If you want to stand out from the competition and truly attract, engage, and convert new customers, then you need to create a video marketing strategy. Adding video to your small business marketing mix will drive more eyes on your products and services and help potential buyers to connect with your brand in a shorter amount of time. 

In fact, according to recent statistics from Google:

  • 7 out of 10 YouTube viewers bought something from a brand they saw on YouTube
  • 68 percent of YouTube users watch videos to make purchasing decisions
  • Nearly 50 percent of shoppers will potentially buy from a new brand they discovered on YouTube

Add to those staggering numbers the fact that only 9 percent of small businesses are on YouTube, and it’s a no-brainer. If you take the time to create a video marketing strategy, you’ll be able to stand out from your competitors and win new business. 

How To Create A Video Marketing Strategy

People consume an incredible amount of video online. For instance, YouTube has over two billion active monthly users consuming over one billion hours of video every single day. Moreover, consumers spend 33 percent of their time online watching videos. 

If your prospects are spending a good amount of their day watching videos, then it’s time for you to create a video marketing strategy to get your products and services in front of potential buyers. And we’ve got 5 steps to help you get there.

Step 1: Create a Video Marketing Strategy for Your Buyer Persona

At its most basic level, the idea of marketing is simply to push out a message and pull a response. For instance, If you run an HVAC company, you might tell people to prep their air conditioners for a hot summer and ask them to schedule a tune-up. If you run a retail store, perhaps you’ll send an email campaign to promote an upcoming sale with hopes that it will bring in extra revenue.

But what if you ran both the HVAC and a retail businesses, and you mixed up your lists? Can you imagine if you told your retail customers to fix their air conditioners? It would probably cause mass confusion, and your message would fall flat. That’s where the importance of knowing your audience comes in.

Whenever I’m teaching a marketing class, I’ll ask the audience to close their eyes and envision their ideal buyer: the person who would visit their storefront, call their phone, or click to their website with no hassle or haggling. This mental exercise is the beginning of building a buyer persona, and it’s critical to developing the right content for your audience.

Your buyer persona is going to be the linchpin of your video marketing strategy. In essence, you’re defining your viewing audience, and you can start to think about what they want to watch and learn from your videos. Everything you script, film, and upload should speak to your buyer persona. Your video content needs to answer their questions, resolve their pain points, and provide targeted calls to action that relate to them.

Pro Tip: Your viewers want to learn from you! According to Think With Google, “How-To” videos earn the most attention of any content category on YouTube.

The buyer persona will also determine your brand’s tone, which is very important when recording your videos. Will you be fun and entertaining, or does your ideal buyer prefer a serious, more professional approach? Just know that your buyer persona will evolve over time, and you may even develop multiple buyer personas. Always keep these top of mind when designing your video marketing strategy. 

Link to Bryan Caplan's "How to Drive Sales with Buyer Personas" video on YouTube
Click the image to watch “How To Drive Sales with Buyer Personas” on YouTube.

Build Your Video Marketing Strategy

It used to be that a small business “needed” a TV commercial to really stand out in the market. The business owner would hire an ad agency or local videographer to help with the costly production. When the commercial aired, the business would expect droves of new customers who had seen the commercial air on their television sets. 

Customers simply aren’t watching traditional TV the way they used to. In fact, only 28 percent of view time is dedicated to traditional TV, while 68 percent of consumers prefer streaming video options. Because video platforms like Vimeo and YouTube are easily accessible by smartphone, tablet, computer, or smart TV, they have changed the way we consume video content. As a bonus to small business owners like you, YouTube functions as a search engine of videos, it’s easy for viewers to become potential customers through a simple search. 

Step 2: Outline your video marketing content plan

Before you do anything, I want you to look at your calendar. Knowing that there are only 24 hours in a day, and you are spinning multiple plates as a small business owner, how much time can you dedicate to video? Can you take some of the time you may have spent posting and scrolling through Facebook and spend it on making a fun video instead?

The key to outlining the content in your video marketing strategy is to look at a calendar and determine your content schedule. How many videos do you plan to publish and at what frequency? Can you cover one video a week, or does two videos a month make more sense? Be honest with yourself because the key to creating a video marketing plan is consistency. Your audience will come to expect your videos at certain times of the week or month, and you want to be sure you can deliver.

Once you figure out your content schedule, you’ll want to diversify the types of videos you offer: 

  • Educational videos
  • Entertaining or humorous videos
  • Practical or how-to videos
  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • Tips and tricks videos
  • Interview videos
  • Recorded webinar videos
  • Product explainer videos
  • Customer testimonial videos
  • Case study videos

Don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t need to create ALL of the videos above. When starting, choose two or three types of videos and create a bullet list or spreadsheet with proposed topics, a brief outline, and estimated length of the video. Keep in mind that videos up to 2 minutes long tend to get the most engagement, but some of your videos may be 15 minutes to over an hour in length (yes, people will watch longer videos if you provide continuously valuable information).

You also want to make sure that each video has a specific call to action for your viewers like subscribing to your email marketing contact list, calling your office, or purchasing a product on your ecommerce storefront.

Finding Video Marketing Ideas

If you’re wracking your brain and can’t seem to come up with any ideas for a video, then start with the basics. Ask yourself the following questions and write some bullet points you want to cover when you hit record:

  1. What is the origin story of my business?
  2. What pain points do my products or services help to solve?
  3. Why am I passionate about what I do? 
  4. What do I wish customers knew about my business?

As you get into a flow, you’ll start realizing that you’re simply telling a small business story

BONUS: Video Idea Inspiration

I asked both new and existing creators for tips for finding video ideas. Here are some of the top suggestions I received: 

example of an educational video
This video by Dakota Riley is specifically designed to educate viewers.

“I’m always looking for ways to proactively educate my buyers and sellers, so they feel empowered during the real estate transaction. I like to base my videos off scenarios I observe – bidding wars, rising interest rates – so they can relate to the content.” 

Dakota Riley, The Depend on Dakota Team – Keller Williams Realty

example of a manufacturer's informational video
This video by Onics Energy Solutions is designed to provide straightforward product information.

“We’re a green energy startup working with more technical clients like manufacturers and data centers, so I focus our team’s efforts on developing content that gets straight to the point about how we reduce energy waste with our harmonic filter technology. To make our video creation more efficient, we started to repurpose our written content into spoken word videos, and the feedback has been very positive.” 

Chris LoPilato, Onics Energy Solutions

video marketing strategy using hand-drawn images
This video by Nathaniel Silveira showcases his artwork while discussing a trending musician.

“I started drawing at a young age, and I began animating just a few years ago. I realized I could blend my love of music and movies with my passion for animation to entertain people all over the world. Some of my best performing videos are just me rating songs by artists like Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. If you create it, there’s definitely an audience for it.”

Nathaniel Silveira

After planning out your video content, you need to figure out how you’ll publish your videos. Will you increase the authenticity by filming live video on a platform like Facebook, or would you prefer to record, edit, and upload your final product to ensure perfection? Of course, there are benefits to both, but it all depends on your audience and message.

Step 3: Divide and conquer to produce your marketing video content

Once you pinpoint your buyer persona and finalize your content strategy, you’ll need to delegate tasks to get the videos recorded. Assuming you have the luxury of a team to help you, critical tasks will include:

  • Outlining scripts or talking points
  • Choosing your background and/or green screen
  • Testing lighting and sound
  • Recording the videos
  • Editing the videos
  • Uploading the videos

If you are a one-person crew, you can still make your video marketing strategy a reality, but you’ll need to plan and schedule these different tasks. One thing I need to stress here: your videos aren’t going to be perfect. In fact, my good friend and YouTube creator, Adam LoDolce, once told me that my first video would be horrible, but he advised, “Don’t give up! You’ll get better with practice.”

He was spot on. In fact, I just shared my first video fail from 2016, so subscribers of my channel could learn from it and see that everyone starts with humble beginnings. Some quick tips if you’re on your own:

Tips for how to create a marketing video on your own

  • Embrace the imperfection (learn and build from your past videos)
  • Block out at least an hour (you’ll definitely have multiple takes)
  • Speak slowly and clearly (you want people to understand you)
  • Keep your eye on the prize (these videos will help build your business)

Step 4: Upload your video content (or go live!)

Once you’ve recorded and edited, you are ready to upload your video content. It’s important to note that you won’t need to edit or upload your videos if you are filming a live stream.

Tips for live streaming

During a live stream, the video simply plays for your audience, and they can comment and engage with you as you present. Here’s a great example of a Facebook Livestream video by my good friend (and uber-successful real estate agent) Dakota Riley:

Dakota Riley Fb Livestream.

Notice how she’s unedited and speaking to her friends and clients as if they’re right there with her. That’s the beauty of live stream: it fosters a stronger sense of connection with your viewers and bolsters authenticity because this is your one and only take. The caveat being that you simply can’t edit or polish the video; it is what it is.

Expert Tip: Watch other live streams before you dive into your own. Watch competitors or other video creators and take notes on what you like and how you could incorporate that into your own videos.

You can live stream on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, and TikTok. Be sure to do your research, as each of the platforms has its own requirements for you to be able to do so.

Tips for uploading your videos

If you are recording, editing, and uploading your video content, then you’ll want to choose an appropriate platform: YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo. There are also short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram, but we don’t cover them in this article.

As I covered above, YouTube is the second-highest trafficked website in the world, with over two billion users and more than one billion hours of video watched every single day. YouTube is also owned by Google, so you are feeding content directly into the world’s most popular search engine, which provides an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefit.

Facebook is the third most-visited site in the world behind Google and YouTube. With 2.74 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a social media juggernaut. Facebook also loves its own flavor, meaning it rewards those who upload their videos directly to Facebook by increasing visibility of the video, which translates into higher engagement.

Vimeo is the world’s leading all-in-one video solution that enables professional-quality video for all. Their video maker tool, Vimeo Create, allows businesses to easily create eye-catching videos that drive sales. With over 1,000 video templates available, including stock images, music, and custom branding options, you can make high-impact videos in minutes — no experience required.

Constant Contact has an integration with Vimeo Create that allows users to create and add video to emails and web pages right from Constant Contact. You can sign up or upgrade to a Vimeo Pro or Vimeo Business account and receive a discount exclusive to Constant Contact users.

Take a look at one of our latest Constant Contact emails where we incorporated a fun poll video (and animated gif) to engage our readers:

Pro tip: Put a GIF in an email to entice your subscribers to check out your video!

Step 5: Keep an eye on your video marketing metrics

So, you’ve put your video marketing plan into action by following the video marketing tips above. You’ve created a buyer persona to envision your audience, fine-tuned your messaging, planned your content, recorded your videos, edited to perfection, and uploaded to the appropriate channels. As they say, “If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing,” so it’s important to keep an eye on your metrics.

Video marketing metrics to keep your eye on

To help further develop your video marketing strategy, you want to look at metrics like:

  • Total views
  • Average Watch Time
  • Clickthrough rate (on email or social)
  • Conversion (on landing pages or website)
  • Social media engagement
    • Likes
    • Shares
    • Comments
    • Retweets

Once you collect the data, you want to analyze it to make informed decisions on your future videos.

If videos have a high number of views but a short average watch time, then you touched on the right topic, but maybe you droned on a little too long and lost your audience’s attention.

If videos have a high level of social media engagement, then your audience is telling you they enjoy your delivery and are interested in the topic of the video. If you see high levels of engagement, but your conversion rate is low, then maybe you need to bolster your call to action.

If videos don’t have many views or engagement, then you want to find new ways to promote the video like social media posts or dedicated email campaigns. If, after the second round of promotion, your video metrics remain stagnant, then revisit your buyer persona and reconsider your video topics to make sure you’re providing genuine value for your buyer.

Again, pay attention to those numbers before you spend the time and resources to record your next set of videos. Measuring and analyzing will help you make a greater impact on your audience and build a more powerful video marketing strategy.

Get started with your video marketing strategy

If you have a smartphone, you can get started on your video marketing strategy. You don’t need an expensive camera or a Hollywood crew behind the lens. You simply need to follow the five steps above and know that as awkward as it feels at first, it will help you grow your business in the end. If you’re considering launching events to promote your brand, you can also learn how to promote your events with video. Annnnnd ACTION!