Clear objectives will guide your video-making process, and ensure your video marketing gets buy-in from business leaders.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish,” said French writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This pearl of wisdom is as relevant in video marketing as it is in life because trying to run a successful marketing campaign without forming a clear plan is akin to wishing on a star.”
A goal without a plan
is just a wishAntoine de Saint-Exupéry
If the long term marketing goal of every business is to create a continuous demand for its products or services, a business’s video marketing strategy is a plan that will support it in achieving that goal. Therefore, its video marketing objectives are the distinct stages within that plan.
This is why every effective video strategy begins by identifying a desired goal and then setting target-specific objectives to reach it.
Simply put, if your video marketing strategy doesn’t use clear objectives to guide your video-making process, your business will struggle to achieve its long term marketing goals. Instead, you will waste time, energy and money making videos that, at best, may hit a target (though probably not the one you intended) or, at worst, may actually harm your business in a myriad of ways.
In fact, the importance of a holistic video marketing strategy, with clear video marketing goals and objectives, is underscored by a recent study commissioned by Ascend2, a leading marketing research company, which found that an ineffective marketing strategy was the #1 obstacle to achieving video marketing success.
Now that you understand how critical video marketing objectives are to your video strategy, the question is, how do you go about determining your video objectives?
Thankfully, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. You can learn from the objectives set by other companies to help you determine and prioritize your own objectives, and there’s plenty of solid research out there to guide you. For example, in the same study cited above, Ascend2 found that of all the different types of business objectives, the most important objectives for companies with successful video marketing strategies focused on 8 key areas:
So we’ve established that your video marketing strategy is your plan of action for cultivating continuous demand for your business’s products or services and that an effective video strategy is anchored by target-specific objectives. We’ve shown you the most important objectives you should consider when creating your strategy, and the types of videos that work particularly well to achieve each objective. Now we’re going to complete the video strategy picture by giving you 7 foolproof, actionable steps you can use to put together the most effective video marketing strategy.
Use the table above to select 1-3 objectives, depending on the size of your video marketing team, and turn each objective into a SMART goal. For example, “Increase online engagement” becomes: “Use video content to grow my followers/subscribers by 15% over the next 3 months.” You’re going to come back to this when you’ve gathered more information in the later steps.
Who are you trying to engage and where do they hang out online? You can create the most engaging videos in the world, but if you don’t know the kind of audience you’re targeting, or run your videos on irrelevant channels, your marketing campaign will be an epic fail. So it’s critical to define your ideal customer and research where they spend their time online to determine the most appropriate platforms for your videos.
It’s perfectly possible to create decent quality, imaginative videos on a small budget (find out more in Chapter 7: Video Cost), but you will still need a budget for basic production equipment, as well as editing software at the lower end of things, or a full video production team at the higher end.
You now know where your ideal customer hangs out online, and this has determined which video channel(s) you’re going to target. You know the kinds of video content that are best suited to your chosen video marketing objective from the table above, and you know what kinds of videos resonate with your ideal customer.
Now you’re going to marry all of this information to create video content that supports your objectives, works best on the platform you’re publishing on, and has the right tone and message to appeal to your target audience. Once you know what your videos will look like, go back to your SMART goal and tighten it up. In our example, it would now read:
Now you need to optimize your videos for SEO to make sure you get as much engagement as you possibly can. How to Optimize Your Video Ads for YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter and The Secret Guide to Video and SEO can help you with that.
Don’t just upload your video and assume it’ll do its job to achieve your SMART objective. You need to conduct A/B tests to determine the elements that aren’t working out and those that are. Through a process of testing and refining, you’ll discover your optimal content and the best times to post it. How to A/B Test your Marketing Video will help you perfect the art of testing.
No video marketing campaign’s success can be assessed without evaluating the numbers. There are several ways of doing this, depending on your objectives and the platform you’re using. You might look at shares, view counts, likes, engagement rate, play rate, subscribers, followers, YouTube Analytics, Google Analytics, etc. Check out Measuring Video Performance in Chapter 10 to learn more.
The importance of video marketing cannot be underestimated. Today, 87% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool, up from 63% in 2017, and that number will only increase year by year. That’s all well and good, you might say, but how effective is video marketing? Well, you’ll be interested to know that 83% of marketers say that video gives them a good return on investment (ROI).
It takes time, deep thinking and market research to develop an effective video strategy, determine the right video marketing objectives for your business, and create high-performing videos that realize those objectives. But with more and more people spending their time online watching videos, businesses that don’t put in the effort will simply be left behind.