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Businesses are betting big on video marketing. From live videos to behind-the-scenes cuts, businesses want to connect with customers on a deeper level, and they’re doing it in motion. After all, there’s a reason an entire channel is dedicated to shopping (hi, QVC).
Giving customers a closer look at how products are made, the teams behind them, and more can go a long way toward promoting your unique brand and encouraging viewers to spend. On top of this, customers are actually craving it: A study from Wyzowl showed that 91% of people want to see more online videos from brands in 2023. There are a number of ways you can approach your video marketing strategy to ensure it appeases customers. But first, it’s important to understand all of the benefits.
Why video marketing?
Reaching and connecting with customers is always a benefit to marketing. While video marketing takes the connection to the next level, it also provides a host of other benefits to your business, such as increasing the health of your marketing channels. Increased channel health can make it possible to improve the following:
When it comes to social media, engagement is the ultimate life force. Videos with catchy hooks and clear calls to action (CTAs) make it easier to engage with your content and share it with others. Sixty-six percent of customers find short-form videos to be the most engaging type of content on social media, according to Sprout Social. And thanks to the power of the algorithm, engagement breeds engagement. In other words, the more engagement you get, the higher the chances your content will be shown on explore pages.
Even on platforms where videos aren’t core, videos still shine. Data from X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, shows that tweets with video attracted 10 times more engagement than tweets without video. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to use video wherever you’re reaching customers, even if the platform isn’t necessarily video first.
Video marketing can also work to improve search engine optimization (SEO). The amount of time that visitors spend viewing videos on webpages means that videos can increase page authority and quality, helping increase their rankings on search engines. Hubspot reports that 31% of marketers add video to improve SEO. But in order to improve SEO, it’s important for the SEO on your web pages to already be in good standing. Following SEO best practices and following up with quality videos can make a significant impact in the near and long term.
Video marketing can also be helpful for building trust with new and existing customers. The variety of stories you can tell through video expands the number of ways you can build connections. Whether it’s telling the story of your brand, showing how your products are made, or customer testimonials, each type of video gives you the chance to show customers the legitimacy of your business and to encourage them to shop or dine with your brand.
Educational videos can deepen your ability to build trust with customers. Showing customers that you’re knowledgeable about your industry demonstrates that you take your business seriously and gives customers a chance to learn from you. For instance, say your restaurant is consistently ranked as one of the top businesses in the area and you create a video to show customers how you make a fan-favorite item. This behind-the-scenes video builds trust about how items are made and lets viewers pick up any quick tips they can use in their own kitchens. Building trust is crucial because it can have a direct impact on loyalty.
Video marketing platforms
While any platform that supports video can be used as a video marketing tool, there are three platforms that stand out in today’s social landscape: Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. These platforms are video-first and have features and capabilities that can take your marketing efforts to the next level. But despite their similarities, they each have unique nuances that should be considered before you get started.
Instagram might have started as a place for photos, but it has quickly evolved into one of the top video-sharing platforms. Instagram data shows that 91% of active Instagram users reported watching videos on Instagram on a weekly basis. With video options that include reels, live, and stories, brands have the option to pick and choose how they share and, in some cases, share the same content across multiple avenues to increase engagement.
- Instagram Reels are basically any short videos under 15 minutes posted on the app. Instagram Reels function as posts on your page, so they’re able to be viewed as long as you keep the post up.
- Instagram Stories are Snapchat-esque videos between 15 and 60 seconds long that can be accessed by tapping on your profile picture when it’s encircled with an orange-purple hue. The defining factor regarding stories is that they are only available for 24 hours before they disappear.
- Instagram Lives are live videos that are streamed directly to your audience’s feed and accessed by tapping on your profile picture when it’s encircled and the “live” icon is present. Instagram Lives are only able to be shared for 30 days before they are deleted.
The one thing all of these video options have in common is that they can include special effects such as AR filters, audio, and more.
TikTok launched in 2017 and exploded on the scene in 2020, when it surpassed 2 billion mobile downloads. With 1 billion global active users, TikTok users compose 18% of internet users worldwide. There are a number of ways businesses use TikTok to reach their audiences, including advertising, live videos, trending content, and more.
While the platform may be known for viral dances, advertising is at the crux of the brand. Ranking number one globally for ad equity, TikTok is the preferred advertising environment for both brands and consumers. With multiple advertising options, including in-feed ads, brands have a variety of ways to share their content and products while choosing to create a seamless user experience on the app. As users scroll through their timelines, ads pop up as a native part of the experience, keeping users engaged. There’s also the option to create organic content and lean into trends, which is typically the most popular choice for brands. Since trending sounds and graphics are a key part of the experience, users can take those elements and create their own unique spins. Trending sounds also create the opportunity for brands to have fun and showcase their personalities, which can help deepen customer loyalty.
TikTok Live is similar to Instagram Live, with the biggest difference being that TikTok Live is geared more toward livestream shopping. TikTok data shows that 50% of TikTok users have bought something after watching TikTok Live. Using this option effectively and harnessing its power can positively impact your brand perception and increase sales.
YouTube may be nearly twenty years old, but the platform constantly finds new ways to reinvent itself. Its latest try at this is YouTube Shorts. YouTube Shorts is an extension of YouTube that allows you to shoot and share short videos, typically 60 seconds or less. Like Instagram and TikTok, videos can be taken directly from your phone camera and feature audio clips from eligible songs. YouTube Shorts can be shared, liked, disliked, and receive comments, just like long-form YouTube videos. Similar to Instagram Reels, the content doesn’t disappear after a certain period and stays up as long as you keep up your post.
One of the more unique features of YouTube Shorts is that the platform allows you to separate your Shorts content from content on your main channel. You can also choose to combine all of your content under one channel, which could be the better option for businesses that already have a following on YouTube. The option to have a Shorts only channel, however, comes in handy for businesses that only want to create short, bite-sized content, making it easier to leverage content across other short-form channels.
Adding YouTube Shorts to your list of short-form video channels wouldn’t be a bad bet. YouTube Shorts has reportedly crossed 50 billion daily views. This massive audience increases your chances of visibility, especially considering your videos can be found by those not following you, similar to Instagram and TikTok. With Shorts being featured on the homepage, via the Shorts tab, and shared directly with your audience, there’s ample opportunity for you to reach those who matter most.
Tips on standing out
- Use subtitles.
- Keep captions impactful but concise.
- Think mobile-first always.
How to build a strategy
With a solid understanding of the power of video marketing, its benefits, and the top platforms, it’s time to build a top-notch strategy to help you excel. Keep in mind that your video marketing strategy should add to your social media strategy, laddering up to your overall marketing strategy.
Step 1: Decide on your platform(s).
Whether you want to tackle one of the aforementioned platforms or all three, it’s important to be clear about where you want your videos to live. The easiest way to do this is to figure out where your target audience spends most of their time. For instance, if you’re interested in reaching Gen Z, you might be surprised to learn that YouTube is their favorite social media app. According to Oberlo, 88% of Gen Z named YouTube as their favorite app, followed by Instagram at 76%, and TikTok at 68%. Look back at your market research and buyer persona to help you figure out your target audience, and do the research to find the best channel.
Step 2: Establish your goals and messaging.
Once you have your platform(s) in mind, it’s time to determine your goals and messaging. Are you trying to launch a new product? Determine the top three things you want customers to know, and zero in on what sets your products apart from competitors. Or, instead of a new product, maybe you’re launching a business. Focus on your mission statement, what you provide, and how you intend to add value to the industry and to customers.
Then think about the impact you’d like to see from your investment. This could be anything from a 10% increase in following or engagement to a 30% increase in sales. Whatever your goal may be, make that clear by crafting a compelling call to action. For instance, language like “tell us your favorite item in the comments below” or “hurry to our website for our flash sale” lets customers know how they should act.
Step 3: Create your videos.
Finally, it’s time to create your videos. This process encompasses everything from whether you’ll need a script or a plan for user-generated content to establishing your budget and timeline. “Proper planning prevents poor performance” rings true here. Building out a plan can help you save time and money and can impact the final product. Go back to your intended platform to help you figure out the exact tools you’ll need. On TikTok, lo-fi content is king. Since all three platforms allow you to shoot directly from your phone, choosing this option can help you save resources. But if you’d rather create your video the traditional way, you’ll need to factor that into your planning process, which may look like:
- Hiring a videographer (or a trusted person to shoot from their high-quality phone camera)
- Writing and editing the script
- Storyboarding the video
- Identifying a place to shoot and the right people to be featured in the video (aka talent)
- Planning the shoot (i.e., what’s being shot on what day, for how long, and who’s needed)
- Executing the shoot
- Gathering footage for postproduction
- Reviewing the final cut and getting the appropriate approvals
- Writing out an appropriate caption for the intended platform(s)
Depending on your video, the process may require additional or fewer steps. To get the most out of your video, consider all of the different ways you can curate and reuse your content. Behind-the-scenes clips and bloopers can work in your favor and give your brand personality.
Step 4: Add to your content calendar.
Now that your content is finally ready to share with the world, remember to post it strategically. For new product launches, consider teasing the video a few days in advance to build anticipation. There’s also the opportunity to build other content around your videos. On Instagram, you can create a poll and ask your customers to guess what an upcoming teaser video is about. Content like this is an easy way to encourage engagement and get your customers invested in what’s coming next.
Step 5: Analyze metrics.
Once you’ve pressed post, it’s officially out in the world. Let the shares begin. Analyzing your metrics is a crucial part of any strategy because it’s how you assess whether or not your efforts are working. Compare the goals you outlined in step two to the results in your social media dashboard. All three video-sharing platforms can help you analyze how your channel is performing over time with graphs that make it easy to visualize.
If your content is reaching your goals, this means your strategy is working. Be sure to keep up the momentum by posting regularly and planning out other video opportunities. If your content is underperforming against your goals, consider why. Think about how it was filmed, what was filmed, and how it was shared. Chances are one of these areas could benefit from improvement. Don’t be afraid to learn from competitor content or content from brands you admire. It’s important not to copy what you see but instead to take notes on how you can improve.
Regardless of the social platform you use, be sure to post your content on your owned channels, such as your website or blog, and in your email marketing. For customers who may have just stumbled upon your website, this touchpoint can often be their first interaction with your business. Showcasing your personality and all you have to offer can work to keep them engaged with your brand. When it comes to email marketing, some customers may spend more time with your brand in their inbox than they do on social media. Plugging your social media channels and teasing your content can be an easy way to bring them along for the full ride of your business.