Content Strategy – and How to Make It

Pandemic-induced disruptions to business models and marketing plans underscored the need to embrace change. Since 2020, change has been the main focus personally and professionally for many marketing leaders in our industry.  

“If you accept the challenge you embrace the change.”

522’s 2022 Business strategy includes this quote in everything we’re doing this year – from sales; to employee onboarding; to marketing content; to client deliverables.  Navigating this year is once again like the past two: it requires agility and resilience if you want your business to grow. And in order to stand out in a ridiculously noisy digital space, video MUST be in your sales and marketing plans for 2022.

Aiming for competitive advantages within their industries, successful organizations are leveraging video throughout their revenue-generating functions. They’re developing content centered on improving customer understanding along the entire lifecycle of their journey. 

Today’s buyers gravitate towards brands they trust. Brands that personally connect with them – and video provides the ideal medium to do so. To accomplish this, successful businesses are developing unique content across a variety of mediums that speak directly to their audience on those channels. Whether it’s Tik Tok, Instagram Reels, or Series or Vlogs hosted on YouTube – all have all become increasingly popular and will continue as we live in a video world.

Content Strategy with Video shapes it all.

It’s not only marketing leaders that believe in the power of video marketing. Research also shows that consumers seek out video, too. Cisco reports that 84% of customers surveyed stated that marketing videos often convince them to invest in a product or service. They’re also more likely to share videos when compared to other forms of content.

Experts predict that video will make up more than 80% of all internet traffic in 2022. That’s a lot. So, if you’re not embracing video now you’re in danger of falling behind. But not to worry. In this article, we break down the essential elements you must have in your 2022 business video strategy plan, whether you’re a total novice or a video veteran.

Video creation is a commitment.

As a marketer, you can’t just make one or two videos and be done. The time has come to develop a “culture of video” within your organization so that video content becomes a part of everything your business does — from your marketing strategy and sales process; to customer experience; to communication within the organization.

But the key to sustaining video as a long-term effort and growth isn’t simply defining goals and outcomes around video. The key lies in developing processes and beliefs that will get you there.

Over the years, we’ve learned that typically hold back from going “all-in” on video marketing because of a few underlying beliefs that are hard to overcome:

  • Video is too expensive.
  • Video production, especially certain phases can be slow and labor-intensive.
  • Video content is hard to update.
  • My team or clients won’t want to be on camera.
  • My team has lots of ideas, but we just can’t seem to get content created.
  • Video takes too long to make it consistent.

The truth is that in 2022 video production is more affordable and efficient than ever before. Marketing leaders have more choices than ever before. With the right foresight, videos can be easily updated. There are tons of ways to get your team excited to be a part of your video(s). The right outside perspective can snap a lot of disparate ideas into a cohesive approach. And with the right plan, videos can be executed fairly quickly.

All of these concerns can be addressed by taking a step back, assessing your budget, and applying the resources in the right elements of video production that add the greatest value. Developing the right goals will enable your team to develop concepts and approaches to videos that yield a ton of video content that maximizes everyone’s time, and creates material that can be used across every channel.

Your customers expect, or I should say, require video from your brand.

At the same time, video builds trust with your audience in a way that no other marketing medium can. So, what should be in your 2022 video marketing strategy, whether you’re a total novice or a video veteran?

Variety

Marketing leaders are under pressure to create higher opportunities with video but are more discerning as they consider their approach to the video marketing strategy. They know video has to be the centerpiece of their outreach and campaign efforts … especially on social media.

Developing videos in a variety of formats and styles will achieve a greater widespread of brand awareness and demand generation they are looking to achieve among unique market segments during all stages of the buyer’s journey.

However, understanding the different types of videos and how to create them effectively can help ensure you achieve your desired results.

Video is a communication medium and when it comes to designing video content, form follows function. Video types range from simple, narrated Zoom presentations to Product Explainer Videos in-depth Corporate Brand Documentaries to Client Testimonials and everything in between. Each type offers unique characteristics featuring varied levels of effort, investment, and communication qualities. Use these criteria to determine which type and form of video are best suited for your needs.

  • Level of Effort (LOE): Consider the amount of resources you want to invest in video.
  • Communication Focus: Decide if you want the focus of the video to be emotional or informational. Each focus should have one tone for higher audience engagement.
  • Brand Alignment: Always consider what makes sense for the larger brand representation. For some businesses, an authentic, intimate product demonstration would feel off-brand, while a more polished high-quality video would be on target for the audience and message.

Audience Building

Audience building is a clear strategic focus for marketing in 2022. This isn’t surprising given concerns around third-party cookie deprecation and the increased strictness of privacy laws.

In order to build relationships, organizations now need to create a direct connection to the customer, and do so in a way that appeals to them and improves their perception of their business.

Now, keep in mind that building an audience is completely different than finding clients. Organizations need to develop their audience for both marketing and sales respectively in relation to their buyer’s conversion cycle. Gaining more customers and growing an audience is a necessary component of any organization’s marketing and sales efforts. Content in the future will have to work harder for businesses to gain access to customers’ first-party data. Creating a tailored and transparent value proposition is a good strategy to achieve this.

However, it’s an important distinction to remember that an “audience member” has further to go before becoming a “Customer” than someone simply looking for a solution to a problem or path to solving a challenge. It takes more effort and guidance to take someone from follower to customer, and businesses are striving to convert customers faster post-pandemic.

Audience building is a long-term business initiative and is critical to achieving sustainability for your brand. Once you have a good understanding of who your audience is, you can easily begin to create content that you consider valuable for both actively looking customers and audience development.

Video Content Marketing Plan

All businesses need a clearly defined process and plan to execute video content. Marketing leaders need resources and schedules to ensure timely delivery of content to audiences. Now, understanding the purpose of each piece of video content before you produce it is the key benefit to having a video content marketing plan. When each video has a specific role in your buyer’s journey it ensures that your video is an investment; not an expense.

A video content marketing plan or calendar will help marketing leaders outline key content deliverables for campaigns and puts the entire marketing and creative team on a clear, defined schedule for both production and promotion. This can feel overwhelming at times. In fact, it’s one of the reasons we designed our custom workshop, The Distillery. The Distillery is a workshop where we partner with businesses to distill their goals, objectives, and ideas in their head into a detailed strategy and custom concepts based on their brand’s specific needs.

Determining the right mix of marketing content is crucial based on audience acceptance of your brand and the value proposition.

If you fail to plan, then your planning to fail.

Budget and Resources

You can’t make money without spending money… but how much will ongoing video content cost?

It’s important to know that you don’t need a huge budget to start video marketing. Of course, if you have the budget for it, hiring a video production agency should deliver high-quality content, but it’s really not essential.

Developing video solutions for businesses and organizations is like building a house. You can either build and design a Tiny House or the Mansion of your dreams. Defining the scope of each video (Explainer, Brand Culture, Documentary, Testimonial, FAQ, Product, Podcast, etc.) is important, and matching that video style to how you want the audience to engage. Another key determinant is video duration and how long the video will be will help determine how much content for each piece is needed. Another important factor to answer the first question is, will create the content in-house, or will you hire a freelancer or video production company? Or perhaps you’re going to mix it up and do some videos in-house and outsource to a trusted partner.

The key to any long-term success and sustainability is having the right resources and budget in place. You can start small and always ramp up. Organizational budgets, unfortunately, dictate how you will produce video content, but fortunately for all businesses alike, video provides endless possibilities. Whether you’re filming on your phone or coordinating with a video production agency, it’s important to make a decision on budget and resources within the video content development process and plan.

Either way you go is great! Some teams even pick both, choosing a video production company for high-value videos like Brand and client testimonials, and then having the internal team handle more natural, short-form videos made for social media.

Professional video marketing agencies are not just useful for helping you produce amazing content, but can also help you concept, design, and execute marketing campaigns that meet expectations.

 

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