What is a ‘video strategy,' and why do I need one?

It’s often useful to start with a tale about ‘the olden days’… You or your team decided to launch a marketing campaign, you agreed on the messaging, and either you or an agency came up with some creative ideas for a video which you conveyed to a ‘video production company’. The video went out – perhaps online, or even DVD if we’re going back further – and you hoped for the best.

You may have had some idea of how many people viewed it, and you may even have had some positive feedback or results that you could attribute to the video. But my experience is that you probably didn’t, and as a consequence you either didn’t make any more videos or it was some years before you were talked into doing it again. The results didn’t excite you.

Video has come of age and is the preferred medium for almost everybody, especially with the advent of smartphones and good connection speeds. And the tools and expertise now exist to allow video to be approached more strategically – no more ‘spray and pray’ video marketing, no more wasted time and money, and no more head scratching when the amazing film idea you had delivers zilch.

The smartest organisations develop a video strategy – a roadmap for your video activity across a year that encompasses clearly defined commercial objectives, propagates your brand values in an appropriately creative way, and can be monitored, measured and adjusted in line with the results achieved (or not). The basic components of a video strategy are as follows:

  1. Identify objectives – how will you measure success? In sales, customer responses, web visits, shares on social media?
  2. Research your audience – how and what do they want to hear from you? And can you assume you know that without asking them?
  3. Develop a creative approach – this needs to resonate with the audience based on the research you’ve gathered, and you should continue to involve representative audience members throughout the process in focus groups and questionnaires.
  4. Distribution – it’s essential to choose the right channels to reach your audience effectively, and make sure viewers have the ability to share the video and grow your audience for you.
  5. Test and measure – using the metrics you agreed in step 1, measure the campaign’s successes and failures and take the necessary action; perhaps tweak duration, call-to-action, SEO tagging etc., to see which things specifically improve your results.
  6. Learn, develop and apply your knowledge to the next video, because …

 … creating regular video content has been proven to produce better results. Organisations who make a real success of video produce campaigns throughout the year on a consistent basis, because it’s then far more likely that your videos will be seen, that they’ll be topical and relevant, and that you’ll build a loyal audience much more likely to engage with – and share – your content.

Whereas before we were launching videos on their journey and hoping for the best, the technical tools now exist to effectively fit them with a GPS and a compass. We can point them in the right direction, and easily correct their course mid-journey.

Mark Burgess