3 Simple Keys to a Successful Video Strategy

"Focus on the elements that make up a great story." – Cheryl Tan

When my middle son was seven, he knocked it out of the park with the first video he created.

Back when Rainbow Loom bracelets were hot, he put together a tutorial on how to make a certain type. Within three days, his video received 70,000 views. He also received quite a few nasty comments. He was seven, after all.

He’s 12 now and hasn’t been able to replicate that success since. He figured out what many already have about video.

Getting started has never been easier. You can be on camera in minutes by using the equipment you already have — your smartphone.

Having success with video? Now, that’s another story.

If you spend time and effort creating videos, you want to see a return on that investment. You want to grow your audience, increase engagement, and generate new business.

When done right, video can help you reach your goals.

Why video creates a special type of connection

We are all video watchers.

We go to YouTube to discover how to make a cake in a cup (delicious, by the way) and how to create budgets in Excel (I did that last month).

When you watch a compelling video, you feel like you know the person (or people) on the other side of the camera — and sometimes you spend large amounts of time browsing videos created by your favorite people.

How can you generate that kind of response when you create videos?

Let’s look at three simple keys to a successful video strategy.

1. Spotlight your personality to build trust

People choose businesses they know, like, and trust, and video is a highly effective way to create that connection.

Before you connect, though, you need to attract the attention of the people you want to reach.

When you craft your video strategy, consider these three main types of video content:

  1. Educational. What does your audience struggle with? What frustrates them? How can you help them achieve a desired result?
  2. Inspirational. Stories that pull on your heartstrings are often the ones that also inspire you to take action. Try case studies about significant client successes.
  3. Entertainment. Make your audience sit up and take notice with surprising features or humor.

All of these video types present opportunities to spotlight your personality.

Get started with cornerstone video content

I learned the term “cornerstone content” from Copyblogger:

Cornerstone content helps visitors to your website or blog know exactly what you do and how you can help them.

You can start creating videos for your business by turning your existing written content into short videos.

Then you can rotate through educational, inspirational, and entertaining topics on a consistent basis to fill out your video publishing calendar.

And set a regular posting schedule — weekly, bimonthly, or monthly. It gives your audience the chance to look forward to your upcoming content.

2. Create scripts for your videos

Not everyone will agree with this, but I stand by this step. I think a script is necessary for video success.

You don’t have to script every single word, but mapping out the plan for your video helps you get to the point faster.

Within the first 30 seconds, explain the transformation your audience should expect, so your viewers immediately know the benefits they will receive if they keep watching.

When creating a script, focus on the elements that make up a great story. A great story always has a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Wrap up the video with a recap of what you talked about and a call to action, whether it’s subscribing to your YouTube channel, signing up for your newsletter, or contacting you for a consultation.

Video ideas

Still not sure what you should cover in your videos? Take a look at these ideas:

  • Behind the scenes. Take your audience to work with you. Find parts of your job you know your audience is interested in and show them what you do.
  • Interviews. People feel so much more comfortable on camera when they are in conversation. When you conduct an interview, you introduce your audience to another individual. When you’re an interviewee, you share your message.
  • Tutorials. These “how to” videos share the knowledge your audience needs.

3. Put video creation time on your calendar

There are two main reasons why it’s important to create and publish your videos consistently:

  1. Your audience will look to you for the latest information in your field. Through your videos, they also learn about the benefits of your products and services — and may contact you if they need your help.
  2. The more videos you create, the better you will get. The better you get, the more confidence you have. And once you have more confidence, you will enjoy creating videos on a regular basis.

It takes work to get to that point, so batching your video production is an effective and efficient way to stay on top of your schedule.

I host a local TV show and we batch our shoots every four or five weeks. We book a space for the shoots, our interviewees join us there, and we shoot six segments, one right after the other. We finish in less than three hours.

Getting a space ready for a shoot, setting up your location with lights, and even getting camera-ready (makeup, hair, clothing) takes time. Setting up for a shoot once every few weeks, instead of when the spirit moves you, saves time and energy.

Your next step

Creating video content is a smart marketing move, but before you start, ask yourself:

  1. How can you engage your audience?
  2. How will you produce videos regularly?
  3. What’s the goal of each video?

My son is now asking himself those questions. He’s thinking about his audience more, and he’s aiming to create videos on a consistent basis.

He didn’t always want to put in the time, but it’s the only way to ensure his first successful video won’t be his last.

Learn proven ways to get better results from your content …

Cheryl honed her content marketing strategy skills in Copyblogger’s Certified Content Marketer program. It’s a powerful tool that helps professional writers position themselves for greater success.

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