At first glance the idea of using videos to market a business or its products may seem simple, especially given how effective videos have proven to be. However despite the fact that videos are great at garnering attention, increasing engagement levels and ultimately acquiring conversions – to reap those rewards you need to have a roadmap that outlines your video marketing strategy. Coming up with that strategy may seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think. As a matter of fact you can methodically structure a video marketing strategy from the ground up in 5 basic steps that cover the most important areas involved. Step 1: Define Strategic Goals In order to develop a video marketing strategy, you need to know exactly what you want to achieve. That is why the first step you should take is to define strategic goals for your overall strategy. Naturally as a business ultimately your goal is to increase sales and improve revenue, but the strategic goals that you define should be narrower and more specific For example: Would you like to channel more traffic to your website? Create greater awareness of your brand? Build up an email list or a strong following on social media? Directly improve conversion rates? As you can see achieving these goals will lead to greater sales and revenue – but each goal requires a different approach. For some comprehensive video marketing strategies you may want to define multiple strategic goals, and come up with a strategy for each as well as an overarching one that connects them all. Step 2: Do the Research Once you’ve defined your goals, the next step is to do the research – and at the top of your list should be the audience that you intend to reach (i.e. your target market). Break down the target market into demographics, defining them by age, gender, location, common interests, and so on. The idea should be to then find out what appeals to those demographics, how to reach them, and what kind of videos they generally respond to. For that you can look to existing market research, trends, or even carry out your own research via polls or questionnaires. Another area that you will want to research as well are your competitors to see how your products or services differ from theirs. Additionally you may want to look into their video marketing strategy and the types of videos that they’re producing – as that could supplement your research into your target market. Step 3: Decide on Video Types and Topics Based on your goals and the research you’ve done, you should be able to determine the types of videos that you intend to produce, as well as their topics. It is best to start in a general sense, and outline the rough types of videos – such as ‘how to’ guides, brand stories, case studies, demonstrations, and so on. After that you can begin to flesh out each type of video with specific topics. If you want you can roughly define the topics, or you could list specific titles – it is really a question of preference. Keep in mind that when you are selecting the types of videos and topics that you intend to produce, you should consider how effectively they will help you to achieve your goals. The research that you have done on your target market as well as your competitors should help you to identify video types and topics that your audience is likely to respond to. Step 4: Plan the Logistics of Video Creation At this juncture you should have everything you need to start creating videos – but your video marketing strategy should plan that part out too. In particular you should be aware of the logistics required to set up, record, edit, and produce the videos etc. Needless to say the scope of the plan required will vary depending on the type of videos you intend to create. In some cases you may be able to use a video recorder to capture the videos yourself, or in others you may need to hire professional talent. It is important that you plan out the logistics and process of creating videos, so that you have a firm idea of what will be required and how to execute it. Depending on the depth of your strategy, you may want to also go so far as to schedule the video creation depending on the number of videos you will need and how frequently you intend to publish them. Step 5: Publishing and Promoting Videos The final area that you will have to include in your strategy involves where you intend to publish your videos as well as how you intend to promote them. Make no mistake there are a lot of options that you should weigh, including the idea of self-hosting videos, publishing them on social media, or distributing them via video sharing platforms. Both publishing and promotion are linked to one another, due to the differing nature of the platforms. Some such as social media and video sharing platforms have the benefit of a large amount of internal traffic, and so promotion will largely involve planning how to target viewers within that platform. On the other hand if the videos are self-hosted on a business website, additional promotion may be needed – possibly even using video marketing itself to direct traffic towards the videos. Conclusion By the time you are done with the steps listed above, you should have a structured most of your video marketing strategy – and can start implementing it. As you do begin to actually create and publish videos you should track how effective your strategy is based on various metrics, so that you can tweak and improve it over time. At the end of the day there is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy for video marketing, and how successful yours turns out will largely depend on how well you structured it as well as whether you are willing to adapt and improve it.