What is Video Content Marketing? Overview & ResourcesBy Lydia Cockerham | 7:12 PM on February 6, 2017
You're familiar with content marketing. (Who isn't?)
But what is video content marketing?
How do you do it?
And what are the benefits above and beyond how you're already using content in your business?
We all know that marketing has evolved from pushy sales messages to meaningful conversations with prospects and customers. People buy from people and, whether they're conscious of it or not, crave connections with others. This is a fundamental driving force of the human condition.
Any modern marketing strategy is based on valuable conversations with your audience, primarily delivered through quality written content distributed via websites, blogs, social media and email.
But video content, the most powerful, engaging and human communication medium of all, is regularly considered with hindsight. We think this is wrong.
After all, we know that:
- The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video
- 70% of B2B buyers and researchers watch videos throughout their path to purchase
- Video viewers are 64% more likely to buy than non-viewers
In this light, the status quo of rushed and retrospective video projects looks positively foolish. Why wouldn't you create video content as any other part of your content marketing strategy, with the benefit of research, planning and strategic distribution?
What is Video Content Marketing?
Video content marketing rests on the principle of creating and distributing valuable & consistent video content to your target audience with the aim of attracting, engaging, and converting qualified leads."
Like regular content marketing, video content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that puts the wants and needs of buyers first — to ultimately drive more profitable customer action.
Video content marketing is about considering how video can be integrated into every stage and channel of your marketing strategy, alongside other forms of content like blog posts and podcasts. Its focus is creating video content that is useful, entertaining and interesting for your audience, and which encourages them to engage with you further.
It's also about joined-up, strategic thinking, rather than producing videos with a random scattergun approach. Can you say better video ROI? It's about planning how video can work at every stage of your content plan to give your audience exactly what they want as they move from stranger to lead to opportunity to customer (and beyond).
Video Content Marketing Strategy Template
Step away from rushed, ad hoc projects. Create more strategic and effective video content.
Download our simple template for the planning framework you need to integrate video content into your content marketing strategy.
The Video Content Marketing Funnel
Video content marketing often uses the marketing funnel to describe how leads should be guided down the buyer's journey from first touch to closed sale. This is a wonderful representation of how you can use different types of video content to:
- Generate awareness of your brand, product or service in your target audience
- Educate that audience on the benefits of your solution when they're considering their problem
- Make your potential customer's decision easier when choosing you over the competition
Video can strengthen every stage of your content marketing funnel. It can help you build loyalty and trust, position your brand as an expert, boost conversion rates, develop lasting relationships with your audience, and much more.
Types of Video Content Through the Funnel
So specifically what types of video content work best at the awareness, consideration and decision stages of the marketing funnel?
Here's a handy table to show you (including links to examples):
Stage of the funnel
Best types of video
Awareness Amaze content
What Do I Need to Do it Well?
Like all effective inbound marketing, video content marketing requires much more effort than cold, thoughtless, irrelevant spam. But it's also far more effective.
To create video content that is valuable to your audience, here's what you'll need:
- Creative ideas
- Firm goals
- A target audience
- In-depth research
In short, you need a comprehensive strategy backed by solid research. And you need someone to execute it: to create and distribute that effective video content.
Looking for inspirational examples of video content marketing done right?
The Video Content Marketing Process
Video content marketing is made up of three essential steps. If any of these steps are missing, the entire video content marketing process becomes incomplete and less effective. For the best results all three should be planned out simultaneously long before shooting is ever begun.
- Any effective video content marketing funnel begins with in-depth planning and research. This starts with your business, its brand, and your goals for video content marketing. Set out what you want to achieve and the USP you'll need to get across in your video content.
- 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.
- Then you must research your competition and the existing video content available in your industry or market. This will give you insight into content gaps and opportunities in the market that you can take advantage of, and how you should position your videos to ensure you offer something unique.
- Building on all this research, you should create your own video content marketing funnel detailing the types of video content that will be used at each stage. This content marketing plan should include how the videos will connect with your target audience and which external or internal content gaps it will target.
- A separate distribution plan is the best way to prepare how the video content will be used, shared and spread to the relevant audience. Include owned, paid and earned channels where your audience spend their time.
Looking for help to create your own video content marketing strategy?
Next up is effective video production. Whether you choose to do it in-house, through freelancers or with a video agency (that's what we recommend), you need to make sure the production process is as efficient as possible to save time, resources, and get you the best returns on your spend.
On the other hand, you also need to give the creatives behind your videos enough space and freedom to produce excellent content rooted in your initial audience and competitor research. This involves coming up with creative approaches to turn those audience insights into artistic expression generating the desired emotion, thought and behaviour in the right people.
By planning your video content in advance, as is done at the strategy stage, you give yourself the opportunity to more efficiently and effectively create that content. Filming and editing footage in batches across multiple videos allows you to embrace economies of scale. If you're producing a lot of similar content then video templates can help you keep a consistent look and feel to your videos, in line with your brand. Basically, as with most things in life, planning ahead saves you time and money in the long run — and more importantly it sets you up for success.
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.
So it's important you stick to your plan. Spread each video through the right channels for your audience and their stage in the buyer's journey, based on your specific goals.
Video marketing follows the same broad rules as any other kind of marketing, but there may be specific channels, rules and best practices that you're not aware of. In this case you have two options: learn quickly, or hire a video agency (like us!) to help market your video content for you.
If you're looking for awareness, share your video content on social media and optimise it for video SEO. Consider how much you might need to spend on video ads on YouTube or Facebook to help speed up traction. Think about which influencers you can connect with to help expand your reach. As you move further down the funnel, you'll want to target leads where they're already showing interest and engagement with you: like on your website, in emails and in sales conversations.
Video Content Marketing & Social Media
We live in a world dominated by social media. The awareness generated through social is one of the most powerful tools for branding and loyalty available to marketers. And what rules on social media? Video content.
Here are just a few stats to prove it:
- Facebook users watch 8 billion videos per day
- Snapchat users watch 10 billion videos per day
- Video has the highest organic engagement of all content on Facebook, at 13.9%
- Video on social media is shared 1200% times more than links and text posts combined
Video is the best possible medium for spreading your reach on social media. Audiences on social media sites like Facebook overwhelmingly prefer video to other types of content like images and text. Not to mention video-only social media sites like YouTube and Snapchat.
No matter your industry, target audience, or whether you're B2B or B2C, there is no doubt that today a large portion of your potential buyers are on social media. And well-planned, consistently-created video allows you to connect with that audience time and time again to drive awareness and enagagement more effectively than any other form of content.
For more, read our essential guide to video marketing on social media.
Video Content Marketing & SEO
Content marketing and inbound marketing are reguarly used to strengthen SEO for brands and businesses. And it's no different for video content marketing.
We know that consistent quality of content continues to be a very important ranking factor for Google, and producing consistent quality video content is another way of proving to the search engine that you're a committed expert on your chosen topics. Video content is a great way to build up authority and relevance over time. And it's been shown that the chances of getting a page 1 search listing on Google increase 50 times with video.
But no search engine can watch your video content itself, so it's vital that you explain to them what each video is about. This means including video transcripts wherever possible, and placing relevant explanatory copy around your videos with the keywords you want to rank for.
You should also aim to create the most engaging video content possible for your audience. Watch time and video engagement are now important ranking signals that search engines consider when deciding where to place your videos. (Not sure what video engagement is? Check out our post explaining the 7 most important video metrics.)
We can't talk about video SEO without mentioning YouTube. After all, it's the second largest search engine in the world after Google, and somewhere your video content should definitely be ranking. Consistent videos on YouTube answering your target audience's questions can continue to rank and build up awareness for months and years to come. And because YouTube is owned by Google, a high ranking on YouTube also frequently correlates to a high ranking on Google.
For a more in-depth guide to video SEO on YouTube, check out this wonderful guide.
Case Study: How We Grow Brand Expertise with Video Content Marketing
So how do we do video content marketing for our clients? We use the three stages of strategy, production and marketing to create consistent quality content that achieves business goals and improves ROI.
For example, we combined market research with video templates to create 68 unique but uniform pieces of thought leadership video content in less than a week for a large enterprise B2B business. Take a look at our case study to discover how our video content marketing work led to a bank of quality video content for our client to use across numerous campaigns.
Roundup: From First Touch to Closed Sale with Video Content Marketing
Video content marketing deserves to be researched, planned and optimised just like any other part of your content marketing strategy. Doing so will allow you to move away from ad hoc and rushed video to instead align all your video content into one cohesive funnel that works together to move leads closer towards sale.
So help you do so, here's a round up of all the video content marketing resources mentioned in this post:
- Video Content Marketing Strategy Template
- 3 Breathtaking Examples of Video Content Marketing
- 13 Video Content Marketing Examples That'll Energise Your Funnel
- How to Measure Your Video ROI (And 5 Ways to Improve It)
- 7 Key Video Metrics to Measure the Success of Your Content