June 28, 2021
Create a video marketing strategy that captivates and converts, using our best practices.
In an all-virtual year, video reigned supreme: Businesses uploaded 88% more videos in 2020—and consumers tuned in. They watched 12.2 billion minutes of video last year—or 23,211 years’ worth of content—according to HubSpot's Not Another State of Marketing Report.
So to stay competitive, your business needs to invest in video. But you can’t just pay a 21-year-old TikTok star to shoot some reels, post them on social media, and call it a strategy.
Your video marketing strategy needs to provide customers at each stage of the funnel with the information and inspiration they need to move forward—and buy. That takes creativity, technical savvy and a little bit of luck.
Read on to learn how to create a video marketing strategy that captivates your audience *and* converts:
Just from your own consumption habits, you can probably sense why video marketing works. Combining audio, visuals and motion into a compelling 3D picture, video engages all of our senses in a way no other medium can. And that benefits your marketing efforts at every stage of the sales funnel:
After spending all that time and energy creating content, it’d be a real shame if nobody remembered what it said, right?
Turns out that people remember video content 9.5x better than they do print content: Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.
Why? We’ll let Lisa Lubin, an Emmy Award-winning video consultant, explain:
The amount of information contained in one single frame can take three pages to describe. The feeling, the color, the message is seen immediately. It is a known fact that people engage when they watch a video and tend to stay watching it.
They are also happy to pass it along. Video informs and entertainsx people and, good or bad, today most people prefer to watch a video rather than read a page of text.
Remember learning about photosynthesis back in biology class? Your teacher probably told you about this chemical, that chemical and it all sounded like C02 word salad. But then you saw a diagram—with the color-coded arrows guiding you through the steps and chemical exchanges—and it started making a little more sense.
Some things are just easier to understand with a visual component. That’s as true for tech products as it was for your high school science classes. Pairing video with narration, you can explain more complex topics than you can via text alone. And once your audience can understand what you’re selling, you can start to actually sell them.
So if you’re marketing a super-technical SaaS product, make video your secret weapon. Recruit your best writers to explain the tool in real terms, then have your most charismatic team members narrate the video with gusto. Add some explainer animations and you can simplify even the most complicated SaaS products.
Every B2B marketer is despairing over the boring B2B market. Everyone sounds the same, uses the same meaningless jargon, etc.
Does this sound like your company? Video is your time to shine. On camera, you can speak more informally than you would if you were writing a white paper or something.
This makes your brand more ~relatable~ and trustworthy. Your customers get to know the living, breathing people behind the products they use everyday. They can see how much those professionals care about serving their customers—and trust them more as a result.
Video doesn’t just help companies get eyes. It helps them close sales. Strong videos guide users to the next step of the sales funnel, according to these findings from Wyzowl:
Most importantly, your customers are craving more video content. According to a report from HubSpot Research, more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands—more than any other content type.
Before you begin filming, decide what kinds of videos you want to create for leads at each point in your sales funnel. From generating new interest to closing final sales, each of your videos should be made for the purpose of moving users to the next step of the sales process. Below is a breakdown of the different videos you should create for each stage of the funnel:
The goal in the attract phase is to introduce yourself and your company as a leader in your space.
Achieve that through:
Short how-to videos: Imagine that your company is creating webinars for the first time. Your first question isn’t going to be “Which platform do I use?” It’s “How do I create a webinar?” or even “What is a webinar?”
How-to videos answer these basic questions for viewers, then in the ending call-to-action, present their company as a source of additional information/service.
For instance, a webinar provider would create a 30-second animated video with 3 easy tips for hosting a webinar, then sign off with “Interested in learning more about hosting a webinar? Contact us to schedule a demo and get started.”
This way, you can earn attention, position yourself as a trusted resource in the space, then give interested viewers an opportunity to continue the conversation—all in 30 seconds or less.
Thought leadership videos: Thought leadership videos work similarly. They provide information and insights to people, for the purpose of building trust and attracting interest in the company.
But instead of answering specific, tactical questions, thought leadership videos address higher-level industry trends. So instead of answering “How do I host a hybrid event?” the thought leadership video would present trends and insights about hybrid events.
If you give your audience stats and expertise they can’t find anywhere else, they’re more likely to see you as a trusted resource. So once they’re ready to buy, they’ll come to you.
Social videos that showcase your brand’s personality and mission: B2B marketing gets really bogged down in buzzwords and features, but really, it’s about people. Anyone who signs on as a customer is committing to work with the people behind your brand.
Your video marketing strategy needs to account for that. Through company culture videos, webinars and behind-the-scenes shorts, demonstrate that your company’s made up of good people who are easy to do business with. If your audience is considering several similar competitors, and your videos are the ones that resonate, they’ll probably sign on with you.
You’ve grabbed your audience’s attention. Gold star for you. Now, in the convert phase, you need to nudge them closer to purchase. Continue the conversation with videos that show and explain your product’s value. This includes:
Product demos: The product demo is one of the most important elements of the sales process. Done well, they don’t just list your product’s best features—they showcase your company’s mission and convince your audience to care.
So why not share it with everyone? Condense your sales meeting into a 2-3 minute narration, create animations to accompany it, and compile it into a video that shows off your brand’s products and personality.
Need some inspiration? Check out these 20 industry-leading product demos by Headspace, Slack and more.
Webinars: Compared to those in the “attract” phase, customers in the “convert” phase want more tactical advice to help them meet their business goals. So your job is to provide those insights, then position your product as a way of meeting those needs.
Webinars are a great medium for this. Host focused sessions that help viewers solve specific problems—and present your service as a way to do it. For example, if you’re selling a hybrid event platform, host a session about maximizing sponsorship revenue at a hybrid event. Then in the final 15 minutes of the webinar, talk about your hybrid event’s platform’s sponsorship booths and capabilities.
Drop a link to your sales demo and book those meetings. It’s that easy, as long as you’ve provided enough value—independent of your product—in the first portion of the webinar.
But exposure doesn’t pay the bills—and it doesn’t convince your CMO to spend more money on video marketing. That’s where close videos come into play. This is where you seal the deal and get sales.
Case studies and testimonials: Before investing hundreds or thousands into your product, your customers want to know that it’ll work for them—their specific use case, their specific industry, etc. Case studies, stories of an individual’s success with a product, offer that reassurance.
Create videos featuring your most satisfied customers. Let them describe in their own words exactly how your product has benefited their work. Take it from us: 2 minutes from a customer can convince your leads better than another 30-minute sales call can.
Landing page promotional videos: The call-to-action button is the holy grail of every marketer. Because once people click, they convert. Right?
Wrong. Because if they click through to your landing page and it’s unclear or uninspiring, they still won’t buy. So seal the deal by adding sales or case study videos to your landing page. This prevents customers from clicking away or just getting distracted before committing to your product.
Video tutorials and how-to webinars: Once you’ve scored that new customer, keep them by helping them master your product.
One great way to ease onboarding and improve retention is by creating video tutorials on your product. Showing users exactly where to go, video tutorials can complement your technical documentation and save time for everyone involved.
Using a screen recording app like Loom, you can create these videos as you’re performing key tasks on your platform (like logging in, etc.). Turn Loom on, narrate as you go and boom! You’ve got a tutorial.
This empowers customers to solve common questions by themselves, so they’re spending time chatting with a robot, and your customer support can handle higher-priority issues.
And if it’s successful, it’ll also reduce the number of inquiries to your customer success team.
But creating a video strategy isn’t as simple as reciting a script, splashing some branding on a few reels, and calling it a day.
Creating a successful video strategy takes several things: choosing the right video marketing platform, creating optimal content and
So before you start writing scripts and shooting reels, consider the following:
If you’re hosting webinars, product demos, or other on-demand videos, pick the right home for them. The best webinar providers should have:
Think about the Super Bowl ads and videos that have resonated with you. It probably wasn’t an informational sales deck talking about features. It probably told a story that tugged at your heartstrings and made you care on a visceral, emotional level.
That’s no accident. People can relate to emotional appeals far more than they can a list of features. Research bears this out: Nearly 80% of people prefer brands that tell stories as part of their marketing.
And video’s the best venue for that. Three-dimensional and vivid, video uses the power of storytelling to spark strong emotions. For instance, you can show how nonprofits use your product to serve their communities, or how your customers have earned promotions using your product.
Pair strong storytelling with sales content and you’ve got a super-effective video marketing machine.
We all know that shorter is better, but there’s some nuance to that advice. First, each social media platform has its own formatting requirements, interface and social context, so what’s best on Facebook may not apply to TikTok.
Consult Sprout Social’s best practices for video length on each platform. We’ve listed LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube, but read the Sprout Social for the latest insights on every platform possible.
LinkedIn: The maximum length for LinkedIn videos is 10 minutes but the network recommends that the ideal length depends on your objective. For brand awareness and consideration, LinkedIn says that a video under 30 seconds has a 200% lift in completion rates.
Facebook: For example, Facebook livestreams can be as long as 8 hours. And Facebook says that most people will watch other video types to the end if they are 15 seconds long. One study found that if you want higher engagement, 2 to 5 minutes was the range to aim for.
YouTube: A network based entirely on videos, it’s reasonable to expect that the length will vary depending on what the viewer wants. There is a maximum of 12 hours per video, the longest of any network. Longer videos at a minimum of 10 minutes have been more popular lately, possibly because that’s the point at which creators are able to insert ads.
Besides your platforms, consider the viewer’s place in the buyer journey.
If your customer’s checking you out for the first time, and they’re comparing you against 10 competitors, they’ll have less patience. Hell, if they’ve got too many options, they’ll be looking for reasons to take you off the list. So you need to make a strong impression with something short and sweet.
Compare that to someone in the bottom of the funnel. They’ve already talked to your sales team and already conducted their own research. They’re not quite a captive audience, but they’re invested. This gives you more leeway when it comes to length.
Small marketing teams may not have time to shoot professional-quality videos every day. And that’s OK.
With evergreen webinars, on-demand videos and other always-on content, viewers can log into your video anytime, from anywhere. But even though the video’s pre-recorded, hosts can answer their viewers’ questions from their phones as if they were physically in the room with them. (Some good evergreen videos include new hire and onboarding videos, sales demos, and company culture pieces.)
Having a solid video library gives your team room to breathe. You can aim to shoot one excellent sales demo or webinar each month, then republish them on your Media Hub or embed them on your website.
If you require guests to complete a form upon entry, you’ll still receive their contact information and be able to follow up with leads, no matter when they watch.
This way, one video can generate leads for six months or even a year after its creation. That frees up more time for your team to shoot even more compelling content.
From planning and shooting to editing and promoting, video content is a big creative investment. So don’t just post it once, then restart the process all over again. Instead, create a video on-demand gallery or media hub, so your followers can watch your videos for months or years after the post date—and they can find it in all one place.
By repurposing your webinars, live streams, and virtual event sessions as on-demand replays, you can stretch the ROI of the content you’ve already made and give your team more time to make their next big project. Talk about a win-win.
Besides improving efficiency, media hubs can also facilitate sales and drive revenue. By charging a subscription fee for premium access to media hubs, hosts can monetize their content while creating a base of highly engaged followers and leveraging them for future marketing efforts.
Unlike services like YouTube, hosts can add their branding to their video players and require guests to enter their email addresses before watching. This way, each video earns more views and generates more leads over time.
And after doing the work to bring your videos to life, you deserve each one.
Enable comments and Q&A on your videos and live streams to spark engagement among your audience. Because the more your guests can connect with your content and community, the more likely they are to come back for more. Provide suggested hashtags so they can share it on their social channels as well.
Hosting a pre-recorded video? No problem! Set up a Slack or SMS relay so your host can answer questions or comments from their phones, just as if they were in the room.
By now, you probably know not to make marketing moves on a whim. But video comes with its own set of unfamiliar metrics. So which data points should you use to inform your decision-making, and which are just noise? As you develop your video marketing strategy, consider these common metrics:
1. View Count: The video equivalent of impressions, this tells you how many people saw your video in their feeds. (Note that each platform counts views differently: watching for 3 seconds constitutes a view on Facebook whereas YouTube requires people to watch for 30+ seconds before counting it as a view.)
If your primary objective is brand awareness and equity, consider your view count your North Star.
Want to improve your view count? Experiment with different post times and dates to reach more people, refresh your graphics and/or encourage your team members to share your videos.
2. Play Rate: If view count measures how many people saw your video, play rate measures how many people watched. It’s the percentage of people who played your video divided by the number of impressions it received. This evaluates how relevant your content is to your audience. So if your main goal is maximizing conversions (e.g., you’re posting a lot of “convert” videos), pay close attention to your play rates.
Want to improve your play rate? Conduct “voice of customer” surveys with your existing users to identify their biggest questions and pain points, so you can produce more relevant content for that audience. Also take note of your competitors’ content strategy and mix to uncover any additional insights.
3. Video Completions and Completion Rate: Like the name says, this measures the number of viewers who watched your full video, as well as the percentage of viewers who stuck around until the end. Since it counts only people who watched the whole video, this is one of the most revealing engagement metrics in video marketing.
Want to improve your completion rate? First things first, make sure your audio and video were in sync for the duration of the video. Then reference the video’s average playback time to see if viewers dropped off at the same point. If so, consider changing your phrasing, topic or presenter for next time.
4. Click-through and conversion rates: Click-throughs and conversions track progress toward the same goal: getting people to purchase. Click-through rate (CTR) is the number of times your call-to-action (CTA) is clicked divided by the number of times it's viewed. CTR shows how effective your video is at encouraging people to click that call-to-action button.
Want to improve your CTR? Consider changing the design or copy of your call-to-action message. Usually, marketers make their CTA too indirect to inspire the desired action—or they fail to connect their CTA with the video content preceding it, which makes it feel less relevant to their viewers. So don’t be afraid to be prescriptive!
Conversion rate measures the amount of people who complete your desired action after clicking on your CTA. This essentially measures how effective your landing page/redemption page is at nudging people toward that final purchase.
Want to improve your conversion rates? If you’re losing leads at this stage, you need to streamline the buying process. So in partnership with your marketing ops or growth team, simplify the page’s layout so viewers can more easily find the Purchase button. Or you can add more direct copy or testimonial videos to the landing page.
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