More businesses are making a serious push to take on video in a larger way this year, while seasoned pros are looking for new and innovative ways to stand out with their own video marketing.
This article has something for both groups: learn these proven strategies and tips for planning, shooting, and promoting business video. There’s a path to success for every vertical.
Select a Video Marketer
A successful web video is personality-driven. Find someone who comes across as social on camera. Weigh expertise, authenticity, personality and familiarity with the audience. Look at the candidate’s ability to be concise and clear, as well as his or her schedule and availability. How well does the candidate use social networking tools? Your marketer should work in front of and behind the camera, producing, publishing, and using social media optimization with video.
If the resources are available, hire several people and assign different duties to different people, creating an in-house video marketing team.
Create a Media Center
A key objective in video marketing is to get out as much video as simply and easily as possible, while at the same time making sure it’s quality content. It’s important to have a streamlined production, post-production, and distribution system in place. Will the shooting be in an office, at home, or on location (indoors and/or outdoors)? The answers will affect the type of camcorder, microphone, lighting, and backdrop needed.
Have a Shoot Plan
To provide regular content, consistency, and some degree of flexibility, have a video content and shoot plan the business can commit to for at least three months.
Consider and decide these questions in advance:
- How much to commit to videos about recent events?
- How quick turnaround will be?
- What events or projects will allow the team to create batches of videos (as opposed to single shoots)?
- Who besides the regular participants will be needed, and should be scheduled in advance?
- When doing location work, what video shoots require special permission?
- What hardware and software is needed? What distribution channels will the video be streamed on?
When starting a new video project, especially a large one, allow time for a few tests. Expect to need tweaks to both the content and technical sides.
Encourage Others to Participate
Video marketing works best when fans, consumers, colleagues, industry influencers, non-video team employees, and other stakeholders are involved. Ask audiences directly what they would like to see. Collaborate on ideas and content, then cross-promote.
Take Advantage of Popular Social Media and Business Networks
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest have all increased their abilities to feature and share video in the past year.
- LinkedIn: Take advantage of the Google Docs  Presentations and SlideShare  Presentations applications for embedding video into a LinkedIn page. Also, use the news feed regularly to feature links to videos and share them with related Linkedin groups.
- Facebook and Twitter. Both social networks allow for video embedding. Read the OnlineVideo.net article, “Facebook and Twitter Marketing Tips for Social Business”  to understand the nuances of each.
- Pinterest. The social visual bookmarking site is now the fourth largest source of traffic  after Google, direct traffic, and Facebook. Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ put together. Videos are becoming increasingly important to both the site and its users. In late 2012, Pinterest lifted its ban on commercial and business accounts. It also offered full integration with Vimeo and YouTube accounts. Those changes made it an increasingly hot space for professional video campaigns. For some choice tips and examples, check out the OnlineVideo.net article, “The Definitive Pinterest Video Guide: Always Be Sharing .”
Some Good Examples of Video Marketing
The Interview: Sounds like the most obvious one, right? Well, David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR , along with Steve Garfield, author of Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business , say that video interviews are one of the simplest and fastest ways to put together a piece that elicits a social response.
Reviews: Amazon.com  is one of the better-known examples of how consumers can now respond to a product video and share their own video review. Today, there are business models built entirely around customer video reviews, such as Expo.com  and BeautyChoice.com .
Staff as Presenters: Companies such as Zappos offer video product presentations that feature employees. Instead of hiring an actor, use an employee who knows the product and comes across as believable.
Customer Feedback and Service: Some companies now have YouTube channels  for the sole purpose of soliciting and responding to customer questions, comments, and suggestions. Follow the example of outlet store Crutchfield Electronics and create quick videos that join in with customer conversations and address their needs.
Create a Learning Center: Video is an ideal venue for educating audiences that are hungry for professional guidance. Sites such as Wistia  have excellent learning center video hubs that teach consumers how to make smarter choices. Unbiased advice leads to deeper consumer trust with the company.
Real–Time Responsiveness: One big advantage to social media marketing is the ability to act in real-time. An increasing number of businesses are learning to respond to breaking news with real-time information and commentary, all in video. Get the word out immediately on social networking sites such Facebook and Twitter by embedding video directly into a posting.
Online video is not only easier than ever before, it’s also expected by audiences and stakeholders. These tips can help make video an integral part of any business’s marketing strategy.