KEY ELEMENTS OF A SMART VIDEO STRATEGY
By Ami Murphy Iannone, Creative Director - July 31, 2018
Any effective video marketing strategy depends on an understanding of who you’re talking to, where you’re talking to them, and what message you want to get across. Answering these questions can be surprisingly difficult. But with the right tools in place, you can gather the data you need to be confident your video content will succeed. Here are the factors you need to consider in order to step up your video strategy.
You can’t start filming until you know who your videos are meant to be for. Most sophisticated marketers will have a good understanding of their target consumer personas and who makes an ideal buyer for their brand. But understanding that target audience’s video consumption habits is more nuanced. You will need a holistic understanding of what else your target consumer watches online when they watch, and what kinds of content they engage with before you can be confident that your videos will hit the mark.
It’s a no-brainer to say that Totino‘s and Ann Taylor Loft wouldn’t be creating the same kinds of videos. Those brands are obviously after two very different audiences. However, it is not as obvious to understand why Totino’s and Mountain Dew would need to take different approaches to their videos. On the surface level, their target audience is similar, but once you understand the video consumption habits of the target consumer, you may find that very divergent approaches are appropriate.
Our ActiveInsights product is designed to help marketers make these kinds of hairline distinctions. Discovering what else your audience is watching online can allow you to uncover hidden interests and untapped audience opportunities.
Once you’ve identified the audience that is most appropriate for your content, you need to figure out where you can best reach them. Different audiences live on different channels. For example, take these stats from the Pew Research Center:
65% of US Adults aged 50-64 use Facebook
64% of US Adults aged 18-29 used Instagram
91% of US Adults aged 18-29 use YouTube
Clearly, Facebook is the most appropriate channel for reaching older audiences. If you were shooting for a younger demographic, you might want to place your money on YouTube, since it is arguably the best way to reach the largest percentage of millennials. In fact, the Business Insider Social Video Report notes that “YouTube reaches more 18-34-year-olds, and even 18-49-year-olds, than any cable network in the US.”
Many marketers might want to trust their gut on a channel decision, but having the data to validate your decision means less chance of needing to defend yourself in the future. The ICX Media platform allows you to analyze your audience across multiple social media channels so that you can make informed decisions about the distribution for your videos. Why waste your creative efforts on a channel where your target audience isn’t listening?
With the understanding of who you’re creating for and where you should be reaching them all that’s left is figuring out what to create… No big deal, right?
Determining the right creative approach is both a factor of the ideal audience and the best practices for the network where you plan to reach them. Understanding these two components can guide you toward the best creative outcome.
Start by gaining an understanding of what kinds of content your audience engages with. This can be a topical understanding “my audience likes hot salsa and skateboarding” as well as an understanding of ideal formats “my audience likes candid pranks and music videos.”
You want to understand generally what types of accounts they’re following to gauge their interests. Then more specifically, you’ll want to see what they’re consuming to learn the messaging styles that resonate with them. These insights will serve as your north star when determining your own creative approach.
Once you start to understand your creative approach, remember to consider the best practices and limitations of your target channel. If you’re making a piece for Instagram, you’ll need to contend with the 60-second limit, whereas you can create longer-form videos for YouTube.
Not only does ICX Media’s platform help you understand your audience’s interests and where they’re paying attention in order inform your creative, but it also provides actionable recommendations to help maximize your video’s performance. Easy-to-implement tips -- like character recommendations for length of title, optimal posting time, or the ideal tags to include-- come from machine-learning analysis of millions of videos and give you a leg up on hitting your target audience in the most effective and timely way.
Now, with all of the legwork out of the way, comes the tricky task of actually making the videos. Traditionally, marketers and agencies would rely on expensive, full-scale production teams to create videos. While these sorts of teams still certainly have a place in today’s marketing landscape creating high-quality, feature-style videos, marketers now have to operate at the speed of social. These types of production teams tend to be much too expensive and not agile enough to meet the demand and scale of video necessary to maintain an engaged social audience.
To meet these demands marketers are creating in-house creative studios and/or executing creative content with independent creators and influencers. Influencers, in particular, offer a great value to marketers because they not only create high-quality content quickly and affordably, but they have also built audiences who turn to them as experts and tastemakers. The benefit of working with these influencers is a degree of validation that comes with their proven ability to reach a specific audience with engaging content. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Yes, but there’s a catch.
This only works when there is a strong alignment between the brand’s values and the creator’s content and audience. A smart match is the key. With the staggering number of independent video creators worldwide, it can be difficult to discover the perfect influencers for brand campaigns and it can be incredibly time-consuming to coordinate the logistics of an influencer campaign.
The ICX Media platform provides solutions for both of these pain points. Access to the platform allows you to search our network of nearly 1 million independent video creators and our AI core provides a custom-tailored shortlist of creators that match your criteria. Built-in processes for contracts, rights exchange, and even payment allow you to seamlessly run your campaigns without a middleman. You get to control the creative process but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel of program management.
A smart video strategy can help your brand rise above all the noise and earn meaningful engagement with your target consumers. Check out our look into the way that LEGO has mastered their audience engagement with meaningful video. Download our ebook to learn more about the value of implementing a smart video strategy this year.