There Is A New Content Playbook, And It Starts With Video
As you think about and start to plan your content strategy for the rest of the year, you have to think video first. We’ve been teasing this since the middle of last year, when we all were put out of our offices and forced to work from home.
The pandemic has accelerated the need for video to be the lead in your content strategy. At the same time, new technologies have enabled video to be produced quickly and easily with a low investment level.
These factors have rewritten the content marketing playbook, and you need to be looking at your content the same way.
Here’s your playbook for generating leads with video.
Don’t grab your smartphone and start making videos. You know our mantra – strategy before tactics. You have to think this out first and apply the same methodology to this type of content as you apply to your long-form content.
Where in the buyer journey are you going to use these videos? Who is going to be watching them? What questions do these people have and how do you answer those questions with these videos? How personalized do the videos need to be? Are you doing different videos to use in marketing, sales and customer service?
You should have a content marketing strategy that aligns ALL of your content to your prospects’ and customers’ buyer journeys.
You should know what questions prospects and customers are asking during each stage of the eight-stage Cyclonic Buyer Journey™.
You should be aligning your content with each of those questions. Since the buyer journey starts with people who are prospects, continues with people your sales team is working with and then ultimately (if successful) transitions to actual customers, you’re going to have content up and down that journey map.
You should have already been looking at the types of content you’re creating. Whether it’s e-books, whitepapers, tip guides, presentations, infographics or playbooks, your persona work primarily drives the type of content.
Now you’re going to switch as much of this content as possible to video.
You can apply video in the same way you apply written or designed content:
- Landing pages for people in the Awareness Stage get video
- Blogs for people in the Education Stage get video
- Website pages for people in the Consideration Stage get video
- Emails get video
- Sales gets armed with videos and the ability to make their own videos
All of this is based on the overall buyer journey strategy.
With the strategy locked down, now we can talk about how to create and deploy the video assets. This is where this particular type of content gets especially interesting.
Just to make sure we’re on the same page, these are NOT expensive corporate videos. These are homemade smartphone-produced videos.
Today you have a video camera in your pocket, and with some inexpensive accessories like a ring light and a lavalier mic plus well-staged backdrops, you can make almost all of the video content you need to tell your story.
Once you get the video footage, the bigger challenge is editing it down and getting it ready for deployment.
That too is now remarkably easier. A host of free or low-cost video editing platforms help turn almost any marketer into the Steven Spielberg of content marketing videos. Here’s a list of the top video editing platforms perfect for what we’re talking about here.
The editing process is just to take the raw footage and turn it into something usable. If you have 30 minutes of video, you’ll want to cut it down into 10 three-minute videos or even shorter 30-second video vignettes.
You’ll want to add some intro and outro music and also come up with an intro panel using your branding.
With a one-hour shoot, you can dive your video content strategy for weeks. You can arm your sales team with a library of videos to use. You can fuel your social media campaigns and paid media campaigns by building a robust YouTube channel in a month.
The last item for your editing checklist is to understand that these videos have to help prospects move along in their buyer journeys. That means you’ll need the appropriate next step added at the end of each video, such as visit this page, contact a rep, consider downloading this item, register for this event or chat with us online.
From just this brief description you should start to see the omni-channel capabilities of video as the new start of your content marketing strategy.
It’s one thing to build an audience with video, but most CEOs aren’t going to fund that forever without a connection to revenue, growth and some type of measurable ROI on the investment in video.
Not to mention, knowing what’s working and what’s not is going to help you adjust your program and optimize the performance of your video content program.
Here are some video metrics you’ll definitely want to include as you add more video to your content playbook.
The number of people who view your videos is a vanity metric. If 1,000 people view it but they only watch for three seconds, that’s a problem. So while video views are nice, they’re not ultimately what you want to see going up and to the right.
Views are an early indicator, however. They show you that people are interested in your topic and that your titling and placement strategy is working. People are watching the video, but you need them to watch it for a long period of time and then take action. More on that next.
Attention Span Data
This is what we’re talking about. The 2021 Vidyard Video Benchmark Report shows 45% of viewers will watch a video all the way to the end, regardless of how long the video is. In 2020, the average video was just over six minutes long.
You want attention span data to see how long people are sticking with your video content. The length is going to be important here. I’m encouraging shorter videos to make it easier to get through them, but for some personas and some industries longer videos might be appropriate.
Attention span data also shows you where people are dropping out. Do you talk too much about your product, service or company? Does your story go on for too long? Does the sound or production quality degrade?
Knowing where people stop watching and why is important.
Video Click-Through Rate
Basically, this is the number of people who watch your video divided by the number of people who click through or take action based on the video. It’s a very important number because you want your videos to drive a specific action. YouTube reports that the average video click-through rate is between 4% and 5%.
Remember, we hate averages. Get a baseline for your videos and work to improve them. Too many variables are going into the averages for those numbers to be highly relevant to you.
Link Click-Through Rate
Taking the above metric to the next level, if you have multiple links in your video, you’re now tracking the link click-through rate as opposed to the overall video click-through rate.
It’s tough to get link click-through rate averages to provide some idea of how you’re doing. Trust me, I Googled it. Again, run your videos and set a baseline, then work your own numbers to improve performance.
This is generally a best practice for all optimization efforts. Your numbers and your improvements are always more important than trying to reach any arbitrary industry averages.
Sales Metrics For Video
You’re going to want to use video for sales too, and good video content should help marketing generate leads and help sales generate sales opportunities and new customers.
One metric you can look at for the sales team is meetings or deals generated from video. If someone watched the video and then set up a meeting to speak with a rep, or if a deal was generated as a result of that meeting, the video clearly contributed.
You can take that up a level and track the pipeline value associated with deals that watched a video. Once the deals close, you can track revenue from deals that watched video and closed.
One note about attribution like this. Let’s not kid ourselves – the video probably had less to do with the deal closing than the sales rep’s interactions, but I think it’s safe to say the video had some influence on the deal. Don’t worry about attribution; just track the contribution and influence.
You’ve probably made a few videos or have a few videos on your website already. I know video isn’t a new idea, but making video the star of your content strategy might be a new idea. I’m suggesting you go all-in on video for a few months and transition most of your content creation to video.
Follow the playbook above and use those new video assets everywhere. Once the dust settles, look at the numbers and compare your website visitors, leads generated, pipeline velocity and a few other KPIs.
I think you’ll be impressed with the improvements and the scalable way video works across your omni-channel marketing and sales execution efforts.
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