With 2013 now on the horizon, whether it is the impending end of the world (I joke) or Christmas acting as a distraction for many, for most visionaries and entrepreneurs many of you will already have your marketing plans firmly in place. Those of you who are yet to consider how you will continue to grow and raise awareness in the new year, but more importantly produce more business in 2013, there is no better time than now to take a few hours aside, turn off the television and put the mobile on flight mode, grab a coffee and a sweet snack, a few sheets of blank paper and a couple of different coloured pens and begin the process of planning your future.
Before we get directly into how to prepare your plan in a simple three step guide to video marketing preparation, please take a few minutes to sit back and watch this interesting take by Steve Laughlin on The Future of Marketing.
Whether you agree with Steve or not, the future of marketing is forever adapting to the environment and the needs of it’s consumers. Currently the future of marketing in 2013 will be a blend of three simple factors; the way we communicate, the platform we use and the technology we consume it on.
It is now safe to say that the way we communicate is radically becoming video orientated for it’s quick and rich consumption and growing affordability in nature. We can now conference meetings from different places in the world, we can Facetime (other platforms available) on the move and we can send short video clips to each other as Christmas greetings. More importantly we can produce our own commercials, our own productions without the need for tens of thousands of pounds, a crew of experts and a truck load of equipment. Video has become affordable, fashionable and a day to day part of our life whether we are producing or consuming it.
The platform is social networks whether directly hosting on the website, or by posting links on your various social profiles from a video hosting website such as Vimeo (other popular video hosting sites available). Social networks go far further now than Facebook and Twitter and many are used directly and indirectly to promote our products and services, our dreams and how they can improve other peoples lives. So whether you have a LinkedIn or Google+ account, you are a serial blogger using Tumblr or WordPress, or you are moving between the likes of Instagram (for pictures) and StumbledUpon (for general sharing of good websites) socially we are finding more and more ways to connect as a world and share what we have and what we know with everyone. Therefore the future of marketing will be less on television, magazines, advertisement boards and radio and more internet based through social networking.
As for technology, we are all aware of how mobile it is becoming, whether a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone or even a digital camera, technology is allowing us to consume wherever we are (as long as we can get a decent connection of course). Having a handheld computer allows us to fill those moments when we are waiting for buses or even travelling, when we are seeking information on the go or generally browsing, we are now in control of our own consumption, on demand.
We live in the future, the present is now in our past for we are moving that fast, all around us change is occurring for the better and we must roll with the motion, move with the fast pace of the times and continue to stay one step ahead not only of our competitors, but of the future itself – a challenge indeed.
How To Plan For Video Marketing
Although there are many elements which go into your finished product, right now all we are considering is the thought process, to begin bringing ideas into place and for this we have three basic steps to follow, so take your piece of paper and create a table with three columns and as many rows as videos you require, then for each video (row) complete the following information (column);
1. Purpose and Outcome
Hopefully by now you are aware of the importance and potential that video plays in your marketing campaign. Whether you have used video already or this is your first plan, the paramount decision to make is the purpose of your video and the outcome it will produce. There is no point in having a video for videos sake, nor is it wise to rush into a video without knowing the reason for its production. Video is an investment and will only be a good investment if a methodical approach is taken. Therefore you should consider what video content (if any) you have already provided, and what kind of video would be most beneficial to your organisation in the year ahead. Examples of various types of common videos used in video marketing can be found on our website;
The type of video you choose will assist in defining the purpose but the entire purpose of the video must also produce a tangible outcome, are you raising the awareness of a new product, are you case studying a challenge in the market, are you updating information or are you simply aiming to make more sales. Whatever your goal, this needs to be written down after the type and purpose of the video you have noted and it should be written in a way that includes a realistic outcome with tangible figures. For example you may wish to boost inquiries by 50% compared to your figures for 2012. Whatever your outcome, it should be measurable so you can evaluate your return. Choosing the type of video or at least being aware of its purpose greatly assists the development process of how your video will be produced to encourage the desired outcome.
The next major consideration would be your budgetary limitations. Many great ideas may be placed on the table, yet without knowledge of cost or with ideas too big for budget you are simply wasting time for yourself and your business. Often we need to make money before we can invest money, yet we should always be considering our future and preparing for it, therefore a marketing and awareness pot of some kind should be part of all businesses no matter how small to ensure you always have something there at certain stages of the year to cover the costs of marketing whether it be a stand at an expo, a top up of business cards, updates to your website or a video.
If your budget is tight, consider beginning with something which fits within your budgetary requirements. Not only is the quality of video production vastly improving by the week, it is also becoming much more affordable as a result. Whether you go for an all-out extravaganza of a series of videos, or simply begin with an introductory talking head setting the scene for your company, video is now expected when consumers, clients, your market arrive at your website or are seeking quick, concise information about who you are and what you can offer. Depending on the level of quality you desire, which obviously reflects your brand model also, you can begin with next to nothing and get a student to assist you to make your first video, or you can hire a professional to assist you in developing a producing a high end video for as little as £200. If you don’t have a budget yet, you know it’s time to start saving.
The return of investment on a video can be phenomenal. Your distribution of your video will require a strategy of its own and the right production company can also assist you with this. Knowing what you desire your outcome to be (as outlined in point one) will guide you in evaluating the success of the video (in conjunction with your overall marketing campaign – simply uploading a professional video will not maximize the results desired).
Regarding time, there are two main considerations.
The first is the delivery of the video(s). Some organisations require a monthly video blog, others a promotional video followed by a testimonial video a few months down the line and then maybe a demonstration style video following that. Others may simply require a short promotional video for the homepage of their website to go out in January. Whatever your requirements, each video should have a delivery time-frame; month, week and even day and time depending on your marketing structure and your audience.
The second consideration is the time it will take for the production of the video, also known as the projects life-cycle. Some videos can be turned around quite quickly, maybe within a few days of engagement. Others will take weeks and even months of planning to ensure everything is prepared and produced to a high quality to reflect your branding and product/service/campaign.
An example of a projects life-cycle can be seen on our website;
With all of the above sketched out you will have the basic foundation of a plan for your video marketing, now would be a great time to begin making that first move to contact video production companies. This will allow you to gain quotes and prepare your budgets, seek advice and guidance to align with your requirements, and ensure you have enough time to develop and deliver the video when you need it. Acting now will ensure you are one step ahead so that 2013 runs smoothly and successfully.
It is worth noting here that Methodworks has launched a series of talks with regards to video marketing offering experienced advice while creating a dialog with the interactive presentations. Specifically useful with regards to planning would be the WHAT:VIDEO and WHEN:VIDEO presentations.
These complimentary presentations are being rolled out across East London to business networks and business centers If you would like to attend one please seek your local business network. If you would like to arrange a talk for a private group of business individuals considering video marketing in 2013 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information (also see our previous blog post TALK:VIDEO – Understanding Video Marketing)