It’s easy to throw yourself straight into your next video project, but without a clear strategy you risk wasting time, money, and the ongoing engagement of your audience.
Here are the top four things to consider when putting together your next video strategy:
Understand your audience
When I started making videos, back in the early 1990s, a standard corporate video was 10–12 minutes long. The audience would gather in a board (bored) room, the VHS tape would be inserted into the deck, and everyone would have to endure the production.
Of course if you tried that today, as soon as the lights dimmed, the room would fill with the blue glow of mobile phones lighting up the faces of the distracted viewers.
How we use video and how people engage with it has changed. A year or two ago it was accepted that a 60–90 second video was the ideal solution. But now it is no longer about having one video, it is about building up a community and engaging your audience through a series of videos. A single video to showcase your product or service is no longer enough.
People don’t want to be sold to. They prefer to buy from you. It’s a subtle difference that means you need to develop a relationship with potential customers over a period of time, either face to face or via compelling content (in this case, video).
Add value to their lives (it’s not about you)
Your video content needs to be engaging, useful and helpful. All too often I see businesses fall into the trap of wanting to explain who they are, what they do and how they do it. It is an easy mistake to make, but the harsh reality is that customers don’t care. They simply want their life to be made easier.
The challenge is to plant yourself on the other side of the fence and understand what is happening for your customer and how can you help them. When you can solve their problems and address their needs, you become someone they will want to buy from.
You move from selling to helping.
Take them on a journey
The role of video in this process has gone from being promotional to telling stories. The manner in which video can be consumed lets you take viewers on a journey.
Free distribution channels for your video content means you can create a series of videos that will foster trust, engagement and ultimately sales. Videos allow you to deliver a narrative about your business that transcends a pushy sales message.
Be clear about business objectives
At all times you need to be clear on what you are trying to achieve through your videos. Are you:
- trying to attract new business?
- wanting to retain existing customers?
- keeping staff engaged?
Each purpose will require a different strategy and approach.
Once you are clear on what your purpose is, then measure it. Determine how your videos are working for you. Are they generating the new business you need or effectively keeping your staff engaged?
It’s tempting to just count views to determine the success of a video but you need to keep reminding yourself of what you are ultimately trying to achieve, and measure that outcome.
Winning with video
Bunnings is a hardware business that has nailed (couldn’t help myself) their video strategy. They produce quality instructional videos that show how to do a DIY project. They then show you what tools and equipment you need to complete a similar project.
Their videos are helpful, fun, and if you have everything already, easy to follow. Chances are, of course, that you’ll need to pick up a few of the tools or products they sell. And if you’re like me, you wander into Bunnings to buy one item and walk out with all of aisle 4.
This is a brilliant example of having a video strategy that integrates with business goals. It is driving business by showing what is possible, how to do it and what you need to complete the process. Importantly, it’s truly helpful content.
Xero is another great example; in this case their objective is retaining and helping customers. By providing clear, simple videos on just about anything you’ll need to do with your accounts, they make it easy for customers to stay engaged and stick with their product. Their videos are simple but effective.
In both of these cases, the companies have embraced the reality that video is no longer about a single production; it is about delivering a series of videos that genuinely cater to the needs of their audience. So, when you are planning your next corporate video project, consider how it fits the narrative of the business, how to take your viewers on a journey, and how to truly – and accurately – meet your business objectives.
Geoff Anderson is the owner of Sonic Sight, a video production facility in Sydney, Australia. He is also the author of Shoot Me Now – making videos to boost business – and has been producing videos for over 25 years. He also presents on the power of videos as well as how to produce videos in house.