Video on marketing
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I. Video marketing content for you!
Throughout 2012, video marketing for B2B businesses undoubtedly
showed an upward trend in both effectiveness and popularity, and most
industry observers expect this to continue into 2013 and beyond.
Here are a few relevant findings from respected industry reports and
trends to back up this claim:
Research firm and reviews publisher, Software Advice, recently found in
their 2012 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey that video was
the second most popular type of content used across channels.
In another study, B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets,
and Trends — North America carried out jointly by MarketingProfs and
the Content Marketing Institute, it was found that video had the largest
increase of any content marketing tactic in 2012, jumping by 70 percent
from an already hot 54 percent increase in 2011.
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Findings from Searchmetrics could partly help to explain this trend.
They found that, of all content included in Google’s general search
listings, video appeared most frequently, being displayed in over 70
percent of search results.
Perhaps more importantly than its impact on SEO are the results video
has had in generating the desired response from target markets.
A study from the Web Video Marketing Council and Flimp
Media suggests that the use of video embedded in an email is a powerful
tool, with 88 percent reporting that email with integrated video improves
campaign performance, 76 percent acknowledging that it generates high
click-through rates, and 72 percent believing that their prospective
clients are more likely to buy after viewing video content sent via an
CMI’s B2B Content Marketing Report also illustrates that a significant
majority of B2B marketers — 58 percent — believes that video is an
effective form of B2B marketing.
So if you believe the reports and buy into the reasons why video can be
such an effective marketing channel for B2B marketers, let’s look at how
you can make it happen — and how to achieve amazing results with it.
We begin with the preparation phase: the tasks involved in building your
strategy for creating video marketing efforts that will get a response
from your viewers and, ultimately, help transform them into satisfied
customers. (In our next post, we will follow on this foundation with
processes for executing on this strategy.)
Step 1: Define your purpose
Firstly, let’s look at why you need to define a purpose before you create
your first content marketing video campaign:
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· Reason 1: A defined purpose will save you money, because you
can create very specific, targeted videos with simpler messages.
Your videos will be shorter and easier to digest, and you won’t
need to spend money on creative ways to appeal to “everybody” all
· Reason 2: With more crafted and targeted messages, you’re more
likely to see a response that gives you a return on your investment,
as it will resonate more effectively with the customers who
actually want/need your product or service.
· Reason 3: Getting your video found by your potential customers
will be cheaper and easier to achieve than a catch-all video, too.
Rather than competing against big-budget competitors to have your
video ranked for broad search terms (which are expensive to bid on
in Google Adwords), you can focus on the more cost-effective
long-tail terms that better match the video’s content.
Hopefully those three reasons are good enough for us to move on and
talk about achieving this clarity of purpose, which prompts the question,
“What do we mean by purpose anyway?” Well, it actually means a
couple of things…
First, what response are you trying achieve, and what metrics will you
use to judge if you have achieved it (i.e., what will tell you that the video
has been a success)? There are myriad different purposes you may want
your videos for, including:
· To make a sale
· To generate an inbound lead
· To position your brand or build brand awareness
· To demonstrate a new product or service
· To educate a market
· To entertain
Once you’ve decided what outcome you’re striving for (and how its
success will be measured), the second purpose you need to define is
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what audiences are you trying to reach.(This is directly related to the
For example, there is no point in trying to make a video that appeals to
junior executives with no purchasing power if you’re trying to clinch a
sale, or to create a video to educate the market if the landscape is
generally well known amongst decision makers.
Some questions to keep in mind about your target:
· Are they senior decision-makers, mid-level influencers, or
observers who may be making decisions five years hence?
· Do they speak your industry language (e.g., a techie to a techie), or
are you trying to reach a different type of executive who may not
be so familiar with your industry jargon (e.g., a results-driven sales
outsourcing company trying to reach a new, creative, product-obsessed
market), or someone not in your industry at all (e.g., a
· Do they care more about numbers and metrics, or vision and
aspiration; details vs. big picture; process vs. creativity; layers of
bureaucracy vs. flat structure, etc.?
The best way to come up with an answer to this second question is to
imagine you’re having a conversation with your “perfect customer” at a
trade show. How do you greet them, what do you talk to them about, and
in what manner? This is roughly how your video should address that
same “perfect customer.”
So now that you have your purpose — a measurable outcome plus a
target market — it’s time to pick the right kind of video to appeal to that
segment and put a swing in your metrics barometer.
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Step 2: Pick the right video type for your purpose
There are nearly as many types of video as there are purposes, which is
great because it means you can usually find a pretty close fit between the
finished video and your desired outcome. However, it does provide you
with a somewhat complex web of choices. Here are just a few of them:
· Talking head(s)
· Product demo
· Case study
Then you have to think about the tone:
· Corporate or creative
· Market leader or new entrant
· Humorous or serious
· Collaborative or competitive
· Traditional or irreverent
· Formal or informal
· Technical or colloquial
Then there are the finishing touches to think about:
· Background music
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· Interactive technology
Of course, these lists go on (and on, and on…), so that’s why it’s so
useful to know your purpose first — from there, you can more easily
eliminate the styles and tones that definitely won’t fit, and concentrate
on those that will. (We’ll talk more about tone and personality in Step 4.)
Deciding on the right video format
When choosing the format of your video, think about your existing
brand and the brands of your major clients:
· Is your existing website cartoonish, like Hipmunk, Mailchimp, and
· Or does it focus on ease of use and design aesthetic, like Heroku,
Dropbox, and Square?
· Maybe it’s designed to show thought leadership, like Accenture,
KPMG, and McKinsey & Co.?
· Perhaps it’s more utilitarian and full of information on features and
benefits, like 37Signals, Leads Explorer, and Hubspot?
· Or heavy on testimonials to inspire trust and credibility, like
Balsamiq and Badgeville?
Once you’ve thought about this, the above list starts to get more
manageable: The first set of companies would do well to stick with
animation; the second, a time-lapse video; the third group, an interview
or presentation; the fourth group may go with the whiteboard or product
demo; and the final group, talking heads or case studies.
One assumes that your website is optimized to appeal to your customer
base, but it’s worth pausing for a moment and looking at your five
highest-priority target customers and seeing if the style of their corporate
communications are similar to yours. If not, how will you resonate with
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With your purpose in mind, and a style of video chosen to suit that
purpose and the existing style of your online brand, it’s time now to look
at the choice of video length.
Step 3: Let’s talk length
Everyone knows length is important, but no one can agree what the
perfect length is.
According to the graph below, taken from Forbes Insight’s report, Video
in the C-Suite, the majority of executives prefer three- to five-minute
videos, while only 9 percent prefer longer than five minutes, and 36
percent still prefer videos that are one to three minutes in length.
Chart reprinted with permission from Forbes Insight.
A quick search on YouTube and Google finds that most B2B videos with
hits in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, tend to be 90–120
seconds in length.
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However, that only goes to prove that they’re popular in general; it
doesn’t show whether they were effective at achieving the desired
outcome within their targeted market.
My suggestion on finding the right video length is that the length should
be a function of your stated purpose.
You can’t really provide thought leadership in 90 seconds, so you’ll need
videos closer in length to those found on a site like TED‘s, which are
often up to 18 minutes long. That may be pushing it for many brands,
but certainly a target range of 8 to 12 minutes is a good estimate for
these kinds of videos. However, you wouldn’t want a product demo to
run for 10 minutes, when you can communicate the key features in 90
Humor can be achieved in 30 seconds or less, while gravitas or
educational content may take longer. Testimonials can be 10-seconds
long, whereas case studies may have more impact if they include
sufficient details, so they might need to run longer — between two and
At this point it’s best to approximate your video length depending on
purpose (outcome and audience) and the complexity of the message;
then, measure and refine according to the actual results, as there is no
However if you’re an absolute stickler for golden rules and have no time
or budget to experiment, it seems your best bet would be to create videos
two to five minutes in length, and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.
Now that we’ve agreed length isn’t everything, we need to consider
brand personality, and how your videos will reflect your brand’s values.
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Step 4: Just be yourself
With a video type chosen, and a target length decided upon, it’s time to
start thinking about the content of the video — particularly about how
you want to portray your brand.
There is one simple, golden rule for this decision — be yourself.
You don’t want any major incongruity between your existing brand and
the content of your video. This needs to play into the narrative you
develop, how the script is written, and what your call to action is.
Bringing together steps two to four, lets look at some hypothetical
Example 1: New Horizon Sales
New Horizon Sales is a start-up trying to prove that its new 3D
Claytronic sales reps are the future of the direct sales industry. Its
purpose is to educate the market on a brand new, untested technology,
and to do so it will need to reach the highest-level executives, regulators,
and sales directors.
To achieve this, the company may choose a series of documentary-style
videos showcasing its Claytronic sales reps out in the field, with each
video focused on one of its key advantages, such as effectiveness or
reduced costs. Each video should run between three and five minutes,
due to the need for a narrative to be established and the key educational
points to be conveyed.
To measure its success, the company would run a market survey before
and after the launch of the video campaign, to measure awareness of,
and attitudes towards, its new technology amongst its target market, as
well as how many inbound enquiries it generates. The call to action
could be as simple as, “Learn more about the future.”
Example 2: Big Data Corp.
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Big Data Corp., a fast-growing SME in the competitive “big data and
analytics” space, is trying to establish its solution as being the most
advanced in the market, supported by the most talented team.
Its purpose is to position its brand as thought leaders, targeting data
scientists and strategic executives at FTSE 500 firms, and to generate
leads for its sales team to follow up with.
To achieve this, the company could focus on proving its technical
competence by producing videos of its talks at industry conferences and
interviews with happy customers and its lead product developers. These
may run between 10 and 15 minutes in length, as big-picture topics are
being explored and the company will need to prove its depth of
knowledge and technical proficiency.
Each video would have a strong call to action, and have buttons next to
it, allowing viewers to download white papers, or contact a product rep.
Success would be measured by the number of leads generated, and a
market research survey would also be helpful to gauge how the company
is comparatively viewed against its competitors in terms of innovation
and thought leadership, before and after the video campaign.
Example 3: BadAss Software
BadAss Software is a software company vying for the business of
freelancers, to help with its accountancy, CRM, and invoicing needs. Its
purpose is to generate direct sales from very small companies and
To achieve this, the company may choose a more irreverent tone
delivered via cartoons that make fun of more expensive/corporate
software, and should end each video with a specific call to action — for
instance, a free trial, or perhaps even giving customers the chance to star
in a future cartoon as a caricature of themselves, for the best case studies
submitted after their software trial period.
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Video length is probably 90–120 seconds to capture to attention of
freelancers juggling multiple tasks, with just one feature delivered per
video. Success is measured by the increase in sales, and by how many
times the video offer code is used to claim a free trial.
II. Video marketing tips
#1: Make your title count
Just like a headline to a blog post,
video titles can pull powerful
traffic. There are two main reasons
why the title is so important. One,
a great title can instantly grab a
Two, when you use the appropriate keywords in your title, you are more
likely to show up on search engines when people are searching for your
topic. And remember Google owns YouTube, so there’s a story
connection between video and searching.
#2: Provide excellent content
Take some time to think about your ideal viewer. What do you know
that they’ll find valuable? What can you teach them? “How-to” videos
are extremely successful because not only do they offer great value to
your viewer, but also you’re able to showcase your knowledge and skill,
thus positioning yourself as an expert. This is key as you continue to
grow your brand.
#3: Include your URL in your video
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When you edit your video, take advantage of the different editing
features. One easy feature is to add a text box to your video. This is
where you can display your website address and it’s a great way to get
Here’s a screen shot of Mari Smith’s YouTube channel. Notice how she
used a text box in her video to display key information, including her
website URL at the end of her video. Smart move!
#4: Take advantage of video’s branding opportunities
For branding purposes, have your company logo displayed prominently
somewhere on the screen. You can do this at all times, or during key
times in your video.
In the image below, notice how the company logo is displayed in the
upper-left corner. You can display your logo throughout your video or
only at key times.
#5: Always provide an HTML link
When you post on YouTube, you have the option to write a short
description of your video. Always start with the link you want to drive
your viewers to so you don’t miss this key opportunity.
Here’s a snapshot of the description boxes from one of my YouTube
videos. Notice the placement of my website URL (it’s the first thing
you want to put in the box!) and the keywords I used in my title as well
as the description.
#6: Go beyond YouTube
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Most people post their videos on YouTube. In addition to this, make
sure to always embed your video on your own website. This will
increase the amount of time people spend on your website and help grow
a captive audience.
Also, Google’s algorithms consider how many times a video is viewed,
and embedded video views you receive get added to the ‘views’ tally on
YouTube. This is important for showing up in Google search results!
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