And always shop around Extended ArticleHow Much Does It Cost to Produce a Video?Video is probably the most compelling way to tell your company’s brand story. But video shoots are difficult and time consuming to organize, and… Read More — not just literally, but figuratively. Ask industry experts how much they charge for certain services (scripting, sound editing, social media distribution, etc.) and how much you might expect to pay if you hired a freelancer or full-time employee instead. Most agencies are more than happy to give you any information you might want, or guide you to others who can better help.
Social media has revolutionized the way online users communicate with each other, with short, concise statements trumping longer forms of content. Micro-video apps shorten videos to less than ten seconds, making them ideal for sharing on sites like Twitter and Instagram. In this format, customers can quickly view a message as they scroll through their social media feeds. Brands can quickly send a message that will be seen by a larger audience, especially on Vine and Facebook, where they automatically play as a user scrolls past.
“With the emergence of micro video apps like Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing,” says my friend Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of AudienceBloom. “And not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video, and Vine allowing precisely 6 seconds, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones.”
Finally, you need to execute the plan for marketing and distributing your content that was created at the strategic stage. Like any other part of content marketing, video isn't successful unless your target audience see it and engage with it in the way you want. And your video content marketing strategy as a whole won't work unless each piece of video content comes together to form a cohesive marketing funnel moving leads from awareness to consideration to decision.

The engage stage is the hardest to correlate to cold, hard sales. Because users aren’t necessarily looking to purchase here, they can watch your video, learn some information, and not come back to your website for a long time. Try to implement detailed tracking information to show you big-picture user behavior; drop cookies and retrieve path information for every person who views your video or goes to your site. Then, you can see what percentage of visitors end up buying from you.
Promotional videos can foster trust as well. Some consumers are still skeptical about buying products and services on the internet because they fear fraud and cheating. But effective marketing videos present your products in a conversational form. That creates a sense of individual approach which is why 57% of consumers say that videos gave them more confidence to purchase online.

From these challenges, rise video marketing best practices. And it all comes down to strategy: If you want your video marketing to have results, then you must plan, test, analyze, and test again. Yes, the goal of your videos is to tell a story and engage your customers but, from a marketing perspective, your videos must also align to your sales funnel. What is the purpose of each video? Who is the audience? How does the video further your marketing goals?
The growth of video marketing is presenting a unique opportunity for brands like yours. As consumers continue to prefer video to other forms of content, they’re now expecting brands of every size and in every industry to connect with them using video. Platforms are increasingly prioritizing video content, and even new devices like phones and tablets are more video ready than ever before. That means you have to take full advantage of this amazing marketing tool to be competitive. The longer you wait, the more customers you’ll lose.
Make sure to track your reach, clicks and sales for each ad and consider A/B testing one element of your video or caption and then run it again. Needls Co-Founder Michael Koral points out that, “by testing two videos against each other, you can isolate what messaging does the best for you (and at a larger scale because more eyes will be on your content) to see what provides the best engagement and ROI from their advertising.” As you create more and more videos you will be able to track your business trends and what wins your audience over.
One way to connect with customers is by posting tutorials relevant to your line of work. While it may seem as though you will be giving away your secrets, you’ll actually establish yourself as a subject matter expert, leading viewers to want to learn more about your business. A salon could offer styling tips, for instance, and a marketing firm could do a series on building your brand using the latest social media site.

It’s time to nurture your prospective leads! If your audience has made it this far down the marketing funnel, your marketing efforts are paying off. Nurturing is one of the harder stages, but luckily, it’s quick and easy to measure. If you’ve done a successful job nurturing, you’ll see it in conversions. What those conversions are are up to you — you might want sales, social shares, contact information, you name it. But the completing of a desired action means your video is accomplishing exactly what you want it to.


Cash rules all! Yes, creative planning and strategy are important, but let’s be real. Without the proper budget, it’s going to be difficult to get exactly what you want. Plan for the money and resources at your disposal. Plan what you’ll create or shoot in-house and what you may want to outsource to a production company. Plan what you can splurge on and what you may want to save on.
Next come audience insights. You can't create video content useful to your audience without first researching who that audience is, what they care about and what their problems are. To discover what makes your target audience tick you'll need to go far beyond just demographics to qualitative data gathered from interviews and surveys. Finally, dividing your audience into marketing or buyer personas allows you to create even more relevant content tailored to their specific wants and needs.
Publishing your video across all your owned channelsExtended ArticleHow to Distribute Your Video on Owned ChannelsIf you know content is king, you probably know distribution is queen. Creating amazing, engaging video content is difficult, but distributing it can be… Read More is probably the easiest way to distribute your video, and the one method that cannot be ignored. It includes every channel you own, like your website, PDFs, digital documents, email lists, ecommerce pages, apps, and more. These channels are the primary sources of information about your company and brand, so use every single one you can intelligently and with purpose.
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.
Another good news is that your videos don’t have to be perfect. It’s the content that matters! Latest research shows that users are mostly put off by videos that don’t explain the product or service clearly enough. Low quality and poor design didn’t matter nearly as much. So it’s fair to say that video is like pizza – when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!
Before you start filming, set a music budget and research your local copyright laws. Copyright law can be very difficult to decipher, especially when you're dealing with digital content. Bottom line: Most music isn't free. If you use another artist's music without permission or proper licensing, you risk video removal and legal action. In order to avoid copyright infringement, you'll need to find royalty free tunes or pay a composer to create an original score. Royalty free songs aren't free to use; they're quality songs available for a single flat fee. This means you don't have to worry about paying additional licensing fees or royalties in the future. YouTube, Pond5, and PremiumBeat are all great sites to find royalty free music.

Mini-documentaries Extended ArticleAnatomy of a Mini-Doc: What It Is and How to Knock It Out of the Park“Documentary” used to be a dirty word to the average viewer. Normally educational, often stodgy, and more than a little cheesy, documentaries were the… Read More are less about your brand’s visual aesthetics and focus more on expressing your company’s core value or mission statement in a documentary-style format. This is usually accomplished through interviews with key company representatives, like founders, employees, or satisfied customers.Client: RFK - School for the Visual Arts & Humanities (LAUSD) To make a big impression, it’s important your mini-doc keeps it short and sweet. You want to highlight excellent sound bites that tell viewers exactly who you are, all while maintaining their attention. While feature-length documentaries have enough time to develop a full, three-act story, mini-docs don’t. They have to establish their story by quickly answering three crucial questions: what, why, and how. What is the focus of this video? Why should the viewer care about this? How does your subject work? This helps you get key pieces of information to your audience in a fun and interesting way.
Survey your followers. You may have a big email list of fans who may not yet be customers. Use a simple tool like Polldaddy or SurveyMonkey to ask your followers one question: What challenge would you like us to help you solve? Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich and lead blogger at Spin Sucks, has some great advice on surveying your audience in this episode of The Actionable Marketing Podcast.

The benefits of a planned marketing strategy are numerous. Business owners often rely solely on their intuition to make business decisions. While this informal knowledge is important in the decision-making process, it may not provide you with all the facts you need to achieve marketing results. A marketing strategy will help you define business goals and develop activities to achieve them.
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