Yes, you read that title correctly. That out of their minds, slightly alcoholic team over at Epic Meal Time were the first to teach me about YouTube marketing. As with all successful YouTube channels, they had to build their own channel themselves. There was no network backing them or an executive producer coming on board to show them the ropes. There wasn’t even anyone with any real experience!
Earned distribution, like owned, is free. You have relatively little to lose using it other than time and effort, but unlike owned and paid, the payoff can be drastically more unpredictable. From SEO efforts that boost your search presence, to building relationships with influencers you’ve never met, you never quite know what your ROI will be — it can be enormous or it can fizzle to an end. But don’t skip earned distribution altogether! Take a little more time to think strategically about which earned channels will help you accomplish your video goals.
Thanks to developments in tech tools, it’s easier than ever to create a fun video at little to no cost. Businesses can use their own smartphone cameras or sign up for a service that creates animated explainer videos. But it’s still important to carefully craft a strategy for your video-marketing activities to maximize your reach. Here are five things your video marketing strategy should include.
Here, your main goal will likely be to attract new customers who are in the first stage of product research. You’ll want to show off not only the beauty of your product, but its utility and necessity. You’ll also want to highlight what makes your product better than the rest — since these new visitors are still doing research, you’ll want to make sure your product video sets you apart from  your competition.
The right lighting can make the difference between a beautiful, high-quality production and a shoddy, low-budget production. Lighting sets mood, lighting sets tone, lighting sets the entire look and feel of your production, so pay close attention to it. Again, you should have a professional handle this for you, but don’t forget to check your shots and approve the look and feel.
That said, simply knowing how much video is being consumed and thus you need to be using video to grow your business, is not enough. The essential element of making video marketing work in your favor is creative content, strategy and consistency of publishing. Your videos need to be ones that get attention and engagement and  you also need to approach it methodically with a performance mindset.
A product videoExtended ArticleWhy a Product Video for Your Ecommerce Company is NecessaryPicture this: You’re looking for a new electric bike online, and you find what seems to be the perfect one for a fraction of… Read More tells your audience about your best-selling products or services and their top features. It shows your product in action and helps increase consumer confidence in your company or brand.
We recently published an infographic on how powerful video will become. But the future has already arrived. This has been a full-on video revolution year for marketers. According to Wyzowl statistics, 63% of businesses have started using video content marketing. Out of those 82% of businesses feel video marketing is an important part of their strategy. Video is progressing rapidly and will reach new heights sooner than we think. This trend is fueled by 83% of businesses believing that video marketing gives them a good ROI.
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Here, your main goal will likely be to attract new customers who are in the first stage of product research. You’ll want to show off not only the beauty of your product, but its utility and necessity. You’ll also want to highlight what makes your product better than the rest — since these new visitors are still doing research, you’ll want to make sure your product video sets you apart from  your competition.
When you ask your friends which online video platform they use, the answer you probably hear the most is YouTube. YouTube is the largest video hosting platform, the second largest search platform after Google, and the third most visited website in the world. Every single day, people watch over five billion videos on YouTube. It's also free to upload your videos to YouTube and optimize them for search.

A note about shooting with two cameras: Your editor will need to sync the footage between the different views. To help them do this, clap your hands loudly in the view of both cameras right before you ask the first interview question … yes, just like an old fashion clapboard. Modern editing software has auto-sync features, but this loud clap will help you initially line up the clips.
Try to keep social content videos under 30 seconds. Pay attention to aspects unique to social media, like muted autoplay and video looping; you can actually use these tools to your advantage by playing with silent audio and creating seemingly endless loops. Also take advantage of highlighting positive customer feedback in your social videos — this increases your credibility and spreads positive word of mouth.
From these challenges, rise video marketing best practices. And it all comes down to strategy: If you want your video marketing to have results, then you must plan, test, analyze, and test again. Yes, the goal of your videos is to tell a story and engage your customers but, from a marketing perspective, your videos must also align to your sales funnel. What is the purpose of each video? Who is the audience? How does the video further your marketing goals?
Tripods range tremendously in price, and the quality of your tripod should depend on the level of camera and lens you have. If you're shooting with your phone, you can get by with a table mount like the Arkon Tripod Mount or a full-size tripod like the Acuvar 50” Aluminum Tripod. For a DSLR, Manfrotto makes a variety of trustworthy tripods starting with the Manfrotto BeFree and increasing in quality and price from there.
Before launching any marketing campaign, it's important to determine your primary video goal. This could be to increase brand awareness, engagement, or even conversions for a free trial. It's crucial to pick out just one or two goals for each video. When you define more than that, your video will seem unfocused, making it difficult for viewers to determine what they should do next.
The trick? Find the right influencer in your niche so that you're targeting the right audience. It's not just about spreading your message. It's about spreading your message to the right consumer base. If you can do that properly, then you can likely reach a sizable audience for not much money invested when you think about the potential profit it can return.
As practice, try telling a story with your b-roll and planning out a shot sequence. For example, your subject might open a door from the hallway, walk into their office space, sit down at their desk, open their laptop, and begin typing. Seems simple, right? But a shot sequence showing this 10-second scenario might consist of six or more different b-roll clips.

Paid distribution is super important as well, but how much you can do will likely be limited by your cash resources. You’ll want to think more strategically about where your highest-converting audience is and dedicate most of your budget there. And because there are so many different forms of paid advertising even within one single channel (Facebook has 11 different types of advertisements alone), you want to test every channel and every type of distribution method. Until you know which will give you the highest return, hold back on spending your entire distribution budget.
Narrative videos are probably the most recognizable style of video besides animation. They use classic storytelling elements, including character building, conflict, and resolution, to tell your brand story in an entertaining and engaging way. They create a journey — one your viewer can easily follow and relate to. Client: Key Smart (Curv Group) Because their goal is to tell a story, narrative videos often work best top of funnel, when users are just learning about the problem they face and you’re introducing your brand. Whether you tell the story of how your company came to be, the story of a frustrated customer finding you for the first time, or the story of a fictional hero character, your narrative should be memorable and help your brand stay on the mind of anyone who watches it.
Explainer videos are videosExtended ArticleWhat Is an Explainer Video? Here's Everything You Need to KnowIf you find yourself researching a new product you recently heard about, you’re in luck - there’s probably a video for that. Most companies… Read More that teach your audience more about your company, brand, product, or service. Like social content videos, almost any video can be an explainer video, the only requirement is a focus on how your company solves a particular problem.
For any "attract" video, avoid speaking too much about your product. Instead, let your brand values and personality be your north star(s). Finally, because these videos can live on a variety of channels, keep in mind the strategies of each platform. For example, a Facebook video might have a square aspect ratio and text animations for soundless viewers.
Studies show that when viewing videos on social media, a viewer commonly first reads text within a video and then immediately bounces to the caption, often even before the video has run to completion. The caption on a video for social media can make or break a post. If posting on Facebook, the platform recommends choosing a descriptive title for your video that will make it easily searchable.

It’s ideal to break your month down into categories. You want to execute 1 branding video per week that shows off your business to every customer and can be run as an acquisition or re-marketing asset. Then you’ll add in any special sales or promotions. This category can include a teaser video, a video for the sale itself and a final “last call” video right before your promotion is over. Next, you can add any special campaigns and/or offline event videos into your monthly plan. And finally, sprinkle in at least 1 video a week that is playful and is created specifically for the goal of engagement.
By creating information-dense, accessible, easy-to-interact-with video content, brands can develop a substantial online following and promote customer recall. For an example of a company that’s done this particularly well, consider Headspace, a meditation app that became a $250 million business. The app offers multiple levels of meditation, employing gamification to increase engagement. Users must complete and master each meditation level before advancing. Most sessions are in video format, beautifully crafted with illustrations and layouts true to the brand. It is elegant, consistent and engaging, heavily relying on video.
The benefits of a planned marketing strategy are numerous. Business owners often rely solely on their intuition to make business decisions. While this informal knowledge is important in the decision-making process, it may not provide you with all the facts you need to achieve marketing results. A marketing strategy will help you define business goals and develop activities to achieve them.
And always shop around Extended ArticleHow Much Does It Cost to Produce a Video?Video is probably the most compelling way to tell your company’s brand story. But video shoots are difficult and time consuming to organize, and… Read More — not just literally, but figuratively. Ask industry experts how much they charge for certain services (scripting, sound editing, social media distribution, etc.) and how much you might expect to pay if you hired a freelancer or full-time employee instead. Most agencies are more than happy to give you any information you might want, or guide you to others who can better help.
The benefits of a planned marketing strategy are numerous. Business owners often rely solely on their intuition to make business decisions. While this informal knowledge is important in the decision-making process, it may not provide you with all the facts you need to achieve marketing results. A marketing strategy will help you define business goals and develop activities to achieve them.

Social algorithms are increasingly prioritizing video content, so you’ll want to make sure you’re promoting your video numerous times on all your social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. Video generates 1,200 percent more shares than links and images combined, so this is a required (and easy) place to promote your video and reach a large audience.
It is estimated that 92% of people who consume mobile videos share them with other people. This is a massive portion and is higher than the share rate of many other types of content out there. Simply Measured discovered that video is shared 1,200% more than both links and text combined. Also, 60% of viewers will engage in a video post before a text post, according to Diode Digital. Because of this, video content is a powerful tool for any brand that wants to expand its reach online or enjoy wider audiences.
Did you know that 65% of your audience are visual learners? One of the most powerful methods you can use for video marketing is to educate your audience. And the great thing is that education comes in many forms. For example, you can teach your customers how to use your product or service and provide useful tips on how to make the most of it. Or you can create a webinar to showcase your industry knowledge, position your brand as a thought leader, add value to your consumers’ lives and collect leads in the process.

In addition to visual editing, you can (and should) add graphic effects to your branded video. These graphic elements can include animation, text graphics, fade ins or outs, lower-third graphic overlays, interview names and titles, logos, product modeling, and more. These elements really tie all your branding efforts together, so use them smartly and you’ll have a professional video you can be proud of.
Deciding what story you want your video to tell can be the most fun and the most difficult part. You’ll want to outline the following four elements, which serve as theExtended ArticleHow Thoughtful Video Storytelling Can Give Your Business a Competitive AdvantageWhen you think about storytelling, you probably think about fairy tales and bedtime as a child. But storytelling can be so much more! It’s… Read More basic framework of your story.
Bryan is also one of the nation’s first Master Certified Local Experts with Constant Contact, having provided digital marketing strategy to well over 1,000 businesses since 2010. Bryan is a guest lecturer at the Sawyer School of Business and a contributor to several websites including Constant Contact, BlueHost, BusinessTown, and the Boston Business Journal.

Ideally, you’ll use all three distribution methods. You know your audience and hopefully you know how they’ll respond to your video. Focus on the distribution method that’ll give you the biggest return. If you’re in the film industry, focusing more on paid distribution might be your best bet. If you’re in the field of cancer research, earned media might be the way to go. Are you an entrepreneur that just launched your own startup? Spread word via your owned channels. It all really depends, so do a little research and see what fits your situation best.
Earned video distributionExtended ArticleHow to Perfect Your Earned Video Distribution StrategyWe’ve talked about owned and paid distribution and the effect they can have on your video’s success. While they’re the most common ways to… Read More is one of the trickiest types of distribution due to its uncontrollable nature. Try as you may, earned media means you’re essentially leaving this distribution up to chance, though there are some definite efforts you can make to push the needle a little further in your favor. Since earned media is totally free to implement, it’s just a matter of putting in the effort and not being afraid to follow up.

What does this mean from a marketing perspective? Video is quickly becoming the number one way to connect with consumers, viewers, and followers.Between the automatic video-playback on most social media mobile feeds, and the 2.08 billion global smartphone users in 2016, an effective video marketing strategy can provide one of the highest ROIs for any brand’s digital marketing strategy.

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