The Big Idea - How Video Content Strategy must be central to every campaign
Combining creative thinking with strategic insight
Big Head Content believes the ideal video strategy starts at the end. Before you begin any creative, you must understand what it is you are trying to achieve with your content. You need to design Key Performance Indicators for the content to eventually be judged upon.
What does success look like? What steps should you plan to give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals? What problem are you hoping to ease for your customer?
Too often companies, become aware of the impressive video marketing stats and rush to produce a creative idea that ultimately drains precious budget to then be frustrated by the results. You could produce the most engaging thought-provoking film, however, if it doesn’t align with company goals and achieve the desired outcome, it’s just another video drowning in a sea of content.
True success takes time and consistency. Content strategy goals are rarely achieved by a single video and often require a program stretching months. Budgets can often be better served by creating a set of shorter targeted films rather than a single longer version.
Only by consistently publishing, promoting, and developing engaging material, can you produce content that effectively speaks to your audience in a manner that drives results.
Big Head Contents strategy is not radical but it does require commitment and planning. It’s time to start producing entertaining and informative films with well researched and achievable goals.
Firstly, companies must understand what they wish to achieve so that they can develop SMART goals. Big Head Content begins any campaign by learning the company strategy and targets. The consultation process is arguably the most important and should take time to understand your business goals before developing a strong video strategy. Audience research is imperative before planning your core message as it’s important to know who you are aiming for.
Start by defining the following:
Who is your intended audience? By taking the time to understand your buyer’s persona before trying to market to them, you are better able to visualise how best to solve their problems.
By what metrics will success be measured? Visits to store, direct leads, traffic to your website, sales team conversion rate? These must be clearly defined and measurable to understand any level of success.
Is it possible with the available time and budget? All creative should be designed around available time and budget rather than the other way round. Rushing or cheapening ideas will impact their success.
Delivery - Where will you be publishing your content and how often? It’s imperative to deliver content consistency to gain traction with an audience. Even when designing a single film, it should have versions for each platform and after a predetermined period be developed and repurposed.
Once you’re able to understand exactly what you want to achieve, you’ll be able to build a long term content brief with feasible goals. This brief will include clear objectives, an explanation of your audience persona, budget, and deadline. Only then can you start to produce an effective creative content strategy.
With a solid content brief in place, you are now able to develop a creative proposal to achieve your desired goals.
You’ll need to start by determining the best-suited video or set of videos capable of achieving your goals.
Video type could include one of the following:
Brand film - How do you wish to be perceived? Showcase the company’s high-level mission or product and services.
Educational How to - Offer a foundational knowledge of your product or service so that your audience is able to understand how your product works before purchasing it.
Expert interviews - Demonstrating your knowledge of the subject.
Explain that you are an authority on the topic.
Animated film - A versatile and effective method with varying styles depending upon the budget. Animated films are a great storytelling device to give a high level of information in an entertaining manner.
Case Studies - Demonstrate the process that others have successfully taken. Use previous client stories to explain how you were able to solve their problem.
Event Film - Capture your event to demonstrate your brand and deliver the event message to a wider audience. This can be an effective method of reminding guests who came as well as expanding your audience to those who couldn’t make it.
Big Head Contents next stage is to develop a creative proposal. These are typically made up of the following.
Narrative - A run-through of the film’s story. These can vary from the very simple to complex depending on the creative idea.
Scripting - The creative strategy should heavily influence the writing of the script using it as a pillar to base any narrative around.
Reference and filming style guide - A selection of stills and similar videos to demonstrate how the final films will look.
Storyboarding - or at least a scamp to ensure everyone involved is on the same page. Depending upon the client, often ideas are hard to explain fully without a visual demonstration.
Plan and schedule - An initial idea of timings and potential delivery dates.
Production is where all the planning comes together and Big Head Content is able to create videos designed to deliver your message and ambitions. The production process can take a variety of paths but usually follows these key milestones:
Pre-Production - Once a solid plan has been created, pre-production can begin. Within this time all cast, crew, locations/studios, equipment, and props will be organised.
Filming - All creative will be led by the Director with the Producer handling much of the practical tasks such as managing crew and locations on the day. Clients are encouraged to attend shoots with a viewing usually included.
Editing - After filming we’re able to get the first glance of the footage. Big Head Contents internal team can cut together versions which will be delivered throughout post-production for key milestone and client sign-off.
Visual effects and graphics - Once the edit is signed off, visual effects and motion graphics can now be added. Any graphical CTAs inline with the strategic message will be applied to the video as well as any visual effects or tidying of images.
Sound design and voice-over - Audio plays a key part in any production and designing it to deliver a clear call to action or guide the audience mood is key to achieving KPIs
Delivery - Each finished piece of content will need to be adapted according to individual platform tech specs and distributed to each of the desired channels alongside any tracking methods.
Promote - Each piece of content needs to be promoted to have the greatest chance of success. If the video is not going to sit on company platforms, it must still be promoted with links, text, and images guiding the audience to it.
In the not too distant past, marketers were limited to collecting only basic information about the performance of their videos, today though you can expect access to complex and highly valuable data that enables you to make informed decisions.
As long as video is properly tracked, promoted, and given time to succeed, companies are able to learn a huge amount around what is and isn’t working.
Although one of the oldest techniques, a strong graphical or voice-over driven “Call to Action” on any video can act as a perfect tracking tool. Whether asking your audience to call a number, visit a website, or come in to store, you are set to understand how well your message has worked.
With digital delivery content, you are able to track results more than ever. This may consist of but not be limited to website bounce rate, view count, play rate, engagement (comment, like, subscribe, etc..), social sharing, click-through rate, conversion rate, and feedback.
For more sales-driven goals, it may work better to correlate sales with your CRM. Correlating publication dates with any additional sales. Having the sales team log all inbound leads and where they came from can all be valuable information in determining how well a campaign has gone and how best it could be improved.
Once complete, you are then able to judge, refine, and potentially repurpose the content published to further achieve strategic goals.
Big Head Content was born out of a frustrated desire to not just make amazingly creative video content but to design campaigns that are driven to align with company goals. As a strategy first video production agency, we know that brands are not getting the results they should from video marketing. This is despite the countless reports, stats, and studies showing the power and effectiveness of using video in today’s online marketplace.
For companies to achieve marketing success with video, they first need to understand what success looks like. From there they need to design a plan of how best to get there and set clear methods of tracking progress.
Analysing your pre-defined KPIs for your marketing videos in particular, but really for every marketing campaign or initiative you carry out, is essential to identify what worked and what didn’t. This will enable content to be tweaked, adjusted, or maintained to continually meet your marketing goals.
It is only by developing strong foundations that organisations can build and develop robust video marketing strategies that consistently grow with company targets.