Ultimate guide to level-up your business with video content marketing
How to level-up your business with video content marketing
Even if you tried, you couldn’t miss hearing the experts pound their fists about the importance of video. Hubspot’s Inbound 2018 conference was all about video, companies are building their businesses on YouTube, and experts across marketing channels pick YouTube as the #1 means to establish thought leadership, build trust, and win new clients.
What does all this mean? You better start riding the video content marketing wave because – if nothing else – your competitors are going to figure it out soon!
Would you rather keep posting on your blog when nobody reads anymore, keep harassing prospects with cold emails that often end up in spam folders, and waste your time begging for business on cold calls… OR are you ready to shift the conversation so customers are coming to YOU and see you as a trusted advisor?
1. Hmmm, I don’t know… do I really NEED video for my business?
You don’t often come across people who aren’t really sold on video anymore. It’s often other things keeping you back. Like: video is too expensive, takes too much time, I don’t want to be on camera, and it’s overwhelming – I have no idea where to start!
And we’ll tackle all these one by one. But for starters, let’s look at some “social proof” about the power of video for business… who’s already taking advantage of it, and what impact does it have?
- Doing some casual research about the state of the real estate market, in the top 5 results we came across articles from CNBC and Fortune… along with a YouTube video from a real estate agent who posts a video on his YouTube channel 3 times a week. His video has close to 20k views and his channel almost 4k subscribers. Do you think his blog could have ever achieved the same level of visibility, ranking organically next to CNBC and Fortune?
- SEO Moz, arguably the kings of Internet SEO, are committed to video content marketing with their Whiteboard Fridays. Their videos are getting thousands of high-qualified views for the cost of producing these videos, and are repurposed into blog posts by transcribing the content. Their YouTube channel has 50K subscribers, which means that these highly-qualified people get an email whenever they post a new video.
- Branding expert David Brier says the #1 source of new business is his 1-minute Wednesdays YouTube videos. Even though they only have views in the hundreds, these are highly qualified people who watch these videos, with very high conversion. And whenever he gives a talk, people make a bee-line for him and ask for help.
- LinkedIn Ads expert AJ Wilcox of B2Linked, one of the top LinkedIn Ad agencies, says YouTube video has been THE way he’s been getting highly qualified leads. He only has a few videos – in a format very similar to SEO Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays – so he’s not in full video content marketing mode. He says he’s overwhelmed with new business from existing videos and word of mouth.
- Hubspot, one of the leading CRM solutions, is creating regular videos on topics that don’t promote its business directly but appeal to its audience, gathering thousands of views per video and 60K subscribers to its YouTube channel.
- J&P Cycles is an aftermarket parts and accessories superstore for motorcycle enthusiasts. They create tons of content (this past month they posted 30 videos on their YouTube channel!), including “how to” videos designed to help their customers install everything from a luggage rack to a lens grill. They have almost 50k subscribers and their videos regularly get hundreds or thousands of views.
- And here’s a blast from the past that you may be more familiar with and drives home the point. BlendTec arguably built its entire business through its YouTube channel. They found a unique hook to create sharable content and bring back their audience for more with their “will it blend” campaign. Their videos are getting millions of views and their YouTube channel has close to 1 million subscribers – for a blender company!
2. But video is too $&!* expensive – it doesn’t work for content marketing!
This is by far the main reason why businesses shy away from video. Their experience with video is when they’re looking to create an ad. So they look for an agency, which helps with the script, then books a videographer and crew, secures a studio and equipment, actor, etc. It takes tons of time to put everything together. And on the day of the shoot, more than half the day is wasted setting up and then dismantling the equipment (camera, lights, sound).
Since these projects are more ad hoc, agencies need to rely on freelancers. And since freelancers don’t have a steady stream of projects, they need to charge accordingly so they can make a living. The variable costs of freelancers have their benefits, but when their utilization is typically low, it results in higher overall costs. So for a full-day shoot you’d be looking at anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 and end up with a couple of videos. Then you wait for a couple of weeks to edit…
It’s all too sluggish and too expensive for content marketing. Imagine having to put out a video every week with that process and cost structure!
So YES, traditional agencies and video production companies are going to be too expensive for your video content marketing purposes.
However, we’ve come up with a SOLUTION! Since content marketing is all about recurring content, if our clients create video for content marketing we’ll have recurring business. Which means that we can lease a space, buy equipment, and hire full-time talent. Then it’s all about driving up capacity utilization. And our costs go down dramatically.
Of course our production will be constrained by our studio setup, but for content marketing purposes we’ll have all the ideal setups: producer’s chair for interviews, whiteboard for educational videos, and colorful back-drops for instructional/explainer videos.
So how much lower does video cost with our approach?
First, we provide resources and can help you figure out a DIY method to produce video for your company’s content marketing purposes. That will put you on the right path in the most cost-effective way. The tradeoff is that it will take much more time from your side. And you’ll still have the costs of space/studio, equipment, videographer, editor.
OR, you can do it our way, where we can batch-produce 4-5 videos a month with a budget of $2,500. And if you book our services for a year you’re getting 2 months for free, so for $25,000 you can have a whole year’s worth of content!
What’s included in that?
We help you figure out your entire content calendar and then you can shoot at our studio or remotely with our guidelines.
3. Do I have to be on camera?
Ideally, yes. It’s very powerful when your clients get to meet you and your personality resonates with them. It makes all the conversations much easier and builds a brand around your persona.
But unless you’re an actor or a very outgoing personality, it’s only natural to feel some degree of anxiety about being on camera. We’re here to help. Our experts will make sure you’re comfortable and look good on camera.
If you just don’t want to be the face of the company, we have a solution for that too. For an extra fee in the order of $5,000 a year you can use one of our actors as your video content representative (reading your scripts).
4. How do I get started?
You want to create a calendar at least 3 months out (ideally for the full year), posting regular content at least once a week. So you need about 12 ideas for content, which you can batch-produce in 1 day thus minimizing the impact on your day-to-day (because you have to run a growing business at the same time too!).
Here are some of the key considerations that go behind developing a well thought-out video content strategy with the highest likelihood to have a big impact on your business:
Frequency: create a regular appointment with your audience. At a minimum, you should try to drip/post 1 video per week, ideally around the same time every week. When YouTube realizes that you’re committed to producing quality content and you’re gaining traction with viewers, it will reward you by showing you higher in rankings (both on Google pages and on searches on YouTube).
Branding: consistent format. Pick a format like standing in front of a backdrop or whiteboard pre-filled with your key talking points, or sitting on a high-chair or a directors chair, or sitting behind a desk with a laptop. Whatever works best for you and the image of your company. But try to keep it consistent so you have a recognizable format that becomes your identity. This can be powerful for branding and viewers will remember you longer.
Hook: how will you make your content “magnetic” so it stands out, and people want to share it and come back for more? Maybe you can do myth-busters for your industry, or solicit questions from viewers, or do live tear-downs of say a website (if you’re a web designer), or hold live ask-me-anything sessions. We can accommodate all of these approaches. The point again is consistency so your viewers learn what to expect.
Calendar: Get ideas from competitors, leading brands that already leverage video, and through research on BuzzSumo and KWfinder. These tools can help you get ideas to fill your calendar, but equally importantly help you identify already-successful content that you know will resonate with your audience. That way, you’re eliminating the risk that you’ll be investing behind content that nobody cares about – that’s huge!
Competitors: Create a list of your top 10 competitors. If you’re not sure who they are, use a tool like Owler, plug in your website and see what comes up. Keep digging deeper, look at the suggested competitors’ sites and messaging, and you may find new competitors you didn’t even know about. Then, go through their videos on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. See what’s getting a lot of traction (views, thumbs-up, and comments). These are the ones that they’re doubling down on, and you shouldn’t be falling behind. If you see a YouTube channel with lots of videos but some are getting only a handful of views whereas others have millions, you know which are the mistakes you should be avoiding, and where you should look for high ROI.
Leaders: You can get great ideas from leading brands because they’ve done all the hard work for you. They’ve A/B tested and researched what topics to cover, what works, and what doesn’t. Maybe they’re trying an interesting format, or they have an innovative ‘hook’… all things you can emulate for faster and greater success. For example, look at top B2B brands’ YouTube channels for inspiration.
BuzzSumo: This platform has been created exactly for the purpose of identifying the top-performing content of your competitors, and it shows you engagement by channel. So when you’re constructing your content calendar, you can get ideas and prioritize topics with high engagement. That way, you’ll be producing video content based on content that’s already been proven successful, taking the guesswork out of it!
KWfinder: Great tool to niche down your targeted keywords. You can enter a keyword or phrase that you’re confident your audience cares about, and it will spit out similar keywords and combinations. You will see how competitive each keyword is, meaning how saturated from a blog content perspective. And you’ll see who are the top-ranking sites for that keyword. So you can do a couple of things here:
- Focus on high-competition difficult-to-rank-for keywords: These are the best keywords that your competitors are telling you have the highest ROI. Unfortunately, it would cost you tons of time and effort to rank for these. Pay for high-frequency high-quality content, and engage in numerous SEO tactics like backlinks, etc. Instead, video stands a much higher chance of success in ranking for difficult keywords because there’s very little competition. Your competitors are likely not spending tons of money to create high-quality recurring video.
- You can also check out the highest-ranking content sites for these keywords. So now you know what content to cover, and with video you can penetrate through!
This approach is very similar to developing a high-impact SEO strategy. Look at key words/phrases, measure their volume and difficulty to rank, group them appropriately, see what content already exists, and develop your own content.
You can produce your videos with these key words/phrases in mind, make sure you tag your videos on YouTube to improve your video SEO, and then embed them on your company’s blog along with a transcript in order to improve your website’s SEO. The goal is to repurpose your high-value (but now low-cost) video content to help generate traffic for your business.
5. That’s all great, but how do I convert video viewers to leads?
Here’s a great example of funnel that leverages the power of video. You start by posting your regular ‘thought leadership’ or educational content on your YouTube channel, and drive traffic to it through your social media or video ads. The viewers that like your content find their way to your website to check out more about what you do and how you can help them. So you’ve sent traffic to your site.
Now how do you convert that traffic into leads? You can use a pre-recorded webinar or mastermind video session that you show prominently above the fold. This could explain in more depth your value proposition and what your clients get out of working with you, or teach something like a framework or tactic. One or two minutes into the video, “gate” your content. Meaning add a pop-up that asks for the viewer’s email. Not so they can keep watching your video because that’s annoying. But so you can send them a PDF with a template or cheat sheet related to what you’re discussing in the video.
For example, Board Studios could have a pre-recorded “walk-through to create your video content calendar”. A couple of minutes in, the viewer is either excited or knows that it’s not what they were looking for. So you ask for their email to send them a template to create their video content calendar. Those who enter their email self-qualify themselves. These are highly-qualified leads.
What’s next? Take the key 5-6 objections or hurdles that your clients face in making the decision to work with you. For Board Studios it could be something along the lines “it’s too expensive” or “I don’t want to be on camera”. Then create short videos that address these objections, and drip them via email to these highly-qualified targets.
So what’s happened here? With your YouTube content you demonstrate thought leadership so prospects will go to your site and explore further. With your webinar and lead magnet/PDF you convert them into leads whose emails you’ve captured. And by dripping content to address their objections you’re working on converting them into clients. None of these is intrusive because you built a lot of trust and goodwill by offering them free high-value content on YouTube.
6. And once I’ve done everything, how can I kick things up another notch?
Simply posting great content will be enough to build your audience. But it can take a bit of time. What if you want to accelerate things? Here are a couple of ideas:
That’s where Brandscaping can help! The idea is that you can leverage complementary brands’ audiences and share to cross-promote your businesses. If you partner with 5 brands that target the same audience, and you all collaborate, then you could potentially 5x your audience.
- Buffer has created 3 courses on Skillshare that average 40 minutes in duration each. They post them on Skillshare where they get access to an audience of 5+ million users. Buffer promotes its courses through shorter videos on YouTube and Facebook.
- Vimeo has created a DIY video course on Skillshare that’s been watched by almost 14,000 students! These are extremely targeted people who probably have a very high conversion rate.
All this can seem overwhelming. Video is completely different than most of your other strategies. But it’s a beast that we can help you tame. And the fact that it’s so difficult and can be too expensive if not done right, that means that it keeps your competitors at bay.
With Google Ads, all you need is a website and you can pay an agency to start running ads for you. So anyone can do it, and everyone IS doing it. That’s why search ads are unsustainable for most businesses.
But video, chances are that most of your competitors aren’t doing it. And it gives you a unique opportunity to rank organically in the front page on Google results without having to pay anything.