How to Build a Video Marketing Strategy

People today spend a third of their time watching online video content. 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, up from 63% in 2017, and 81% of people have ...
Updated on January 29, 2024

If you ask the average marketer about her video marketing strategy right now, you’re probably going to get a shrug. While most marketers know on a fundamental level that video is important – and might even be posting videos regularly – there’s not always a deeper objective behind it.

But there’s no doubt that video is important. After all, it’s how people today are spending a third of their time: watching online video content. And where the views go, ad dollars follow: according to Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics 2018 Survey,  81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, up from 63% in 2017, and 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.

So how do you launch an online video advertising strategy that helps get more engagement and more results?

Online Video Advertising Guide

How to Use Video to Drive Business Results.

Start with these steps:

1. Understand your audience and set campaign goals

All successful marketing campaigns must start with research – who are you targeting? What type of content tends to resonate with them, and what channels are they most likely to be on? There’s little point in making great video content and paying to have it play on websites your audience doesn’t visit.

And most importantly, what goals are you trying to reach with a particular video marketing campaign? Are you trying to drive awareness, sales, traffic, or all of the above? To capitalize on video’s ability to connect with your shopper, make sure you’re using the right tone of voice and message to reach them. It’s important to spend time gathering consumer insights before launching your video because these are the insights that’ll inform the type of videos you produce and how much money you’ll spend on making them

(Read more: 3 Awesome Video Marketing Campaigns from Nike, REI, and Glossier)

2. Stay on brand, and nail down your message across videos

Video can seem like a departure from other types of marketing, or a way to test out a branding refresh, but it’s important that viewers watching your videos – while they might be surprised by the content – know who and what is speaking to them.

According to a study by McKinsey and Company, companies with consistent branding are 20% more successful than those without. For instance, if your videos are on YouTube or a social media channel, they should link to your site or a landing page, with clear, on-brand creative and messaging that’s unified across each channel. If the video users see in your email communications is different from one they see on Facebook, it’s not a consistent reflection of your brand and could hurt rather than help.

3. Make sure your video budget makes sense

Many marketers make the mistake of thinking that putting a ton of money into a video project will automatically make it a huge success. On the flip side, not spending enough on a far-reaching campaign could hurt your brand’s image by not letting the messaging come across in a low-quality way.

When it comes to actually making the video content, keep your campaign goals in mind and make sure you’re spending your budget well. For instance, if you’re looking to win over more millennial or Gen Z shoppers, you might not need to spend too much money on video production.

Instead, consider producing short videos for social channels like Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram, or repurpose user-generated content. If you have a larger budget and want to keep your brand top of mind, consider telling a captivating story a la Hollywood (celebs optional).

But using influencers in your videos doesn’t always mean recruiting big celebrities. To stay within your budget, consider featuring industry experts or even YouTube celebrities that already have access to the audience you’re trying to reach, but make sure the person is well-suited to represent your company. Research their social media profiles, reputation, and that the topics they feature on their own channels and platforms don’t undermine your brand or products’ values.

4. Optimize your videos and target for each channel

Depending on the channels you choose to launch your campaigns, you’ll need to make sure your videos are optimized to get as much engagement as possible. For Facebook, this means keeping it short, uploading videos directly to the channel, and adding captions. For YouTube, this means waiting two weeks after your video launches to make any tweaks and refining your target audience.

And optimizing videos for Twitter means finding the balance between fine-tuned targeting – from interest to keywords to device – and not over targeting to make sure you can easily track which campaign is performing best. To learn more, read our blog post here on How to Optimize Your Video Ads for Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

5. Test and Test again

Video Marketing strategy

Just like for display ad campaigns, A/B testing should help you figure out what elements of a campaign are working out, and what isn’t. Maybe it’s not the creative but your messaging, or maybe it’s the time of day you’re deploying your campaign, or the channels you’re choosing. Or maybe your videos are too long or too short. Whatever it is, make sure you test, and test again to figure out the optimal content and timing of your campaigns.

Here are five ways to measure campaign success:

a. Engagement rate

Engagement rate measures any interaction someone has with your video. How much time did someone spend on the video? Did they watch the whole thing or leaving early, or merely skipping over the entire thing? This number should give you an indication of the quality of your message, creative, and whether your video is too long or the right length.

b. View count

View count is how many times a video has been watched, but this is measured differently across different channels. On YouTube a view is considered 30 seconds, while on Facebook it’s only 3 seconds. So understanding how viewers are interacting with your videos across different channels means you can  Knowing how each platform measures view count, and understanding how to use each platforms insights tools helps you figure out how much true engagement your video is getting, and lets you plan future campaigns and content.

c. Play rate

The number of visitors who actually clicked play to watch the video. This is important because it gives you an idea of how the video ad does on specific websites or social media feeds. Maybe it doesn’t do well on the New York Times, but gets played a lot on Slate. This tells you something about your audience. Play Rate can also be influenced by the thumbnail you have, the copy, or even the size of the video.

d. Social Sharing

This measures how many times your video has been shared by people on social media channels. People don’t bother to share content they’re not interested in, so if your videos are getting lots of shares, it means your content is resonating.

e. Comments/feedback

This might seem like a blast from the past and not strictly a “metric”, but this is an important aspect to pay attention to for any campaign. If viewers are leaving comments on your social channels about your video, read to see whether they’re positive or negative, and take both into consideration. After all, the people who are taking the time to watch your video and comment, customers or not, are now well aware of the brand and could very well be shoppers in the future.

6. Don’t forget Connected TV ads (CTV)

People are streaming TV content on their devices in greater numbers than ever. CTV ads are a great way to reach them where they’re spending a significant amount of their time. In fact, an IAB poll revealed that 60% of US advertisers plan to shift budget from linear TV to CTV or OTT in 2021.1 As you build out your video marketing plan, consider whether building awareness with CTV ads are a good fit.

1 Source:

Betty Ho

Originally from Orange County, CA, Betty moved to New York in 2013 for a two-year creative writing program and never left. When not writing for Criteo Insights she can be found at a handful of $1 Oyster Happy Hours in Manhattan. She loves dogs but doesn’t have one.

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