How to build a video marketing strategy from the ground up

Video marketing just makes sense.

It’s the easiest type of content to consume, and when it works, it really works.

Take, for example, this video from the productivity tool,

Without utilizing a voiceover, this video shows you exactly how to use the product, highlights its unique features, and allows you to visualize how you can use this in your own workflow.

Or this video showcasing the new icons for Microsoft Office.

This one doesn’t even show you the product itself but uses visuals and narration to introduce the philosophy behind the new visual language of their productivity suite.

These are two examples that demonstrate a video’s unique capacity to introduce a product or concept in ways that engage an audience far more than simply reading an article, listening to an ad or seeing a static image.

A video marketing strategy is the guide that will help you plan your video production efforts, set goals and understand what types of videos and topics you should cover. Before you start creating videos for your brand, you need to build a video marketing strategy, so you know what to focus on and why.

Why do you need a video marketing strategy?

illustration of people standing around empty screen

Illustration by felipe_charria via 99designs by Vista.

Videos can be formal, informal, energetic, intimate, restrained or full of personality. The potential is endless when marketing your product using video. However, producing a quality video is not a given. Unlike running a blog or a podcast, video requires a mix of writing, audio producing, filming, animating and, of course, editing. It requires a lot of skill and a lot of time.

While investing in video can be worthwhile for a business, the upfront cost will usually be higher than that of other forms of content. And video content can sometimes take longer to generate ROI. That’s why it’s important to have a video marketing strategy. A video marketing strategy is a compilation of research, planning and goals that will be the guide to creating a solid video for your business.

A good video marketing strategy should include the philosophy behind video marketing at your company, as well as benchmarks and targets you’re trying to reach. However, it shouldn’t be treated as a bible. Your video marketing strategy should be agile, ready to adapt when the priorities of the business change, or when something simply isn’t working and needs to be rethought.

In this article, we’ll run through all the steps you’ll need to follow to create a video marketing strategy.

How to get started

Start by trying to answer these questions.

Why do you want to invest in video marketing?

The first thing to figure out is why you think your company should be video marketing.

Illustration of people climbing a bar graph

Illustration by Orange Crush

This is important for you to articulate for yourself but also for the rest of the business and the higher-ups that hold the purse strings. If some of the company’s time and money are going to be committed to producing video, what’s the opportunity?

Be as clear as you can about it in a document or presentation, reflecting on the business’s marketing efforts up until that point and positioning the video as the missing piece of your marketing stack that could bring the company’s marketing efforts to a whole other level.

What do you want to achieve by including video in your marketing strategy?

Following on from the last point, start articulating some goals. What will video help you achieve if your business commits to investing in it?

Start making the idea tangible by bringing in some figures you want to move with your work. What influence can video have on those numbers?

It’s important to have your expectations articulated somewhere. They should be a snapshot of the performance of your marketing stack today and a projection of how video can improve it in the future.

These figures will give you a benchmark to aim for and keep checking to see how the initiative is performing as you go forward.

Have you tried content marketing before?

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Illustration by felipe_charria via 99designs by Vista.

Let’s say you’ve gotten the buy-in you need to make video a part of your marketing stack. Now it’s time to position yourself to create a strategy by analyzing what content initiatives (if any) you’ve tried in the past.

Are they blogs, podcasts, or email newsletters?

If you’ve tried other pieces of content in the past, analyze those results to help you set a benchmark to match or surpass with your video content.

Depending on your product, this will usually be indicated by some combination of traffic to the content, referrals to your website or product page from the content, and/or conversions that have resulted from those referrals.

Compile this into a spreadsheet or text document, creating ranked lists populated by content pieces that were best for traffic, referrals and conversions.

Doing this will help give you an idea of the topics and themes that work the best for your business, helping you put together your video marketing strategy and your content calendar.

Competitor research

illustration of people working on floating screens

Illustration by felipe_charria via 99designs by Vista.

Competitor research is also a useful activity to help you benchmark and make predictions about how you want your video marketing to perform in the future.

Make a list of your top five competitors that are creating video marketing and do an analysis of what they’ve produced so far.

Note the topic areas they cover, their highest performing pieces—based on the data you can find—the general length of videos, and things you like or dislike about how they’ve produced them.

Compile these insights into a report to use as competitor research, and include your analysis of what you think their strategy is and whether it’s working or not in your eyes.

Put it all together

Now that you’ve articulated the reasons you believe your business should be doing video marketing, you’ve identified the topics and themes that work best for your brand and you’ve done your competitor research, you should have enough information to put together an informed video marketing strategy.

All you need to do from here is tie these various bits of information together. (Easy peasy, right?)

Plan for the first six months

illustration of machine assembling video content

Illustration by felipe_charria via 99designs by Vista.

Put together a video marketing plan for the first three to six months. Here, you can map out what you think the video creation process will be, including how you’ll pick topics to cover, what elements you’ll need, and what the estimated costs of producing each video will be.

Have the first handful of videos already decided, along with data supporting why they’re things the business needs to cover. If your business has already executed other avenues of content marketing, choose a topic based on a successful blog or article, using that article’s metrics as supporting data to validate the content choice.

Make a list of resources

Finish off the strategy with what you’ll need to bring it to life.

You’ll likely need a video producer. If you DIY it, you may need a videographer, an animator, new video and audio equipment, video analytics tools or editing software. Be realistic about the type of videos you believe your company should be creating and make a list of resources you believe you’ll need to bring them to life.

Congratulations, you have a strategy

Iluustration of person taking off in a rocket from a computer

Illustration by felipe_charria via 99designs by Vista.

And that’s it! Those are the elements required to create an informed and comprehensive video marketing strategy.

By following this process, you will have articulated why the strategy should exist, how it will make your business more competitive, what success looks like, and how much investment it will take to bring video marketing to life at your company.

The strategy is the grounding of all of your processes from here, helping you to make video marketing decisions from here on out. But it’s not fixed. You can adapt your strategy at any time to fit changing priorities within the business. Or if you discover that an element of your previous strategy isn’t working you can move in a direction.

At the end of the day, a strategy can include just about anything you want. What’s important is that it works for you. A successful strategy is something you can keep referring back to to validate any of your video marketing decisions.

If you want to learn more about marketing your videos, check out this ultimate guide to video marketing.

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Author: om Hennequin