Lights, Camera, Marketing: The Most Popular Types of Video Marketing and How You Can Make Them Work for You

How’s your online marketing game these days? Are you blogging, sharing, commenting, liking? How about pointing and shooting? Well, if you’re not making videos as part of your content marketing strategy, you could be missing out. While text content is still a great thing to produce, you can really round out your marketing and engage customers in a whole new way with visual content. So if you’re thinking about breaking into video marketing, how should you start, what kinds of videos should you consider, and what are some things to think about when creating high quality video content? 

The Why and How of Video Marketing

Getting started with video marketing can feel a bit daunting, and might seem like more trouble than it’s worth. But it’s not! Consider this: according to former Facebook, Google, and SpaceX executive Dex Torricke-Barton, “More than 80% of traffic online is video traffic, as the content people want has changed from text to images to videos and now live streams.” Not only that, but 80% of viewers remember what they watch, with half of them taking action afterward. And 90% of users say product videos are helpful in making purchasing decisions.

Those are pretty powerful statistics, and they might convince you to get started with video marketing. So what are the first things you need to think about when planning your video content? First of all, remember that consumers want content that’s immersive on a visual level and tells a compelling story. What they don’t want is a sales pitch! That means to create effective videos, you should:people under magnifying glass

  • Start with your customers – Don’t start by thinking too big, and aiming to reach those millions of people watching millions of hours of video content every day. Focus on your existing customers, what they want to know, and what you can impart to them. Don’t worry about your numbers at first, worry about who is watching, and about building a community you can engage with (and don’t forget to do so regularly).
  • Get the tone right – Consumers can smell a sales pitch from a mile away, and if you get your approach wrong, you could lose 20% of your viewers in 10 seconds. Yikes! But taking an educational approach can help; in fact, customers are up to 85% more likely to buy your item after watching an educational or “explainer” video about it.
  • Be creative – You need to engage your audience, and videos featuring talking heads just ain’t going to do it. Tell a story, use humor, add animation, try a longer format that immerses the viewer, or a super short punchy video that sticks with them. Just make sure that you keep in mind your customers’ wants and needs, and entertain them while addressing those wants and needs.
  • Keep it short – There is a time and a place for longer videos, but in general it’s best to keep your videos to 2 minutes or less. Like we said, a fifth of viewers click away from videos within the first 10 seconds, so you don’t want to make them feel like they have to make a big time commitment to get your message. And studies show that 2 minute videos tend to get the most engagement.
  • Stay focused – If you’re doing shorter videos, it’s usually best to stick with one or two messages so you don’t overwhelm your viewers. If you want to make multiple points, make multiple videos, and link them – you could end up getting customers hooked on each installment!

Types of Marketing Videos

So we know that video marketing is a powerful tool, and we’ve looked at what you need to think about when getting started with your videos, but what are some of the specific types of effective videos you can make? 

Product videos

Want to show off a new product? Video is a great way for you to “show and tell” for your customers. You’ll have the opportunity to simplify anything that seems complicated about your product, while building enthusiasm, and highlighting the benefits of your item. For these types of videos, you should create a sense of how your product can make the customer’s life better, and inspire them by showing how your product fits into their lifestyle (or an aspirational lifestyle).

Explainer animation videos

Need to explain something complex or new about your business, product, or service? An explainer animation video is a creative and engaging way to educate viewers, and this type of video means that you can create locations, characters, and props that would be difficult in the real world. With animation, you can break down complex ideas in a fun way, and much more quickly, so you don’t lose your audience.

Website videosvideo on computer screen

What better way to get people to spend more time on your website, engaging with your content than by embedding videos on it? And you know that the longer customers spend on your website, the more likely you are to get conversions! Consider using videos embedded in your website to give customers an immersive glimpse of your products that they would normally only get by visiting a store, or an engaging video that invites your customers to explore your services. 

How-to videos

There are a whole lot of people out there on YouTube looking for videos on how to do whatever it is they’re trying to do. You can become a thought leader in your industry, or customers’ go-to person for a certain topic if you create fun and easy to follow instructional videos. You can also highlight how your product, service, or business can be of even further help.

Testimonial videos

Sometimes the best way to convince new customers to get on board is by showing them how satisfied your existing customers are. Testimonial videos from happy customers can highlight what they like best about your business, and will often feel more authentic, since they come from a third-party. After all, around 90% of customers say they trust testimonials just as much as personal recommendations! Add to that the powerful and engaging video format, and you’ve got a winning formula.

Tips for Creating Quality Videos

One last thing before we leave you to planning and creating your marketing videos: a few tips on how to make them look and feel more professional. After all, a crappy video is probably not going to do you all that many favors when it comes to bringing in customers. So, as you create your videos, consider the following:

  • Sound quality – It might sound funny, but viewers are more likely to forgive bad video quality than bad sound quality, so use a good microphone and run a basic noise-removal filter on your recording.
  • Lighting – Paying attention to lighting will make even a low-quality camera produce a better video, so look into either an inexpensive lighting kit, or just stick some desk or ring lamps behind you to get the effect you’re looking for.scissors and wand next to video clip
  • Editing – Instead of filming in one long shot, use the jump-cut method, which means your video will be made up of dozens (or hundreds) of short little clips pieced together to make a whole. This will keep the video moving along, and keep viewers more engaged.

We would say that video marketing is the future, but that future is already here. More and more customers want to see video content, so the quicker you get in the video marketing game, the better! With a little bit of thought, and a little time and effort, you could even make an engaging video on your phone that ends up bringing in more customers than any other content strategy you’ve tried. So get your director’s hat on and get shooting – and let us know how it goes!

Co-written by Joanna Bowling

This Year, Resolve to Be a Content King or Queen

What are your thoughts on content as a way to market and grow your small business? Is it one of those “That would be nice to do, but I’ve got other things to worry about right now” kind of things? Or are you dabbling in content creation, but without a clear strategy? You could be making a mistake if you’re not engaging with content at all, or if you’re doing it haphazardly: after all, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing and 77% of companies say they have a content marketing strategy, so if you’re not on the content wagon, odds are you’re going to get left behind. We get that there’s a lot on your plate, and creating content as well as a strategy to make it work for you can feel overwhelming, but there are some simple steps you can take to start developing your content marketing strategy right now!

What Is a Content Marketing Strategy and Why Do You Need One?

We want to emphasize again: content marketing and a strategy to go with it isn’t just a “nice to have” kind of thing: in the year 2022, it’s pretty much a necessity for success, and almost every business can benefit from it. Think about it this way: do your potential customers have problems or goals that you want your business to solve for them? Well, then you need a content marketing strategy! You can use blog posts and videos (instead of or in addition to paid advertising) to solve their problems for free. Not only will you gain their attention and their trust, but you will also be at the top of their minds when they’re ready to buy. gears with content related pictures in each gear

And that’s basically the end goal: to be their go-to, right? But you need a strategy to make sure that you’re there at the moment a prospect decides to buy, and that includes knowing:

  • Which keywords will get you more traffic
  • What voice to use in your content to resonate with your audience
  • When to bring your product into the content and how to create a killer call-to-action without sounding like all you’re doing is selling

And remember, content is an investment of your time and resources, so you want to make sure you’re doing it right – if you do so with a solid content marketing strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute, you could end up generating three times more leads than you would with paid advertising.

So what should your actual content strategy look like? Write it down, and include the following:

  • An analysis of your customers and the types of information they’ll need as they look for solutions to their problems
  • A discussion of your business goals and the role your content will play in supporting those goals
  • An outline of your plans for building and distributing content with the resources you have available to you

Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

You know you need content, and a content marketing strategy to get it out there, and you know generally what you should include in your plan, so let’s look at some steps to get you there. 

1. Establish your goals

We’ve been pretty clear that going the content route is important for a lot of businesses, but what do you actually want to get out of it for your business? Creating content for content’s sake should never be your goal; rather, you should get specific. Do you want to:

  • Create leads?
  • Build relationships?
  • Improve your customers’ experiences?
  • Increase traffic to your website?
  • Establish yourself as an authority in your field?

Once you’ve decided on your main goals, try to quantify them with specific targets.

2. Define your target audience – and the problems they need solved

picture of a website with a lines connecting it to multiple people underneath it
For your content to be successful, you need to know what your audience likes and dislikes.

You can’t be successful at content marketing unless you know your audience: you need to know their likes and dislikes, as well as what content will appeal to them. To do this, you should create a persona for your typical customer, perhaps by reviewing customer data, interviewing employees who interact with customers, sitting in on sales calls, or surveying customers. Include in your persona the standard demographics of age, gender, location, and income, and also think about their pastimes, concerns, and what motivates them – and what problems they need solved. Ideally, you should be connecting with your audience, reinforcing the solution you’re offering, and building credibility.

3. Now define your business! What makes you unique?

You know your customers pretty well by now – but how well do you know your own business? Really stop and think about what makes you stand out from your competitors – otherwise, you could just end up adding to the sea of content for content’s sake that’s already out there. So think about what will be your content’s “thing”? What can you do better? Can you:

  • Motivate and inspire?
  • Be useful in a new way?
  • Educate and entertain?

Need more help breaking down  your message and differentiating yourself from your competitors? Try writing down all of your brand messages, then the brand messages of your top three competitors. Finally, cross off the overlapping messages, and you’ll be left with your unique messages – your “thing!”

And remember, when it comes to having your content stand out, you’ll also be competing with news, reference, and entertainment sites, so make sure you have a unique spin, and are effectively using keywords, so you can rank as highly as possible on search engines. Which brings up to…

4. Do your research on keywords

Once you’re clearer on who your audience is and what your goals are, you need to do some serious research into keywords, so you know what your audience is searching for online. You’ll need to look at what people are searching for on Google: start by examining what you think you should be using, then decide what you should actually be using based on the data. 

For example, if you want to be at the top of the pack when it comes to “public relations” in your area, you’re going to have to be more specific in your keywords if you want to beat out all the ads and listicles that come up when you put those terms into Google. Or, if you’re selling “running gear,” be more specific in your keywords about what problems you can solve – for example, using the keywords “running shoes for people with bad knees.” There are free keyword search tools available, including Ubersuggest, that can help you start with a simple keyword and then find long-tail keywords to add on to more effectively target your audience.

5. Figure out the nuts and bolts of your strategy

There’s a lot of theoretical things to think about surrounding your content marketing strategy, but there’s also a whole bunch of practical stuff to start thinking about, namely:megaphone with mail, a camera, and other content pics around it

  • What types of content are most suited to your audience. Will they respond to white papers, blog posts, videos, infographics, etc?
  • What platforms will you post on? For example, if your audience is more suited to long-form videos, YouTube is a good choice; if your audience is younger, though, TikTok or Instagram would be better choices. 
  • What methods will you use to promote your content?
  • Decide on a schedule for both publishing your content and promoting it, including on social media and through email marketing – consider using an online tool to keep all your scheduling in one place and under control. You’ll also need a well thought out calendar that includes who’s doing what and when.
  • Work out how you’ll use the resources available to you: for example, will you handle the content creation and scheduling yourself, will you have a team to take it on for you, or will you outsource it? 

6. Create your content and set it loose on the world!

Now you’re ready to actually create your content! When creating, keep all of these things in mind:

  • Stay focused on your goals – not just to entertain, inform, educate, or establish yourself as an authority, but also to get your prospects to heed your call-to-action
  • Use keywords based on your research
  • Try to find original angles on your topics
  • Use a consistent voice and style that speaks to your target audience
  • Create some longer content, since content that is longer than 5,000 words often gets better search engine results
  • Link back to your other content
  • Use a mix of text and non-text content

7. Make sure you’re measuring

Content marketing is not a one-off thing, rather, it’s a work in progress. You’ll need to refine as you go, and as you learn more about your audience and what works and what doesn’t – and that means tracking and measuring. Remember, though, not to get sucked into looking at vanity metrics, and to measure the actions that your prospects are taking, and not just focus on your clicks and likes. Consider using these 4 content marketing metrics:person in a suit with analytics graph next to them

  • Consumption metrics – What did your audience do with the content?
  • Sharing metrics – How often are they sharing it?
  • Lead generation metrics – How many leads did you get from this content?
  • Sales metrics – Did you make any money on this piece of content?

It’s a brave new world of marketing out there, and there’s a good chance you need to be in the content marketing game – and that means you’ll need a solid strategy to get it right. It’ll take time, organization, and creativity to build your successful content marketing strategy, but if you follow the tips above, we know you can charge into the new year with a new outlook on attracting customers and growing your business! 

A Sea of “C”s: Some of the Best Ways to Focus Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is nothing new. Brands have been telling their stories to customers for hundreds of years; in fact, did you know that one of the first known examples of content marketing is Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac, which he published annually starting in 1732 in order to promote his printing business? So, business owners have known for centuries that telling their brand’s story in a compelling way can boost growth; in fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers surveyed use content marketing in some form or other. 

And it’s no wonder that content marketing is so popular: when used correctly, it can help you cut through the “noise” of traditional marketing, which most consumers are now able to completely disregard, and build brand awareness and gain loyal customers. But in order to get to this point, you need to know how to create content that is engaging and that calls potential customers to action! Marketing experts offer a variety of “C” words to keep in mind when creating your content; these “C”s can help focus you and keep your content marketing strategy on track, so which are the best ones for your brand?

Content Marketing by the Numberscontent marketing stats infographic

Content marketing is important: it engages your audience and answers their questions, and can deliver resounding success for your business. Take a look at these statistics, which were compiled from research done by Coshedule:

  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing
  • Content marketing converts 6 times more often than other marketing methods
  • 61% of online consumers have made a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog
  • Content marketing produces 3 times more leads per dollar spent than other marketing methods
  • Businesses that publish 16 or more blog posts a month can see 3.5 times more traffic than those that publish 0-4 posts a month

Why the impressive numbers? Because content marketing packs an impressive punch! Its benefits include:

  • It captures your audience’s attention and compels them to keep coming back for more
  • It can help you gain traction on social media, and make the most of the followers you do have
  • It helps you interact with your potential customers and build a relationship with them
  • It can generate leads, especially if you place strong calls-to-action in your content
  • It can improve conversions even more if it is original content; for example, using original images rather than stock photos can mean a 35% increase in conversions
  • It will make your business more visible online and help you rank higher in search engines, thus boosting your SEO efforts
  • It can make your audience see you as an expert in your field
  • It will build brand awareness, and help you gain loyal brand fans

So how do you do content marketing right, get on the radar of your target audience, and reap all of the above benefits? Well, marketing experts agree that you need a well thought-out strategy, but many of them offer different buzzwords to guide you in the right direction; funnily enough, they all begin with the letter “C.” Let’s take a look at three of these strategies, and how they can get you to your goals.

The First Four “C”s

Old school marketing experts sometimes point to the four “P”s of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion, but newer schools of thought, which take into account our hyper-digital, social media-driven world, focus less on the product and more on the consumer themselves. Those who focus on the consumer-centric model suggest that you take these four “C”s into account when planning your content marketing strategy:

  • Consumer – There is no one single content audience out there, and so no cookie-cutter content marketing strategy will work! You’ll need to tailor your content to your specific target audience, as well as constantly adapt it as trends, tastes, or your audience itself changes.
  • Cost – You can use content marketing to get your customers interacting with your brand, which will help you shape how your customers perceive the value of your product/service. Once you do this, you can truly price it with the consumer in mind.illustration of paper with pencil, megaphone, lightbulb, email, and message bubble
  • Convenience – When it comes to your product or service, you know that your customers are always looking for convenience, and the same goes for content. You need to deliver content to them in a way that fits their lives; after all, most customers won’t go out of their way to find your content – you have to bring it to them!
  • Communication – Targeting your content and making sure you’re choosing the right mode of communication, channel, and style, will open up the lines of communication with your audience, and will build a consumer confidence that will boost your sales. 

The Second Four “C”s

Other marketing experts that work with content marketing strategy focus their four “C”s on the content itself, and suggest that you make sure everything your target audience is seeing is:

  • Clear – Know exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it! Don’t be afraid to make a detailed outline before you create your final product, and always remember to check your facts – there’s nothing that will make you lose your customers’ trust faster than shaky, inaccurate information.
  • Compelling – Your audience needs content that is geared towards them, but you can’t stop there – you need to compel them to act once you’ve got their attention! Give them a benefit over your competition, and get them to call, click, or seek more information. 
  • Concise – Did you know that the average attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to around 8 seconds today? In comparison, scientists believe that goldfish have an attention span of 9 seconds! That means you don’t have a lot of time to hook your audience, so get to the point with punchy tweets, headlines, bullet points, and brief press releases; once you’ve got their attention, they’re more likely to want to find out more.
  • Consistent – A consistent message across social media platforms reinforces your brand: the more your audience sees your message, the more ingrained it becomes. Not only that, but delivering a similar content message in multiple ways also supports SEO.

The Third Four “C”s

different conversation bubbles
People are more interested in conversational and interesting headlines.

Finally, some marketing experts are adamant that content marketing should take into account the way that we have become used to consuming content, and zero in more on our fast-paced, diverse, and often youth-focused world with the following “C”s:

  • Conversation – We know that you need to hook your audience quickly with effective headlines, but what are considered the best headlines to do that these days? Well, it turns out that headlines that are considered “conversational” in style tend to get the most clicks, so try interacting with your audience in this way. Some of the most effective headlines are:
  • The Best of…
  • Why X People Do X (i.e. “Why the Healthiest People Don’t Follow These Trends”)
  • The Scientific Fact (i.e. “Sex Can Help You Live Longer, and We’ve Got the Studies to Back it Up”)
  • The Listicle (i.e. “10 90s TV Shows You Completely Forgot About”)
  • The Open-Ended Question (i.e. “So You Think You Know What Success Looks Like?”)
  • The Promise (i.e. “You’re Guaranteed to Go Crazy Over These Skateboarding Dogs”)
  • Community – In this world of digitized everything, people actually crave seeing or hearing from real people, even if they’re paid influencers. Getting an influencer on board with your brand and content can make all the difference in getting it seen.
  • Change – While you do need to be careful in this area, supporting causes that are important to your target audience can help you to make a deeper connection with them. 
  • Culture – Know the pop culture references of your target audience, and sprinkle some light-hearted, humorous, eccentric, or nostalgic gifs, memes, videos, or stories into your content, if it’s appropriate to your brand. 

Content marketing is all about optimizing your brand, and it takes more than just posting to social media now and then. You need a clear plan, and that plan should include checkpoints like  the “C”s above, which can help you step back and really think about what you’re creating and posting. Using these checkpoints to find your target audience, your voice, your style, and your message can make all the difference in getting your brand recognized, and getting your business growing!