5 Steps to Develop a Video Marketing Strategy on a Startup Budget

Content Marketing

For the quintessential working professional, a typical day looks something like this…

You wake up to the alarm going off on your smartphone and since you have your phone open anyway, quickly check your emails. While eating breakfast you scroll through your Facebook feed on your iPad before heading to the office.

Once at work, you spend the day at your computer, carrying out online research, and sneaking the occasional peek at your Instagram account. While taking your lunch break you spend a few minutes chatting with an old friend via Skype.

After making it back home at the end of the day, you spend a few minutes helping your daughter do research for her science project on your laptop – followed by a few hours of television to catch up on your favorite shows.

Finally, before going to bed you set your alarm and check your social media feeds. Then you head off to bed, ready to start all over again tomorrow.

As you look over your daily routine, what’s the one overarching theme?

There are screens everywhere! From your pocket to your car dashboard, to your bed, your day is filled with digital screens.

What does this mean from a marketing perspective? Video is quickly becoming the number one way to connect with consumers, viewers, and followers.Between the automatic video-playback on most social media mobile feeds, and the 2.08 billion global smartphone users in 2016, an effective video marketing strategy can provide one of the highest ROIs for any brand’s digital marketing strategy.

But establishing a video marketing strategy can sound intimidating – especially for a startup. Sure video can make an impact when you invest $33 million into a commercial starring Nicole Kidman, like Chanel, but how do you develop a video strategy when your entire budget is about 0.01% theirs?

Fortunately, video advertising doesn’t have to break the bank. Although today’s viewers expect an exceptional level of quality, a small investment of time and money can result in the next viral video.

In this article, we outline the steps involved in developing a scalable (and memorable!) video marketing strategy on a startup budget.

Step 1: Understand the purpose of your video marketing strategy

A video marketing strategy is going to struggle if its sole objective is to “sell more widgets”. Though that may be the ultimate goal, but if you incorporate too much self-promotional content in your marketing strategy, it will be perceived as spammy and go unnoticed.

The goal of your video marketing strategy should be to educate, entertain, and inspire your viewers – this is the content that gets shared and remembered.

Although you still want to drive the viewer to the next step, your goal shouldn’t be for them to walk away feeling like you’ve just assaulted them with a sales pitch.

Take a look at this Google advertisement – which was the most shared commercial of 2015.

When a video is this memorable and sentimental, who doesn’t want to share it?

Because your content will be shared on your social media accounts and website, it won’t be difficult for people to find your brand if they enjoyed the video. So don’t worry so much about trying to make the commercial a promotional platform for your company. Instead, make it an experience the rest of us will want to be a part of.

In short, to determine the purpose of your video marketing strategy be sure to:

  • Know who your target audience is.
  • Understand what makes them share, like, and buy.
  • Create content that you know they want, need or will appreciate.

Step 2: Determine what topics and formats to include in your video content

Once you understand who your target audience is, it’s time to determine which format and topic will connect with them best.

Should your videos be instructional “how-to’s”, brand stories, narratives, etc.? The goal is to provide something that your viewers will appreciate and want to share.

Meanwhile, what topics will be discussed? The more related they are to your brand, the better.

A great example of a company that understands how to use video effectively is Lowe’s – as seen from their Vine feed. Lowe’s is a home improvement retailer that makes the most of Vine videos by sharing how to accomplish a specific home improvement task – in just 6 seconds.

With such useful and relevant information, anyone doing home improvements, remodeling, or building on a regular basis would be interested in following Lowe’s Vine feed. As viewers begin to associate Lowe’s with the solution to their home improvements needs, we all know where they will go when it’s time to make a purchase.

Research and experiment to determine the most effective style and topics for your niche – and don’t be afraid to borrow ideas from those that have already been successful. Some of the greatest marketing campaigns have been those that took a strategy from an unrelated industry and integrated it into their market.

Step 3: Decide who will develop your video content

When it comes to creating videos, you have several options:

You or your team can develop the videos themselves. If you plan to develop videos on a regular basis with a low budget, this may be the best option for you. However, if you do this you still want to ensure that the videos maintain a level of quality – even if they’re amateur productions. Spend some time researching how to create great video and consider taking a course that can provide you with additional insights.

You can work with an agency to develop the videos. This option is more expensive, and you will often end up spending thousands of dollars for a single video. However, you get what you pay for. If you’re looking to create a single, impactful video (or if you have a healthy marketing budget), working with professionals is certainly a beneficial option.

You can work with bloggers or influencers to create and promote videos. Rather than dealing with making the videos yourself, or paying someone else and then having to find a way to promote them, why not work with someone who can make and promote your videos? Vloggers with a large and relevant audience will be happy to work with you on a partnership. By integrating your product or service into their current video format, there should be little extra work for them to complete.

When deciding the best way to develop your videos, keep in mind your target audience, your budget, your time availability, and your creativity. By reviewing these elements you should be able to decide which option will be best for your brand.

Step 4: Leave your viewers wanting more

Do you remember the Old Spice Guy campaign? The videos that presented "the man your man could smell like" targeted both men and women in a humorous series of commercials. 

Over the several months that these videos were produced and published, viewers eagerly awaited the next episode – looking forward to the next charmingly ridiculous way that the Old Spice Guy would advertise Old Spice.

When watching television it’s rare to want a commercial to keep going; they’re largely an unwanted interruption to what we’re actually watching!

However, if you can create videos that actually leave the viewer wanting more, they will share, like, and subscribe to see what video content is coming next. And this is when you know that your video marketing strategy has become a success!

Step 5: Know where and how to promote your videos

Recording a video and publishing it to YouTube isn’t enough – you have to strategically promote it.

A couple of years ago The Bahamas worked with a few influencers to create videos promoting a unique experience in The Exumas – swimming with pigs.

The videos were memorable and fun to watch on their own, but the tourism department knew that an additional push would help gain more traction. So, they partnered with Expedia to help promote a variety of experiences across The Bahamas – including swimming with pigs.

This partnership resulting in a massive influx in shares, likes, and views that continue to grow.

Although a startup may not be able to afford a partnership with Expedia, it’s important to know how and where to effectively promote your published content. Find bloggers, other businesses, and friends who are all willing to help spread the word about your new content.

Provided your videos are valuable and worth watching in the first place, it shouldn’t be difficult to find people willing to share and promote them for free.

Are you ready to launch your first video marketing campaign?

If you’re serious about getting started with video marketing, the best thing to do is start recording! Yes, you need to understand the basics of video marketing, but there’s no better way to learn than from doing.

Once your video marketing campaign is underway, feel free to reach out to us for advice, tips, and potentially even a share. Who knows, maybe we’ll be sharing your campaign in our next article.

You may also be interested in
How to Create Outstanding Video Content on a Budget
The Rise of Mobile Commerce: How Your Business Can Take Advantage
About The Author
Sophie Elizabeth Smith

Sophie enjoys creating content that connects with readers and helps them to better understand and practice all things digital. Sophie also enjoys guacamole and all films starring Nicolas Cage (but mainly Con Air).

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