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Planning your online video: 3 essential action steps

March 16, 2016

Let's be honest. If you haven't heard online marketers pushing video for the last year and a half, you've been living under a rock. But the hype is for good reason. Online promotional videos are generating some pretty compelling results. 


- 65% of executives have visited a vendor's site after watching a video. - Forbes

- Homepage videos are shown to increase conversion rates by 20% or more. -ReelSEO

- 52% of marketers name video as the type of content with the best ROI. -Brainshark

- 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. -ComScore


These are the popular statistics to look at when talking video. But we tend to overlook statistics like this: 


62% of consumers are more likely to have a negative view of a brand that published a poor quality video. -BrightCove


It's obviously a statistic you want to avoid when implementing video in your online marketing strategy. So how do you make sure you produce a quality, well-produced video? Take the time to plan. 


Step One: Determine what you want to accomplish

What purpose will this video serve your company? Are you wanting to increase brand awareness? Are you launching a new product or service? Are you wanting to increase the number of visitors to your website or downloads of your app? Whatever the purpose might be, get specific with it and how you want it to impact your company.


Also take into consideration where you are planning on using it. Will it be a website landing page video? Are you going to run a Facebook video advertising campaign? Is it going out in an email blast? Deciding where you are going to use the video is going to impact how you approach production. For example, platforms like Facebook autoplay in newsfeeds without audio. This means you need to grab your viewers attention without sound. You'll need to consider adding big, bold animated text or close captioning in order to draw your viewer in.


Finally, what action do you want the viewer to take? Be specific. Know exactly what you are asking them to do before you even turn the camera on.


Step Two: Define your audience


It seems simple but it's easy to overlook. Who is included in your target demographic? What is their age range, interests, geographic location? As marketers we spend hours honing in on our target audience but we can also risk thinking we know exactly who it is and months can slip by without taking another look at the data. So use this as an excuse to rework who your target audience is. 


Where do they live online? Facebook video ads might have great ROI but if your target audience is on Snapchat, not Facebook, then you don't want to produce a video for Facebook. 


Compare and contrast what type of media they engage with. Take a look at what type of media they are engaging with. Do they have a strong sense of social justice? Do they have a great sense of humor and engage with content that is funny? Find out what messaging they engage with and work that into your production strategy. 


Step Three: Hash out the logistics


Decide on a length. This is probably one of the most common questions I get from my clients. They want to know how long their video is supposed to be. What is the sweet spot? As a general rule of thumb, aim for just under a minute. Why? 


59% of viewers watch a video to completion that is under 1 minute. -Wistia


That being said, after you've worked through step one and two, you may discover that your audience is passionate about longer form, documentary style story-telling. They are more than willing to sit through a 7 minute video because it's on topics that interest and engage them. If you're looking for an example of what I mean by that, take a quick look at REI's Facebook page.  They're posting 7-8 minute videos and getting huge engagement. Why? Because they know that content is what their audience is interested in.


Determine the style. Are you going to include testimonials? Are you looking to develop an animated explainer video? Based on the info you've gained about your audience through step two, what style is going to work best in capturing your audience's attention. Don't be afraid to go online and find examples of the style video you think will work best.


Decide on a location for filming. 


Nail down a production timeline.


Develop an outline of the points you want to cover. I am really passionate about this point. Far too often I run into situations where clients are married to their script and 9 times out of 10 it backfires on them. Stick to bullet points. Develop authentic questions based on that outline and your on-camera talent is going to sound much more genuine and natural. Click here to learn more about how to apprach whether or not to have a script for your online video.




Ready to get to work?! I've created a worksheet for you to go through with your team.


Click here to download it. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! 







by Carrie Highman

Owner, Dream Lens Media LLC





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