PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: How to get started using video in our marketing strategy
KEY TAKE AWAY: Understand the basics for how to use video in your marketing
VIDEO TIME: n/a
READ TIME: 6 minutes 30 seconds
NEXT STEP: Download The Ultimate Video Marketing Starter Pack
CATEGORY: Video Content
HASHTAGS: Hubspot, video marketing, starter pack
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As marketing strategies have grown and changed, video has become the go-to form of communication. And that’s not expected to change any time soon, as our relationship with video has permanently shifted from something saved for special occasions and big campaigns to a fundamental part of our workflow.
A recent Cisco annual report backs this up and also projected that by 2022, there would be almost a million minutes of video on the internet and that 82% of all consumer web traffic would, in fact, be from video.
But that whopping statistic isn’t the only one of its kind, though. Outside of that report, other video adjacent research—courtesy of brands like Wista, Oberlo, Unamo, and MarketingSherpa—shows that people spend 2.6x as much time on a website with video, websites using video are 53x more likely to obtain first-page search results, and videos generate 300% more traffic.
PART ONE: Where to use video in your marketing strategy
The problem with the traditional and, at times, overused “funnel” metaphor is that it’s one-sided. Instead of mirroring real life, where leads can—and often do—enter at any point, the funnel assumes that every person’s path to becoming a customer is linear. But experience and common sense tell us that this simply cannot be true. Marketing channels, technology, social media, and people’s preferences for consuming information have all evolved and attribution isn’t a perfect science, so naturally, the metaphor must also evolve.
With the flywheel, the idea is that by using your happy customers’ momentum to drive referrals and repeat sales, your business keeps spinning without exhausting your valuable resources. 3 main phases drive it:
THE ATTRACT PHASE
The attract phase is a lot like fishing in that to do it right, you’ll need bait. You’ll want to scrape together useful content (explainer, intro, how-to, testimonial, and brand play videos) and find the right balance of 2-3 to feature, otherwise people will leave your website when they’re trying to learn about your company because they’re overwhelmed by too many options. Save the ebooks and the case studies for later because anything too big won’t lead to full, committed bites in this fishing metaphor. Only nibbles.
To cast a wide net, invest in SEO and retargeting or look-a-like ads. After you tackle the basics of who your audience is and what problem you’re solving, start thinking about where you want these ads to live. As a general rule of thumb, the most cost-savvy place to reach your audience is Facebook and Instagram, as they have the most sophisticated targeting systems for paid ads. If you opt for them, your safest bet is with a square video for News Feed placement. YouTube is also great for pre-roll ads, and the 16:9 format is the friendliest version in this case. Are we missing one? Oh, right, LinkedIn—this can be impactful for those in the B2B world, and the 16:9 format is also well suited here. All of these videos, regardless of which platform you pick, should be 30 seconds or less (again, find the balance).
THE ENGAGE PHASE
We don’t usually pick favorites, but we might have to make an exception for the engage phase because this is where the magic happens for marketers. If everything’s gone according to plan, people will have consumed content in the attract phase and will be willing to take a deeper dive. To meet them where they’re at, you should:
Post videos on your social media channels (Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.) to drive lead generation. You can be sales-y here, so long as you balance it out with authenticity on your website. Try ditching the script by starting conversations with, “I love what I do because…”, “I get excited when…”, and “I’m really passionate about…” and see where it takes you.
Use conversion tactics—CTAs, forms, and lead flows—to capture prospects’ information while they’re visiting your site. Then, plug that information right back into your CRM to personalize and add context to future communication.
Finish strong and make it easy for people to book time with you by dropping a calendar link in your videos. Although seemingly harmless, deviating from the video to fill out a contact form on another page gives people an opportunity to bounce. Our advice? Don’t tempt chance here.
THE DELIGHT PHASE
The delight phase, if done right, is usually where the fruits of your labor from the previous two phases really start to pay off. Invest in creating memorable content for your prospects to share with their friends and family by using a variety of video formats. These will ultimately empower your customers to reach their goals which will also be in service of helping you reach yours—in other words, it’s a big win-win for all involved.
- Thank you video
- Seasonal greeting
- Brand evangelism
- Customer onboarding
All of these methods will provide feedback, which you can use to inform and inspire future research (i.e., customer personas, product improvements, and NPS) and make people feel seen and heard. But this only works if you approach it by not simply going through the motions. Follow up and let people know their feedback counts for something. Show them you mean business.
PART TWO: How to create a high-quality video
Call it intuition or a sixth sense, but people have a pretty good idea when something or someone isn’t true. It’s why people are hesitant to hand over personal information, quiz chatbots to see how ‘human’ they are, and can smell a pitch from a salesperson in an email within the first few seconds of reading one. We see red flags when we feel alone, misunderstood, or taken advantage of by a brand, and that’s exactly why it’s so essential to make a good impression (and keep making good ones) throughout the customer journey.
But let’s be clear; a good impression ≠ perfection.
In fact, we think it’s the opposite. It’s the little bits of personality and relatability that shine through that make us want to connect with the person on the other end. So when you’re shooting your next video, relax. It won’t and shouldn’t be flawless.
As long as you get these basics down, you’ll be golden. We just know it.
- Pick the right space: It should be free of busy backgrounds and noisy distractions. Think blank canvas.
- Find your light: Avoid dark, dingy corners and harsh backlighting in favor of a bright space with plenty of natural light.
- Listen closely: You’ll want a quiet space without too much going on in the background to avoid unwanted distractions. If you can hear noise, so can your viewers.
- Show off your best angle: Center yourself in the shot with your computer or laptop camera, but phone cameras are even better if we’re being picky. (You can also upload a video to your videoask instead of recording it on the spot).
- Get to the point: Give ’em the good stuff as soon as they hit play. If you’re worried about forgetting what to say, you can include speaker notes to prompt you. A word of caution: Follow the scripts loosely. You don’t want to sound contrived or robotic.
- Be yourself: Don’t be afraid to be your authentic self and keep it real. This could come to life with the involvement of props or a special guest to grab your viewers’ attention.
- Scriptwriting: No copywriters? No problem. Jot down a few bullet points or a quick sketch to keep things natural. With VideoAsk, you can have your notes stay on the screen while you record, so no need to memorize any lines.
- Shot list: Document a shot-by-shot breakdown of how your video will look and feel.
Depending on your budget, you have the option to do everything in-house or outsource some or all of the process. But whatever you decide, you don’t have to be a pro to shoot like one. High-quality digital cameras and production supplies are affordable and relatively easy to use.
- Cost-conscious option: Your iPhone is perfectly capable of shooting. Just make sure to use the back camera for better quality, shoot in landscape mode, and enable the overlay grid on your screen.
- Small budget option: You can upgrade your smartphone to a top-notch webcam thanks to tools like Camo.
- Comfortable budget option: Invest in a gimbal stabilizer to help cut down on the shaky footage.
When filming, try cutting from one angle to another, but be sure to do so slowly. A fast cut will create a sharp and jittery effect akin to a rollercoaster instead of the tranquil train ride we’re going for. It might sound a little elementary, but it’s one of the easiest and simplest ways to add visual interest. A couple of shots like this could come in handy if shooting a tutorial or demo when there’s a lot of dialogue.
In general, the more B-roll you have, the better. This extra footage gives you the flexibility to go back and add dimension to your story. If you don’t have any to spare, you could go for something like a Pexel library instead.
- Captions (this one is especially important because accessibility is key and people don’t always have the sound on!)
- Music (make sure you have the license to use it.. MusicBed and Epidemic Sound are solid options)
- Text overlay
- Animation and motion graphics
- Editing (e.g. Descript, Veed, InShot)
- Resizing for different placements (e.g. Kamua)
PART THREE: How to setup your set or studio
For those looking for a bit more sophisticated video production process, setting up a studio space is going to require you to invest in some basic equipment and then arrange that equipment in a way that’s going to give you the best possible end result.
Let’s start with the former: basic video equipment. We’ve put together a list of some of the equipment our own in-house video team uses below — from cameras and tripods to lighting, microphones, headphones, and more.
While this is the equipment we use here at HubSpot and VideoAsk by Typeform, we encourage you to explore other options and alternatives based on the constraints or flexibility of your own budget, as the equipment purchasing process will be different for every business.
Camera, Lenses, Tripods
Canon 5D Mk III
Canon 5D Mk IV
Canon EOS C100 Mark II
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 lens
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 lens
Tripods, Supports & Rigs:
Manfrotto 755XB Tripod
Manfrotto 755CX3 Tripod
2 x Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Head
Benro BV10 Twin Leg Aluminum Tripod Kit
Edelkrone SliderPLUS X Long
Edelkrone FlexTILT Head 2
DJI Ronin-M 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer
Steadicam Merlin 2 camera stabilizing system
Recorders, Mics, Headphones
Zoom H4 Recorder
Zoom H5 Recorder
2 x Zoom H6 Recorder
3 x Sennheiser wireless lavalier mic system
EK 100 G3 receiver
SK 100 G3 transmitter
ME 2 clip-on lavalier mic
Rode VideoMic GO on-camera mic
IK Multimedia iRig Mic
Sennheiser ME66/K6 shotgun mic
Sennheiser MKH-416 shotgun mic
3 x Blue Snowball mics
Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphone
2 x Kino Flo Diva-Lite 415 Kit
24 x Kino Flo 55w daylight lamps
Genaray LED-6200T 144 LED on-camera light
StudioPRO light kit
2 x StudioPRO Fluorescent 4 Socket AC Power Lights
2 x 16″x24” Softboxes
4 x light stands
3 x sandbags for light stands
Impact Deluxe Varipole Support System
Savage Widetone Seamless Background Paper
Impact Background System Kit
Impact Reversible Muslin Background – Sky Blue / Aqua – 10′ x 12′ w/ carrying case
PART FOUR: How to improve and optimize your video
You’ve Finished Recording, But It’s Not Over Yet
High fives all around! You just created one of the most powerful tools for attracting and converting leads known to humankind. But now that your content is live, how should you improve and optimize it over time?
How To Determine Where to Host Your Video
With the editing behind you, you’re just about ready to start sharing your video with the world. Before you do, it’s important to put some thought into where you plan on hosting your video content.
Below, we’ll review the selling points for a handful of popular video hosting platforms to help you weigh your options.
YouTube is the largest video hosting platform, the second largest search platform after Google, and the third most visited website in the world.
Why Choose YouTube:
- It’s free!
- YouTube videos are hosted on individual channels and the platform allows you to build a dedicated audience of subscribers. Users who follow your channel are more likely to see additional videos you upload.
- YouTube is a social platform, viewers can also engage with your videos by liking and commenting on them, which allows you another chance to interact with your audience.
- YouTube offers a variety of advertising options for more sophisticated targeting.
Founded in 2004, Vimeo serves as a high-quality platform for making, sharing, and watching videos.
Why Choose Vimeo:
- Simple, clean user interface that make it easy to navigate the platform.
- Limited ads and commercials that could detract from your viewer’s experience.
- High-quality videos and a more sophisticated, professional audience.
- Several different premium account options available to suit your business.
Wistia provides businesses with simple video software for creating, managing, and sharing video content.
Why Choose Wistia:
- It’s a video platform built specifically for businesses.
- It’s highly customizable, allowing you to adjust assets to align with your branding identity.
- In-depth data and analytics can be used to improve and streamline your videos.
- Custom CTAs can be added to collect leads.
Remember to keep an eye on video metrics as well! These are the big ones:
- Views (they’re counted differently across the web—for example, YouTube counts a view once 30 seconds have elapsed, whereas Facebook is only 3 seconds).
- Play rate is the percentage of people who clicked play and watched your video.
- Engagement rate is the percentage of your audience who interacted with your video compared to those who didn’t.
- Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of viewers that clicked on the call-to-action (CTA).
- Conversion rate is the number of leads who became customers after watching your video.
- Drop-off or bounce rate is the percentage of viewers who stopped watching before the end of the video.
Ultimately, it’s important to continue testing and iterating your video content over time to ensure it continues to meet—and exceed—the viewer’s expectations. And while not everyone will get or want to engage with your videos, that’s OK. Those aren’t your people. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them.
As you begin navigating your strategy, remember to refer to the pre-production, production, and post-production framework in this resource to keep organized.
Now get to work! Your audience is waiting to watch.