Among all the tools available to marketers, video has a distinctly special ability to help marketers to tell their stories. Being significantly more engaging than images and text, video is wrought with subtleties that simply exceed the bare capacities of other media. For instance, it’s been said that much of the emotion in a Hollywood movie comes from the music alone. Applied to video marketing, this means that video gives marketers the power to communicate great deals of information effectively in a short amount of time.

Video productions are a billion dollar industry for a reason. The complexity of making an effective video presentation isn’t greatly diminished simply because you’re not making a full length motion picture, and the marketing aspect of production can often be counter-intuitive or downright frustrating. Fortunately, if you follow a few simple guidelines, it won’t take a million dollar budget to develop a powerful marketing strategy that can overcome this inherent difficulty.

Set Clear Goals

Like most of your marketing efforts, it’s important to create a clear list of goals and expectations. While vague goals like “sell more products” aren’t very revealing, the more specific that you’re able to state your objectives, the more judicious your decisions will be during production. You should also set goals for each and every video you create. By tracking your progress towards achieving these goals, you can fine tune your video content closer to your objectives by offering insight into the pros and cons of your content. This information can be crucial for informing you if you need to promote in a different way or change the scope of your campaign.

Have a Call to Action

How would you like people to respond to your content after watching it? (These reactions include signing up for your newsletter, sharing your content with their friends, making video responses, entering contents, downloading contents, making orders, and so on.) There may be no single greater mistake you could make than to let viewers decide how to respond on their own. Rather, you should use every opportunity to guide people towards the specific actions that you want your video to incite. After all, a million views means nothing if you don’t get people to take the next step.

Production Strategy

The quality of your production depends entirely on whatever creative direction that your video heads in, whether it be promotional, viral, brand entertainment, or otherwise. When the quality of the production matches the requirements of your creative concepts, production costs bottom out without affecting the performance of your videos. Sometimes this means paying a premium for professional video resources, so it’s important to fully grasp what type of production value your video ideas will require to execute tastefully.

Take a Balanced Approach

Anyone who has spent time learning about marketing already knows that you need a combination of delayed immediate gratification for growth, yet this simple truth is also why video marketing can be so challenging. Try not to tailor your videos towards brand building or traffic, but both. The two-birds-with-one-stone approach may take more effort to execute during production, but in many cases it’s the only way you can harness the full extent of the power available in video.

Last but not least, try and keep your content between three and five minutes whenever possible. Apart from making it easier to produce regular content at this rate, five minutes and under seems to be the sweet spot for video length online. According to a recent study by the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon, one trend in video content is that shorter clips garner higher rates of engagement. This is especially convenient for marketers because shorter clips also allow you to convey your brand in a very personal way.

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