Video marketing requires a certain amount of discipline, attention to detail, and rigorous focus on analytics to get right. Yet, it remains as much an art as it is a science. In this post, we look at five habits that separate the few from the crowds when it comes to delivering on exceptional video marketing campaigns.
1. Plan Ahead
Try to avoid common roadblocks and pitfalls that will otherwise prevent you from capturing video and creating new content to share with your audience. This means thinking ahead, creating a content schedule, and incorporating trends and local events into your planning.
Consider when and where you’ll be able to shoot video, and factor in extra time to do so. You might even want to scout out locations before getting there so you’ll already know the shots you want to get (or avoid) when you’re on site.
Other key steps to take would be to ensure you have all the necessary equipment, and that it’s all in working order. Meaning, your batteries are charged, your cables are organized, and everything is packed securely and ready to go whenever you are. It could also mean that your video recording studio (using the term lightly – it’s ok if this is just a tripod) is always setup so that when inspiration strikes, you don’t have to spend half an hour on setup while your ideas run away from you.
2. Stick to a Schedule
Committing to a regular cadence for sharing new videos helps build and maintain momentum with your audience. Hitting it out of the park with a viral video is relatively unlikely to happen, meaning you’re much better off creating more videos that drive engagement and reach on a regular basis.
Producing lots of video is easy said than done, right? Actually, it doesn’t have to be. Keep your clips short and sweet, get to know some animation tools like Animoto, GoAnimate or Powtoon, and invest in some simple products that will make your life easier, like an iPhone tripod and a decent microphone. Seek free or reasonably priced stock footage, images, and music sources to mix things up. Commit to an easy schedule at first, such as once or twice a month, and go from there.
If you still think it might be too much to produce videos on a regular basis, try thinking creatively about how you create and reformulate other types of content. Throwing an event? Film it. Got a cool client in the office? Ask them a few questions about recent trends relevant to your business. Read a cool article recently? Record a short video with your personal take on the matter, or offer an interesting and related fact pertaining to the key points that were made.
3. Capture the Main Event, but Don’t Forget the Ambience
Filming the main event probably requires more forethought and planning than anything else, but don’t neglect what’s happening on the periphery of it either. B-roll footage can save a shoot when you need more context, or a way to bridge an otherwise awkward gap.
Keep your eyes peeled for interesting angles, scenery, or other visual elements in the space, and use subtle panning techniques and different focal points to capture some b-roll footage. Even though b-roll is usually mentioned as an afterthought, this article from Transom really hammers the point home that the quality of your b-roll footage can make or break your video, and provides tips for getting it right.
4. Make Platform-Specific Videos
It used to be enough to make a video, put it on YouTube, and call it day, but with the proliferation of options available for video distribution, it’s imperative to treat each platform as the unique opportunities they represent. Your video marketing strategy can no longer be “one size fits all” when it comes to growing the social reach of your video.
To succeed with video marketing on social, first consider the goals of your campaign and what you are looking to achieve with your videos. If you want to drive traffic to a specific landing page, for instance, you’ll want to employ different tactics than if you were mainly looking to lift brand awareness. Still, a lot of the same rules apply due to the differences in content guidelines, as well as audience demographics, across the different platforms.
Next, make sure you play by the rules, and develop content that is targeted at each individual platform, rather than a “spray and pray” approach. To illustrate, each platform imposes different creative constraints on what you can share, and what you can’t. Facebook supports just about any length of video, Instagram caps you at 1 minute (up from 15 seconds), and Vine brings up the rear with just 6 seconds.
Beyond the length of your video, approaching the same content or topic differently according to the platform you are using will benefit the efficacy of your campaign. For example, on Facebook and Instagram, your video is going to autoplay silently in the timeline, so you’ll need a version with subtitles or a lot of text overlays in order to get your message across. Here are some tips specifically to help optimize your videos for Facebook. On Vine, where your content length is severely curtailed, videos that loop seamlessly, and focus on one singular micro-topic work best.
5. Evergreen Content
If you invest time and effort to produce a variety of video content, don’t treat it as a one-and-done type affair. You can repurpose and reuse older clips to make totally new videos, or videos that are a better fit for a specific use, like a new feature or product. Swap out the soundtrack, the voiceover, cut in some new stock footage, and voila – a totally new clip. You can also generate other types of content around your videos, creating new reasons to share them again and again.
If you pick up one or more of these habits, let us know how it goes! We’d also love to hear what other habits really seem to be working for you, so let us know in the comments below.