Understanding Video Content Marketing

You should be creating video content – but if you’re like 91% of small businesses, you’re not even using YouTube. Here’s how to get started with video content strategy, development, and marketing. Follow these tips to develop a video marketing plan that works for your business.

What is Video Content Marketing?

To explain video content marketing, we have to start with the concept of content marketing. Here’s the definition according to the Content Marketing Institute:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and ultimately drive profitable customer action.”

In other words, content marketing is when you use exciting, interesting, content to attract people to your brand. It’s a slow burn strategy that doesn’t try to sell people anything until they’re already fans of your business.

So video content marketing is simply content marketing through videos. But, as you’ll see, there’s a whole world of options out there: different video formats, lengths, platforms, and styles.

Why You Need a Video Content Marketing Plan

Content dominates digital marketing in the 21st century. Customers want more from you than just a great product or service. They look to brands for information, assistance, and even entertainment.

Every brand in 2019 should be using content marketing to make connections with their customers. And, as video becomes the most popular form of content online, every brand needs a video content strategy.

So that’s the customer point of view. But having a strategy is also important within your business. Producing, scheduling and sharing video content can be complicated – so you need a clear video marketing plan for your team to follow.

Choose a Video Format

The biggest debate in video content marketing right now is: Horizontal or vertical?

Different video platforms are adapted for different formats. For example, videos on YouTube or Vimeo are always shown horizontally – while Instagram video is exclusively vertical. Video clips on Twitter are somewhere in between, with a roughly square shape.

What’s more, every platform has its own recommended dimensions for videos. So you’ll need to think about:

  • Which platforms are most important to you.
  • What your budget is for video equipment, editing tools, and training or hiring staff.
  • Whether you plan to create adaptable content or create different content for different formats.
  • How to film video which can easily be adapted for other formats.
  • How you will adapt video for other formats.

Choose a Video Length

There’s a secret to judging video length. Of course, there are always exceptions, but in general:

Horizontal videos are long, vertical videos are short.

Think about it. Most vertical video is posted on Instagram or Facebook Stories – short, informal media where people share quick updates and jokes. Vertical video gets mixed in with other types of content, like text posts and photos.

But horizontal video platforms, like YouTube, are dedicated to videos alone. So you can afford to run a bit longer and explore topics in more detail.

Here are some video content development ideas for both short and long video:

  • Insights and advice. Share quick tips in a Story, or create longer videos for webinars and online courses.
  • Behind the scenes. Viewers love video posts that take them behind the scenes. Film a mini-documentary at your business, or tease followers with a quick clip.
  • Questions and answers. Q&A sessions can be as long or short as you like. Facebook and Instagram Stories are a great medium for answering questions via video, or you can schedule a longer weekly YouTube video where you handle customer queries.
  • Live video. Most people prefer to film live content in short bursts. However, you can also set up live video feeds during brand events or presentations. Just make sure that the people on camera are aware they’re being filmed.

Remember, if you’re prepared to adapt videos for different formats, then you can use the same content for both long and short videos. Film a long piece of video content, then break it down into short clips to use as trailers and social media posts.

Check out this guide to reusing and recycling video content across social networks.

Accessibility is Key to Video Content Marketing

It’s a slow process, but brands and marketers are starting to pay more attention to accessibility. That means marking up text so that it works well with screen readers, providing transcripts for podcasts, filling in alt tags, thinking about how your design works with visual impairments and more.

Surprisingly, video content marketing is ahead of the game when it comes to accessibility. Why? Because lots of people watch videos without sound As autoplay videos and social video become more popular, more and more people have their devices on mute by default.

Make sure your video is clearly subtitled and structured so that people can understand the message without sound. When you post videos online, fill out all the meta information.

Optimize Your Video Content Strategy for SEO and Social Media

Last of all, think about how people will discover your videos. Both SEO and social media should be part of your video content marketing plan. That means using keywords in videos and meta-descriptions; creating content that responds to viewer’s interests.

As part of your video content strategy, choose whether you want to prioritize social shares or web traffic. Of course, you can go after both – but you may need to produce different video content for SEO and social purposes. You’ll need to look at video content marketing within your overarching content strategy and marketing goals.

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