Video Marketing 2021: The Ultimate Guide
You don’t need to delve through stats to understand why video marketing is so important.
The dominance of video is something we experience in our everyday lives. We see it all around us – in our social media feeds, in the ways we consume news, sports and entertainment.
As technology has improved, the popularity of the video format has skyrocketed. It is now, without doubt, the most effective way we have to speak to and engage with an audience.
More than a quarter (27%) of all adults watch 10 hours or more of online video content each week. By the end of 2022, it’s estimated that 82% of all internet traffic will be video content.
This is what makes video something that no marketing team, business, or organization can afford to ignore.
Finding Your Audience
To find and engage with today’s audiences, video has to be a part of your marketing strategy. But making this happen is not easy – it opens up a whole new world of challenges. From writing press releases and posting tweets, organisations now find themselves faced with the job of… making mini-movies. It needs new skillsets, new technologies and tools to create and share video content.
And for many, it’s simply not realistic to try and handle all of this internally; it’s something they look for outside support with from a production company or video marketing agency.
The job of this guide is to give you all the information you need to make this work for you. To build a partnership that provides you with effective and targeted video marketing content without the risks and investments of doing it internally.
It’s a step-by-step guide to the process of working with an agency to:
- Create a winning video marketing strategy
- Write a brief that drives results
- Understand the production process
- Figure out video distribution and promotion
- Learn the benefits of video data metrics
What is Video Marketing?
Video marketing is the creation and sharing of video with the strategic aim to attract, retain, convert or share content marketing. Content marketing is a form of video marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material to raise interest in a product or service without explicitly promoting it.
The content can be shared in any form but it’s typically:
- Reports/white papers
- Social media posts
What are the Origins of Content Marketing?
While content marketing is now connected with digital media, its origins go way back. An early example was an 1895 quarterly magazine published in the US called The Furrow. It was published by tractor manufacturer John Deere to provide general information and agricultural tips to rural farmers. It was given away for free and rarely ever mentioned the actual products that John Deere sold. This became a phenomenal success that helped establish John Deere as a champion and authority on the issues facing rural farmers.
Five years later, in 1900, two French brothers who owned a car tyre company decided to print a free restaurant guide for motorists touring through France. The success of this guide soon led to more guides being created for other parts of the world.
In both of these cases, the success of these publications helped to build recognition and the reputation of the brands without ever trying to directly sell their products. These early examples demonstrate the power of content marketing.
Digital Content Marketing
The digital age has levelled up the power of content marketing and made it something that organizations of all types and sizes can harness. The ability to share content via video provides an incredibly powerful marketing tool. The combination of affordable video production services and freely available social media networks creates amazing opportunities for marketing teams. A recent survey found that 85.7% of marketing directors rate video as their most effective form of content. The phenomenal growth of content marketing has seen its global value rise by around 14.3% each year with it expected to hit $107,540.6m by 2026.
While the format is now digital, the core dynamic of content marketing remains the same. It works by creating content that people get something out of and are drawn to – it may be funny, informative, provocative, or just something that connects.
A contemporary example is a brand such as Nike. In 2021, they will be spending around $3.1 billion on ads and video marketing – hardly any of that will be directly promoting the range of sports products they sell. Instead, Nike’s marketing strategy focuses on the stories, achievements, and challenges of those people, sports, and events who are connected in some way to their brand. But this is a method that doesn’t require any kind of eye-watering global budget; it’s something that can be achieved just as effectively by organizations of all sizes.
Why Use Video Marketing?
The simple reason why content marketing has grown so rapidly is – it works. It’s a tried and tested way to engage, build and convert a target audience. It’s a digital marketing tool that outperforms other content formats. And if you’re not using it then your competitors will be. The 2021 State of Video Marketing survey found that 86% of businesses are now using video as a marketing tool. So here’s a look at just some of the reasons why video content marketing is such a big deal:
It Boosts Sales
Whenever we make a purchasing decision, we are looking for reassurance. If we’re in a shop we will hold the item, getting a feel for it and assessing it. In the digital world, a video provides this same kind of reassurance. It has been shown that adding a video to a product page can increases sales by up to 80%. This stems from the greater sense of connection that comes from seeing live pictures of something as opposed to just reading text or seeing static images.
It’s More Visceral and Real
For online product pages, it’s usually the first thing that a visitor will click on and it’s in those initial moments that conversions are made. While a product video provides basic proof of the sales power of video, it works in more subtle ways with content videos but achieves the same aim.
It Builds Trust
Video doesn’t just have to directly drive sales – it also plays an important role in building trust. And ultimately, the more an audience trusts a brand, the more likely they are to purchase a product or to sign up for a service. This is the strength of content marketing. It may not lead to instant sales but it’s slowly nurturing and building connections; creating long-term relationships that lead to increased conversions. It does this through the power of human connection – providing ways to connect, engage and entertain a target audience.
It’s Great at Explaining Stuff
There’s no better way to explain something complex than with video. The average length of an explainer video is 90 seconds but in that time it can communicate just about any kind of idea, product, or service. Typically, this is done by providing simple animated visuals and a snappy script. And what’s more, explainer videos can do all of this while being entertaining and quirky, creating content that is fun and engaging. There’s no other format that can match this ability to communicate ideas. It’s the reason why around 45% of those companies who use video marketing have an explainer video on their home page. It helps to break down the most simple of communication barriers – what is it that you do?
Search Engines Love Video Content
One of the key metrics search engines use is ‘Average time on page’. This tracks how long visitors stay once they’ve clicked to access a webpage. Having a video embedded within a webpage helps to extend this time – people stay way longer than a page with just images and text. A study by Moovly estimated that websites which include an embedded video on their homepage were 53 times more likely to appear in the top Google searches. You may have also noticed how Google search results now include a section that shows video content at the top of the results. They do this because they know from their metrics that this is the type of content people are searching out.
Social Media Sites Love Video Too
Spool through the average social media timeline and you’ll see just how dominant video content has become. And it’s increasing in popularity as Generation Z users become a core demographic. Research by YouTube has found that 50% within this age range say that they ‘couldn’t live’ without video content in their daily lives. As time passes, it’s no longer just the TikTok generation that you need to use video to connect with. The fastest-growing demographic for Facebook users in the US is people 65 or older with user numbers having risen from 26% to 40% in recent years. And just as on other social media sites, the primary form of content they want to consume is video.
The rise in video content has gone hand in hand with the increased usage of mobile phones. The share of website traffic that’s now being accessed by mobile devices is 54.7% in 2021. This figure continues to rise each year as mobile devices become the default way for people to access and share information. It’s a change that’s driving the growth of video content because it’s a format that’s much more suited to mobile than text or static images. If you’re sat on a train or browsing before your phone while in bed, it’s so much easier to watch a video than it is to try to read text on a tiny screen – having to navigate around page and fight off a barrage of annoying pop-ups.
Video content is easy to consume and it’s easy to share. One of the quirks of increased mobile phone usage is that most consumers (69%) now watch videos with the volume turned off. This is particularly the case if they’re in a public space where they don’t want to disturb those around. It means that effective mobile-friendly content should include captions.
Planning, Production, Promotion
While it’s easy to acknowledge the benefits that video marketing bring, it’s another thing entirely to know how to go about creating content. Some marketing teams will try to tackle this internally – creating video production units and investing in expensive kit. But for the majority of organizations, it’s something they are looking for external help with. The use of video marketing agencies and production companies allows marketing teams to build an effective video marketing strategy without the considerable risks and costs of doing it internally.
This guide is designed to give an overview of how that works – what happens when you work with an agency such as Kartoffel Films. How they can help you, what the video production involves, and how you can promote and distribute the content that’s created.
Defining a Video Content Strategy
Like any aspect of business, to get the best out of video marketing, you need a plan. You need to know what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. The value of working with a video agency is that they can use their knowledge and expertise to help this out. Kartoffel Films has over a decade’s worth of experience, creating more than 2,000 content videos for clients across the globe. Our team has a vast amount of experience, and the skills and knowledge to create content strategies that consistently deliver results.
We build strong partnerships with our clients, providing them with creative and affordable solutions, so they achieve their marketing goals. It starts from the first connection as we get a feel for your organization, your challenges, your audience, and your objectives. This ability to build strong partnerships has resulted in award-winning content and the privilege of working with some of the world’s leading health providers, educational institutions, charities, and businesses. It’s a success that’s based on a process that’s applied to all of our clients – no matter if it is a large corporation or a much smaller scale charity or third sector organization.
Here’s an overview of how we work:
It begins by getting to know a client’s audience. Who they are – who are the prospective customers and users of the client’s products or services? What are their demographics, interests, hobbies, jobs, and habits? One method the Kartoffel Films team uses is to create a profile or persona that represents the type of person a content strategy needs to connect with. It helps to turn stats and graphs into a focused plan and purpose.
What kind of video content is your closest competitor using to engage? What methods are they using and how successful have they been? We will look at the lessons that can be learnt from the various successes and failures and see how they can be used to inform and improve a client’s strategy.
Along with quantitative analysis that looks at how many times video content has been viewed, shared, or commented on there’s also more qualitative research. If a particular video type or theme is a win or a fail – why is it? What’s going on? This kind of work can be handled using interviews, focus groups, and feedback forms. Analysis can also be done of what people are saying by analysing comments and opinions shared online. Combining these two elements and looking ‘beyond the numbers’ helps Kartoffel Films to build up the kind of detailed understanding of the client’s market that’s required to build an effective marketing strategy.
Competitor analysis also allows our team to identify what others aren’t doing. What are the content gaps and opportunities that can be filled by the client’s campaign? Is there a particular video type or social media space that presents an ‘open goal’? Content gaps can also be identified in the types of people being targeted and the way that a product or service is being presented – does it feel outdated or too complex or just a bit dull?
As the team starts getting a better feel for the client’s goals and challenges, we start looking for the best ways to build an effective strategy. We do this by using the ‘Hero, Hub, Hygiene’ model that was originally devised by Google for YouTube publishers but is now commonly used for all forms of content marketing. It provides a simple way to think of different types of content and the way they can work together to fill gaps and build an effective video content strategy that builds a brand over time.
Here’s an overview of the content types:
This is more about those big one-off launches, campaigns, and announcements. This is content that stands out – to be something special that can be shared across social media platforms. Hero video content might showcase what your organization does or a particular service. It’s often tied to a particular event or occasion, Christmas ads being the most obvious example. Typically, it will have a larger budget than regular content. The content is often linked to an inspiring human story, a notable achievement, milestone, or anniversary of an organization.
Hub content is more focused on engagement – it’s trying to connect with a target audience in some way. It could be funny or informative or filling one of those gaps that the previous analysis has identified. The general aim is to build engagement and to improve the brand awareness of the client. It speaks the ‘language’ of the audience and finds ways to create a human connection – appealing to their interests and addressing the issues, hopes, and anxieties they may have. It’s typically regularly produced video content that’s topical and designed to be shared. There’s much greater importance on making sure the content has a style and tone that fits the client’s objectives.
This is simple content for the kind of things connected to a client that a user may search for online. A good way to think of hygiene content is – how would somebody who doesn’t know about your organization end up on your website through a Google search? These are the kind of top tips and FAQs that help to build relevance with a search engine and establish an organization as a reliable and expert source for content. It’s not trying to win any awards which makes it the most ‘do-able’ form of content to be handled in-house. While it may be simple and functional, it also acts as the foundation of a good content strategy.
Working in Harmony
These three types of content combine to create a powerful content strategy. Each of the elements plays its part in building a sustainable operation. Hero content is built on the groundwork established by hub and hygiene. Without the structure below to create search engine relevancy and to establish and nurture an audience, hero content is liable to receive little traction. With each of the blocks in place, it creates an effective content marketing ‘engine’. A video marketing agency will help you to build this strategy and to integrate it into your existing strategy. Finding the best ways to integrate and use video content alongside all of the traditional methods – website, blogs, events, promotions, social media.
We apply all of the data and information we collect during this process to the client’s overall goal to create a tailored strategy. This takes the form of a treatment that outlines a practical and achievable plan with:
- Types of content
- Production schedule
- Release times
The strategy is designed so that content is created with a specific purpose and slots into a wider objective. It outlines the video type and purpose, along with all of the relevant deadlines and dates involved during the production cycle. It gives the client a clear roadmap of the strategy and allows them to make any tweaks, suggestions or changes required. Once we agree on a plan, both client and agency know the exact requirements and the steps required to meet the overall objective.
Turning ideas and plans into great video content is what Kartoffel Films does. With an experienced production team and a commitment to creating content that gets noticed, we will handle the entire process. From shoots, writing, and animation to casting and location finding, we follow a robust process of pre-production, production, and post-production to create content that hits the mark.
Review and Learn
As a strategy progresses, we use the data and feedback to hone and improve the content. The more we learn about the audience and what they like and don’t like – the better we can target a strategy. Data and metrics are used to adjust the style, tone, format as well as adapting how and when the videos are shared. It’s this approach that leads to strong long-term partnerships forming as we continue to improve the quality and effectiveness of the content created. Kartoffel Films has been the key video content marketing partner of Age UK, the UK’s leading charity for the elderly, for more than seven years. We’ve produced more than 300 pieces of varied content that have helped to enrich their online brand by generating hundreds of thousands of views.
The 15 Types of Marketing Videos
With a marketing strategy in place, you can start to look at which video types best suit your goals. Kartoffel Films will guide you through this process with more than a decade’s worth of experience and data on the best tools for each job. While there are no rules to say that you have to stick to an existing format, it’s worth getting to know the various options that exist. Here’s a look at 15 of the most common video types:
A brand video sets out to communicate what your business is about. It’s not necessarily what you do, it’s more what you’re about – what’s your story, your mission? How do you connect to the viewer emotionally? These are the kind of videos that are shown during the Super Bowl breaks – using humour, celebrities, and stories to create content that connects with people in some way. But an effective brand video doesn’t require a massive budget, just an effective way to connect.
A promo acts as a teaser for an upcoming event or the launch of a product or service. They engage and excite people about what’s coming with a Call to Action to sign up for the event or to receive more info. These kinds of promotional videos are often a part of a series to keep building anticipation. They can use a variety of formats but the key quality is building up interest and engagement in a forthcoming event.
Interviews with Key People
It could be a ‘thought leadership’ interview with a company founder or a team leader explaining a new product or service. Businesses can use them externally to develop brand expertise or internally to build company culture. It’s a simple and flexible format but one that can pack a considerable punch. They can inspire and connect without requiring a large budget or complex production schedule.
An educational video teaches viewers something they didn’t know. This could be an instructional ‘how-to’ guide or something which answers a common question that keeps coming up. The goal is to provide the viewer with valuable information while also helping to build your reputation and brand expertise. Any kind of common query or misconception about what you do can be the basis of an effective educational video.
The job of an explainer video is to explain complex things simply. It’s something that videos are brilliantly effective at doing, with animation being a particularly popular format. A good explainer will strip away any waffle to find simple visual ways to communicate a brand, product, or service in a short and engaging way. It will explain what something is but also why the viewer should care – the challenge in their life that it solves.
Animation used to be prohibitively costly but digital techniques have made it an affordable option for organizations of all sizes. It gives you the creative freedom to create whatever kinds of worlds and stories that you want.
The most common forms of animation used are:
- 2D Vector – a digital version of typical cartoon style
- 3D Animation – use of 3D models to create animation
- Motion Graphics – animation of text, graphs, charts, etc
An external production company handles the animation but basic tools, such as Powtoon, also exist which allows businesses to create simple animations in-house.
One of the most effective forms of marketing video – these provide real-world examples of how a product or service has improved lives and transformed organizations. Part of the power comes from simplicity, it’s often just recent users or clients talking about their experiences. Clients often gladly agree to take part in testimonials because they are mutually beneficial – promoting the product while also showcasing their business. Companies embed testimonials and case study videos into the ‘case studies’ page of a website.
A recruitment video makes the best candidates want to join your organization. It does this by showing what a great place it is to work by showcasing all the positive – the location, team, perks, and company culture. It can be used internally on a company’s ‘we’re hiring’ page or used on external recruitment websites covering your sector. It’s an effective way to boost recruitment and to contend against competitors in an increasingly competitive jobs market. Recruitment videos are also useful tools for educational institutions to encourage more students to enrol onto their courses.
Meet the Team
This provides a snapshot of the people and characters behind your organization. They create a connection with the viewer by providing a colourful glimpse at some of the personalities and key figures. The style of the film will reflect the kind of message the company wants to portray – whether it’s respectable trustworthiness or a more creative and quirky approach. Whatever the approach, the key quality is authenticity – it should feel real and relatable.
Click here to find out more about making a great ‘Meet the Team’ film.
Combine social media with great video content and you have a fantastically efficient way to reach a global audience. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok – all provide amazing opportunities to share videos. The downside is that it’s madly competitive. The main purpose of social media videos is to stand out – to use fun, engaging, quirky ways to attract attention in a social media savvy style. Find something that connects and it can outperform something created by the biggest of marketing budgets.
A commercial video is something you see during TV ad breaks – a brand-orientated video that typically lasts around 30 seconds. For commercials used online, the average time is even shorter – about 15 seconds. A commercial aims to attract interest and act as a teaser to make people want to find out more about what you do. Commercials are often a part of a series with a continuous message in each successive video.
These are videos with a very clear focus – a specific goal or Call to Action This could be for the viewer to buy a product, sign-up for a service, or add their details to a newsletter or mailing list. The job of the video is to achieve that goal – whether it’s through a simple product video or part of a more ambitious media campaign. A major benefit of a sales video is that you have clear metrics on which to judge its effectiveness.
Most marketing teams will have mailing lists and email subscribers. A video email lets you boost the effectiveness of these connections with integrated or linked videos. It can be a way to share something like an explainer or promo video – or it can be a more personalised message. Some of the most effective video emails are simply messages from a CEO or leader or about a forthcoming event, product, or promotion. The metrics provided by an email let you see exactly what’s working and hone the type of content that you share.
These cover similar ground to a recruitment video but they aren’t specifically for recruitment. They’re more about generally showing to the world what your organization is ‘about’ – what the passions and ambitions are. These will often be used internally, particularly during the onboarding process, to help nurture and maintain a company culture. They’re typically fun, engaging, and with an uplifting and inspiring message.
A corporate social responsibility film shows there is more to your organization than a product or service. It demonstrates a social cause or campaign that you care about – that could be showing off sustainable ways of working or highlighting a charity or cause you support. While highlighting important issues, it also helps to show a more human and authentic side to a brand. The most important quality of a CSR film is that it feels genuine, sincere and tells a story that creates an emotional connection.
How to Make Video Marketing Content
You have a video marketing strategy, you have a rough idea of what you want to create so… now what? A good agency will guide you through this whole process, allowing you to have just as much control as you feel comfortable with. Kartoffel Films has made more than 2,000 videos and animations for clients across the globe so we know how to build partnerships and find the best process. For some clients, it means having a very ‘hands-on’ approach and for others, it’s more a case of ‘just go off and make it’.
Here’s how the process works:
- Delivery (Format and hosting)
- Promotion (How to create a video social media strategy)
Live-Action vs Animated
We create traditional live-action films as well as handle animated video content. The production process is similar for both but with animation, it takes slightly longer and there’s more focus placed on the pre-production phase. This is to make sure that you are happy with the look, feel, narrative, and messaging before the animation starts to be created.
For animated projects, we go into more detail with scripts and moodboards that communicate the intended style, character design, colours, and backdrops of the animation. Once we sign off everything, our creative team will start developing the storyboard – a comic book version that gives a feel for the look, pacing, and scripting of the video.
Only when we approve this, will the project move into the production phase with work starting on the animation. We will often use a temporary voiceover track during production, then add a complete version in post-production. The process is effectively the same as with a live-action production, just with more weighting on pre-production.
To see whether animated or live-action video content is best for your project, click here to find out more about both of these formats.
Remote Production Process
As more organizations move to remote ways of working, Kartoffel Films is always looking to provide flexible and remote-friendly ways to collaborate on projects. We have developed the option for 100% remote operations with our clients. Pre-production meetings are handled with Zoom or Teams calls and video content can be provided via a laptop or phone. We will update each stage of the process via email summaries that assign actions. Clients can also virtually log in during a shoot to remain a part of the process. In the final editing stages, we send our clients a Fram.io link where they can review the edit and provide feedback.
The most important part of video production is what happens before the actual filming and creation of your video. This is all of the work we do to develop the creative brief and to build a production schedule. Video productions involve a lot of elements working together and, unless there’s a clear creative direction and robust plan, things can get messy. That’s why experience is essential during pre-production so we can tackle potential issues before they turn into costly production problems.
The further through the production phases you go, the more problematic changes become with the potential costs of re-shooting or reanimating becoming a factor. But after a thorough pre-production stage, the benefits ripple throughout the project. With knowledge and effective planning, everyone is pushing in the same direction and knows what’s required. It helps to strip away the stress and make it a creative and enjoyable process that delivers the best possible content.
- Follow-up meeting
- Creative design/pitch
- Production schedule
- Casting talent
- Call sheets
The brief is the first stage of any video production project. The client will write this document, outlining the kind of thing they are looking to create. It describes the purpose of the video and sets out any conditions, such as a budget and timescale. Most agencies will have a brief template document to help guide you through what we require. Generally, a good brief will cover six key areas:
1. What’s the goal?
It seems basic but this is the most important thing to figure out before embarking on a video marketing project. Just having a neat idea isn’t enough – you need to know what you want it to achieve. How do you want the viewer to act and feel? Do you want them to click on a particular link or to inform them of a particular issue? Or are you looking to build more of a general connection and affinity with your organization? Whatever it is, you should have a general idea of what you want from it. By making this clear from the start of the process, it gives the creative process a clear sense of direction and an end product with a much better chance of hitting its target.
2. Who’s the audience?
As you’re thinking about the goal, you also need to consider who you want the video to connect with. Who’s your key audience? Are you speaking to existing customers or prospective clients or a specific demographic that you want to communicate the message to? Having a clear idea about this will allow a video agency to create something that’s tailored to connect with that demographic. A video aiming to engage industry legislators is likely to have a different style and feel to something targeting teenagers.
3. What do you want to say?
What’s the key information you want to communicate? This can be anything from a simple ‘heads-up’ about a new product or service. Or it could be a more general message that raises an issue or highlights a certain aspect of your organization. A marketing video may cover multiple areas but you need to think about the key takeaway. The more focused and simple this message is, the better the chances of communicating it will be.
4. What kind of style do you want?
If you have any ideas of the kind of style and tone, then it’s important to include that in the brief. It also helps if you can provide examples of the kind of thing that you’re thinking of – whether it’s a video, an image or music. If you don’t have any thoughts on the style – it’s not a problem. It’s often good to keep an open mind and allow the experience of a creative team to suggest the best ways to achieve your video’s objective.
5. How will you be using the video?
How do you intend to do use the finished video? Are you going to embed it in a webpage or share it via social media or send it to a particular client – or do you want to use it in multiple ways? It pays to consider this from the start because it allows the production process to cater for each scenario. We can create different versions and formats of a marketing video to suit different uses. It’s much more cost-effective to cover this during the production process rather than trying to retrofit video content for a completely unsuitable purpose.
6. What’s the budget and timeframe?
A brief needs to set out the parameters that an agency needs to work with. How much do you want to spend, when do you need to deliver the video and are there any special requirements or stipulations? If a video is part of a launch or marketing campaign then it’s a good idea to provide information about how it’s going to slot into the wider picture. If a video requires access to a particular person, location or event then make clear when this can take place. This information helps a video agency to determine if what you are asking for is achievable on the budget. If they don’t think it is, it allows negotiation to take place to find a mutually acceptable compromise.
What’s the Secret of a Great Marketing Brief?
The best marketing briefs provide an agency with a clear focus while leaving enough room for them to guide the creative process. It’s the start of a conversation – one that allows both sides to understand the end goal and to find the best way of getting there. It means finding a sweet spot between a brief that goes into exhaustive details and one that’s barely more than a couple of lines, a half-thought-out idea. The more of those six key areas that you can figure out, the better the results are likely to be.
Once we have received a brief, we will usually arrange a follow-up meeting either with Zoom or a meeting in person. This initial meeting is a chance for the Kartoffel Films teams to get a real feel for the project and how it aligns with the client’s strategic goals. This conversation is also a chance to cover any areas that may have been missed out from the initial brief such as the intended audience, usage, format, distribution, and objectives of the video.
The agency’s creative team will take all of this information and start to explore ways to achieve the goals sets out in the brief. They will review similar types of video content to look at previous material, what works and what doesn’t. They will identify potential ways to make the client’s content stand out. Depending on the brief, they may look at different formats and explore various themes and styles. They will be looking at the target audiences and the overall objective of the content to create the most effective solutions. All of this will be filtered down into a treatment. This is not yet a complete idea but gives a general feel for the final product. If this is the first project with a client, we will most likely communicate this in the form of a pitch. If it’s part of an ongoing campaign, then it’s more of a collaborative creative design process. Either way, it gives the client a clear idea of the intended creative direction and makes sure they’re happy before they give the green light.
The script is the most important document in the video production process. It details every aspect of the creative direction, from the dialogue to the motion graphics. The script is a specific set of instructions for everyone to refer back to. Without a script, there won’t be a clear vision for your video. The more detailed the script, the better, as this is what video editors will be using to create a final, polished video you can be proud of.
As part of the creative design process, we will often use moodboards to capture the intended visual style and theme of a video. These can be bespoke visuals or displays created by mixing and matching existing materials. It’s a quick and cost-effective way to give a client a visual feel for what the finished content may look like. It’s a way to communicate make changes before you incur any production costs.
As an idea develops and a narrative structure forms, the creative team will often create a storyboard to visually plot out the video. It allows a client to see, in a glance, the structure of the content and to provide any guidance before the project enters production. The core of great video content is good storytelling and that’s what the storyboard is designed to get right. The Kartoffel Films creative team know how to create narratives and structures that get results.
When all the creative elements are in place, the agency’s production team will start working out all of the practicalities – the nuts and bolts of producing the video content. The job of the production schedule is to pull all the elements together, to create a fast, realistic and stress-free roadmap. The schedule provides a timeline of all the key events – who needs to do what, where and when. Integrated into this will be sign-off points for the client, allowing them to make sure that the project is heading in the right direction. A good production schedule will be based on the real-world practicalities of video and animation production. It will build in contingencies for all those elements that can ‘throw a spanner’ in a schedule.
The power of video marketing content is that it’s human. It’s people communicating with the viewer as an on-screen presence or as a voiceover. Finding the right people for those roles provides that extra ‘sauce’ that creates memorable and effective content. An experienced agency will know where to find those people – whether it’s an actor that’s brought in or identifying people from within the client company to fill a role. Kartoffel Films has a catalogue of presenters and on-screen talent that it has worked with and know the kind of person required to bring a project to life.
Resources, Permits, Locations
The production team will manage the intricate web of location agreements, permits and equipment for a smooth shooting schedule. It’s the small stuff that makes such a big difference to production – making sure permits are in place, ensuring there’s parking, building in contingencies if it rains. They will also ensure that the right technology is being used – choosing the right cameras and lenses for the shoot, ensuring lighting is catered for. If you need additional equipment such as a drone for an epic overhead shot, then we will book these in advance.
The last part of pre-production is the creation of call sheets. We send these out to everyone involved in a video shoot or a voice recording session to provide all the information they need. It provides location addresses and contact details for everyone else. It will set the call time (start time) and provide a running order for the day with a shot list and kit list. A call sheet helps to make everything clear and provides all of the contact details needed to inform everyone of any potential problems.
This is when things get real. It’s when all of those ideas and plans from the pre-production phase start to turn into reality. Production can be thought of as the assembling of the ingredients for a meal. The agency collects together all the basic building blocks that they’re going to need to make the finished film. It’s about getting everything in place before final assembly and tidying up that takes place post-production. That means shooting the interviews, grabbing location and b-roll footage, recording voiceovers and creating animations. Bringing all of the elements together during production is complex and something that benefits greatly from having an experienced team who know the potential pitfalls. But if the pre-production process has been done properly, it should be a relatively smooth and enjoyable ride. There will always be a few bumps along the way but nothing a robust production schedule can’t handle.
What happens during production will depend on the nature of the video but typically will include:
- Setting up cameras, sound, lighting
- Location shooting
- Capturing of b-roll
- Conducting interviews
- Recording voiceovers
- Producing animation
Cameras, Sound, Lighting
The higher quality that productions are, the more set-up we will require to ensure that cameras, sound and lighting are all in place and ready for the shoot. It’s this attention to detail and the proper rigging of a set that can make content stand out.
We will scout any location before the shoot. It means that we can plan everything to ensure a smooth-running filming schedule – parking, permits, mains plugs and contingency plans for bad weather if it’s an outdoor location.
This is all the additional footage to support the main shots. B-roll gives the editors options in post-production with general footage to link sequences, cover visual gaps or create montages.
Getting a great interview takes more than just finding the right person. It also means creating an environment in which the interviewee feels comfortable and confident. This is particularly important if the interviewees don’t have much experience being in front of a camera. Some of the most effective interviews that Kartoffel Films has done are showcases of people from client companies with no previous broadcast experience. By putting interviews at ease, people can present themselves in the best possible light.
If you require a voiceover, we will record this in a sound-controlled environment, and send the scripts to the reader beforehand. We will usually record multiple takes to provide options in the edit. If the voiceover requirements are particularly complex, we may use an external studio.
For an animated video, production is about the creation of the main sequences. Signed-off storyboards and scripts will be the basis of this. We can build checkpoints into the production schedule to provide a client with a work-in-progress snapshot of the animation.
If production is the gathering of ingredients, then post-production is turning them into a finished dish. It’s where all of the elements are pulled together to create what was outlined in the brief. The video producer and editor work closely to assess the footage and to find the best way of combining it into engaging content and a finished video that hits the target. It’s a vital phase of the process and one that can often take some time to complete. Kartoffel Films always provides realistic estimates of how long it’s likely to take but if something needs a quicker turnaround, extra staffing can be allocated to help speed up the process.
Post-production usually involves:
- Reviewing footage and interviews
- Editing elements into one story
- Draft approval from the client
- Adding finishing touches
- Getting final approvals
Reviewing Footage and Interviews
One of the challenges faced during post-production is the sheer amount of footage and information that an editor and producer has to collate and refine. Reviewing and logging all of the footage helps us do this effectively and ensures we don’t lose anything. Time-codes are used to digitally tag the footage and identify the different elements. We identify the best takes by reviewing interviews. An experienced editor will be able to spot those small moments that can bring a video to life – a funny or off-the-cuff remark.
Editing the Footage
With footage reviewed and logged, the editing process begins. To block out a rough narrative structure, we import the chosen footage – we will then revise and tighten this. We place establishing shots, add interviews and use b-roll footage to link and cover gaps. It can be an exhaustive process with milliseconds often making the difference between an edit feeling smooth or clunky. Experience helps to reduce this time, with a good editor able to instinctively know what’s going to work and what isn’t. When the edit is near completion, a version will typically be shared with the client.
We will share this draft version with the client to make sure they are happy, giving them a chance to suggest any final tweaks or changes. It’s important at this stage that all key stakeholders have a chance to review the video draft and provide any requests at the same change. The time-consuming nature of editing means there’s a limit on how many changes can be made within a given budget so it’s important to have a clear and coordinated approvals process. We will clarify possibilities during the initial discussions in the pre-production phase.
Adding Finishing Touches
Once we’ve received approval, we make any final adjustments and add some finishing touches. This may include processes such as colourisation to give a quality that quality and consistent look, together with final audio edits, graphics and visual effects. After this is done, you have a finished video that’s ready for final approval.
Having made any changes requested and added all of the final finishing touches, this should hopefully be a formality. When we receive the thumbs up, we will send out a version of the final edit in the agreed format. You can also have access to all of the footage recorded for future edits.
The exact way we handle post-production will vary with each client but this gives you an overview of how it works. It can be time-consuming and exhausting work but it’s also the most rewarding part of the whole process – it’s when that initial idea you had becomes a real-life thing. At Kartoffel Films, we have made more than 2,000 video productions but the pride and satisfaction of delivering quality content that hits the target never gets old.
To find out more about our video production process, click here.
You have many options available when it comes to how you should host and deliver your video. This is important to get right because where a video ‘lives’ affects how its accessibility and shareability. A video content strategy will identify the best options before you create any content. The main decision you need to make is whether your organization or a third-party hosting service should host your video.
What is Self-Hosting?
This means that your web server stores the video, typically in the same place as your website. When anyone views that video, your infrastructure delivers your video to them.
- You maintain total control – you don’t have to contend with algorithms
- Advertisement free – no external adverts or pop-ups imposed on content
- Branding – no external markings or logos on your content
- Server bandwidth – if a video becomes popular servers can struggle
- Performance – slow loading, stuttering playback and size limitations
- No community – lack of inbuilt search or sharing tools
What is Third-Party Video Hosting?
This is when you upload or store the video file on a free or paid third-party hosting service such as YouTube or Wistia. When people watch the video, it’s the third-party company that provides all of the online infrastructure.
- Scalability – no limits on views or performance/bandwidth issues
- Ease – simple to use with no need for internal IT support
- Community – ready-made access to a large audience
- Lack of control – need to accept rules and conditions of provider
- Ads/pop-ups – no control over adverts that appear on free-services
- Appearance – SEO hit as a third-party provider receives clicks
Which is Best?
For most organizations, the technical limitations and performance issues connected to self-hosting will make a third-party solution the best option. It removes the data limits and technical expertise when trying to handle the hosting yourself. It’s also important to note that you can still use videos on your website without hosting them. You can embed a video hosted on a third-party server on your website. Most users don’t know or care where you host your content; they just want it to work.
What are the Third-Party Hosting Options?
If you go down the third-party route, you have another set of choices to make. There’s a bewildering number of hosting sites available but here’s a look at some of the most common options:
We recommend Wistia for any videos that are embedded on a website. It does have a free version, although it has some limitations. For most users, the paid service delivers the features they want from Wistia – the ability to remove many of the issues that are experienced with rival free hosting providers. There aren’t any ads, pop-ups or links to other content and it gives you much greater control over the style and branding of a video player so that it matches the website. It also gives you lots of flexibility with Calls to Action and lets you place them anywhere in a video. Along with all of this, there’s the in-depth set of reporting tools that the service provides. It lets you easily track the performance metrics and find out what’s working and what’s not. Another nifty feature is the ability to bundle videos together using playlists.
This platform needs little introduction – it’s huge, everyone knows about it and it hosts videos for free. It places your content within a massive community connected to a search engine that works similarly to Google. The size of the potential audience makes it a marketing tool you can’t ignore. The problem is mainly the lack of control you have over a video once you’ve uploaded it onto their servers. There are restrictions on how and when you can use a Call to Action and you also have YouTube branding. But perhaps the biggest issue is that you have to accept adverts and pop-ups appearing in your content. This makes it hard to use Google for anything you’ve embedded into a website. One option is a paid YouTube Premium account which removes ads.
This is a popular paid option that pre-dates YouTube by a year. It provides ad-free videos and a range of customisation options to adapt the look of the player. It does have analytics but it’s not particularly advanced. Vimeo also provides access to stores of stock footage and offers a range of packages for more advanced features. One advantage of Vimeo is that it allows you to update content without needing to create a new URL. If you tweak or edit a video that’s already had lots of views, you can keep all of the data gathered rather than having to start from scratch. Despite its age, it doesn’t have much in the way of a community.
This is another free option that shares many of the pros and cons of YouTube. The main difference is that content is only accessible via your channel or through viewers liking, sharing or boosting it with a paid promotion. It provides access to a massive potential audience but that’s somewhat ‘throttled’ to ensure boosting a post delivers a benefit. You also have the same loss of control as YouTube with ads and links to other content appearing on videos. For a free service, it provides a decent range of metrics and videos uploaded onto the Facebook servers will typically perform better than when a video is linked. For certain types of content, it’s a good option for engagement.
This follows a similar path to Wistia and caters mainly for businesses and marketing professionals. It does have a free package but most users will be paying for the additional features of the paid service. It provides unlimited storage for videos with no adverts or pop-ups added and support for 4k content. Additionally, it allows customisation of the video player and allows you to place Calls to Action throughout content with opt-in forms added to the video. It features a good range of analytics and performance tracking options. Similar to Wistia, it has distribution tools but lacks any kind of internal community or social network to help promote your videos.
Which is Best?
As with most of these things, it just depends on the type of marketing video, its use and who the intended market is. But generally, a paid service is best for anything you want to embed on a website while one of the free services will be better for engagement and social media reach.
Can I Use More Than One?
The obvious solution might be to just use both types of video hosts – a paid and free service to cover all bases. This is possible but it’s worth considering the potential consequences. One of these is that if a video appears on your website and YouTube then you could be losing out on traffic. The YouTube version will often rank higher than the one that appears on your website. By having two versions you also risk losing out on the more advanced analytical data that a paid service provides. A good video marketing agency will be able to weigh up these pros and cons and identify what’s going to work best.
Now that you have some great video content, you need people to see and share it. You will have already worked out the chosen method to do this as part of creating a video content strategy. The video will typically match the style, tone and format of the target distribution channel. Social media provides a wide range of options but the amount of choice can be intimidating. Effective promotion requires understanding the audience and pros and cons of each platform – allowing you to focus on what’s going to deliver the best results. What you don’t want to do is to try to push video content out everywhere. The Kartoffel Films team will guide you through the process of building a social media strategy – advising you how, where and when to share content. But it’s also something that you will quickly start to get a feel for as you start to share content and see the responses. Over time, you’re able to focus your social media strategy on what works best for your target audience.
Here’s a look at what the social media options are for video content:
Launched in 2005, this is now the second most visited website in the world with users watching more than one billion hours of video each day. The scale and popularity of YouTube make it one of the easier platforms to use. But without an understanding of the way Google works, it’s also a place where great content can be lost amid the blizzard of uploads. Video titles and thumbnails are particularly important. YouTube also tends to be used in a similar way to Google. People will type in questions in the search for answers – making ‘how to’ style guides and informative content particularly well suited to the platform. The YouTube algorithms also like channels that are consistently putting out new content. So it benefits from having a long-term strategy rather than sporadic uploads.
The biggest site for social media video, it has an amazing ability to increase the number of people watching your content. So much of that potential, however, comes from viewers liking and sharing a video. Unlike YouTube, it’s not instantly available to whoever visits the site. Your video will only gain views from those who follow your channel, and like and share your content. The content that works best has a very specific target audience. It’s also likely to pack an emotional punch or has something about it that grabs attention. It’s also worth noting that the Facebook algorithm prefers video content that’s uploaded to the site over content that’s linked to it.
Described as the ‘world’s premier professional social network’ this has a very different feel. It’s more business-like and serious but is an increasingly friendly place for video content. This is the obvious place for videos that are sharing business-related topics and tackling industry-relevant issues. As a professional network, it’s a place where product and B2B promotion is expected and encouraged. One of the quirks of LinkedIn is that you don’t always see the same information on a feed. Videos tend to disappear fairly quickly unless a company reposts or promotes them as an ad. A relatively recent addition is hashtagging with ‘trending’ topics based on comments, shares and interactions. The wise use of hashtags can significantly extend the reach of a video.
Twitter is such a fast-paced platform that it can be hard to get right for video content. Where it stands out is that it has much less ‘filtering’ than most of the other platforms. Generally, the content that works best is personal and has an authentic feel as opposed to the more corporate style videos. This fits with the nature of Twitter and its real-time immediacy. It also tends to favour short, snappy content with anything long-form liable to struggle to hold attention spans. To get the most from Twitter you also need to get a feel for the way hashtags work and how to ‘ride the tail’ of trending topics.
Instagram’s main focus was on photos but over the years has become increasingly video-friendly. Viewers can share video content in the newsfeed or as stories. There are some restrictions on the lengths of videos, 60 seconds for the newsfeed and 15 seconds for Instagram Stories. There’s also the option to upload longer videos to IGTV but this offers a fraction of the audience. Content that tends to work best is any kind of ‘how-to’ or straight promotional content that showcases a new product or service. Another area that many brands use Instagram for is ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage. This can be used as a promotional tool so that people get an appetising glimpse of the content being made. Instagram is another site that makes use of hashtags.
A relatively new arrival on the social media scene, TikTok has built up more than 800 million monthly users. It’s a success that has seen many companies start to explore ways of using it as a marketing tool. Like Instagram, it places strict limits on what can be uploaded with the standard video length being just 15 seconds. Another quirk of TikTok is that sound is often an integral part of the video, unlike other networks where videos automatically mute audio. The viral nature of the platform allows a user with little or no followers to get their content seen by millions but it needs to be something particularly attention-grabbing. Many consumer brands have started creating channels and putting out content as a way to engage with younger generations. One option is to use it in a similar way to Instagram, providing behind-the-scene glimpses and snapshots which help to promote a marketing video that is hosted elsewhere.
*B2B content marketers
Learning and Data
To know which hosting sites and social media platforms are delivering the best results – you need ways to track performance. This is what data analytics delivers with each video generating a wealth of digital information. Without know-how, it’s easy to get lost in this sea of data. Kartoffel Films will help to steer you through the process and identify those metrics that matter the most for your videos. It creates a power ‘learn and repeat’ process with each video that’s shared helping to sharpen the focus of the video marketing strategy. It identifies the type of content and the platforms that work best for your audience.
This section of the guide looks at how this works.
Most video hosting services will provide a range of basic data tools that let you track metrics. They will let you see how many times your audience has viewed and shared your video, with some additional info on the types of people the content has attracted. You can gain access to more detailed data by using a hosting service that’s designed for business users. Kartoffel Films has found Wistia to be the best third-party solution for data analytics, providing all of the feedback to hone and improve a video marketing strategy. Once a video is uploaded to Wistia, it will start tracking and storing a wealth of information. It generates exactly the kind of data analytics to understand how content is performing and the type of audience it’s engaging.
The analytics outlined below are some of the most common metrics you can use to monitor content:
1. View Count
The most basic metric for any video content is how many people have clicked on it. It’s also the most important stat because it doesn’t matter how brilliant, witty, informative or emotional video content is if nobody’s pressing play. View count gauges how well something is being ‘sold’ rather than the content itself. View counts can vary wildly depending on lots of factors such as the heading and title to share the content, along with the thumbnail image viewers see before watching. The number of clicks can be ‘boosted’ on social media sites such as Facebook with payments. It’s also why social media influencers have become so influential – with the power to increase the number of views for whatever it is they share.
While view count tracks how well a video sells, engagement tracks the performance of the video content itself. It’s a metric that records how long a viewer watches the video before they stop it or scroll away. The engagement rate tracks the percentage of a video that has been watched, so the higher the percentage the longer it’s holding viewers attention. A low engagement rate suggests that it’s failing to connect with viewers but that’s not always the case. A low engagement rate could also be caused by the fact that you’re attracting an audience that’s not suited to the content. An example of this is so-called ‘clickbait’ tactics in which content lures viewers into clicking on something which often isn’t what they thought it was. But generally, you want video content that can hold people’s attention. This is particularly important if the most important information, the Calls to Action, comes at the end of the video. If the metrics show a particular place where people are exiting the video, you can often re-edit it.
3. Play Rate
This allows you to track the number of people who have watched the video in a specific location – typically on a webpage. This lets you monitor where the best place to put a video is – does it work better at the top or bottom of a product page? Does it perform better as part of a blog or linked from the homepage?
By tracking this play rate, it’s possible to find the optimal way to use video content on a website. The factors that can help improve play rate include:
- Changing location on a web page – move to a more prominent and visible area.
- Changing location on a website – switching to a more relevant or popular page.
- Try alternative thumbnail and text – finding better ways to attract clicks.
- Altering the size of the video-making embedded video – making it larger and more prominent.
Often it’s small tweaks like this that can deliver major gains. It’s particularly important to carry out this kind of process for the most prominent pages of a website such as the home page and any sales or sign-up related pages.
Heatmaps provide a second-by-second view of how your audience engaged with your content. They combine several metrics to create a graphical representation of each viewer’s ‘journey’ with a colour-coded timeline to show their interactions. It can show what sections of a video have been skipped and which bits have been watched multiple times. If you see sections viewers are regularly skipping, then it’s a good sign of a problem. Alternatively, sections viewers are repeating are doing something right. The heatmap information will also pull together details on where the viewer is from, what device they’re using to access the content and whether they have previously watched any of your other videos. With all of this combined, it provides an effective way to get a feel for the video engagement.
This keeps track of how many viewers are ‘converting’ as a result of having watched a video – this could mean subscribing to a service, signing up to a mailing list or purchasing a product. For promotional content, this is the most important metric there is.
Wistia provides two ways to measure conversions. These are:
The system lets you add verified leads into a database directly from your marketing video. This can include a form to fill out before a viewer can play the content. The more leads being collected, the more effective the content is at connecting with your audience and building the level of trust that’s required to share personal contact details.
Call to Action
The other approach is integrating a Call to Action (CTA) into a video. This can be a mid-point link or come at the end of the video content. This allows the viewer to click a link or to download information providing more info. The format of the CTA can be text, an image of the use of HTML. Google UTM codes can track these links with the data added to Google Analytics. These tracking methods are best used with specific product and sales videos where the audience expect to be given the option to purchase or sign-up. You need to take much more care if you are using them for less promotional forms of content.
6. A/B Testing
This allows you to test the performance of alternative forms of video content. It lets you create two pieces of content with the system randomly selecting which appears for each visitor. By doing this, you can quickly create data to help compare and contrast and see which version works best.
This method can test:
- Video formats
- Video lengths
- Calls to Action
For each video, it will be simultaneously tracking all the basic metrics – play rate, engagement and CTAs. Once you identify the ‘winning’ version, you can easily make it permanent while removing the alternative.
7. Social Media
This tracks how viewers are sharing your content across social media sites. Monitoring this can be tricky because each social media platform will have a separate set of metrics. While they all cover a similar set of stats, it makes it hard to keep track of performance across the various sites. It’s often best to focus on certain social media formats rather than trying to cover them all. This allows you to keep focus and monitor the basic metrics such as view counts, shares and number of comments. Each social media platform has its quirks and rhythms that you can become familiar with over time. Even small things like the time when you post content can make a big difference to the number of views it gets.
Generally, three strategies to boost social media shares are to:
Give clear ‘shout-outs’ to share – this can feature in the content itself as well as adding the required ‘shared’ icons.
Create tailored content – target content for a specific platform. What works on Facebook may fail on Twitter.
Make use of graph tags – these are little snippets of HTML code that allow you to create more social-media friendly content.
This tracks the interactions that you have with customers and clients on a particular topic relating to a video – whether it’s emails or support calls. This is particularly valuable for video content that intends to explain or provide how-to information. Ideally, the sharing of this content should coincide with a significant drop in the number of related queries and support requests. Similarly, if you’re receiving frequent requests for information or support on a topic, it’s something that can help guide video content creation. It’s also worth keeping an eye on the ways that viewers interact with instructional videos. If they are having to repeat certain sections, it could be a sign that something isn’t clear enough or they don’t have enough time to absorb the information.
9. Site Metrics
This keeps track of visitor actions and behaviours across a website. When linked with the video data, it helps you to build up a complete picture of what the typical experience is when somebody visits the site. Where are they coming from and how do they behave when they arrive? Ideally, you should be building up a process that attracts your target audience and then gently moves them to those areas of the website that matter the most – typically, where sales and sign-ups take place. To achieve this requires constant review and tweaks to find what works best and to receive the optimal boost from integrated video content. You will rarely get it right the first time and the more data you acquire, the more informed decisions you can make.
The two key site metrics to look at are:
This looks at the number of people who visit a page on your website and then exits without visiting any other pages. The bounce rate provides a percentage of how many visitors are these kinds of single-page sessions. For most website pages, a low bounce rate is a bad sign. This is particularly so for pages that act as the hub, such as the home page. Ideally, you want people to arrive and then have a look around at some of the other areas of the website. But it’s not always the case. A page linked to a particular promotion or campaign can have a low bounce rate while still being extremely effective – helping to attract people for a specific Call to Action without requiring them to visit any other pages.
Time Spent on Page
How long are people spending on a particular page? This is particularly important for those pages that have video content embedded. If a video is doing its job, then people who visit will have their attention held by the content. It’s this that allows video content to deliver a significant boost to a website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The longer people stay on a page, the higher Google ranks your website by the algorithms that determine how prominently it will feature in search results. If you find that a page has a low bounce rate, you can look for ways that adding video content could improve the metric. By combining the video play rates, A/B testing and Time Spent on Page, you can monitor the changes that occur when you add a video.
The comments left by viewers below content marketing videos provide an invaluable form of feedback. You can monitor how many viewers are leaving comments and what kind of response people are having. But more importantly, it provides qualitative feedback on the video content. What kind of engagements does it provoke? What kind of conversations are the commenters having? How does it elicit emotions or spark discussions? While it’s not nice to receive negative comments, they are just as important as positive reactions. They can help to identify problematic aspects of content. This doesn’t always mean that that they’re bad for campaigning videos – provoking debate and discussion is going to be one of the key objectives.
Summary: Minding Your Data
Diving into video content metrics can at first seem daunting, but behind the acronyms and data, there’s nothing to be afraid of. While there’s a wealth of data available, most organizations will focus on just a few areas that allow them to best monitor performance. By working with an agency, they will help to identify what these key metrics are. They can set up the videos so they are tracking the key information and will use the data generated to keep improving the performance and quality of a content strategy. It’s a simple way to maximise the benefits of great content by finding the optimal ways to use and share information both within a website and across multiple social media platforms.
Having accurate and dependable ways to track the performance of marketing videos allows us to continue improving a marketing strategy. It provides the data we need to keep refining and sharpening focus to increase the impact and effectiveness of shared content. What are the video types, themes, styles and distribution strategies that are working the best to engage with your target audiences? Who’s watching and for how long? How are they reacting? And just as importantly – who isn’t watching and why? It’s a data-driven ‘learn and repeat’ process that benefits from a long-term strategy and close partnerships between client and agency. Working together, we can create a strategy that becomes more focused and effective over time.
Here are some of the ways that data can drive the direction:
1. Early Drop-Offs
Grabbing people’s attention quickly has always been a challenge for communications. It’s why newspapers spend so much time trying to figure out a headline that will lure the reader in. And it’s no different in the digital world of online media. As soon as a viewer clicks on a video, they are formulating an opinion on whether this is something they are going to invest time in. If you fail to grab them in the first few seconds, the video metrics will display them as early drop-offs. This doesn’t mean that every video should be instantly screaming for attention but there are various methods to address it. One method is to take the most interesting or memorable moment and use it as a kind of mini-preview. Alternatively, shuffling the timeline can fix this problem so the best stuff isn’t right at the end.
2. Poor Results of Video Marketing
Creating great content that people want to watch is only half of the battle for a video marketing agency. If the objective of a video is to get people to sign up for a service and they’re not – then it doesn’t matter how popular it is. When this happens, it’s a question of reviewing what the Call to Action is and what can be done to make it more effective. Should it come in earlier or would a different text headline help to remove the barriers that are blocking people from signing up? Often, small adjustments can make a big difference to the effectiveness of a Call to Action. The data feedback allows you to test different strategies to see what’s working best.
3. A Lack of Views
This is the most basic problem you can face and it doesn’t always mean there’s a problem with the content itself. The placement on the wrong platform or the promotional methods can severely affect your engagement rate. Therefore, you need the data will help to track down exactly where the problem lies. It could mean testing out more topical content, linking to recent events, or something slightly more creative and offbeat. Or it could simply be a question of improving the promotion – altering headings and thumbnails or even a paid boost promotion. Many times, a video that has failed to make an impact can be ‘revived’ with a fresh approach and trying a different approach to promoting and sharing it.
4. Incorrect Indexing
An important area to review when looking to improve performances is the way Google indexes your videos. This is the meta-data that allows search engines to correctly categorise and index your content. Without this, content is liable to get lost among the blizzard of new videos being uploaded every second. Therefore, tweaking this information and trying different categories can significantly improve the reach of a video. This includes reviewing headings, ensuring descriptions are thorough and keyword rich as well as checking tags and hashtags used.
5. The Wrong Audience
The source of many performance issues is the simple problem of engaging with the wrong kind of audience. You may be garnering lots of views but getting little engagement because the people viewing it aren’t who you need to be speaking to. The data collected will help to identify if this problem. Improve results by switching to a media platform that works better with the target audience or by tagging and promoting in a way to find them. An effective marketing strategy will reduce the risks of this happening by making sure that video content, promotion and distribution are all aligned and focused on engaging with the right audience.
6. Identifying Exit Points
It could be a long and fairly drab interview segment or a part of a ‘how-to’ video that’s frustratingly dense. These are those places in a view where the viewers head for the exit. But don’t worry, as the metrics clearly highlight these problems. As the problem is so well flag-posted, it’s often easy to fix. You can tighten up long segments and review frustrating sections where your audience loses interest. The fix isn’t always about making cuts – for something like an explainer video it can be to include more of an explanation and more ‘space’ for the viewer to absorb the info. The feedback also helps to guide the creation of future videos which avoid some of the identified pitfalls.
7. A Lack of Shares
Shares play a crucial role in the success of marketing videos. Find something that people want to send to family, friends and colleagues and you have a potentially global audience. Alternatively, it can be frustrating when viewers receive your video well but don’t share it. Improving this can be a question of creativity and finding content with the qualities to go ‘viral’. Or it’s a simpler matter of shamelessly asking viewers to share the video as part of a Call to Action. There’s a reason why just about every YouTuber will end a video with the all-too-familiar ‘remember to subscribe’ message. It’s because, without that reminder, many people simply don’t.
8. Negative Comments
Receiving negative comments goes with the territory when you are sharing video content. It’s not pleasant but it can provide valuable feedback, particularly when the comments are mainly negative. The comments themselves should explain the issues but it’s usually a sign of something your target audience won’t recognise. This will be to do with something about the style, tone or messaging is wrong. Adjusting these components can guide future content. It may also be a case of the video content being unsuitable for the platform it’s being shared on. Either way, the negatives of a comments section can turn into the positive of a more focused strategy.
Summary: Getting The Edge
A content marketing plan is like a football manager’s strategy for a match. The data is the game itself, allowing the manager to tweak and change according to what’s happening on the pitch. This is the role that an agency can help you to handle with each video shared helping to provide a wealth of information that can be used to tighten and improve the effectiveness of content. What works for each client is different – you’ll only know this fully when you start to share content.
With a good agency, it means that you’re not blindly seeing what hits and misses. You have a strategic plan that adapts according to the performance of each video. It allows existing videos to be tweaked and to guide the style, tone, promoting and distribution tactics of future content. Contact us to see how we can help your business grow through video.