(PHOTO CREDIT: Jacob Lund/SHUTTERSTOCK)
Whether you’ve been making videos for your company for years or you’re just getting started, creating goals will be a very important waypoint on your quest for success. Like every other aspect of your marketing strategy, having clearly defined video goals from the start will help you in every step of the process.
In this post, we’ll examine the process of setting goals for your video marketing. This will include looking at the various stages of the customer journey, along with using the SMART goals framework to set yourself up for success.
The customer journey — sometimes referred to as the buyer’s journey — is the path to purchase, and there are three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. In marketing, you want to make sure your videos help with one of these three stages or goals in the customer journey. When you’re considering making a video or video series, it’s important to understand which of these three stages your video will fit into.
The awareness stage is the part of the journey where potential customers realize they have a problem that requires a solution. This makes this cohort of potential customers very wide since they may not even know they need your product or service specifically. These viewers would be at the very beginning stages of research, attempting to gain as much information as possible to solve their problem. Videos in this stage should be highly informational and educational. Videos that introduce potential customers to your brand will also fit nicely into this stage.
The consideration stage is when viewers are, as you may have guessed, considering your product or service. These viewers are going to be noticeably more interested in what your company can provide them. Since viewers in this stage have a better understanding of what they’re looking for and how they may fix it, you’ll want to provide more detailed content to address their needs. Videos like product reviews, platform overviews, or perhaps webinars will provide the information they seek.
The decision stage is the last stage before a purchase is made. This is when you’ll want to use video as a way of showing customer satisfaction. Customer testimonials or video case studies are a great way to show potential customers how your product or service will benefit them over your competitors.
The retention stage is a bonus stage after a customer has converted. Videos that benefit retention are ones that will help your customers along the way as they use your product or service. This may be content that keeps them informed about product updates, live streams further explaining the platform, or any number of other ideas to keep your customers engaged.
For a more in-depth rundown of what types of videos work best in each stage, explore our breakdown of each of these stages in our post, ‘The Four Specific Types of Video You Need in Your Inbound Marketing Funnel.’
Understanding which stage you’re trying to address in your video is the first step to creating great goals for your video marketing efforts. Below, we’ll explore how to use SMART goals to take your video planning a step further.
SMART Video Goals
One of the most well-known goal-setting techniques is the acronym SMART. Since its creation back in the 1980s, this method of goal setting has been used by businesses and individuals alike for any number of scenarios. Some of the letters have changed slightly over the years but the most used grouping is as follows: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-related. These five points will lead you to create goals that help keep your videos on the right path to reaching your viewers at the proper stage in their journey. Below, we’ll cover each of these points in more detail and give examples of how each can apply to your videos.
The first part of setting up your goal is to have a specific objective. Far too many times, businesses make videos for the sake of making videos. It’s important to evaluate why you’re making that video and what, specifically, it is meant for.
Instead of saying, “We need to make a video”, you should say, “We need to make an engaging video to introduce our brand new feature to our target audience.” The more specific the goal, the easier it will be to determine the success of the video.
Once you have the ‘S’ locked in, it’s time to shift to quantifying your video goals. Adding some sort of measurable element to your goal will make it easier to track its progress and effectiveness. For example, do you want your audience to sign up for a newsletter or free trial? If so, how many subscribers would you like to add? Taking these ways of measuring into account will be a great way to gauge the success of your video.
Now that you’re thinking of a quantifiable goal, it’s important to keep yourself and your team grounded by ensuring that whatever you choose to do is achievable. It can be fun to dream of your video going viral and attracting hundreds of thousands of eyeballs and garnering more subscribers than you could ever imagine, but that’s not realistic. You also don’t want to sell yourself short and choose a goal that is so small that it isn’t even a challenge. Instead, use past data, the information you have from similar campaigns, and industry standards to determine a goal that hits right in the sweet spot of achievable.
The other side of setting an achievable goal is understanding your constraints. Similar to dreaming of your video going viral, if you imagine the video you’re making will be a blockbuster-movie-level endeavor but you only have the budget to film with your smartphone, you’ll likely end up feeling pretty disappointed. Consider all these factors right from the start: Budget, labor, gear, time, and so on.
The relevant aspect of your goal relates to the content itself. Is the idea you’re trying to pitch going to be pertinent to your audience? This can be difficult because, with video, there are so many creative ways you can present your message. You can use emotion, aesthetically pleasing elements, metaphors, and more to try to get your message across.
The main thing to remember is that you’re making this video to get your viewers to take some sort of action, so the video has to focus on what resonates with them, not just what excites the creator. Do you really need all the flashy special effects, or to rent a castle for your shoot location? In some cases, yes … absolutely it will help get your message across, but be sure to assess this on a case-by-case basis to keep it relevant to your overall goal.
Last but not least, give yourself a due date. This may sound like a no-brainer goal, but a lot of times this important aspect is overlooked because it’s so simple. For video projects, there are two due dates: creating the video, and connecting the measurable results of your video to a timeframe.
In terms of video creation, you’ll need to do your best to assess the bandwidth of your team if you’re producing it in-house. For example, if your team is small and juggling many different tasks, it will be unrealistic to imagine they can create a final video in 48 hours. On the other hand, if you have a 10-person crew dedicated to the task, that deadline might be more reasonable.
Since videos can technically live on the internet forever, it’s especially important to decide on a timeframe for when you hope to achieve your measurable result. This is a good way to set expectations for how your campaign will perform. Revisiting our newsletter sign-up example, it would be unrealistic to expect 10,000 signups from a video campaign on the first day. However, 10,000 signups over the course of six months, based on past performance, might be a more realistic timeframe.
Video Goal Example
Our overarching goal is to increase awareness and attract new customers. We’re going to do this with a video series that teaches our viewers how to create better video content. We hope to increase our newsletter signups by 15% over the next year. Lastly, each video we produce will be planned, scripted, recorded, and edited over two weeks in accordance with our larger editorial calendar.
With this framework, you’ll be in an excellent position to create highly targeted, achievable goals for your videos as they pertain to your larger marketing strategy. The best part about SMART goals is you can use them for any goals in your organization, which will keep everyone on track and moving in the right direction.