Are you struggling to create strategic video content?
Do you wish you could use video marketing to help you achieve your business goals?
In this article, Ben Amos, an online video strategist, video producer, international speaker and consultant is sharing his top video marketing strategies for your business.
What You’ll Learn
[9:52] Why is Strategy Vital for Live Video?
[28:53] How did Ben Become a Live Video Strategist?
[32:17] How Important is Consistency for Your Video Strategy?
[37:13] Repurposing Live Video for YouTube
[40:10] How Does Ben Create an Effective Video Hook?
[42:38] Pre-recorded vs Live Video: Which is Best?
[50:53] The First Thing Ben Gets His Clients to Do
Why is Strategy Vital for Live Video?
Listen at [09:52]
Video strategy, and strategy in general, is not a one size fits all for businesses.
However, I’ve personally found that strategy and planning are an essential part of creating a successful live show.
If you don’t have a strategy, then you won’t have a reason to go live, and this can cause you to be inconsistent and directionless with your live shows.
One of the things I’ve talked about before on previous shows is how essential planning is, and how I use a planning document. This is one of the things that I cover in Launch Your Live, my 10-day course that helps you launch your live show.
Putting together a plan like this can really help solidify your strategy, so I’d recommend it as your first step.
How did Ben Become a Live Video Strategist?
Listen at [28:53]
I love to dive into the past of my guests to find out how they ended up in their current role.
It’s quite clear that Ben has had an interest in video from an early age, thanks to his Dad’s passion for home videos.
This developed into him creating his own videos before going on to study and then teach video studies for seven years. He then decided to commercialise his video skills and went out on his own to create video content for businesses.
However around five years ago, Ben realised that even though companies were spending lots of money creating videos, they weren’t actually doing anything with them.
They were maybe uploading the videos to YouTube, but there was no structure or strategy, and as such, they weren’t getting any views and weren’t driving any results.
"I recognised that there clearly wasn't a return on that video's investment for that client. So that kicked off a journey of me figuring out what video marketing is all about and how we can apply video more strategically to our clients, and our businesses."
And so, that’s where Ben is with his business today. Helping video producers around the world figure out video marketing for their business via Engage Video Marketing.
How Important is Consistency for Your Video Strategy?
Listen at [32:17]
It’s often advised that if you are creating content or going live that you should do it on a consistent day or time every week. People worry that they have to go live multiple times per week, which can be difficult to maintain.
"I think that what you need to do is focus on a consistent publishing schedule that's going to work for you first and foremost, but also for your audience. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this, it really comes down to what you are going to be able to do that allows you to be consistent."
Basically, as long as the audience can establish an expectation of when you're going to show up for them, and are willing to show up in return with that same consistency then you are onto a winner.
How often you choose to do this is up to you, but overall consistency is an important part of your video strategy.I think that what you need to do is focus on a consistent publishing schedule that's going to work for you first and foremost, but also for your audience. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this, it really comes down to what you are going to be able to do that allows you to be consistent. @engage_benClick To Tweet
How Does Ben Repurpose Live Video for YouTube?
Listen at [37:13]
Repurposing live video content into YouTube videos is a great way to reach multiple audiences and amplify your message. But it’s not quite as simple as ripping the video from the platform and posting it on another.
When Ben is going live on LinkedIn he welcomes his audience and introduces the training, then he has to set it up for repurposing.
"When I’m going into the teaching content I take a very deliberate pause, and then I go into the guts of the video. After I go live I record a hook outlining what they will learn in the video and then a standard intro."
This allows Ben to get a clean cut between the live content and the content that he then repurposes into a YouTube video. He does the same for the closing, as this is YouTube-specific and allows him to point to a specific video.
How Does Ben Create an Effective Video Hook?
Listen at [40:10]
Creating a hook that really draws people into your video is an imperative part of an effective video strategy. If your audience is not enticed by what you say it’s unlikely that they will hang around to watch your video, or subscribe for future ones.
Yet, it’s something that video creators often fail to master.
Ben thinks that there is a science to hacking human attention. Firstly you need to make the hook relevant to your audience and their situation in order to grab their attention.
"Every good video strategy needs to start with understanding your audience."
Once you understand this you can create content that hooks in your ideal audience in a way that’s relevant to them.
Another valuable tool is to leave the audience wondering what comes next by not giving everything away in the hook. This way your audience will keep watching because you’ve opened the loop and their brain will need to close it. That’s a very powerful psychological trigger in humans. You can do this via an audio hook, or even visually using the YouTube thumbnail.
The amalgamation of technology, psychology and storytelling is fascinating and can be really powerful in keeping the interest of your audience.Every good video strategy needs to start with understanding your audience. @engage_benClick To Tweet
Pre-recorded vs Live Video: Which is Best?
Listen at [42:38]
I’ve been focussing on live videos and found that I have had relative success with them. However my pre-recorded videos don’t really get the same following, and I’ve not spent a lot of time building my channel.
So, is it best to focus on live video or pre-recorded video first?
Ben’s advice is that if you’ve got the data, then you should make your decision based on the data and the metrics.
However, if these metrics are not available to you, then Ben recommends that you focus on making pre-recorded or published video content.
By doing this, you can focus on creating the best possible content, with minimal fluff, that gets straight to the point. People will come to your channel for the videos in the early stages rather than you. They will come to learn, based on what they’ve searched for.
In the early days, you should focus your video strategy on really nailing the pre-recorded YouTube videos. Once you are gaining traction with this, and you’ve built up an audience of around 2,000 subscribers you can inject some live videos.
What is the First Thing You Should Do?
Listen at [50:53]
Getting started can sometimes be the most overwhelming part, so what does Ben get his clients to do when they first start with him?
"Let me just preface this by really reiterating the importance of approaching video strategically because every social media platform is a video platform these days. The problem is that as more and more people are doing video for business, they're using video as a tactic."
Video is not something that you should do just for the sake of it, you need to ensure that it is strategic and that you are creating videos with purpose and using them in a way that actually gets you business. That’s the difference between tactics and strategy.Video is not something that you should do just for the sake of it, you need to ensure that it is strategic and that you are creating videos with purpose and using them in a way that actually gets you business. @engage_benClick To Tweet
500 years ago a guy called Sun Su said about war: "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is just noise before defeat."
The world of online video is very noisy, and this quote applies to online marketing nowadays just as well as it does to ancient war.
"Where strategy begins for a business is by really understanding your audience. So that's where we start with our clients."
After establishing this, Ben takes his clients through six elements as part of building out a strategy, but it all starts with understanding your audience.
#1 Establish Goals
After the clients know their audience, it’s time to establish goals. Goal setting in video strategy is all about understanding what stages of the customer journey you want the video to impact on.
There are four stages to consider: awareness stage; consideration phase, conversion phase and then the advocacy stage post-purchase.
Goals are then aligned to videos that impact your audience at different stages of that customer journey.
#2 Inform the Content
Once the goals are established it’s time to use them to inform the content. This is all about clarifying your key message.
What is the key message?
And how is that message going to be positioned in the right way so the audience takes the steps we want them to take?
Before you’ve ever produced a piece of content, you need to know where it is going to be distributed. There are multiple different platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook, and the reality is that they all have their nuances.
So you need to think about where you are going to distribute this content and how you are going to produce the content in the right way for that platform.
Once you have done that, you can repurpose your video content onto different platforms. This is the second stage of a distribution strategy.
Optimisation scares a lot of people, but it’s really just understanding the algorithm of the platforms that you are distributing your video content on.
The algorithm will differ depending on what platform you are using, ie. Facebook is different from LinkedIn. This is why it’s important to know where you are going to distribute your content first.
But, in truth, the algorithms are so complex and sophisticated that they are designed to return the best result for the audience. So, the first stage in optimisation should be creating something that the audience wants to see, and the rest will fall into place naturally. It’s just like SEO, you write copy for the audience, not the robots.
And actually, if we create that content that people really love, then the algorithms are going to love us anyway.
Again, this is getting a little technical but it's an important part of video strategy. Businesses need to understand what metrics matter for your video strategy.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the available data, but the most important thing is to determine what success looks like to you. This might be different for different people. So understanding this will help you decide what matters and what you should be paying attention to.
So for example, in some videos, the metrics that matter most are audience engagement or likes.
Whereas other strategic videos are designed to impact conversion and make a sale. So with this type of video, the important metrics would be things like clicks to a landing page, and how many people are buying.
The simplest way to look at metrics is to understand the ones that actually matter to you, and that is where you should focus your attention.
This is the strategic decision around how to get the content made:
Should you do live video?
Should you do a DIY style video with your iPhone?
Should you spend $50,000 in hiring a high-end production company to make something cinematic and beautiful with sweeping drone shots?
These decisions will be informed by the previous six elements that we’ve just been through.
And that is the most simple way to work through a strategic approach to video marketing.
Finally, it’s important to understand that strategy is an evolving thing, just like a business plan in business. You don’t just set your sights in one direction and go blindly towards it without reassessing, readjusting and adapting where you are going.
This ensures you get where you want to go, not just where you thought you wanted to go back at the start.
Watch Episode 108
Who is Ben Amos?
Ben has over 15 years experience in the film and media industry and is also Founder and Creative Director of Innovate Media, a video production and online video strategy agency operating from Queensland, Australia. Ben has also founded Australia’s only purpose built video blogging studio space, and facility – Vlog Pod®.
Ben is passionate about working with clients to develop effective online video strategy within their niche and is driven to help other business owners and marketers to understand the full potential for online video platforms within a wider business marketing strategy.