On one YouTube channel, a beauty brand shows its celeb founder and friends socializing while swatching new blushes. In a separate brand’s online video, a mom-inspired nonprofit shares its origin story through assembling care packages. Both sell a product or promote a brand in a unique way, but both also make a personal connection. It’s a strategy that can influence everything from lifestyle and fashion choices to engagement on diversity and inclusion issues. That’s the impact video marketing can have on everyday life.
Survey data from video company Wyzowl shows around 86% of businesses rely on video as a marketing tool. Among the benefits of a marketing strategy that includes carefully curated videos on landing pages, for example, are increased audience engagement, conversion rates, and SEO traffic. In fact, a study by service provider Cisco predicted that online videos would capture about 82% of all consumer traffic by 2022—a finding that appears promising for companies looking to invest in video content, but potentially challenging for those still trying to figure out how to make their brand stand out.
What is video marketing?
Video marketing takes an audio and visual approach to traditional marketing, using video to promote brands and products instead of, say, print. The move away from traditional marketing methods like billboards or direct mail, and toward more digital avenues like pop-ups, banners, and sponsored photo posts, raises the bar for quality and uniqueness. Video marketing can offer curated content with a more personalized, immersive feel—like somebody talking to you in your own living room. This marketing method gives viewers the sense that they are part of an experience, rather than just a sales target.
What to consider when developing a video marketing strategy
Effective video marketing plans take time to develop. Before hitting “record,” know who you’re targeting, what you’re trying to say, and how much time you’ll need to say it.
- Audience. Your target audience is the specific demographic for your curated content. By researching and analyzing customer traffic, patterns, and feedback, you can create buyer personas that help identify your target audience more closely. By understanding your customers’ wants and needs, you can better tailor your marketing strategy to appeal to them more effectively.
- Budget. The money you have to spend on a video marketing campaign can make the difference in its quality and reach. Your available budget will also determine the type of video you can make. For instance, live-action video marketing means you’ll need enough money for performers, crew, equipment, lights, and other production expenses. Animated videos, on the other hand, are less expensive but still require quality illustrators and/or graphic designers to craft the right visuals for the campaign.
- Brand look and feel. Your design choices, logo, and even the color scheme of your video content can heavily influence your brand identity. These details help communicate your brand’s personality and can affect the way people feel about your products or even how they see you as a business. For example, a small spa business may work with soft ASMR—or sensory-pleasing—sounds or cool, neutral colors, so people associate their brand with relaxation.
- Message. Your video marketing campaign will heavily influence the way potential and current customers see you. So, consider the story you’re telling your viewers and whether the tone of that messaging matches with the reaction you’re trying to cultivate. Videos help build a connection with your audience, and a business that knows how to talk to its customer base will establish more trust and loyalty.
- Tangible goals. Know what your targeted goals are for your video marketing campaign before writing a video script. If your goal is to raise awareness about your brand to a broader audience, focus your message on highlighting facts and helpful information about your business. If your goal is conversion, then consider a video centering on a particular product or service. Knowing these goals and outlining your plan beforehand can help you tailor your strategy to save time and money.
- Measuring success. Figure out how you will measure the success of your video. Is it when a million people watch your content? Or, when your website’s click-through rate rises to a certain percentage? Knowing which metrics to observe and how they impact your business can help you decide whether your marketing efforts are working—or whether you need another approach.
5 types of video marketing formats
The type of video marketing format you choose can have a noticeable effect on the way your content performs. The formats include:
- Brand videos. The goal of brand videos goes beyond trying to sell a particular product. These video ads and commercials promote brand awareness, mission, and vision with viewers. Brand videos use tactics like compelling storytelling, interesting aesthetics, and emotional appeals to attract viewers, increase engagement, and relate to the audience in a personal way. Successful brand videos create measurable connections between the business and the customer, increasing the likelihood they’ll stick around.
- Live event videos. Live video is another popular route for video marketers. Making content accessible through video livestreaming events like webinars and Q&As can facilitate higher engagement between a company and its target audience while also increasing exposure for the business. Live event videos require significantly less money to produce—in some cases, all you need is a smartphone and an internet connection.
- Explainer videos. Explainer videos break down the facts about a product or service and why the customer needs it. Explainer videos come in live-action or animated formats (and sometimes both). The best explainer videos identify the customer’s problem and offer a solution in a quick, easy-to-understand manner.
- Testimonials. Customer testimonials are considered a powerful and persuasive marketing tool that can showcase the positives of your business to your viewing audience. Video testimonials feature real customers who can tout the benefits of your company’s products or services, inspiring others and bringing authenticity to the marketing campaign.
- Educational. Quality educational videos like tutorials or how-tos present valuable instructional information in a concise way. These types of videos can educate viewers about a particular subject, or teach them how to do something for the first time (like curling hair, snaking a drain, or poaching vegetables). Educational videos can entice viewers to learn more about your business or brand—and interest them in checking out your other offerings.
Where to host video marketing strategies
The most clever marketing campaign in the world won’t matter if nobody watches your video. Where you host your online video content can matter just as much as what’s in your video.
- Facebook. Facebook is a social media platform that connects people around the world. It allows users to upload video content up to 240 minutes in length, although longer videos are less likely to keep your audience watching to the end.
- Instagram. Instagram is a photo- and video-sharing app that has also become a hub for video ads. Instagram supports both long and short video formats, with 15 seconds for stories and up to 10 minutes for Instagram videos. However, some verified or professional accounts post up to 60 minutes maximum. Hashtags and sponsored influencer posts are particularly effective in getting the word out about a business. Instagram and Facebook are both owned by Meta, meaning that you can easily push the same ads to each platform.
- TikTok. TikTok is a video-sharing platform that has gained popularity over the last few years with its short, low-budget, and fast-paced content. Hashtags and banner ads are useful tools for promoting a business, as well as influencer marketing, which relies on popular social media influencers to publicize products and brands online.
- LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business and employment platform that connects professionals and companies across a social media network. It offers users a way to upload sponsored video ads (up to 30 minutes in length) or native videos (up to 10 minutes) to their feeds.
- YouTube. YouTube channels are a popular place to promote products and services, so much so that hundreds of hours of content gets uploaded to the site every minute. You can increase your YouTube channel reach by properly utilizing its algorithm to get featured in search results and grow your following—making it more likely to attract a larger audience to view content. The YouTube algorithm favors consistent video uploaders, targeted SEO keywords, trending topics, and content with a broad appeal.
- Vimeo. Vimeo is another popular video-hosting platform, which lets you embed playlists and create subscription channels to share your content, increase your video views, and promote your business. It also offers analytics tools for content creators so they can see how their videos perform.
With video marketing quickly becoming the dominant player across a variety of industries, more businesses are turning to this digital strategy to promote their brands and services. People are more likely to share a video rather than a blog post or product page, which means creating the right content in the right format can greatly expand your reach across various online platforms. The proof may be in the numbers: 88% of people were convinced to buy a product just from watching a brand video, according to a Wyzowl statistic.
So to the newcomers to video marketing, look to popular video marketing content from successful campaigns. Note what these brands did right and pay attention to how they delivered their messaging, addressed pain points, issued calls to action, and ultimately, made viewers feel. By researching video marketing formats, video styles, and your target audience, you will be better informed about how to devise an effective video marketing strategy.