Without going into all the statistics on why video is a must have in any marketing strategy whether for online or offline (presentations, display, internal comms), I want to zone in on video strategy.
Video and/or animation is a high value purchase for marketers in relation to other marketing collateral.
That’s because video is a complex amalgamation of concept, copy, audio, moving pictures and graphics. It should end up as a package of content which both engages and informs an audience.
Start with strategy
It’s not easy to make specific, targeted video that works as a call to action for individual clients and their campaigns. It requires expertise and maturity aligned to an agency ethos of service. As well as reliability and competitive price point.
So when considering video in the marketing mix, you need to strategise. There is no excuse for commissioning video without plumbing it in to the overall marketing strategy. Or for being unrealistic about budgets, schedules and in-house resource to make it happen.
94% of businesses now agree that video is an effective tool. We’re beyond the point where selling video as must-have marketing tool is an issue. It‘s now about how to make the best, most efficient, high quality video and/or animation. Content that is consistent and integrated with a brand’s marketing push.
The nitty gritty
So here are some strategy tips from two decades of working with providing commercial video and animation:
- As your marketing plan emerges with its sales targets, make sure to factor in video as a supporting asset to achieving those targets. Within the plan’s parametres understand how to use video in paid-for digital and in social media. Including the world’s second largest search engine: YouTube.
- Rather than viewing video or animation as a standalone asset, see it as a support for content on the website or product page. Or for annual objectives such as attending expos and events. This will help streamline the type of video content you need across different organisational actions and make it more cost effective.
- Figure out who you want to target with your video. Basic but vital. Your audience will inform your choice of channel. And that in turn will decide what sort of video content you need.
- Understand that there is always an in-house resource required to oversee video production. Even if you commission video production to an out-of-house agency. Your own marketing and managerial teams will be instrumental in the allocation of products, people and locations. As well as shaping and approving the creative output. If you are committing to video in the long term give ownership of video oversight to one individual within your business.
- Be realistic about budgets. I know, I know, it sounds like special pleading. But seriously. If you are grubbing around for money to create your video content, the reason for commissioning video (sales!) will fail. Money for video needs to appear in the annual marketing budget in its own right. It shouldn’t come from other budgets. It is a big commitment so will require some big financial decisions. And further, within the video budget, identify what to allocate to the different types of video identified within the marketing plan.
- Organise the approval process properly. Like many marketing projects, I’ve seen video projects fail because there have been too many cooks involved in approving the final content. When it comes to sign off, people are away on holiday, on a training course, off sick or just too busy. Boom. You miss a deadline, and a big hole appears in the annual marketing plan! Go back to point 2. Allocate your video projects to a single point of contact and give them the authority to make final decisions about sign off.
- Scope out a proper schedule with milestones such as process sign-offs i.e. storyboard approval, film date approval, version approval. And understand who in our own organisation is part of that approval process.
Whether you are a big brand or small start-up these rules should apply if you are considering using video as a marketing tool. From user-generated video to 100K adverts, video is costly either in time or money, but that is for a reason. Video works as the best kind of marketing tool when properly considered and executed.
When video or animation is random, standalone or disconnected from a brand’s core values, it becomes expensive internet wallpaper.
Get it strategised and reap the benefits.
By Nicky Robertson, Managing Director Mendip Media with 20 years’ experience of video production