January 21, 2021
Why you should (or shouldn't) create a video series for your company.
Welcome to How to Create and Crush a Video Series, our three-post step-by-step guide on planning, producing, executing and promoting a video series that generates buzz and drives results for your business. Here, we'll go into the strategy behind a video series. Stay tuned for how to produce your video series and how to promote it to your audience and beyond.
More and more businesses are getting into the video podcast game, and for good reason. Done well, they can humanize your brand in a 3-dimensional, personal way, more than paid ads, social media and email can.
“Producing a podcast has been an extraordinary way to ‘walk our talk’ and attract new clients. We aren't just telling our clients to provide value and produce content online—we do it ourselves…. People get to know our style, values, and personalities by listening to the podcast, which shortens the sales process,” explains Kaye Putnam from marketing agency Infinitus.
You can take it a step further by making it a video series—a podcast in video form—and let your leads see the people behind their product in action. From there, your compelling content builds brand affinity and drives conversions.
Key word here is “compelling,” which too many companies forget when they’re creating a video series. In figuring out how to leverage it for their sales pipeline, they forget that they need to create something people will listen to; something that ultimately brings them value
Nobody wants to watch a 45-minute long commercial about your product (you’re not QVC) or hours of aimless banter by a Joe Rogan impersonator. And even the “right” content can languish in obscurity if it’s not produced well, marketed well or posted where your future fans will find it.
So where do you begin? First, we'll start with the strategy: Why should your business start a video series—and does it make sense for your brand?
1. Humanize your brand: When you get two people on camera talking in a natural, structured but not scripted format, you’re connecting with people on a more organic and natural level. You’re talking to your viewers as people, not as potential sales targets. That loosens people up, makes them more receptive to your points, and encourages them to trust your brand.
2. Leverage audience affinity for advertising: Compared to scrolling social media, listening to a video podcast is an intentional, high-effort activity. Podcast listeners are there because they care about your content, not because a mysterious algorithm put your post in front of them. Video podcasts reach people based on a holistic picture of their lifestyles, passions, and habits. These affinity audiences have demonstrated a qualified passion for a given topic, making it easier for hosts and advertisers to market to that group.
3. Attract a high quantity and quality of traffic: Video podcasts generate traffic mostly because they’re so beloved and popular. People care about their podcasts and video series, enough that they’ll recommend them to their friends and use them as icebreakers on first dates. Granted, you probably won't get the following that Serial did in the early days of podcasts, but long-form video generates excitement in a way that no other marketing channel can match. Like, imagine telling your colleague about that great Google Ad you saw. Exactly.
4. Contribute Thought Leadership and Long-form Content: As marketers, you’re battling your audience’s attention span on a minute-by-minute basis. Podcasts are the only marketing channel where audiences will wait a little longer for you to “warm up.” So compared to other platforms, you can delve deeper and host conversations on more complex topics, which establishes your company’s authority and builds credibility with your audience. Time is precious and if you can prove your content is worthy of your audience’s time, then you’ll start to build a loyal audience.
5. Broaden your business network: A video podcast isn’t necessarily a one-to-one replacement for networking, but it’s a pretty good substitute. If you’re actively looking for speakers for an event, then by engaging potential speakers in a 30- to 45-minute conversation twice a month, you’re expanding your professional network and, in turn, the insights and perspectives you’re gaining through those conversations. Who’s going to turn down the ability to share their expertise with a wider audience? No one. That’s who.
As we’ve seen, video podcasts have huge marketing potential. But not everyone needs to be everything. And now that the podcast market’s more crowded than a pre-COVID party, video podcasts don’t make business sense for everyone. So ask yourself these questions before diving in:
1. Do you have a niche product or audience? Spending 60 minutes into one topic, podcasts require a bigger time investment from your audience than any other channel. That’s super appealing to an ultra-specific passionate, ultra-specific audience—and not attractive at all to everyone else.
The solution isn’t to go super broad to widen your audience: You can use social media or ads to mass market your product at a fraction of the time investment.
Instead, double down on engaging that ultra-passionate, niched audience through your podcast. This way, you’re establishing yourself as the definitive thought leader in your industry.
2. Is your industry under-represented in the video podcast space? If so, chances are that your audience is craving video content from you and your podcast can fill a market gap.
3. Will the video and long-form format demonstrate your company’s value proposition and services? The endgame is always to tie your content back to your business and services, so consider how the video podcast format can support your brand, in particular. Example: Since BigMarker is a video and virtual event platform, a self-hosted video podcast is an opportune way to demonstrate the platform itself and contribute thought leadership in one effort.
If your brand’s value proposition is tied up in a compelling narrative, that also plays well on video and can generate some serious traction for your brand. But if you sell paper for a Dunder-Mifflin style of corporation, it might not make sense to invest in a full video series. Consider starting smaller, with social media livestreams or videos, then scaling up to a video series if turnout is high enough to justify the production costs.
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