video marketing by Ladder

What Is Video Marketing? Benefits, Challenges, and Best Practices

Video is a powerful marketing medium that is not used to its full potential by a lot of brands. 86% of consumers want to see more videos from businesses in 2020 – quench their thirst and you could increase your market share, sales, and brand recognition. 

The hunger for video content is partly down to the improvement of smartphones and internet coverage worldwide. More people can access video content on the go than ever before. The average internet user prefers watching videos to any other form of content, so why not give the people what they want. 

89% of video marketers share that video offers them a good ROI. It might be the best ROI form of marketing in your industry – take the plunge and find out for yourself. In this article, you’ll learn about the challenges and best practices to launch a successful video marketing campaign. 

Why video marketing works

I bet you have heard of the saying, “a picture can tell a thousand words”. If that’s true, then imagine what a video could do for engaging your audience and explaining complicated concepts. In a nutshell, video marketing is the act of creating and distributing videos across multiple platforms. The aim is to raise brand awareness, increase sales and educate customers about your products/services. 

Still not sold on the merits of video marketing? Here are a few advantages to help you decide:

  • Audience engagement: brands can connect with the audience through stories, but they must strike an emotional cord. Video has the best chance to convey your brand message in a powerful way that might hook them. 
  • Convey a lot quickly: video allows marketers to say a lot by the time an audience may start to get distracted. Before most users stop watching you can get across the problems your products can solve and why they are beneficial. Also, explaining complicated concepts is easier with video. It’s useful for businesses that must educate their customer base before they can sell to them.  
  • Great for SEO: video marketing can build backlinks to your website, increase likes and shares. These are all metrics search engines keep track of to determine the quality of a web page for a given search term. Also, if users are sticking around to watch an entire video on your website and acting on the information provided, then it positively impacts specific SEO related metrics. This includes time spent on page and number of pages viewed per visit.
  • Information retention: 3 days later customers only retain 10% of the information they heard, but with an image the retention is around 65%. Imagine how much better it would be for video? Information retention is important so your products are top of mind when customers are ready to buy. 
  • Customers prefer video: 72% of customers want to watch video over text marketing. That’s because the average customer may already digest the majority of their information in video form. 

Great example of this is the Dollar Shave Club. Their video campaign went viral and helped add rocket fuel to their growth.

dollar shave club

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Video marketing analytics

Tracking the right video marketing KPI’s allows you to figure out the success of a video marketing campaign. Keeping an eye on the metrics can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of video campaigns so you can make adjustments in the future. Double down on what works and discard what doesn’t. 

Here are a few of the KPI’s to keep an eye on for your next video marketing campaign:

video marketing Youtube Ads Targeting options

  • Demographics: what kind of people make up your audience should play a role in what video you create. It’s beneficial to track info such as age, gender, education, employment, language and much more. 
  • Views: high video views indicate that you have done a good job of distributing the video in the right places. However, it can be misleading because it says nothing about the quality of the video. Other metrics can paint a better picture of user engagement. 
  • Onsite actions: this metric is about interactivity. Audiences will be more interactive with your website if they liked the content of the video. 
  • View length: videos that are watched longer indicate that they are resonating with the audience. 
  • Device type and operating system: is the majority of your audience watching on mobile or desktop devices? Tracking this metric can help you modify the content so that it’s a better match. 
  • Conversion: this is the number of viewers that completed the CTA (call to action) after watching the video. 

Video marketing at each phase of the sales funnel

4Your video marketing strategy must change gears as your audience transitions through the sales funnel. Showing a video before the audience member is ready to receive the content can backfire. Read onwards for a guide on how to tackle each phase of the sales funnel.  

awareness consideration conversion retention funnel

Phase 1: Awareness

The goal of this phase is to identify the problem your products are trying to solve and why they can. Helpful educational content should be at the forefront of the strategy. Your content needs to stand out of a crowd. This can be done by creating something viral or getting across your unique selling point. 

Short videos will win in this phase since viewers may not have the patience to watch a long video from an unknown brand. Also, don’t give specific product information at this phase as the audience is not yet at the buying stage. 

Videos types to use in the awareness phase:

  • Brand value: these videos inform the audience about the culture at your company. You need to give potential customers a reason to care about your brand and what you stand for. Get this right and you could potentially beat the competition that offers similar prices. 
  • Educational: these videos can tackle a general or specific topic in your industry. Providing value to your customers means they are more likely to buy from you in the future. 
  • Explainer: these are similar to educational content and have the core purpose of showing how your products work. They can help sell complicated products that have a steep learning curve. 
  • Inspiration: create videos that inspire your audience. Get the audience into a hyped state and strategize to funnel that enthusiasm towards your brand. 
  • Call to action: the CTA is a prompt that directs users towards an action. This might be to complete an email newsletter form, take advantage of a free trial or watch another video. 

Phase 2: Consideration

The consideration phase is about introducing your products and keeping potential buyers engaged so they learn more about the benefits. Social proofed content is a good idea because it displays value organically. Also, the content must be practical, so deliver content with facts, experimental data and case studies. Provide enough information so they can make an educated decision in the conversion phase of the sales funnel. Don’t push sales at this point. Be patient, the financially rewarding phase is just around the corner. 

Video types to use in this phase:

  • Comparison videos: show the ultimate confidence in your products by comparing them against industry leaders. Even if you are biased you can showcase why your products are better. 
  • Testimonials: you could compile brief reviews of your products from several customers. It’s the social proofing that’s needed to solidify the value of your products. 
  • Case studies: these are in-depth versions of testimonials. Choose a customer or two that has had great success with your products or services. Give details about how and why – potential buyers will resonate with the right case studies. 
  • Community videos: seek out videos created from your audience – it’s an organic, cheap and powerful way of social proofing your products. For instance, a user might have created a video of your products in action solving their problem. Get permission to integrate that video into your marketing campaign. 
  • Product demos: the trick here is to avoid a formal or corporate tone. Instead, go for a light tone that’s similar to what you’d find on a social media website

Phase 3: Conversion

The aim here is to help your potential buyers make the right decision and convert as many of them as possible. To achieve this you need to highlight the benefits of your products and why they can solve the problem better than the competition. 

Also, create a sense of urgency so viewers have a real reason to buy right now. The biggest mistake brands make in phase 3 is pushing too hard. Bombarding your prospects with sales calls and multiple emails per day will only aggravate them. 

The trust you built up in phase 1 and 2 will come to fruition here. Hesitant buyers are more likely to pull the trigger if they trust your brand and believe in your message. Therefore, phase 3 will be significantly easier if you lay the groundwork in the previous phases. 

Video types to use in this phase:

  • FAQ videos: your customers may have questions before they are willing to buy. FAQ videos are a great way to remove the barriers to buying. 
  • Personalized: create personas based on the demographics of your viewers. It makes the content relatable and your audience will feel like it’s made for them. 
  • Webinars: pick a competitive webinar software solution and host a few sessions. They are a great way to provide a ton of value in a short space of time. Could be just what a lot of hesitant buyers need to push them over the edge and buy. 
  • Before and after: these types of videos are frequently used, but still very effective depending on your industry. For instance, if you sell products in industries like lawn maintenance, interior design, weight loss and fitness. 

Phase 4: Retention

You are more likely to sell to existing customers than new ones. Therefore, you must incorporate a customer retention phase into your video marketing strategy. Start by doing more of the same – provide value without asking for anything in return. Offer up more educational content and news that would be of interest to the audience. 

Ask customers for feedback and make them feel involved in the product development process. Casual customers will become loyal if they feel that the brand cares about the opinion of the buying community. 

Encourage buyers to spread the word about your products and the experiences you’ve had. This could be in the form of testimonials, social media posts or leaving a review. 

Video types to use in this phase:

  • Thank you videos: a personal video that thanks customers for buying will make them feel appreciated. Going the extra mile to create such videos will have a positive impact on your brand image. 
  • Customer support videos: you could add a face and voice to your customer support team. 
  • Product development videos: share videos of upcoming products and upgrades to keep buyers interested in what’s down the line. 
  • Hacks, tricks and tips video: help users take full advantage of your products by creating instructional videos. Tips, hacks and shortcut videos are appreciated by the community. Helpful videos can go viral, which also helps attract new customers. 

Video retargeting

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Retargeted users are more likely to convert by 43%. Therefore, it’s an effective strategy to increase the ROI of your video marketing campaign. It works because the average customer needs to see an offer several times before they are ready to buy. 

Video retargeting works like this:

Step 1: a shopper lands on your website and browses through a bunch of products. Tracking software is used to analyze the browsing behavior to assess what products the potential buyer is interested in. 

Step 2: the shopper leaves your website without completing the purchase and continues to browse the internet. Meanwhile, the retargeting algorithm calculates the purchase intent to determine the correct product recommendations. 

Step 3: video advertisements are displayed around the internet to lure the customer back to your website and complete the purchase. Ideally, the potential buyer clicks on one of the video ads and ends up buying from your website. 

The video retargeting best practices include:

  • Create lists: to increase your ROI segment audiences and create specific advertisements. This paves the way for targeted ads that’s powerful when combined with a retargeting strategy. 
  • Track performance: every retargeting ad campaign must be tracked to assess performance. Don’t wait until a campaign is finished to make changes. If you have actionable feedback, then change the ads to instantly increase ROI. 
  • Customize to mobiles audiences: mobile views will make up a significant portion of your ad campaign. Create content that’s optimized for their viewing experience. For instance, on YouTube viewers need to watch the first 5 seconds before they can press the skip button. Counter that by creating videos that can engage in the first 5 seconds. 

Video marketing content repurposing

content repurposing into video marketing

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Struggling to come up for ideas to launch a comprehensive video marketing campaign? Then repurpose the content you already have. For example, you could transform an article that performed well to see if it gets the same success in video form. This allows you to explain things at a deeper level or address parts of the article that readers were confused about. Alternatively, you could transform a podcast into video by adding animation. You have a lot of creative freedom with animated videos to engage the audience. Just like turning this blog post into a video to increase our reach.

Likewise, you can repurpose video content into other formats to get more value out of a shoot. Videos can be repurposed into short social media clips, educational/instructional videos, screenshots, GIF’s, trailers, podcasts, written content and soundbites. Branching a single video into various forms of content helps keep the message consistent. That’s important to avoid confusing customers if they see your brand message in various formats around the internet. 

Repurposing video saves money as time is not wasted coming up with content ideas and you can reuse current assets. Consequently, the cost of creating videos is lower, which means the odds of turning a profit increases. It’s a good practice to take a look at the best performing content and repurpose it first.

You can also reach new audiences with video content. You may write the best article in the world, but segments of your audience will not care to read it, because they only consume video content.

Finally, video gives you another avenue to engage viewers with the same content. For example, let’s say you shared an article that failed to get the response you were looking for. Release a video that’s virtually the same content and you may have a much higher engagement rate – it’s that simple. 

Video marketing creation: challenges and keeping costs down

Creating videos can be dirt cheap or expensive depending on your methodology. You could invest in equipment and software to handle the shooting and production of the video yourself. It’s a viable long term strategy if you want full control of the process. 

Alternatively, you can outsource the job to a video marketing agency. An established agency would have most likely worked with a business in your industry before and understand your audience – maybe even better than you do. Leveraging the experience of a marketing agency is a smart choice for new businesses that lack the expertise to handle their own video marketing campaign. 

Keeping costs down means you can create more campaigns and increase ROI. Here are a few ideas for reducing costs:

  • Planning: setting up a separate shoot for each video is not the best use of your marketing budget. Instead, think about how much content you need for the year ahead and shoot several videos in one go. The cost per video will nose dive so your bottom line increases. 
  • In house actors: gather up a few enthusiastic employees to provide a genuine feel to your videos. Therefore, you don’t have to hire professional actors. You won’t lose anything by levering your employees. In fact, customers may engage with the video more easily if they see real people working at the company instead of hired actors. 
  • Animated videos: overall, animated videos are cheaper than setting up a live shoot. You have a lot of creative freedom with animated videos, which is one of their key strengths. It’s an especially cheap form of video marketing if you have a component in-house specialist that can create animated videos. 
  • Video editing software: if you are going down the do-it-yourself route, then you can save money on the software. In fact, you can use free software such as Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. 

Final thoughts

Getting started with video marketing is a no-brainer. Your business could take operations to the next level by expanding the customer base, showcasing your brand clearly and generating more sales than ever before. Don’t leave the competition unchallenged in the fight for the most views, conversions and user engagement from marketing videos. 

Stuck for video content ideas? You’ll be surprised by the volume of ideas you can generate when you know where to look. Consider interviewing people from within your industry, showcase cool case studies, explain any concept your audience would find interesting, review non-competing products and get your entire office involved in the idea creation process. Look for inspiration from the top-performing video marketing campaigns in your industry to come up with ideas of your own. 

Don’t procrastinate! Start your video marketing journey sooner rather than later – your business could be waiting for that critical step to evolve and become an industry leader that other businesses look up to. Do you like the sounds of that? Then consider using our professional video marketing services at Ladder.io to start your journey.