It doesn’t matter if you are using a smartphone or have hired a production crew. You must connect with your potential customers for your message to go beyond that of just who knows you. This can be done with data analysis integrated into your video marketing process. You should create a video with the same purpose, drive, and intent that you do with other pieces of content. Otherwise, your money and time will go up in smoke. Ask before you perform any work:
- What is the goal of the video?
- What questions will you answer within it?
- How many views are you expected to get from creating it?
- How will it increase your ability to generate leads and ultimately make sales?
All these questions are handled with data analysis and will pay dividends when you create your next video & implement your video marketing strategy. In the following sections, we will go into the details on how your team can take a data driven approach to the video production process.
Table of Contents:
- Video Pre-Production
- 5 Video Keyword Research Tips for Video Production
- Production Day
- Production Day Checklist
- Video Marketing Tips
Most people think about the concept of data as it relates to the distribution of finished video content on various social platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. However, you must understand that data is a powerful source of information that should inform the entire effort – starting with pre-production. Research into keywords and understanding how people phrase their questions in YouTube and Google Search can deeply inform video production goals, strategy, storytelling, and interview question creation. Leverage data analysis here to maximize the impact of the video.
My tool of choice to perform video keyword research is SEM Rush. The main goal of keyword research will be to identify what questions people are asking of the search engines and our goal will be to make sure the answers to those questions are accounted for in the storytelling and interview creation process. Data research is an important part of our success as it informs what the content strategy should be, what should go in interview questions, and how a company or product’s story could be told.
Once we know what questions potential customers are asking in Search engines, we use our competitive analysis process to get an understanding of how others in related businesses are explaining their solution to potential customers. When it comes to looking at what keywords to use within a video, I am looking at YouTube’s data to see how some of the more trafficked videos are positioning themselves.
How do we track it all?
A tracking strategy up front will help the entire team focus clearly on the end goal to make sure video production heads in the most effective direction.
If the goal is to sell more software, for example, a straight-up commercial is probably not going to be terribly effective in attracting engagement because the content isn’t built to acknowledge that potential customers have specific questions they want answered. Many companies realize they “have to do something with video” so they might try pulling out the smart phone and record some video. This might work a time or two if you have a particularly engaging staff member because – the quality of production often matters less for success than the actual contents of the video. However, it is almost impossible for regular staff to generate compelling or useful video content week after week, month after month on their own. Your approach must help your team make video content that is fully informed by researching into the questions that potential customers are asking.
The key is to understand what information potential customers are seeking and create goal driven content. Understand your goal – THE 5 Ws:
- Who will see it
- What it will contain
- When will it be released
- Where it will be distributed
- Why the video exists in the first place (Most important)
Below are a few of my tips for those performing research. When creating a video marketing strategy, I am looking at these sources to understand the competition, my potential customers, and potential multi-use key terms that can muddy the waters with multiple audience segments treating one term the same way.
1. Know your sources for keyword research to feed the video marketing process
- Google Keyword Research Tool – Located in Google Ads, this free tool will help you understand the what people are researching (What questions people are asking of video. It’s not just about SEO / SEM, this data can be used for video marketing seo as well).
- YouTube – Well sure… you are making a video After all! Look at the top videos for the terms you are potentially going to go after… they are top for a reason. Another source within YouTube is the search auto complete, great source for related terms / long tail key terms.
- SEM Rush (or equivalent tool) – If you don’t mind shelling out a few bucks, or if SEO strategy is top of mind and a major initiative, try using a tool like SEM Rush. I am in love with their Keyword Magic tool. Being able to create a negative keyword list on the fly allows you to dive very deep into a keyword vertical.
2. Is the term you are targeting relevant for your video?
This is something you should keep in mind each time you have a term that you want to go after. Always think, what could this term be confused with? One of my favorite examples of this is the term “Asset Management”? Are you looking to host assets such as images, video, and content in an asset management platform? Or do you have assets to manage in terms of finance? Very different audiences, which does google prefer over the other? What would the user search for next to refine their query to find you?
3. Speak to your audience, not your peers!
Please… avoid the technical jargon! Mere mortals may have no clue what you are talking about… worse yet, as you lead up to your big pitch in the video, they opened a new browser window to google what the heck you meant with some fancy industry based acronym you just used. Be clear, be concise, speak like you would to a prospective customer, not your peers. You can still get super technical in your video, just make sure you use words and terms that the average consumer would understand. This is especially true for industries such as technology, advanced finance, legal and so on.
4. Answer people’s questions.
If you performed some keyword research, then you know what your prospective customers asked of google… Keep in mind, Google is just a question and answer machine, they bring the questions, you bring the answers.
5. Know the competition.
You must know who ranks for the terms you are targeting and then more importantly… why. It may not be just a case of answering the user’s question…
You have performed vital research to properly inform pre-production. Now it is time to roll up our sleeves and capture the moment. Everything needed to capture video content is set: Sound, lighting, cameras, and on-camera talent, led by a producer who is fully informed of the data gathered in pre-production. Throughout the video production process, a data analyst’s research will be key in influencing the creative process. Making sure that the interview questions and answers align with how their customers are using social media and search engines. This will enable your users to better understand products and services that could address their needs.
Sometimes research will tell us that we need to leave the technical jargon at the door, and sometimes we will discover that a highly-specialized product or service has a customer base that judges their vendors based on their knowledge and use of specialized terminology. Come to the production day fully informed about the language your potential customers are using – and thus how YOU need to speak to those potential customers on camera. It is necessary to take the information you have learned from keyword research to make sure the same language is used that your potential customers are using, rather than the shorthand and jargon you might be using with existing customers. Your video producer will need to be fully informed by the data research to capture answers from interview questions to create a series of videos that will engage and produce sales leads.
Keep distribution in mind for the video marketing process
Capture and edit video content with all distribution locations in mind. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, your website, and email blasts. There are new distribution avenues opening up and tons of different ways to leverage video. You will need to collect and edit all the footage necessary to generate content that will speak to your audience within the context of the different platforms where your potential customers are looking for information and solutions.
Below are a few recommended additions to that producer’s checklist:
- Data inspired questions list
- Target customer keyword list
- Unwavering aggression towards acronyms (with the exception of highly knowledgeable target audiences)
- Producer to refresh the point of the video in their own mind – What is the goal.
- Content capturing list for each channel – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Your Website, you know the drill!
Once the team has fully researched and prepped the video production team on keywords, vocabulary, and customer information, and all the video footage has been captured in interviews and b-roll, you are ready to edit and create video clips for distribution. In this “post-production” phase of work, we are making sure that the right information gets portrayed to potential customers and, like the other parts of the production process, the analyst’s research will heavily inform the final products.
The editing process is often the part of video production that takes the longest time and has frustrated many because it can be bogged down in decisions based on “gut-feel” or arguments about aesthetics. In your process, much of that inefficiency is removed because you have done your homework in the research pre-production phase. You have the facts in the data to depend on to keep the production team and review team on track to achieve the sales-lead goals of each video.
There are key elements a production team will execute on because you know how valuable those tasks are in reporting on the success of videos in achieving their sales goals. For example, as each video clip is created for distribution, files will have closed captioning baked into it. This is an often overlooked but vital step. Captioning allows search engines to catalog the content within each video as if it were text. We have found that videos with captioning have relevance scores far higher (and gain traction faster) than videos without captions.
Meta Information for the Video Marketing Process
Additionally, we will want to make sure our research influences meta information for deployment. Meta information is the text that goes into titles, descriptions, keyword tagging, image tagging, and other seemingly mundane details –but are actually vital elements that can make or break a videos’ success on any given platform and have large impacts for video SEO. For example, on YouTube, there are four critical pieces of information we will want to carefully research for effective input (Title, Description, Tags and Category). The title and description should inspire a human user to click and view a video, while the tags and category selection will help search engines return your videos most often for potential customers to watch. There is an entire science to creating the most effective meta information (A blog post for future day!).
It is time to release the video content on various platforms, and start putting marketing efforts behind it, you will help make sure your team can track each video’s effectiveness. You will have a tracking strategy and now it is time to implement it. Assuming you are using Google analytics with YouTube, your website, etc., you will want to keep track of video views, manage sponsored content, and jump to expand upon content that really resonates with sales leads. The long-term goal is to make adjustments and build upon content that performs particularly well. We also need to leverage tracking URLs to see how much traction the video gets across multiple platforms and campaigns.
Here are some video marketing tips that we recommend. Much of it has to do with the video marketing strategy or your overarching digital strategy. Below are a few tips that will hopefully help:
- Advertise – Be aggressive but smart.
- Placement – Deploy to google, use Google’s video playing technology on your site (and anywhere else that will accept it). Show google people watch this video.
- Diversify your content – Do not upload the same thing to all channels. You will find that if you do duplicate content across all channels people will ignore your brand. A typical behavior pattern will look like this:
- LinkedIn – First exposure to a video… love it!
- Facebook – Stops, recognizes your brand, realizes the consumption of content, smiles, and keeps swiping
- Twitter – *Sigh* saw this
- Email – OMG, Yes, I saw this same video 3 times already. Now 2 weeks later you stuff an email in front of me with that same play button intro image? Why! *Unsubscribes*
The desired behavior is a video for each channel for the reason they are on that channel:
- LinkedIn – Video describing who you are and what you do, click to download a white paper
- Facebook – Company culture, we have an awesome product, but we give back to our community too. Giving back video
- Twitter – Quick video snippets at a conference, can be conversational, heck, maybe reply to people with a video selfie. Warning: we can’t all pull that off.
- Email – VLOG… timely but not time-sensitive.