At this point, you’ve seen the stats and you’re bought in. Video marketing is an essential element in your brand storytelling portfolio — but what’s next? How can you make a brand video that is memorable and compelling? How can you see a return on your investment?
Zach Gresham, the president of Sparxoo Studios, has some ideas. With six years of professional video marketing experience under his belt, Zach understands the power of a well-told story through video — and the pitfalls to avoid. He’s got go-to tips and tricks for how to craft a video marketing strategy that generates leads and captures attention.
When you’re getting started, your best friend will be the account manager in charge of your client’s marketing. There are a specific set of questions you’ll want to be able to answer as you partner with them. The big picture questions will answer what result the client is looking to get, and how video marketing will fit in to the overall strategy. Then, Zach recommends you focus in on the video by defining:
- Goals – what is the client hoping to achieve with this video? What measurements would you like to base success on? “Those end-result metrics really gauge your success and inform the entire process,” Zach says. “Spending more time considering these questions in pre-production is critical.”
- Audience – who is your target audience for the video?
- Journey Stage – what stage will your audience be on in their journey when they consume this video? How does the video pair with other contents in the marketing funnel?
Once you have these foundational questions answered, you can start to strategize down to the details. “Where do you want the video to live? Do you know your budget? Videos usually change course after that initial discussion,” Zach says. “For example, I come up with an idea I think is cool, but when I bounce it off of someone else they can improve that idea. Having more experts in the room can be really helpful.”
When you’re crafting a brand video, there are a few categories you’ll be drawing from. You might go with an explainer video — one that illustrates what the brand is about, why the company exists, and defines the company culture. Finally, it will show what solutions the company is providing to their customers.
Alternatively, you might have a brand video that is a hype reel set out to create awareness and excitement about the brand. This would be a brand video aimed at capturing your higher-funnel audience.
In either case, Zach says the methods for creation and distribution are evolving. “You can tell stories through TikTok videos,” he says. “You’re no longer limited to the old-school two minute video interviewing company founders about their rise to fame. It can be about a social mission, or employees talking about how much they love their jobs. The benefit of a brand video is that you get the human aspect of the company back.”
With that human element in mind, there are additional considerations you should make when you’re storyboarding your brand video. Thinking back to your audience, you should decide what part of the marketing funnel you’re looking to engage with your video. “It could be about your people, or about the actual story of your company’s beginnings,” Zach says. “You could talk about the founders, your values and morals, or talk about your products and services relative to what your social vision is. You can include interviews, b-roll and voice over — this is usually how to share the company values through video. Sales videos are more focused around the product, but brand story is really around what makes your company mindset different, and how that relates to what you’re selling your customer. It’s all about the ‘why.’” When you can identify where in the funnel your target audience lives — whether you’re aiming to raise awareness, instill desire or strengthen brand loyalty — you’ll have a better idea of how to make these decisions.
When you’re implementing video marketing, there are some common pitfalls you’ll want to watch out for. First and most importantly, make sure you have an interesting and compelling company story. If you’re lacking this, it means you need to put in more work on your brand before you represent it through a video. Your brand video shouldn’t be able helping you define your brand, it should represent the core values and customer focus you have already built.
You should also pick your path early in the planning stages, and stick with it. Are you hoping to have a more authentic, longer-form presentation of your brand story? Or are you hoping to make more of a sizzle reel with a short, punchy approach? Once you pick a direction, stick with it so you master it. Things can go wrong when you try to do too many things with one video.
“It has to be well thought out when it comes to the script, storyboard, and shot list,” Zach says. “Spend your time in pre-production. It is one of the hardest parts. Understanding how visuals line up with your content — that’s where a lot of production companies fall short. You get the footage, start editing and realize, these shots don’t line up with the script, and then it costs more to fix up the mess.”
Finally, make sure you’re in the right medium to achieve your goals. If you’re trying to achieve lead generation, for example, a blog post might be more enticing to download, and thus lead to collection of customer details that a video might now.
Video marketing can be successful in many different areas of the marketing funnel, however. “It comes down to what your customers want to see, and where they’re seeing it,” Zach says. “If they’re on Instagram or Facebook, you’re not the only person doing innovative new video. If you’re gonna do it, it has to create value that is different than what people are seeing normally. With video, think about how the person will see, feel and buy from your content. Cater it specifically to the platform you’re on to make value a large piece of it. If you don’t have great visuals in the first three seconds, people will drop off, and your campaign can fail, so consider length, too.”
At Sparxoo, our strength in our Studios department lies in their collaboration with the marketing teams. “We have an interesting space where we have a fully fleshed out marketing company and a professional video studio in the same exact hat,” Zach says. “Not only do you have access to amazing brand strategy and storytelling, but you also have the ability to take the amazing marketing push and make it into a cool video that’s very hand-in-hand. Not only do we have everyone at the ready whenever we need them, but we work so closely together that without even asking an account manager, I already know the marketing objectives because I’m experienced in working with the marketing side. We have that marketing mindset.” By working toward eliminating department silos, you can adopt the Sparxoo Secret Sauce and see success with your own video marketing strategy.