A Guide to Video Content Marketing

Content marketing, in the most general sense, is a way to create and distribute content that’s consistent, relevant, and valuable. The goal of content marketing is to attract your audience and then retain them so that, ultimately, they take a profitable action for your business.

With content marketing, you aren’t pitching your business, your products, or your services. Instead, you’re providing content that’s useful to your audience and will help them solve problems they may have.

Content marketing done well can increase sales, save you money, improve customer loyalty and become a driver of profitability.

In the research phase of the buyer journey, your targeted audience is looking for information first and foremost. At this point in the journey, the audience is likely to look straight past marketing materials instead of focusing on educational resources.

As you’re creating content, you want to base it on buyer personas. This helps you target your customers, and you have a framework from within which you can create content. As you’re developing any type of content, you want to make sure you understand customer pain points and their goals. You can earn credibility and a sense of trust when you show that you’re an expert in your industry and you understand how to deliver solutions to your customer’s pain points.

When we think about content marketing, written content tends to come to mind first. For example, blogs and articles, white papers, and similar styles of content are a big part of many businesses’ approaches.

There’s a medium that’s perhaps as effective, if not more so, that’s underutilized, though, and that’s video marketing. Video marketing should be part of any content marketing strategy.

It’s a powerful way to connect with an audience, and this guide explores some of the initial things to know about video content marketing.

What is Video Content Marketing?

Video content marketing, also just referred to as video marketing, is a subcategory of content marketing. You’re creating, producing, and then sharing video content that, as is true with any type of content marketing, is going to provide them with useful information. The hope is that useful information will eventually lead to an interest in your products or services.

Videos are powerful in content marketing because they evoke emotions. You’re creating a video, and in doing so, you’re guiding the emotions that you want the viewer to experience. Videos can have a long-lasting and memorable impact.

With video marketing, you can introduce customers to your brand who might not be at the point where they want to buy anything yet. They’re just learning more about everything that’s out there related to your business, and then eventually, they’re going to trust you as a problem-solver and source of reliable information.

Videos aren’t just about connecting with your customers, either, although this is a big one. Video marketing is also good for SEO. Search algorithms in recent years have been prioritizing videos because they’re easy for people to consume.

Videos improve your rankings in search overall, and they also increase click-through rates and conversation rates. Having video content can reduce your bounce rates and generate more backlinks.

Creating a Strategy

If you’re ready to invest in video content as part of your marketing, you’ll need a plan and strategy.

To guide you in the creation of a strategy, first think about why you’re creating videos. Uncover the most specific reasons that you’re delving into video marketing. For example, maybe you want your audience to be able to put a face to your brand, or perhaps you have a product that you’d like to show how to use it.

Once you understand your own why’s, start to consider who your video is for. If you don’t yet have personas, this is a good time to create them. In order to evoke emotions and use videos as a way to build a connection with the consumer, you have to know who you’re speaking to and what’s going to resonate with them.

When you know your audience and who you’re targeting and speaking to, then you can align your overall purpose with your targeted audience.

The next step in your strategy will be to figure out the types of content you want to create in video form.

You can share stories, you can show a day in the life of your business, you can have customer testimonials, you can create how-to’s, or you can do explainers of your products or services, just to name a few of the many options.

When you’re thinking about the type of video content you’re going to create, make sure that it’s something that’s going to be realistic for the budget and resources you currently have. If your budget is on the smaller side, you want a simple video format, so you can do most, if not all, of the work on it in-house.

Now, where will you be sharing your videos? If you’re making short, entertaining videos, you might focus on Instagram or TikTok. For longer videos, you might think about YouTube, or you can look at a combination of places to share. You can also share your video content on Facebook or on your own website.

As you’re choosing the platforms where you might share your videos, think about the average view time of video-viewers on the platform, sound and size limitations, budget, promotion options, and communities.

Best Practices for Video Content

When you’re creating video content as part of your marketing plan, remember the following best practices:

You’re telling a story. People want to see something that’s going to appeal to their emotions. Your goal whenever you’re creating any type of video content for marketing purposes should be connecting with your audience at the same time as you’re distributing information. Your stories deliver value, or at least that’s your objective.

Create a cohesive narrative that’s also concise. Most people are going to watch your video content on their smartphone, so make sure it’s mobile-friendly. If people don’t get a video that’s optimized for their mobile device, they’ll just go elsewhere. You might need to tweak the same video depending on which platform you’re sharing it on.

Your videos depend on leaving a good first impression. Unless you have a good, compelling title and thumbnail, it’s not very likely someone’s going to feel like they want to watch your video, even if the content is actually great. Once someone actually clicks on your video, they’re going to give you only a few seconds of attention before they go to the next video waiting in their feed. To take advantage of these initial few seconds and boost engagement, come up with a brief hook at the start of your video. Your hook will explain what your video is about, and it will also encourage viewers to wait until the end.

When you’re making videos for content marketing, don’t forget about a call to action. Make sure you’re strategic in where you place the CTA so as not to put off a viewer. Most businesses will put their CTA at the end. You can also do a mid-roll CTA.

When you’re writing content, you probably already think about SEO best practices. You want to do something similar with your video marketing. For example, when you’re writing a video description, find relevant keywords.

Your production quality does matter, at least to an extent. The right lighting, for example, can be inexpensive to set up but can go a long way to helping your videos be more appealing. While production quality is relevant, you don’t necessarily want to overproduce your video content because audiences can often better connect when a video doesn’t seem that scripted or polished. It can come off as more authentic and transparent if you’re not overproducing. When you’re posting your videos, write an accurate description of what it’s about. You can try to highlight maybe three to four benefits that a viewer will get from watching the video, or you can highlight the main points of the video.

Try to transcribe your video content if you can. This will help search engines crawl it, plus your audience can read the content in a text format if they prefer. That might then lead them to decide they want to watch it as well. After you post your video, make sure that you’re engaging with your viewers. In the comments area on the platform where you post your videos, ask opinions from viewers and try to respond to all comments that get posted. Finally, remember you should always be analysing the performance of your videos. Nothing in online marketing will be successful without analytics. You want to make sure your investments are being used in the best way possible.

You can use Google Analytics and YouTube analytics to keep track of the performance of your videos and learn more about things like traffic sources, views, and total watch time.

You can also measure brand awareness by looking at things like your total number of views and shares.