Video Marketing: The Fundamental Guide

Video is no longer the format of the future, it’s the format of today. Users increasingly prefer video content, and so do the search engines that serve them up. This article provides an in-depth exploration of video marketing applications, the associated benefits/drawbacks, and a tactical plan to help you launch a lead-generating video strategy for your company.

Video marketing is just one of many lead generation levers that can be pulled for your company. Check-out The Fundamental Guide to Lead Generation to unlock an additional 38 strategies to deploy for your business.

What is Video Marketing?

Video marketing is the usage of video formats to promote a product, service, or brand. Video is rarely used in isolation and is best utilized when integrated with an integrated marketing communications strategy. For example, creating a customer testimonial video is only valuable if you can surface it in front of the right audiences. To do that, a video strategy should be integrated with email marketing, a blog strategy, case study creation, and other lead-generation programs to optimize effectiveness.

Types of Video Marketing

There are a number of different formats within the umbrella of video marketing. Here are the most prominent B2B video formats as well as their specific use cases.

Video Ads

This is a classic 15- or 30-second commercial. Sometimes referred to as a “spot.” It is a promotional video that aims to tell a product or brand story in as little time as possible. This is one of the most difficult videos to create but can be leveraged to drive a massive lead generation impact. These videos can be used for TV ads, YouTube ads, social ads, and more. 

 

Explainer Videos

Complex products and services are a common thing in the B2B space. Explainer videos are generally baked into product-facing webpages and provide a simple overview of the product or service you’re offering. These videos are typically feature animations with voiceovers and can stretch as long as three to five minutes. These videos are not designed to generate leads, but rather, to convert them once they’ve arrived on your site.

Here is an explainer video for Vendasta’s recent Automations release:

Customer Testimonials

Does your brand have raving fans? Capturing those external endorsements on film can be a powerful way to show other interested prospects what they can expect if they work with you. The reality is simple: prospects are far more inclined to trust a third-party opinion than any direct communication from your brand. These testimonial videos are most influential at the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. A prospect is interested in your services, and a well-crafted customer testimonial might be all it takes to tip the scales and drive that conversion.

Here’s one of Vendasta’s most recent customer profile videos:

Company Culture Videos

Well-crafted company culture videos showcase authentic employee interviews, tell brand stories, and show exciting workplace events/activities. These videos serve two distinct purposes: enhance reputation and drive recruitment. 

In the era of the internet, brand reputation is one of the most difficult assets to harness, but, if done properly, it’s one of the most powerful conversion drivers available to modern businesses. These videos serve to improve public image and drive conversions because they rely on front-line employee testimonials and real video footage to tell brand stories.

What do companies like Google, Amazon, and HubSpot have in common? Other than being tech phenoms, these are some of the most sought-after companies to work at in North America. That is the direct result of great brand marketing, including company culture videos that highlight the best aspects of being an employee at the company.

Here's an example of a recent Vendasta video focussing on the year that was 2020:

Webinars

Webinars are a unique video marketing tool. Unlike the aforementioned formats that cater predominantly to the attraction and conversion of new audiences, webinars can be leveraged throughout the entirety of the buyer’s journey. Webinars with innovative topics act as powerful lead generators. Product-based webinars can influence conversion rates, and tutorial-style webinars help drive post-purchase retention and product adoption.

Here is one of Vendasta’s recent partner-facing webinars, detailing one of the many great products found in our ever-growing Marketplace:

The Pros and Cons of Video Marketing

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So, what is a video worth? The answer: A LOT. Here are some of the specific pros and cons of integrating video marketing into your lead generation strategy.

The Pros of video marketing:

  1. Video drives conversion rates. According to HubSpot, placing a video on a landing page boosts conversion rates by 80 percent.
  2. Video can be attached to numerous mediums. In addition to landing pages, video can be attached to an email, posted to social media, used in social ad content, among other things.
  3. Search prioritizes video. As video content continues to grow in popularity and prevalence, recent Google algorithm updates have further prioritized video content. Additionally, YouTube is the second largest search engine (next to Google), which means posting video content on YouTube can double your potential for traffic generation.
  4. Video is a trust mechanism. Making false claims is nothing new in the media world, and fake video testimonials are among the more recent techniques that unethical advertisers use to spread misinformation. That being said, the benefit to video is that it provides marketers with an opportunity to really “show” your story and your performance, where it’s much easier to falsify performance by “telling” a story in the written word.
  5. Shareability. There’s a reason why video content goes viral faster than any other medium. Research shows that 92 percent of mobile video consumers share video content with others. 

The Cons of video marketing:

  1. Cost of production. Whether you are outsourcing video production or have an internal team, the production cost for high-quality video work can be high in comparison to other mediums.
  2. Video ages. Unlike written blog content that can be evergreened and is typically low maintenance, video content can quickly become outdated and is much more difficult to update.
  3. Other stimuli become a factor. Unlike website content that allows you to completely control the user experience, videos posted on platforms such as YouTube become subject to terms-of-service agreements, including additional video recommendations and a high stimuli user environment. 

Video Marketing Companies to Outsource Work To

You have two options when it comes to creating great video marketing collateral for your company: produce content internally or outsource to video marketing companies.

For companies that don’t have the internal video creation resources or expertise, outsourcing can be a great option. Here are a couple of the best video marketing providers to consider for your next project.

1. VIDEOBOLT.COM

Videobolt is a video marketing company that specializes in creating high-quality video with on-camera spokespeople. This is an affordable option with quick turnaround guarantees, perfect for creating video ads or explainer videos for your company.

This solution is unique because it can be leveraged by your brand, but it can also be resold by your brand if you are in the B2B space. Check out the Vendasta Marketplace to explore hundreds of additional products and services that you can resell to your local business clients!

screenshot of VIDEOBOLT.COM for video marketing

2. Rocketium

Rocketium is a video marketing company that offers a user-friendly video builder, enabling agencies, advertisers, and others to make video ads and other short-form videos in minutes. This tool is complete with hundreds of templates, a massive library of stock content, as well as seamless video editing software. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, Rocketium is a great tool that you can use to create powerful videos for your own brand, or for the clients that you serve.

screenshot of Rocketium for video marketing

How to Create an Internal Video Marketing Strategy

If you are a larger company and have video production resources available internally, then you will likely look to produce your project under your own roof. Here are five steps to help ensure your success.

1. Determine the type of video you want to produce

Before thinking about scripts, sets, or anything like that, it’s important to clarify the type of video you want to produce, based on the justifications outlined in the section above. For example, if you have a conversion problem on one of your product/service pages, then creating a well-crafted explainer video to reinforce your value proposition might be a quick win.

2. Determine the outcome of the project

Setting clear objectives is a critical component in the video creation process. That’s because video is high involvement, high cost, and time-consuming—so most brands can’t afford to waste time going back to the drawing board halfway through a project. Your project outcomes should also be tied directly to the type of video that you are planning to create. 

Here are some sample outcomes for the five video formats outlined above:

  1. Video ads
    1. Generate “X” number of leads
    2. Generate leads at an average cost-per-lead (CPL) of “X”
    3. Reduce CPL by “X%”
    4. Increase conversion rate by “X%” 
  2. Explainer videos
    1. Increase time-on-page by “X” 
    2. Improve page conversion rate by “X%”
  3. Customer testimonials
    1. Generate “X” views on YouTube
    2. Improve page conversion rate by “X%”
  4. Company culture videos
    1. Generate “X” views on YouTube
    2. Generate “X” shares on social
    3. Generate “X” clicks from an email campaign
  5. Webinars
    1. Acquire “X” attendees
    2. Convert “X%” of attendees into product/service demos
    3. Remarket the video to generate “X” views

3. Write a script and/or construct a storyboard

The reality is that most great videos started with words on a page. This script is what then breathes life and brings the story into great a video marketing production. 

Here’s how to go about writing a great script for your next video project:

  1. Draft a short project brief. The brief is a few sentences that explain the goal of the video, the intended audience, the topic, the takeaways, and the call-to-action.
  2. Expand your brief into a topical outline. Even 30-second ad videos have structure. It’s important to clarify the topical divisions in your script before drafting the body. Standard video outlines have an introduction, a problem statement, a solution, and a call-to-action.
  3. Fill in the gaps. Once you’ve created your outline, start writing the body of your script. Whether you have an on-camera speaker or a narrator, it’s important to keep the message direct and easy to understand. Videos are not the place to try to baffle the world with your gargantuan vocabulary.
  4. Conduct the read-out-loud test. This is a critical step to ensure that what you’ve written translates well into spoken word, as these are not one and the same. If done well, your script should read the way a speaker or narrator naturally converses.
  5. Conduct final revisions to put the polish on before filming.

 

A script is always necessary, but some video projects require a little more pre-planning. Such projects include explainer videos or long-form company culture videos. For these productions that often require various shoots and many feature animations, you may want to take your script and stretch it out over a visualization of different animations/scenes. Doing so is a lot like conducting a dress rehearsal before you pour serious resources into a project.

Here is what a storyboard looks like:

Source: Wiley

Once you’ve created a script, here’s how to expand it into a storyboard for your next project:

  1. Choose a storyboarding tool. You can always do it the old-fashioned way on a notepad, but using a tool can save time and toil. Some of the best video storyboarding tools include: PowerPoint, Google Slides, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Amazon Storyteller, and Storyboard That.
  2. Establish a timeline. Different video formats are best-suited for different production lengths. It’s important to clarify a target length, and then break that down based on your topical divisions.
  3. Sketch out your thumbnails. Whether you’re using software, pen and paper, or stock photos, it’s important to visualize the finished product.
  4. Apply your script to your visuals. This is where your storyboard comes to life. You will now begin to add the verbal content to your visuals. What you may find is that not all of your text will fit, or that revisions need to be made to make your story come to life.
  5. Annotate each scene with details. If you have a vision that cannot be easily illustrated, it’s important to pair your storyboard with production notes. Possible annotations might include lighting notes, camera angles, and more.

 

Once you’ve finished creating your script and/or storyboard, it’s time to pass the torch off to the professionals.

4. Review and revise

Odds are that the finished product isn’t going to be perfect the first time. Fortunately, if internal videographers are completing this work, then you probably don’t have to worry about catching a bill for edits and revisions.

Here are a few tips for conducting a thorough review of video marketing content:

  • Go back to your original brief and make sure the project meets the intended objective of the project.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Does the video make sense? Does the video demand attention?
  • Provide specific audio and video feedback. If there’s a word that feels out of place, don’t hesitate to note it.
  • Provide a single source of feedback (be that a sheet of paper, a document, or otherwise).
  • Be prepared for resistance. People tend to get attached to the work that they do, so be cognizant of that as you provide feedback. Also keep in mind that the videographer is the expert, so they might simply know better than you in some subject areas.

5. Launch campaign and measure results

It’s time to hit the launch button. If you’ve completed all of the aforementioned steps, then there’s no reason why your video marketing campaign won’t be successful. That being said, it’s always important to keep a close eye on the performance metrics that you outlined back in Step 2 (determining the outcome of the project). 

And, if you don’t meet your target metrics, that doesn’t necessarily mean your project was a bust either. For example, a miniscule improvement in conversion rate on a product page is still a win, even if it wasn’t all the way up to spec. And if you set a KPI of clicks on a YouTube video and miss by a landslide, this might indicate that your messaging isn’t resonating with your target audience. Win or lose, there is always something to be gained from video marketing projects.

Conclusion

Video is one of the most compelling message delivery mechanisms in a modern marketer’s toolkit. By deploying a video marketing strategy, you can successfully generate new leads, nurture leads through your inbound funnel, and drive bottom-of-funnel conversions.

That being said, video marketing is just one of many lead generation levers that can be pulled, and it is most effective when paired with other programs, such as email, paid ads, social media marketing, and more. Download our Fundamental Guide to Lead Generation to explore dozens of additional lead generation tactics that your company can launch.

About the Author

Brock is a Marketing Analyst at Vendasta with a passion for the more creative things in life. He also answers to Archie - for obvious reasons... And when he's not putting his fingers in paint, or saving Riverdale, he can usually be found asking Google one of the many more embarrassing "how to" questions.

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