Timothy Griffin

You know you need to find a way to get videos into your content plans in 2016.

But let’s face it – a lot of times the next decision – fleshing out the topics and target audiences – ends up creating a lot more drama than actual direction.

Here are a few simple steps to help you identify what types of strategies you should focus on in 2016, and how to get them done on-budget and on-time.

1. Video is just another weapon in your content marketing arsenal

The first conceptual hurdle many marketers can trip over is the idea that video needs to be treated as its own beast.

A major video project will have more visibility than a blog post. But that doesn’t mean you should throw away your content marketing fundamentals – like speaking to your audience. Look at the flow of users through your conversion funnel, as well as the other campaigns you have planned, and look for opportunities you’re not addressing.

  • Are qualified leads finding you, but don’t understand who you are when they arrive? Then a corporate promo that creates better brand awareness might be a good place to start.
  • Does your sales team get lots of questions about particular products? Animated product overviews can address them proactively and help improve conversion rates.
  • What kind of video do you need? Here’s our guide to goal-focused video marketing.

2. Keep videos short and focused

Once you’ve identified the areas you want to hit with your video strategy, stay focused on each topic, and keep each video lean. What does that mean in practice? Chop out the fluff – and don’t let anyone put it back in.

You want most of your videos to be 60-90 seconds (which means your script probably shouldn’t be longer than 200 words). To accomplish that, avoid jamming in details which don’t belong in that video.

It’s great to talk about your company’s history of reliability, but keep that in your corporate promo video, not your product animation.

And do you really need to include all the detailed technical specs of your product? You’re probably better off presenting that in a downloadable datasheet or longer webinar as a deeper-funnel asset.

3. Involve stakeholders early and often

There is nothing worse than thinking you’re done with a project, and then getting feedback that sets the project back to square one.

Every piece of video content you produce is probably going to have a number of stakeholders. So be sure to include everyone early in the process, and at specific touch points along the way. Every video is different, but most follow a similar creative path from initial brief to finished edited product. Make sure the people who need to approve the content have the opportunity to weigh in at each of these stages:

  • Initial brief / strategic conception
  • Visual examples / references
  • Script / Outline
  • Storyboard or Rough cut
  • Finished video

The work involved in video tends to go up exponentially at each stage. If someone has an issue with how the video addresses a particular audience segment, it’s much simpler to address it at the scripting or outline stage compared to the storyboard or shooting stage.

If you wait until the video is done to bring others in, you’re playing with fire. They may love it. But you also might be stuck re-working portions of the video, or setting up another shoot.

So stop approaching video like it’s different than anything you’ve ever done before.

It may be a new medium for you, but similar content marketing fundamentals are still in play. Focus on your content marketing objectives, and keep your work focused and on-track.

Before long, you’ll see the impact these first videos are making and you’ll be ready to move on to your next set of videos.