Great video marketing campaigns don’t happen by accident.
And no, I’m not talking about viral videos that explode overnight (those usually DO happen by accident).
What I’m talking about are marketing campaigns that use video to solve specific business problems or drive sales, not just accumulate clicks or views.
Video gets the best results, but a successful video campaign requires more than just a camera and a YouTube account.
That’s why businesses that wing it don’t typically see much success with video marketing.
In particular, I see marketers make two common mistakes when they jump into the world of video:
- Not creating a strategy — Marketers become frustrated when their videos don’t drive any traffic or boost sales. But oftentimes, it’s a direct result of not having a clearly-defined strategy or plan for their video campaign.
- Copying a strategy that was designed for another business — Every business has distinct audiences, capabilities, and business challenges. A campaign that worked for another company may not work for you.
Not having a strategy is a mistake I see brands make all the time, despite how valuable it is to have one.
So to help you create a successful video campaign designed for your business, I’ve outlined a six-stage process to prevent you from making costly mistakes.
1) Strategy: Design a Smart Plan Based on Both Your Goals and Limitations
Great video campaigns all have one thing in common…
They weren’t accidents.
If you want to create a campaign that moves the needle for your business, you need to create an end-to-end strategy for each video you produce.
First, you should identify specific challenges that you’re facing as a business. Are you having trouble driving traffic? Generating leads? Convincing prospects to buy?
Or maybe you’re getting too many customer support requests and need to lighten the call volume…
By starting with your business challenges and using those to prioritize your video topics, you’ll create videos that are likely to make a tangible impact on your business.
[Couple smart topic selection with a plan for deploying your video to get enough eyeballs on it.]
Those are just two of things you need to think about when detailing out your video strategy.
Here are some of the other questions you may want to think about while you’re at this stage of the process:
- What’s the purpose of this video?
- What kind of audience are we targeting? Are they younger? Moms? Business leaders? And where do they hang out online so we can share our video with them?
- What do we want our audience to know or do after they watch?
- How will we measure how effective the video was?
- How will we get exposure for the video?
- And more!
I just can’t emphasize how important the strategy stage is. It acts as a blueprint you can refer to at every stage of the process, so every decision is made with your objectives in mind.
When you clearly define the strategy for your video, you set yourself up for success in the other five stages.
2) Scripting: Write Your Video Script Using Proven Copywriting Frameworks
Once you have your strategy in place, the next step is to write a persuasive script.
Your script is the foundation of a compelling video. Even the best visual presentation can’t save an ineffective script, so the language and flow of the video needs to keep the audience engaged.
Your script should take viewers on an emotional journey that’s supported by your footage or animation.
That’s why the best scripts begin by addressing and empathizing with your viewer’s problems, frustrations, and desires. Only then should you deliver the solution.
This creates contrast between the problem-state and your solution-state, which is a powerful way to push your viewers to take action.
That’s why great scriptwriters use proven copywriting frameworks as a base for their videos. Because in the end, you’re writing to motivate your readers to take action, whether that’s buying your product, learning more, or just following your advice to build trust.
Video scripts come in all different shapes and sizes, but the most effective ones have a few things in common:
- They are clear, concise, and conversational; use shorter words and phrases to get your point across
- They’re written using proven copywriting frameworks designed to connect your viewer’s problems and desires to the solution you’re offering
- They focus on showing the benefits and value your viewers can experience when they take action, not just the features; the difference is subtle, but important
Writing an effective script can be a delicate balancing act, so unless you’ve hired an agency (like mine) that has experienced copywriters on staff, it may be worthwhile to hire a freelance copywriter to help you write your scripts.
3) Storyboarding: Plan Your Visuals In Advance to Amplify Emotion and Clarity
If your script represents what’s being said in your video, the storyboard represents what’s being shown.
Storyboarding is where you begin to map out the visual sequence of the video. It can be done with rough sketches or even stock images, but the goal is to create a visual storyline that supports, or even amplifies your script.
Think of your storyboard in terms of scenes or frames that can be used when you begin to film or animate your video in the production stage. The more thorough you are with storyboarding, the closer your video will be to the original vision.
Remember — each of these stages should be tied back to the strategy. That means that the visuals and sequences you decide on need to align with the objective of your video.
At WireBuzz, we write the scripts and storyboard more-or-less simultaneously, otherwise it’s possible to write yourself into a corner. To help keep our writers and producers on the same page, we use the following Google Doc as a template, which you can feel free to copy and use for your own scripts.
NOTE: Storyboarding is important in determining what footage you need on your shoot day. It forces you to think through each of your decisions prior to production, so that you know you’re not missing any key footage, or are wasting time on unnecessary filming.
4) Production: Capture Your Footage With Experienced Video Producers
This is, as they say, “where the rubber meets the road.” In other words, the production stage is where you execute the plan that was laid out during your strategy, scripting, and storyboarding stages.
There’s no quicker way to waste time and money on your valuable video asset than to set up lights and cameras without a plan. So if you want your video shoot to go well, you need to follow the plan you’ve laid out in the three previous stages.
There are a few tools I’d suggest that will help your production be more efficient:
With these items in-hand, your production team will have a clear picture of the tools and time they’ll need to capture all the footage your video requires.
5) Post-Production: Bring Your Vision to Life
Post-production is the editing or animation stage. It’s where all your hard work comes together.
When your editors know ahead of time how the video needs to look, feel, and sound, they can string the footage and animation together in a way that helps achieve the goals you outlined during the strategy stage:
- How are the visuals used to enhance and support the script?
- What is the emotional tone of the video?
- Which messages can be cut down?
- How long should the video be?
Provided that you got enough footage, a great editor can make even a bad interview look flawless. But a bad video editor can easily derail your video’s success.
Remember, people are busy and your video needs to earn their attention. Shoddy video work can quickly create a speed bump that leaves viewers looking for the “Back” button.
6) Promotion: Make Sure You Get Enough Eyeballs to Generate ROI
Marketers have more options than ever before when it comes time to promote their video…
Keep in mind that a video can only drive ROI if it serves a clear business function and gets exposure with your potential customers.
[Business Impact] x [Exposure] - [Cost] = Your Video’s ROI
This is where many brands mess up; they create an amazing video designed to achieve their goals, but fail to actually execute and use that video.
If you don’t actually deploy your video, it won’t meet your objectives.
However, you can’t wait until your video is complete to decide how you’re going to use it. You should have already detailed your video’s promotion plan in the first stage when you outlined your video strategy. That enables you to design the video for each place you plan to share it.
Consider your hosting, for example. Is your video going on YouTube, Wistia, Vimeo, or Facebook?
Or maybe you’re planning to design multiple versions that can be used on each of those platforms...
And that’s just the first step with promotion. Once it’s hosted, where are you going to post and share it so that it gets the eyeballs you need to generate ROI?
Here’s a hint: social media isn’t enough unless you have a big audience.
For most businesses that don’t already have a huge audience, the best ways to promote your video include:
- Posting it on high-traffic pages on your website (Home, About, Features, etc.)
- Creating email templates for your sales team to use over and over again
- Including it in your email automation sequence
These are three places where your videos are guaranteed to get significant long-term exposure, which virtually guarantees you’ll get ROI.
The danger is in creating a video and just sharing it on YouTube and social media once, then forgetting about it as your marketing team moves on to the next shiny object.
However you decide to use it, getting your video in front of the right people is key, especially if you want to see more profitable results from your video, such as:
- Increased home page conversions
- More engagement with email campaigns
- Capturing more leads without creating more content or spending more on ads
NOTE: Want to learn how to use video to quickly and permanently increase your ROI? Join me for my upcoming webinar where I’ll uncover specific strategies I’ve used to help clients get each of those benefits using video.
Executing Your Next Video Marketing Campaign
If you want to create the most engaging content that gets results and grows your business, video is the way to go. But don’t make the costly mistake of diving in blind, expecting your video to magically go viral.
Take the time to develop a smart strategy that will act as your video campaign’s blueprint...
Write and refine a clear, compelling script…
Map out your video with a great-looking storyboard…
Get some beautiful shots and b-roll in production…
Bring the video to life with editing and animation during post-production…
Then, execute your promotion plan to attract and engage your viewers…
And lastly, reap the rewards of a successful video marketing campaign!