For a marketer in today’s ever-evolving space, the current conclusion is the same whether your team includes dozens of experts or you’re part of a savvy duo: You need to create marketing videos if you plan to stand out.
Video content marketing is more than just the norm these days; it has become essential to incorporate this medium into your strategy. In fact, in our Content Matters 2022 Report where we surveyed over 800 content marketers, we found that video is the number one content type marketers want to do more of—if they only had the resources.
Thankfully, the barrier to entry is no higher than having a smartphone and something to say, along with a clear understanding that creating marketing videos doesn’t mean you need the best equipment or a trained on-screen personality to perform for you.
So, how should you proceed to develop a video content strategy that achieves the results you want if you’re part of a lean team that already feels pressed for time, money, and resources?
Read on for a blueprint you can follow to start producing more vital video content marketing resources for your company. You’ll also find tips shared by video production experts at Brightcove, FS Investments, and WordPress VIP in our recent webinar on scaling video creation efforts without sacrificing quality.
- Prioritize pre-production
- Assemble an effective video content marketing tool stack to save time
- Leverage relationships, strategic ads, and free resources to maximize your budget
- Empower everyone on your team to contribute
- Recycle your best content to maximize effort
Adam Jensen, Director of Broadcast & Digital Content at Brightcove:
“For scaling video production while maintaining quality, pre-production and pre-planning is going to be your best friend. The more time and effort you can put into thinking holistically about the message you want to send, and the audience you’re trying to connect with, the more confident you can be that your end product will be effective. Before you start shooting video, focus on crafting a good story to fit your audience and the platform they’re going to consume it on.”
A vital part of this pre-production process is research—understanding what messages resonate with your audience and which channels are best suited for different video formats. Don’t try to make one video for all platforms. Figure out which platforms work well for you and make content tailored for those.
Use content analytics and video analytics during pre-production to home in on messaging and channel prioritization. Analyze the historical engagement on your existing content to find:
- Which topics resonate with your audience
- Which topics perform best on various channels
- Which video topics/formats perform best on various channels
- Which high-performing content should be repurposed into video
- Which high-interest topics lack video content
- Which high-performing videos can be repurposed into shorter videos
Use a tool like Parse.ly to develop a deeper understanding of your audience and how to create videos that they love.
Tess Needham, Head of Content at WordPress VIP:
“You need to have a foundation of strategy before you get started creating video. Once you have that, it doesn’t matter what the production values are, what the output is like, as long as it’s coming back to that strategy and resonating with your audience. But it also helps to provide your team with foolproof tools that have guardrails for quality control.”
Assemble an effective video content marketing tool stack to save time
It’s no secret that the most productive marketing teams rely on smart software, equipment, and accessories to streamline their duties and get more done faster, often with fewer people in the mix.
According to a report from Wibbitz entitled How to make social video work for your marketing team, marketers that produce between one and 50 videos each month use only between nine and 14 tools to get the job done.
On the flipside, prolific teams that produce between 50 and 100 videos per month rely on an average of 30 tools to make their video content marketing magic happen.
Here are some areas of your video content marketing tool stack to consider bolstering.
Feature smartphone or webcam footage—and use lenses to amplify the experience
Using a multi-thousand-dollar DSLR camera mounted on a tripod isn’t going to make or break your video content strategy in today’s marketing climate. That’s because authenticity reigns supreme. A slightly shaky smartphone video often provides the human element viewers crave.
David Bowman, Design Director at WordPress VIP
“Look at influencers who are attracting huge audiences with vertical phone videos. They’re garnering such a following that brands are now paying them for their audience, which is an indication to me that the line between brand and individual content creator doesn’t matter as much anymore. As we’re approaching this at WordPress VIP, I take an attitude of ‘tools not rules.'”
Don’t sweat it if your team doesn’t have fancy camera equipment or a budget to procure it; you’ll still be able to produce high-quality video content marketing with an iPhone or Android. Elevate this kind of video content by using special lenses and mounts for smartphones, such as these accessories from Moment, which can augment your productions with multiple shot styles and stabilization.
Also, don’t be afraid to use your webcam or your photography camera hooked up through HDMI to create video. Film yourself from your own office, or hit the record button during an interesting conversation or presentation on Zoom. Pare it down and find a five- to 10-second nugget to use on social media. Keep it short and get to the point—say what you need to say, and get out.
Source quality stock footage, stills, and user-generated content
The beauty of video content marketing today is that you don’t even have to shoot all the footage yourself to produce high-quality video.
That’s because marketers can tap into platforms like Getty Images, Shutterstock, Storyful, and Pond5 to source beautifully shot stock video footage that aligns with their brands.
Instead of having to brainstorm a shot list and spend time shooting, search these libraries and save your team from having to learn potentially new skills and put them into action.
Make it easy to optimize your video content strategy across every platform
Video content marketing is crucial for social platforms, but each platform requires different specs for video. To maximize ROI and engagement, your video content strategy needs to account for platform optimization.
Landscape videos, shot in 16:9, are always your best bet for a primary video format because they can be uploaded on YouTube and many other places. But this format doesn’t don’t always perform as well on other platforms.
Consider Instagram, where the Stories format uses vertically shot, 9:16 videos, and videos in your feed work best when square.
Melissa Venditti, Senior Video Producer at FS Investments:
“If you really want to cater to a certain audience, you have to know what that audience wants. YouTube is great for how-to videos and general education videos, while Instagram and Facebook lean more towards snackable, entertainment content.”
To help your team easily create marketing videos that work best platform to platform, consider software like Brightcove or Wibbitz. They allow you to create and edit multiple formats of video content—and source images and clips from stock footage libraries—all in one platform.
Leverage relationships, strategic ads, and free resources to maximize your budget
We already discussed how using a smartphone is perfectly acceptable for launching your video content marketing efforts, effectively opening the doors for teams of all sizes and budgets to dip their toes into this rushing river of high ROI.
But there are several other areas you can tap to reduce your marketing video strategy spend—and even help your allies do the same.
Create strategic partnerships to boost the visibility of your social posts
According to Hootsuite, commenting on Instagram posts helps boost their visibility, increasing the likelihood of future engagement with your brand.
To amplify your social standing without breaking the promotion bank, create a network with peer companies that have similar target audiences but aren’t direct competitors. Agree to like, comment on, and share each other’s videos on social. Start compelling conversations in the comments of their posts, and ask them to do the same in yours.
By building a culture of reciprocity on social media among your industry allies, you’ll leverage the power of partnership “against the algorithms” to effectively build up everyone’s presence without having to shell out cash to the platform.
Put your money only where it counts most
While we hope that all your video content marketing endeavors result in big wins, the law of averages will likely surface when it comes to your projects.
If it looks like you’ve hit a home run with a particular piece of content without putting promotional spend behind it, consider throwing down on some premium exposure.
On platforms that include it, use the Boost feature on videos that are performing well organically. And if you already run paid social ads, double-down on video, as 62% of those surveyed in the Wibbitz report found video ads to be the most effective format for social.
Need more accessible data on how your videos are performing?
Use the most powerful free video content marketing tools available
If you have more than 10,000 Instagram followers and want to generate more site traffic, use video to create compelling Stories and leverage the swipe-up feature.
This perk of reaching the 10K-follower milestone is a powerful tool for freeing consumers from the stranglehold of social feeds and getting them onto your page.
Upload the same content to your Facebook Stories to expand your reach.
Empower everyone on your team to contribute
Let’s face it: video is still very new for some marketers, and not everyone is comfortable “putting themselves out there” on camera.
Not to worry.
While showing “face on film” can help, doing so is not essential. What’s more important is giving your team the power to quickly and easily create high-quality video within the constraints of your brand.
Here are ways to tap into the star power of your colleagues to move the needle with your marketing video strategy.
Create a simple, repeatable video content marketing workflow
Wibbitz found that marketers who produce videos in-house are far more productive than their outsourcing peers, creating between three and 10 videos per month compared to just one to two videos, respectively.
Still, that doesn’t mean an agency or freelancers can’t be part of your plan, as 35% of the marketing leaders surveyed said their marketing video strategy relies on both in-house and outsourced labor.
The real secret to success for the most prolific video content marketers is having a solid team workflow that can be repeated.
Adam Jensen, Director of Broadcast & Digital Content at Brightcove:
“If you’re going to bring in an outside creative consultant to help scale video production, create templates for them to work from. They won’t have to worry about your branding or certain creative choices they would’ve had to make on the fly, so you can scale much more quickly.”
On the leanest of teams, divvy up your video content execution between your Content Manager and Social Media Manager (extra points if they’re the same individual at your organization).
The Content Manager should define the goals for each video content marketing project, setting the tone and strategic direction for the rest of the team to follow.
With the Social Media Manager and, if you have one, your dedicated video producer, brainstorm ideas. Then, put together a timeline and social calendar with the team and get to work.
First, write a script—aim for short, digestible content that ranges from ~40 to 90 seconds—and plan your storyboard.
Determine the concepts and emotions you want to resonate in your video. This will inform how you shoot it and search for stock footage. Then, make the magic happen—even if you’re shooting on an old G3. Ruthlessly edit your video until it’s as refined as possible. For accessibility, use HandBrake to create video captions for your production, expanding your potential audience.
After that comes the real work: Distributing your video across all your platforms to reach as many eyeballs and, hopefully, ears, as possible. Tip: Make sure you turn off autoplay on social channels.
Get the whole company involved
Don’t have a dedicated video producer on staff? One may be lurking elsewhere in your office.
That’s why it pays to let your entire company know when you’re planning on developing a video content strategy. You just might uncover a passionate video hobbyist down the hall in Accounting who runs a successful vlog after hours and has great tips on lighting and camera angles for video. They might even let you borrow their DSLR camera for the cause (if you ask nicely).
Ask around the office or on Slack for volunteers to go on camera for the company. Don’t be afraid to offer incentives (your call) for going above and beyond their job description.
Recycle your best content to maximize effort
When you’re working with limited resources, it’s not in your best interest to sap your team’s precious time to create brand new material.
Instead, opt for a marketing video strategy that emphasizes recycling existing content and repurposing it. This will help expand your reach and save your team from having to constantly come up with (and execute) fresh ideas.
Here are ways to recycle content to streamline your video content strategy.
Distill top blog articles and social posts into high-quality video
You’re probably familiar with the Pareto Principle in sales, which posits that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients. This 80-20 concept also surfaces in content marketing, where most companies find that the success of their blog or social channels derives from roughly 20% of their posts.
When planning a marketing video strategy, find your top-performing articles and most-liked/shared social posts. Repurpose and summarize them into short, high-quality videos using tools like Brightcove or Wibbitz, which optimize video based on platform.
Edit existing long videos into digestible clips
Already produce one or two videos each month? If they’re longer than two minutes, consider chopping them up into several shorter clips to multiply your output.
Having more video content marketing materials on hand will also help you in other marketing areas, such as SEO and social engagement, expanding your audience reach and letting you experiment with different marketing messaging, from headlines to descriptions.
Video is an essential part of a successful content marketing program, and the demand for it is ever-rising. Want to learn more about creating marketing videos with limited resources? Check out our webinar on scaling video creation efforts without sacrificing quality and the post-webinar Q&A discussion.