3 Questions to Ask Before Making an Online Video

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Video is part of the marketing strategies of 81% of businesses, according to Social Media Today. Online video has become an integral part of the digital marketing strategy for brands and companies across various industries. 94% of video marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service, according to a recent industry report.

At our agency, we have seen continued growth in campaign-based strategies regarding online video for companies. The one-off video is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, companies use video in various forms, including marketing, training, brand journalism, recruitment, etc. Video has shown to be effective at capturing an audience, and the numbers prove it.

We have had many conversations over the years developing online video strategies and campaigns for companies both big and small. While the budgets are different, the same process can be applied to help with online video success.

In May 2019, there were 500 minutes of YouTube videos uploaded every minute. The online video landscape will continue to expand and get noisy. Before plotting your next video, it is essential to ask the following questions.

1. What is the Overall Video Strategy?

We run into a common pitfall in our pre-production meetings because many brands have not clearly defined their video strategy. They are eager to get started with videos or publish content because they have been told that video converts or the competition are already producing many videos. Sure, there are times when you need to get started, especially with a small business or startup, but jumping in blindly without thinking about the overall marketing effort is not effective and will lead to burnout.

For starters, publishers can review their marketing goals or outline them in a document. We suggest creating this for the calendar year to tie in with quarters and seasons. This process will help establish deadlines and will guide you in creating a video publishing workflow.

Make sure to involve stakeholders from different departments such as public relations, marketing teams, legal, creative, and whoever else needs to be included from your organization. Again, communication and transparency are key here, and video creators can avoid many headaches by keeping these departments involved.

For small businesses, think about your video strategy from these different perspectives. For example, if you plan to produce a brand awareness video and talk about how innovative your products are, but patents or technology are still pending, this would be an excellent time to involve your legal team or a patent expert. They can share guidance on what can be said and, more importantly, what should not be displayed. 

2. Where Is this Video Going to Live?

The very first question we ask any client is where their video is going to end up. Knowing what landing page, platform, or social media channel the video will be published to will set the course for the entire video production. This question will determine everything from pre-production through to distribution. 

Platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all competing for audience engagement. Video has become a big part of their offering to keep people on their channels for more extended periods. While YouTube has always been about the video, the others have released native video features to encourage users to publish their video content directly through their sites rather than embedding.

Native video publishing on these channels increases search engine optimization and enhances the video user experience in each social feed. Those are great benefits, but it does create some extra work when producing your video. In addition, each video channel has a different format and best practices they suggest. Whether you plan on publishing to one or all of these places, it is wise to know where the video will live so that you can have all of your assets ready.

It is also critical that publishers identify which video channels will contribute to the success of their videos. Not all channels will work the same across industries and for different brands. You don't need to publish to every video platform just because it's there and is free. Instead, video publishers should focus on one or two channels that their audience is on and put their efforts there. Overextending your strategy is another common mistake that we see and one that can dilute the brand message in some cases.

In addition, the entire way a publisher scripts and captures a video can be different for these channels. For example, some are made for vertical viewing, while others follow a traditional wide-screen aspect ratio. These are valuable items to know for the technical side of your video production.

3. What is the Value of This Video?

As mentioned earlier, online video has become a noisy place. Publishers just starting out or beginning to get serious with video posting can quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of content already out there. While it's great to look at the competition and get inspired by other creators, publishers should look within to provide the most value to their audience.

What is the pain point that your audience and industry encounter? How can our products or services offer solutions to these pain points? How can we connect with our customers and make their lives easier? These are the questions to ask before producing a video asset. 

It doesn't need to be a complicated plan; often, simple videos are the most effective. Focus on one topic per video and explain it well. This method will help with video SEO and will keep your videos concise and to the point. Tailor the video script to each platform you publish to, whether it is a website or a social media channel. The information is absorbed differently on these platforms, so keep that in mind when writing a script.  

Take these questions and apply them to your next video. Remember that online video is here to stay and that each video asset should follow a strategy that aligns with company objectives.

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