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Strategy

Winning the Video War: Strategy for Success and Conversion

Executing one of marketing’s newest trend requires a carefully thought out strategy, some quick wins and an understanding of how to keep the cycle going for months to come

Victoria Vix Reitano
October 20 2017

Video is content king — publishers across the board have seen a huge spike in views, reach and engagement. So how do you get on the video train? It requires a carefully thought out strategy, some quick wins and an understanding of how to keep the cycle going for months to come.

The revolution will be streamed.

I wrote that almost a year ago when discussing the pros and cons of using Facebook Live in reporting. For marketers, the story is the same, but the method is slightly different.

Video is the best way to connect with your audience — it allows you to make them part of a product, service or announcement and it also enables you to showcase how this product or service will make their lives better.

After all, that IS what Generation Z wants. Millennials enjoy the social good factor — what a company does for the planet, their employees and the world around them — and a sense of community (that’s why Facebook is so popular in the first place!), but the next generation? They want brands to make life easier for them, to help them fulfill their life goals.

This presents a unique opportunity for videos like Buzzfeed’s wildly popular “Tasty” series. It not only shows the audience how easy it is to cook delicious meals, but it allows brands to showcase their products in a well-produced video, which then ingrains the product in the audience’s memory. Thanks to Segments like “Tasty,” when viewers think chicken tetrazzini, they think DelMonte tomatoes.

Video is also a great way for brand leaders to have a 1:1 conversation with the audience and understand their needs when it comes to the product or service.

So what makes a winning video campaign? There are several elements that make videos successful in today’s mobile-first world and this article will share the tips you need to succeed in the world of wildy popular videos that, sometimes, even go viral.

Unproduced and Unpredictable

Live videos, especially, should have a “home-movie” feel. That’s not to say that the shots should be out of focus, but it should feel inviting. Add some props, shoot with plenty of natural lighting and make sure the host/interview subject are as relaxed as possible. In the rise of social video — like Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Facebook Live — users are used to videos that are produced on-the-go — they want to feel like they’re there, in the moment with you.

Curation is Key

Curating content from your audience– images, videos and more –and featuring your product is a free way to create content that converts. Having your audience speak FOR you makes your marketing efforts more authentic and allows viewers to see that people really are using your product, services, and that they value your brand. Think of it as testimonial, version 2.0.

Clear, Concise and Consistent

Clear explanations, audio and video. Concise topics. Consistent production. These are the three Cs of creating videos that convert. Allowing your audience to be part of the process is great, but if that takes away from the clear, concise message? It’s best to curate a list of influencers who truly get the product AND production value needed for branded videos than to just use any audience member’s UGC (user-generated content).

Creating the Perfect Web Video, in 5 Steps

There are a few elements that should be included in all great Web videos. Some of these are easier to understand, like captions, and others really depend on a clear understanding of your audience.

A Clear Audience

Every video you create may not have a specific audience, but your overall video strategy should have several clear goals. In order to define your audience, you need to understand where they’re watching the videos. Is it on mobile? Tablet? Desktop? How will they interact with your content? Is it a save for later piece of content or watch now? Starting with one or two answers will allow you to build a video strategy that converts. A great example of this is Buzzfeed’s Tasty video series that has not only garnered hundreds of views, it’s also generated a product for the brand.

Captions or Detailed Description

If your audience is primarily watching on mobile devices, you want to have a serious caption strategy. Assume that they won’t be able to have audio access and focus on making the content quick and easy to digest. Put the full recipe in the first comment for “pin for later” recommendations OR encourage your audience to save to their own playlist if YouTube is your platform of choice.

Easy to Understand Directions

The directions should be easy to understand — and easy to find. Creating on-screen directions might be the best bet if it’s something that isn’t really broken down into steps. Put the highlights in the lower third and see how the audience reacts.

Fun, Engaging Host — or Clean Slate

Who will deliver this content to your audience — is it going to be an interesting personality or is it going to be an unknown host? Figure out what works best for your audience and create a consistent look and feel for each video or for your channel/strategy as a whole.

Shareability & Consistency

If they like it, can you create more? The best part of this is that YOU determine consistency — if you can create one video once a month, that’s the best consistency. If you can create more, consider what types of content will be truly shareable and what types of content will simply keep users engaged. Adding in influencers is a key part of turning content into something that will constantly bring your audience back for more.

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Victoria Vix Reitano

Victoria “Vix” Reitano is a digital strategy, PR, and marketing expert, managing content and audience development for brands, entrepreneurs and influencers. Her strategies, content and digital assets help brands, entrepreneurs and influencers bring in and convert leads to grow their business using free and paid tools online and in traditional media. She is the CEO, Founder and Chief Marketing Strategist of CreatiVix Media, whose clients include This Old House, Christine Hassler, Link AKC, the Education Commission and Susan Verde. She is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Thrive Global and MuckRack.com. Her byline has also been featured in Buzzfeed, USA Today, ThisOldHouse.com, Levo League, AOL’s Patch.com, and Iris.xyz. She has also appeared on NBC’s TODAY and CBS’s Good Day Washington.

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