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In this guest blog from Mark Currie, Director at Chocolate Films, find out how you can develop a video content strategy that attracts prospects, builds trust and delivers business results.

cf-production-logoMore than 500 million hours of video content is watched on YouTube each day and 87% of businesses now use video for marketing.

Previously, video used to cut through the noise, but now it is the noise.

Which is why effective video marketing needs great strategy more than ever.

When it’s well-planned, beautifully made and effectively distributed, video can be an amazingly potent way of communicating with audiences.

Here are some thoughts from Chocolate Films, digital pioneers in video production with 18 years experience, on how to develop a successful video strategy for your organisation.

Three good reasons to use video

Before we start crafting a video content strategy, let’s look at why you need video marketing in the first place:

1) Audiences love video

Video is a popular and versatile marketing medium. The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video, and a website with video embedded is 53 times more likely to show up first on Google.

Just putting the word ‘video’ in the subject line of an email increases its open rate. And when it comes to social media, video is a game changer on every platform. On Twitter alone, posts with video attract 10 times more engagement.

2) Video builds trust

Video can give your audience a glimpse behind the scenes, an eye on the board room, or a preview of your next big event. It helps them get to know you better and forge a strong and long-lasting relationship.

 

 

With ‘Stories from the Market’, the UK’s largest wholesale fruit, vegetable, and flower market, New Covent Garden Market, invites you into their business through heart-warming short documentaries.

3) You'll remember it

Over two-thirds of consumers prefer learning about a new product or service through a short video over any other way. When watching a video, viewers retain 95% of a message compared to 10% when reading text. (If this blog post were a video, those stats would be far easier to remember!)

How does audience behaviour affect your video strategy?

Understanding how audiences behave on various online and offline platforms is invaluable for your content marketing strategy. This is something we have learned over years of filmmaking experience. At Chocolate Films, we differentiate the ways that people watch video as Impulse Views and Planned Views:

WHAT’S AN IMPULSE VIEW?

  • A video that you chance upon.

  • You probably won't listen to the audio.

  • If it's longer than a few seconds, you might not watch it to the end. 

Here's an example: that Instagram video making you hungry on the train home from work.

Instagram food gif

WHAT’S A PLANNED VIEW?

  • A video that you choose to watch.

  • You'll pay close attention to what you see and hear

  • You'll most certainly watch it to the end 

Example: that long-awaited film you bought cinema tickets for.

These are the two extremes of viewing behaviour, but there’s a whole spectrum:

Impulse View

Planned View

 

Social media platforms are at different points on the Impulse Views side of the spectrum. Location-based viewing (in-venue, presentations, cinema) is on the Planned View side of the spectrum.

Since people watch content in such different ways, why wouldn’t you produce different content, or reversion content for each specific platform? That’s where video content strategy comes in!

The hero help hub framework

There are many ways to develop a video content plan. We love taking Google’s HERO, HELP and HUB framework as a starting point. They distilled it from viewers’ behaviour on the world’s largest video platform, YouTube; that’s some serious data!


WHAT’S A HERO VIDEO?

A HERO film is your video marketing blockbuster.

It’s the kind of video you want to tell your friends and colleagues about.

It’s content that’s going to inspire existing audiences and attract new followers.

It’s got a brave eye-catching creative, and probably a higher production value than your other content.

You’re not likely to make many HERO films. But when you do, it’s going to make a splash. And you’re definitely going to allocate paid marketing budget to it.

Here’s a classic example of a HERO video from Volvo Trucks, and it still works!

 

 

See more examples of HERO videos, from the Arts & Culture industry, in this blog post.

How can video help your audiences?

1. HELP videos answer a question, they offer a solution to any problem someone might search for online.

Is there a question that clients ask you again and again? Are people trying to find out more about your business process? HELP films are designed to provide the answers.

2. HELP films can offer a solution to a practical question, such as ‘How does X product work?’ or ‘How do I place an order?’. They can also be responses to the most asked questions about your area of expertise or industry, for example ‘How did fair trade come about?’ or ‘Why should I use PPC advertising?’.

3. HELP films show that you’re listening to the public and trying to answer their needs. They help build a following, and (given YouTube’s status as the second biggest search engine) can receive large numbers of views.

4. Crucially, HELP content also drives traffic to your video channels, social media accounts and website(s).

Take a look at this HELP video that the Wallace Collection created to explain to school groups how to enjoy a safe visit at the museum:

 

Create a hub for your audience

HUB pieces are episodic content, engaging a loyal audience with stories on an ongoing basis.

You want to delight this audience, keep them interested and excited about who you are and what you do. Seeing HUB videos keeps people in touch with you or reconnects them to you, by making them understand more about you. Eventually, they will buy your new product, come to your next event and tell your story as brand ambassadors.

Depending on the type and scale of your organisation, HUB videos can take many forms. Large organisations create documentary series, or collaborative projects. Smaller organisations can achieve success with behind-the-scenes conversations, exciting case-studies and thought-leadership pieces.

HUB films are a great way to take your long-term audience on a much richer journey. Watch what MOMA, New York did with their 'At The Museum' series:

 

 

Social media platforms - the top line

Codecs! Durations! Aspect Ratio! Subtitles! Aaargh!

Planning video for social media can be very confusing, and the rules change ALL THE TIME!

In a nutshell, here’s our advice for popular platforms. For more details and a video, see the Chocolate Films Glasgow team’s ‘10 Tips To Win At Online Video’.

Platform Format Length Advice
Twitter Square Less than 45 seconds Timing is everything
Facebook Vertical Up to 2 minutes Portrait works best 
Instagram Square Less than 30 seconds Keep them sparkly
LinkedIn Square or horizontal Under 30 to 90 seconds for native video. Less than 15 seconds for ads Make sure they're safe for work
IGTV Vertical Between 2 and 5 minutes It's like YouTube with previews

 

That concludes our blog on developing a video content strategy - hopefully you have a better idea of why video is so effective and where to start. It's a core part of your B2B content marketing strategy - so don't miss it out!

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