A guide to video content marketing – part 2, how to use video in your inbound marketing strategy

by Woven Agency on Tuesday September 3, 2019 @ 02:02PM

In part one of our guide to video content marketing, we talked about why and how you should create video for your marketing channels. In this part, we’ll discuss how you should use the video within your inbound marketing strategy. 

So, you’ve got your video… what now?

Companies often fall between two extremes when it comes to creating video. Some will spend lots of money shooting a showpiece brand video or slickly edited showreel and then… nothing. They’ve ticked their video creation box and now they can move back to doing their usual marketing activity.

Whereas other businesses will have a conveyor belt of video content ready to go, churning out social video because they’ve read that it’s something they have to do. But too often, in a bid to get ‘stuff’ out there, they sacrifice quality – namely, they don’t use video to address their audience’s concerns. They’re more interested in the medium than the message.

Before spending valuable time and resources creating your video, your task is to figure out how to make every second of it count. And you do this by creating a video content plan that fits hand-in-glove with your inbound strategy. 

Inbound marketing – a quick reminder

Inbound marketing is the act of attracting, converting, closing and delighting leads and customers through content, SEO, landing pages, CRM, sales automation and other activities. Inbound makes you the solution to your target audience’s problems, makes it simple for them to find you, and makes it easy for you to keep customers coming back for more.

You need to create video content for each stage of the above process. Why? Because your audience will have different considerations, different problems they are trying to solve and different expectations at each of those stages. Which means type of video that you produce, and the message it conveys, needs to vary to reflect that. 

Remember, your content – video or otherwise – has to be focused on your audience’s circumstances. So when they change, your message changes.

Your videos need to speak to the audience at that particular phase of their buyer journey and prompt them to go onto the next. The end goal is to turn your leads into loyal customers and promoters of your brand.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at how your video content should work at each stage of the journey.

Videos that attract

In the attraction phase, your video’s job is to turn strangers into visitors. Consumers at this point in the journey are identifying their challenges and deciding whether it’s worth their time and money to seek out a solution. So the videos you create should empathise with their problems and introduce a possible solution in your product or service. But be wary of pushing too hard on the salesy stuff at this stage! These are early-stage browsers and their attention is fleeting. The aim is to engage them and gently lead them on a journey. 

Attracter videos need to expand reach and build trust. You want to create buzz, generate shares, whip up social engagement, so try and be entertaining and evoke emotion. 

Don’t be scared to be creative, to stand out against the competition with messaging that grabs attention. Remember, you’re not just competing against rival brands, you’re competing against everything else in people’s social media feeds and email inboxes. 

At the same time, make sure you present yourself as an authority on the topic so they consider you a resource of useful content, worthy of further exploration.

Examples of attracter videos include short, sharp videos that show off your brand personality, like these:

Fun and helpful from Ikea:

Aspirational and lifestyle-led from Camp Brand:

Inspiration and inclusive from Reebok:

Thought leadership videos are another way to attract people by positioning yourself as an industry voice or ‘thought leader’ worth listening to. 

Now, you can do the usual talking head-style video that’s all polished and painstakingly scripted or you can be a bit more rough and ready, like Social Chain owner, Steve Bartlett. 

(Notice how Steve interweaves his personal branding throughout, so this isn’t just a typical opinion piece – it works just as well as a brand development piece.)

Whatever type of video you use – and we recommend a mix of the two – make sure you have a call to action at the end of it that compels visitors to sign up to something, to call a number, to visit a website. Remember, attracter videos exist to grab attention and get people to the next step of the buying journey – conversion.

Videos that convert

Attracting video viewers and website visitors is the important first step; now it’s time to convert visitors into leads.

With most inbound marketing content, this means collecting some sort of contact information via a form on a landing page or a conversational marketing chatbot. 

Video expedites this process by positioning yourself as a potential solution to a buyer’s problem. This convinces them to visit your website and fill in the enquiry form, drop you an email, pick up the phone or leave a message with your chatbot.

Examples of converter videos include a webinar or trainer video filled with tactical advice, product demos sent over email, case studies and how-to videos. Remember, though, that your content still needs to grab and hold attention, so whilst your primary aim is to provide value, make sure you’re also kinetic, enthusiastic, humorous, emotive – or a mix of all four.

Don’t forget the buyer’s journey, either. Think about the topics your attracter videos have covered and ensure your converter video relates to them – but in a way that sells your product or service. So if your attracter video tells your audience how to write the perfect email, your converter email should break down the benefits of the inbound marketing methodology. 

Videos that close a sale

You’ve attracted strangers to your brand. You’ve converted the right visitors – i.e. your target buyer personas – into leads. Now it’s time to turn leads into customers. But odd as it may sound, most businesses overlook this crucial element of their video content marketing strategy. 

At this stage in the buyer journey, the consumer has done the majority of their research and is now weighing up options before deciding to purchase. Ideally, your closer video should encourage them to start to visualise actually owning and using your product and – importantly – the great benefits that they would enjoy as a result. 

This is where video really comes into its own, as, according to HubSpot, four-times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. And with good reason. Video is an extremely immersive medium that is great for explaining complex functionality and emoting about product benefits. It’s much more visceral than reading alone. Afterall, the old adage is that a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Testimonials are perhaps the most obvious kind of closer video, such as this one from independent financial advisers Robertson Baxter:

Notice that despite being a testimonial, Robertson Baxter has created an aesthetic and tone of voice that encapsulates their brand and is designed to resonate with the affluent, sophisticated target audience.

Other ideas for closer videos might include in-depth product demos showing before-and-after scenarios, or showcasing the tangible, bottom-line difference your product has made to previous clients’ businesses. As part of an account-based marketing approach, it can be extremely effective to send personalised videos to specific contacts within businesses that you would love to work with and feel that you have a credible reason for reaching out to. Highly personalised video messages have been proven to provide cut-through where email would more than likely land you in a spam folder. 

Videos that delight

The buyer journey doesn’t end with a purchase. In fact, you’re hoping this is just the beginning. 

Having attracted, converted and closed, you will want to keep those hard-won new clients coming back again and again as repeat customers. After all, it’s five times more expensive to win a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.

In the “delight stage” of the inbound methodology, your goal is to continue providing remarkable content that makes their interaction with your product or service as memorable and effective as possible. 

In this way, you not only please your client and convince them to stay with you, you greatly increase the chance of them referring you to others. Which means the aim of a delighter video is to encourage customers to become advocates or ‘brand evangelists’; clients so bought-in to what you do that they effectively end up doing your marketing for you. Word of mouth is one of the most effective and underused business development strategies available. Turn your happy clients into raving fans of your brand by continuing to surprise and delight them at every turn. Even – or especially – after they sign on the dotted line. 

An ideal opportunity to delight customers is immediately after they make a purchase. A personalised thank you video, welcoming them to your community could pay dividends in terms of generating warm, fuzzy feelings toward your brand. It’s the kind of seemingly small and inconsequential thing that people just might tell other people about. A property development company, for example, might produce a video explaining everything the local area has to offer – perfect for new homebuyers. Yes, repeat business in property is a long-term game, but that doesn’t mean such efforts should be overlooked. Everyone has friends and colleagues. Everyone is a ‘micro-influencer’ these days. Don’t overlook the power of these small ‘moments of delight’. This could well be what your brand becomes most known for. 

Video Tutorials

Are you selling a product that is complex, has multiple uses, or who’s users might benefit from access to expert user tutorials? Then consider product training videos that let people first get to grips with the product and then become masters of it. 

Brands selling technical products such as cameras massively benefit from such content. Not just because you educate customers to get the most out of their purchase but because you get them used to ‘your’ way of doing things. This reduces the risk of them switching to a rival for fear of having to learn a whole new way of doing things.

Also, don’t be scared to make lengthy product videos. At this point in the buyer’s journey, your customer is heavily invested in what you offer and wants to get the most out of it. As such, they won’t balk at the idea of sitting through a half-hour tutorial, like the one below, if it means enhancing their product experience for years to come. 

In fact, increasingly, longer-form video is outperforming shorter videos, as demonstrated in this recent article by Google. 

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/advertising-channels/video/building-brand-loyalty-with-long-form-content

Defining goals

We discussed setting effective goals in part one but it’s worth briefly recapping here. Just as with any marketing campaign, before you get going with your video content marketing, it’s vital that you determine your primary goal. Typical aims might be:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive web traffic
  • Improve social media engagement
  • Take people to a landing page
  • Offer a free trial

Pick just one or two objectives to ensure your video content is focused and leaves the viewer with a clear action you want them to take, or ‘call to action’ in marketing-speak. 

Keep your buyer persona in mind at all times. How old are they? How much do they earn? What media channels do they engage with? How do they speak? What are the daily challenges that you can solve? And, as we’ve been at pains to stress throughout this guide, what stage of the buyer journey are they at? 

So, before you do anything, define why you want to make your video and define who you’re aiming it at – because this will define the kind of video you create.

Analysing results

As we’ve discussed, video content marketing isn’t just about creating and distributing content. It doesn’t end when you press the ‘Upload video’ button on YouTube or Vimeo. You need to look at measuring the success of your video through agreed metrics that align with your business objectives.

Metrics to consider include:

Reach and impressions
Reach is the number of people who saw your video as part of their social feed or on a blog post. Impressions is the number of times it was seen in total and will include multiple views by the same person. As such, the number of impressions is always higher. These are useful metrics if your goal is improved brand awareness but because they include people who saw your video but didn’t play it, they shouldn’t be considered a primary metric of success.

Views
This is how many times people actually clicked to watch your video. Just be aware that different channels have different criteria for what’s considered a view. For example, on YouTube a user must watch a minimum of thirty seconds of your video to count as a ‘view’, but for Facebook and Instagram the minimum qualification is just three seconds of video. This actually gives you a bit of a clue about the differing user behaviour across channels and is therefore something that should be factored into your planning up front. Where is your content most likely to be seen? Maybe there’s not much point uploading a 30 minute video to Facebook, if the average attention span (especially on mobile) is much shorter. As always, the best approach is to experiment widely and find what works best for your particular audience. 

Play rate
Whilst knowing your reach is worthwhile, a video’s play rate is more important. This is the number of plays your video receives divided by how often the video is shown (reach), making it a more relevant measure of purposeful engagement. If your play rate is low, it’s likely because you’re not targeting the right people or your content isn’t grabbing people’s attention with a strong start.

Video completions and completion rate
A video completion is the number of times your video is played from start to finish, and is the best measure of all in terms of viewer engagement. Your completion rate is the number of people who saw your video all the way through divided by the number of people who played it. 

If your completion rate isn’t up to scratch, find out where people are dropping off. Is it at a similar spot? If so, experiment with your edits to see if you can make your video snappier. If this isn’t possible, no problem – take it as a lesson learned and make the next one better.

Social engagement
Social sharing, commenting and liking is a good indicator of how relevant your content is to your target audience. Shares amplify your content and therefore ‘reach’ can quickly snowball. This is the much sought-after ‘viral effect’, which is definitely something to consider aiming to deliberately leverage if you want to rapidly grow your reach, awareness and social following. 

Click-through rate (CTR)
This is the number of times your CTA (Call To Action) is clicked, divided by how many times it has been viewed. This is a crucial metric if you aren’t just interested in soft measures such as ‘views’ and ‘reach’. This is users actively clicking through to an offer or landing page in response to what they have just seen and is therefore a very powerful measure of how appealing the offer is to the target audience. In some campaigns, CTR is everything. In others, focused more on awareness and brand building, getting a user to physically click on something is less important as we are looking more to influence future behaviour. Again, it’s all about understanding your goals and building the right kinds of campaigns. 

There are many, many reasons that a particular campaign might produce a lower-than-expected CTR, and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is, of course, a whole specialised field of expertise in its own right, but at a basic level it’s always worth experimenting with the actual wording of the Call to Action. For example, you might consider changing the copy something more active, or urgent. For example, don’t say ‘Click here for a free trial.’ Instead, say ‘Grow your business with our free trial’. 

Conversion rate
This is the number of times visitors completed your desired action divided by the number of clicks on your call to action. If your goal is to have viewers complete an action like signing up for a free trial, try adding a video to your landing page to see if your conversion rate increases.

Bounce rate and time-on-page 
Before making any drastic changes to a web page, like adding video content, make sure you understand the existing usage patterns and analytics for the page in question. You want to be able to clearly measure and understand what happens when you make changes. Did the bounce rate go up, or down? Did time on site increase, or decrease? If you don’t have a clear picture of where you are starting from, measuring the effect of your changes is impossible. 

Lights, camera, action.
So, a lot to think about, right? Planning your content strategy, buying equipment, setting up your shooting space, writing scripts, filming, lighting and editing. And once you’ve done all that you’ve got to market the content in the right way, producing certain types of video for certain user types (personas) at each of the different stages of the buyer journey. It can feel like quite a daunting task.

But don’t be deterred, because with time and patience you’ll soon be creating high-impact, scroll-stopping video that enhances your brand awareness, drives new visitors to your website and social channels, generates more sales, and encourages repeat business.

If you’re still feeling a little hesitant, start small. Pick up a smartphone, a tripod and a mic and shoot a quick how-to video. Do it in a quiet room or whilst you’re grabbing a post-work pint. Make it slick or make it rough around the edges – so long as your video content reflects your brand, understands what it’s trying to achieve and adds value to your target audience, you won’t go far wrong.

And, like anything, the more you do it, the more confident you’ll become. Trust us, you’ll soon be wondering what you were worried about.