helpful and useful for audiences out there, chances are that your personal network will be happy to share it. Be sure to ask your friends and family, even have coworkers ask their friends and family to share. Not only is it ensuring that your hard work doesn’t go unseen, but it also sends the right social signals to the algorithms that people are organically interested in what you have to say. Which in turn raises the chances that your content will be recommended for others to see as well.
Measuring Your Performance
You’ve done all the things, you’ve researched your audience, planned out your strategy, shot quality content, and distributed it far and wide. Now it’s time to take stock of what all this effort has earned you. Where do you start? Well, there are a couple of key metrics you need to keep a close eye on.
What these metrics should tell you is how many viewers your videos are gaining over time, how engaged they are, and how well your content has inspired them to commitment from their willingness to subscribe or follow.
Round-Up: Start Doing The Thing Today!
It takes time and effort to create high-performing videos. But if you have the right video content plan and show a little creativity, you can capitalize on its potential to tell inspirational videos and encourage people to watch and take action.