The Secrets of Successful Video Marketing

A live video of a street filmed through a mobile phone
A live video of a street filmed through a mobile phone

Video marketing has become an absolute necessity for marketers looking to both reach and capture audiences on social media and online platforms. Marketers are certainly no stranger to the benefits of video marketing today — it helps potential buyers understand products and make purchasing decisions through a digestible visual medium, and this is true for both the B2C and B2B sectors. And while it seems like every layman can now produce engaging videos of decent quality and appeal (just take a look at social platforms such as TikTok), not every video goes viral or leads to the boost in sales or leads your higher-ups are looking for. 

This happens because marketers may not always be creating the types of video content that their audiences crave. Furthermore, it takes time for a brand, page, or new content format to gain sufficient traction. As such, marketers can’t create one-off video content in the hopes that they deliver on the results that were planned for. While this caveat can make video marketing seem daunting, marketers can easily venture on the path to success with the right video content strategy.

In this guide, we spill the secrets for successful video marketing so that you can add video content to your marketing arsenal with ease.

What is Video Marketing?

Video marketing is simply the use of video for business marketing, be it directly or indirectly. This can mean using video content as a marketing tool to attract followers, raise awareness about your brand or product, drive leads to your site, or generate greater sales. 

Video content can be hosted on owned platforms such as your website, blog, or social media platforms, as well as third-party sites such as Wistia, YouTube, or Vimeo. 

In the following section, we will take a look at the various types of content available to marketers.

What Types of Video Should You Create?

The first step towards successful video marketing involves the creation of the right type of video content for your audience. The types of video content that marketers can create are as follows:

Brand & Product Videos

Brand videos serve to introduce your brand to consumers who may not be familiar with your company. Product videos fulfill a similar purpose but go deeper into explaining a certain product or product feature. As such, this format is more top-of-funnel and serves to create greater interest in your brand. Animated videos can be used to put a creative spin on your brand or concept. In the climate of COVID-19, this can also be a practical consideration to replace physical actors. 

Who this video is for: Potential clients looking to discover new brands or existing clients looking to learn about new features.

Microsoft's brand video features stylised versions of upgrades to its Office 365 products

Microsoft uses stylized animations to introduce changes to its Office 365 suite of products

Slack's product video introduces emojis for its messaging platform

Slack’s product video introduces new emoji reactions for its messaging application

Explainer Videos

Explainer videos break down a new or complicated concept that is often, but not always, related to your product. This can help consumers better understand more complicated processes related to the purchasing or usage of your product. Explainer videos that discuss peripheral concepts or issues can be used to invoke thought-leadership and showcase your expertise. These can even be done in the form of short video infographics. Certain explainer videos can also take the form of a product or brand video by exploring buyer pain-points and providing solutions for them. Depending on the content of these videos, they can target both top and bottom-of-funnel consumers.

Animation can also be used to convey points that are less tangible and thus more difficult to explain. In the climate of COVID-19, animated videos can help to replace physical actors. 

Who this video is for: Potential clients looking to compare your brand’s features with that of a competitor; existing clients who may be researching specific features or are confused about how to use your product.

Chirp's animated explainer video discusses how apps can send and receive information through sound

Chirp uses an explainer video to discuss how its core product offerings work

Interviews, Partnerships, and Speaking Opportunities

Brands looking to reach out to a wider audience or build greater credibility within their community often engage companies from other industries in the form of interviews, co-branded partnerships, or speaking opportunities. These opportunities help to put faces to your brand while displaying the wider applications of your product beyond your industry. While these videos don’t directly contribute to driving sales, they do serve to create potential leads for your business. 

Who this video is for: Potential and existing clients in other industries looking for more expert content.

A live recording of the virtual 2020 Corporate Affairs Summit in Sydney, where Meltwater participated in a keynote speech and panel discussion

Meltwater joins other industry leaders in discussing how storytelling can help corporate affairs teams during the 2020 Corporate Affairs Summit in Sydney

Event Recap

Event recaps may seem like a no-brainer, but they can be great assets for both existing and potential clients. Existing clients are able to benefit from a summary of takeaways from the event and may be able to ‘ride the high’ by engaging in deeper conversations with you as a result. Potential clients may also benefit from developing a greater interest in your business. Ultimately, showing the event’s scale or reputable partners can also help to build your own reputation. These videos should be pushed out as soon as possible to continue building on the momentum generated by your event. 

Who this video is for: Event attendees who are interested in specific products and non-attendees who may develop an interest in your brand.

An event recap for Meltwater's event in Chicago in 2020

A recap video summarising Meltwater’s event in Chicago. This video shows not only the scale of the event but also a summary of key soundbites and takeaways from speakers and attendees.

Client Testimonials

Both client testimonials and event recaps may seem like a way for brands to simply show off, but these are incredibly important sources of word-of-mouth marketing. These recommendations are more likely to be trusted and are therefore more valuable. Client testimonials, in particular, explicitly detail why your potential clients should work with you and can help push undecided mid-funnel consumers over the edge.

Who this video is for: Potential clients who are on-the-fence about your brand or considering various options.

Meltwater Customer Story: The Economist

The Economist’s customer story helps potential clients translate Meltwater’s products into value for their organization.

Webinars, Workshops, and Live Video

As COVID-19 continues to limit the occurrence of in-person events, both B2C and B2B companies are adding webinars, workshops, and other live video content to their regular content strategy. Webinars and workshops allow B2B businesses to continue ‘meeting’ their clients and other stakeholders on a virtual platform, while live streaming is especially important to B2C services as this allows brands to showcase their products in real-time. Both platforms help to maintain audience and client engagement in a time when it’s nearly impossible to do so in person. 

Who this video is for: Potential clients who are interested in the topics you’re covering and existing clients whom you are continuing to service

A LinkedIn post featuring a speaker at Meltwater's digital Social Media Festival in 2020

Despite the restrictions imposed on events due to COVID-19, our Social Media Festival in 2020 was still able to be held virtually. This means that audiences within and beyond the speakers’ locations are still able to tune in and gain valuable insights long after the event has ended. 

Augmented Reality (AR) & 360-Degree Videos

AR and 360-degree videos can help to provide a more interesting approach to the above video types and help keep users engaged. For example, an AR short film or explainer video provides more visual stimuli for audiences and helps them to stay interested in your content. However, these features are not utilized often by marketers as they can be difficult to create, require specific software or hardware for viewing, and may distract from the main point of your video. As such, while it’s great to keep an open mind when it comes to video content, marketers should decide whether these formats are best suited for the content they wish to create before utilizing them. 360-degree videos are best suited for long-form, slower-paced, ‘exploration’ type content, while AR videos best suit shorter-form, more impact-driven content.  

Who this video is for: Potential clients who are looking for a hook into your content or brand or a break from the norm.

AR technology, best known for its use in filters on social media and other applications, adds novelty to the user experience as more customers continue to shop from home

Social-Specific Video Formats

In our article on social media video marketing strategies, we broke down the types of video content available on social media. This can also form part of your brand’s video marketing strategy. Content specifically made for social media may have restrictions on size, length, and aspect ratio, and thus should be considered separately from other web-based or web-hosted video content. Most importantly, audiences on social media may not always be watching your videos with audio, and while adding subtitles is a best practice across the board for all video content, it is especially important for social media. As a general rule of thumb, videos for social media should be kept as short and snappy as possible to grab attention within the short span that it comes into your viewers’ purview.

Video production for social need not be complicated. There are also video marketing services tailored to video content on social media. These include businesses like Animoto and apps like Mojo that can help you produce eye-catching content with the help of templates. 

Who this video is for: Your existing and potential target audiences, fans, and followers on social media

TikTok promotes its new Duet layouts that enable more than two people to appear in a video at once through collaborations between users

Videos made on or for social platforms can be vastly different from the traditional formats that marketers may be used to. TikTok’s Duet function, for example, allows two or more people to collaborate or form funny video collages and scenarios. 

TIP 1: Regardless of which type of video your team is looking to create, it’s important to always think about your audience’s needs before you embark on your project. Based on the above, your top-of-funnel audiences are going to want to see more content introducing your brand and what you have to offer, while mid-funnel audiences are looking for reasons to choose you over your competitors. Bottom-of-funnel audiences are likely your existing clientele and will want to see more how-to videos, educational videos, explainers, new product features, and other supplementary content that will continue to support them while they use your product. Small businesses need not fret — a lower budget doesn't mean sacrificing on video content types or production quality. Video production can also be made simple with the help of video marketing services, templates, and apps like Adobe Premiere Rush, Adobe Spark, or even Canva.

Where Should You Post Your Content?

Video marketers often focus only on creating their content and give little thought to where that content should live. However, this in itself can be an important step in determining the success of your strategy. After all, getting your concept and content approved isn’t the endgame. Marketers should aim to maximize where their content can or should be hosted to avoid putting in all that effort for little or no views.

Your Blog & Website

The first option for content-hosting is the most obvious of the lot. Marketers should maximize their usage of owned platforms when it comes to video marketing. Your brand or product videos should live on your website. So should your client testimonials, if there’s room for them. This provides easy access to the necessary top or mid-funnel content for consumers who are exploring your page and finding content through their search engines. Not so sure about giving everyone on the net a look at your hard work? Provide an abridged version on your site or create landing pages with forms to funnel them through as soft leads. 

Asana's video page hosts its brand and product videos as well as client testimonials

Asana hosts its product demo, brand videos, and client testimonials on its website

Your Social Media Pages

Your social pages can also be a great platform for video hosting. Longer-form content series and events can live on IGTV, for example, while significant moments can be captured and saved as Highlights on Facebook and Instagram. Your videos can simply live on your brand’s feed and still be easily searchable. These act not just as great content for existing followers, but also as great first-touch experiences for new followers and fans. 

L: IBM's IGTV feed, R: IBM's Instagram feed — both include video content made by employees and notable industry influencers

IBM hosts plenty of content on both its Instagram feed as well as IGTV

Video Hosting Platforms

More often than not, video hosting platforms are where your content will eventually live. 

One of the top video hosting platforms out there is one that we all use on a regular basis — YouTube. With around 2 billion monthly logged-in viewers as of 2019, YouTube provides a massive audience pool for your content. The platform also has the added advantage of acting as a social platform where followers and fans interact with their favorite videos and channels. YouTube marketing requires a specific content strategy — centered around posting frequency, your content type, and the viewing and searching habits of your audience. While YouTube can be a great platform for driving brand awareness, videos hosted there are less likely to lead to clicks and conversions.

Other video platforms such as Vimeo and Wistia integrate well with ‘on-site’ hosting, meaning that they enable you to use and play videos on your owned platforms with ease. While these platforms may not boast a huge viewership, they are perhaps an easier and more practical option. As a repository, they can host your webinars, product videos, and other collateral, and these can easily be embedded on your website or within your blog posts.

A screenshot of Google's YouTube page that lists a variety of video content

Google uses YouTube to host its content in the form of playlists and content series.

Country-Specific Platforms

Do note that a universal approach to content posting won’t work! If you work with teams in other regions and markets, it’s likely that you’ll have to adapt your content for different country-specific platforms. For example, adapting your content for the Chinese market likely means hiring different voiceover artists, adding Mandarin subtitles, or even adjusting your video’s aspect ratio. Different content types may also work better in different countries — and this requires more work on the part of marketers in understanding the industry and social media norms or trends!

A screenshot of Louis Vuitton's live stream event on Chinese social app Little Red Book

In 2020, Louis Vuitton became one of the first luxury brands to hold a live stream event on the Chinese social platform Little Red Book

TIP 2: Deciding where to post your content is as important as creating it. Your video should exist where it best suits both your needs and the needs of your audience. Utilize owned platforms as much as possible to stretch your resources — it’s not feasible to come up with a completely new strategy for YouTube, for example, if you’re only planning to host your webinars. Top-funnel or time-sensitive videos are often more searchable and thus live better on popular social and video platforms, while webinars and workshops covering a niche topic or audience will likely live better on a repository or your website. 

Best Practices for Video

There are some unspoken rules with regards to video marketing that can set you on the path to success. Marketers should strive to tick off these best practices in their social media marketing strategy:

Create Good-Quality Content

Barring live videos or remotely-recorded workshops and events, low video quality is now neither prevalent nor tolerable. If you find shaky, choppy videos irksome, your audiences probably do as well. The consistent use of equipment makes for consistent video quality (for example, if you’re shooting on your phone, ensure that all footage is shot with the same make and model instead of switching between different phones!). And while not every marketer may know the in’s and out’s of lighting, composition, and editing, there are still some simple best practices you should try to abide by:

  • Test out your camera and recording devices beforehand (no one likes to find out that they’ve recorded an entire interview without audio, or that their interviewee has been out-of-focus the whole time!)
  • Include a few seconds of footage before and after you capture what’s needed — this makes cutting and editing much easier
  • Try not to adjust your focus too drastically or zoom in and out unnecessarily while filming. If possible, set your frame before you start recording.
  • Capture a variety of angles and vantage points for similar scenes
An example of good framing: subjects should be centred within the frame, well-lit, and have sufficient head room

Zendesk's filming brand guide provides examples of great framing and scene composition

If you're unsure of whether you have the resources to pull off video content in-house, video marketing services offered by production houses and agencies, or even apps and templates can help to make this leap less intimidating.

Understand the Difference Between Web and Social

Web and social platforms require different types of optimization. 

If your content is hosted on your blog, website, or sites like YouTube, it should be optimized for search engines. This means adding an engaging thumbnail, including relevant keywords in your video title and description, adding tags to your video, and including subtitles or transcripts. In addition, ensure that your videos don’t compete with each other. This means refraining from including the same video on multiple pages. If you have multiple videos on the same page, make sure that they appear in order of importance. 

If your content is due to appear on social media, make sure that they are of the appropriate size and aspect ratio. Take note of autoplay restrictions (e.g., under a minute) and make sure that your video is of the appropriate length for the medium of your choosing. As a general rule of thumb, shorter-form content helps to grab attention more quickly and reduces drop-off. Keep your videos no longer than two minutes. Videos made for the web can be repurposed on social — don’t shy away from cutting or reworking your content! For added longevity, repurpose them for video ads as well. As with videos for the web, include tags, hashtags, and subtitles where possible.

A video on LinkedIn includes captions for ease of viewing on mobile

A video posted on LinkedIn includes captions for ease of viewing on mobile or without audio

Test Out a Variety of Content Types

As mentioned above, content isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Testing out a variety of different online video types or even presentation formats for the same pieces of content is essential for video marketing success. Does your audience prefer an audio snippet for your webinar recap? Do they prefer seeing your speakers’ faces? Do long-form videos attract more engagement on your LinkedIn page versus IGTV? Do you get more clicks on your videos when posting at a certain timing? While there are many best practices related to video performance, your audiences across locales and industries will have varying tastes and viewing preferences. 

Slack uses a gif instead of a static image to promote its webinar on LinkedIn

Instead of posting an image, Slack gravitates towards looping gifs to promote events such as its webinars

In order to better understand your audience, look for a service like Meltwater’s consumer insights tool, which helps you to better understand your audience demographics and interests, the key influencers in their region, and the content that they interact with. 

TIP 3: The multitude of factors that marketers should consider can make creating and posting video content seem daunting. However, there is no hard-and-fast rulebook for the best video strategy. Marketers should simply strive to create appealing content, listen to their audiences, and understand their content placements. 

Video Marketing Statistics for Results and Analytics

Finally, measuring your results is key to determining how successful your video marketing strategy is. There are a variety of metrics that marketers are constantly juggling depending on the objectives they wish to achieve. 

A general overview of video marketing statistics are as follows:

View Count

Perhaps the most obvious video marketing statistic, view count displays the number of times a video has been viewed. This is the most apparent metric when it comes to showcasing how wide your video’s reach is. However, do note that different platforms measure this differently. Instagram and Facebook count a view if it has been playing for at least 3 seconds, with Instagram Stories and Live videos being counted upon opening. Twitter counts this if a viewer has at least half of the video on screen and has been playing it for at least two seconds, while YouTube counts this after a whopping 30 seconds.

View Duration / View Completion

These two metrics are perhaps more reliable than the above in measuring your video views. Average view duration refers to the average time spent watching your video, and is more indicative of the amount of time your viewers spend on your content. For example, if the average view duration is 1 minute, consider shortening your content to fit within this timeframe. 

View completion refers to the rate at which your viewers watch your video in its entirety. Look out for the time at which your viewers tend to drop off, which can be indicative of what you need to tweak. For example, if your video lacks an enticing hook, viewers are likely to stop watching it early on. When combined with the average view duration, this metric helps marketers to better understand the ideal length and type of video most favored by audiences.

Play Rate

Your video may reach thousands of viewers, but only a handful of them may be playing it. Play rate examines how many people are clicking on your video out of the pool that it is distributed to. This can be indicative of how relevant your audience is finding it. For example, a product-specific video may not be engaging audiences that are top-of-funnel. Marketers can use this information to tweak their target audience or adjust the types of content they are producing. 

Engagement (Likes, Shares, and Comments)

If you’re distributing your content on social platforms, your video’s engagement metrics are a good indicator of how well-received it is. For example, if a certain video attracts lots of comments or queries, it might be a sign that the content or product featured in that video is of relevance to your audience. Beware of negative comments or reactions though — that might be a sign that you should be reviewing what you post!

Click-Through Rate

This video marketing statistic measures the number of times your call-to-action (CTA) has been clicked on against the number of views your video has. If your click-through rate is low, your content may need to be more enticing. Your CTA placement and design may also need to be adjusted.  

Conversion and Bounce Rate

While these metrics may not directly measure the performance of your videos, they do help with optimizing your owned pages. 

Conversion rate measures how many times your audience follows through on the desired action. For example, if your objective is to encourage consumers to download an eBook or sign up for a demo, then videos pertaining to these topics or products can be placed on your landing page to encourage further interest. 

Bounce rate is a metric that can help marketers better utilize videos on their pages. If your bounce rate for a particular page is high, experimenting with video can help make content on that page and other related pages more digestible. Note if the bounce rate changes before and after video placement. 

Next Steps

Now that we’ve spilled the secrets to successful video marketing, it’s time to put your learnings into practice. Want more information? Check out our guide to dominating your video strategy!