Earned distribution, like owned, is free. You have relatively little to lose using it other than time and effort, but unlike owned and paid, the payoff can be drastically more unpredictable. From SEO efforts that boost your search presence, to building relationships with influencers you’ve never met, you never quite know what your ROI will be — it can be enormous or it can fizzle to an end. But don’t skip earned distribution altogether! Take a little more time to think strategically about which earned channels will help you accomplish your video goals.
What does it take to do that? Simply put, you have to take a step back for a moment. You have to analyze and understand the basic mechanics of your message and how to effectively reach a larger audience without losing your shirt. The secret to all of this? No matter what marketing strategy you use, if you don't have an effective sales funnel and optimize your conversions, you'll just be throwing money away.

This is any form of content which was paid for, usually by a company promoting another company or brand. It is written in the style of the site publishing it, much like native advertising, but isn’t actually an ad — it’s a valuable piece of written or visual content meant to inform the viewer. Usually, sponsored posts get organically shared via social networks, too, so they get an extra push when it comes to distribution.

Next, consider your audience and the overall mood for your production. Are you targeting a small audience that will appreciate the newest, underground hip-hop track, or do you need something that will appeal to many demographics? Are you creating a practical product tutorial or an upbeat event recap? Be sure to choose music that enhances the overall tone of your video.

Picking the right video type is crucial to your video’s success, but so is picking the right video style. Style is a broader term that relates to your video’s tone and messaging. It affects how your actual story is told — are you using actors? Graphics? Dialogue? Specific locations? Together, these elements create your video’s style. Pick the right style and you’ll draw in the audience that’s most likely to convert.
The exact settings on your camera will depend on your model, but there's likely an auto option, a bunch of presets (daylight, cloudy, tungsten, etc.), and custom. Avoid auto white balance at all costs and opt for a preset or custom instead. If you have a top-of-the-line DSLR, there may also be an option to manually set the color temperature of the room, measured in Kelvin.

Sadly, posting a video on an otherwise blank page won’t do much for your SEO. Make sure you embed your video on a page full of relevant and informative content. This will let search engine crawlers know you have not only engaging multimedia on your site, but that you provide a ton of valuable and useful information. Be sure the content relates to your video — sometimes, posting the video transcript can help a lot, too.

You can work with an agency to develop the videos. This option is more expensive, and you will often end up spending thousands of dollars for a single video. However, you get what you pay for. If you’re looking to create a single, impactful video (or if you have a healthy marketing budget), working with professionals is certainly a beneficial option.
Pixels track everyone who comes to your site, and you can build custom audiences around them. For example, if you post content about how to learn to drive a semi-truck, and you track visitors with pixels, you can then market truck driving certification to people who have already shown an interest in that already because they visited that specific page. And your conversions will skyrocket.

After you've determined the type of music you need, it's time to start analyzing potential songs. Consider the song's pacing. Songs with a steady rhythm are easy to change to suit your video style. Hoping to include your favorite, Top 40 hit? Popular, radio songs are usually structured in 4-5 parts and can be difficult to transition. Try to choose simple songs that are easy to loop. If you're looking for an instrumental song, be sure to find something that was recorded with real instruments. Songs made with digital samples can make your video feel unprofessional and out of date.
But while you're maintaining the fun level on set, remain vigilant. It's your job to pay attention to the little things, like making sure all of the mics are on or noticing if the lighting changes. Record each section many times and have your talent play with inflections. When you think they've nailed the shot … get just one more. At this point, your talent is already on a roll, and options will help tremendously during editing.

Now comes the script writing, the search for the perfect agency, the video review and edits, and celebrating finally having a beautiful, well-crafted video you can be proud of. The entire production process should take about two months with the right partner, but be sure to plan more time than you need for each of the following individual production stages so you don’t fall behind.
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