Video used to be a bit of an afterthought when it came to your business’ marketing strategy. Something that was useful, without ever really being essential. If this is your current approach to video, then you’re in serious danger of being left behind.
It’s hard not to have noticed the explosion of video content over the last few years.
You can’t scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed without seeing promotional videos from both large and small businesses. This rapid shift from written content to
Video can complement your entire inbound marketing strategy and be used at different stages of the buyer’s journey to help nurture leads and convert prospects into customers.
You might be eager to add video to your next campaign but you’re not exactly sure what you need to get started. Worry not, this pillar page is packed with everything you need to know to successfully create your own inbound videos.
Just click on the headers below to jump to the section you’re most interested in. From the cost of the equipment to the day of the shoot, we cover all kinds of tips and advice to make sure you're getting the most from your videos.
All inbound content aims to address the problems that a visitor is having and provide value to them. This value can take many forms - whether it’s an answer to a question, a how-to guide for a task they’re struggling with or information on a topic they’re interested in.
If you’re completely new to the concept of inbound, then it’s probably best to start at the beginning. Before you start worrying about
If you already have a good understanding of inbound but you’re not sure why inbound video's necessary, how it’s any different to traditional video marketing or how best to get started, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s put video to one side for a second and think about something we're more familiar with: blogging.
When it comes to traditional blogs versus inbound ones, the key difference is their goal. A traditional company blog might be solely focused on getting the reader to buy a product or show off something about the company. Its aim is for them to arrive on the blog and be a customer by the end of it.
Inbound blogging, on the other hand, is more tactical than that. The aim of inbound blogs is to provide value for the reader. It might be that they find the answer they’re looking for and leave your site. That’s absolutely fine because,
The same concept applies to inbound video.
A traditional video campaign might focus completely on product videos, pushing the viewer towards a sale. Inbound videos are more about standing out from your competition and establishing yourself as an authority in your industry.
What gives you more authority than having the confidence to put out helpful videos and not just product-related stuff? If your competitor is putting all their video budget into one, end of the Buyer's Journey, sales-led video then best of luck to them. You're better targeting the other 90%+ of people out there who aren't ready for sales pitches.
That’s not to say that the ultimate goal of inbound videos isn’t to drive leads and increase sales. But the journey is much longer, more rewarding for the customer and is proven to be more successful.
The format of inbound videos can vary depending on where the viewer is in the buyer’s journey (more on that a little later on), but the goal is always to support the wider inbound strategy and be a worthwhile watch for the viewer.
There’s no point creating an engaging series of inbound videos if there’s no audience to see them. But, there’s no point trying to engage with an audience who isn’t ready for that kind of content either. You need to find the right time to talk to them on the right channel for the best impact.
There are two things to consider when you’re thinking about where to use your inbound videos. First, you need to know practically where to have them, i.e. in your emails, on your landing pages or on social media.
It’s worth knowing exactly where consumers go to watch their videos. Not all of your videos will be of this kind but this is important for the videos that are aimed at the members of your audience who are hearing about you for the first time.
YouTube is the current king of video with 83
Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are in hot pursuit of YouTube and are great avenues for your inbound videos. Don’t fall into the trap of creating one video and posting across multiple social networking sites though. Instagram users have less patience than their Facebook counterparts and aren’t going to sit through a video that’s any longer than 30 seconds.
Not every video you create will be a viral sensation but market it in the right way on social media and you’ll get the traction you’re looking for. Relevant hashtags and social media groups can boost your video’s reach and ensure that as many members of your target audience see it as possible.
Videos are just what you’re looking for if you’re trying to resurrect a lifeless email marketing campaign. Just by including ‘video’ in the subject line of the email, you can expect to see a 19
It isn’t just open rates that increase once you include video. Click-through rates (CTR) surge by 65
Tailor your videos to match the sort of email you’re sending. If you’re sending an email to a prospect that’s at the attract stage, then there’s no point sending videos that are better suited to the close stage. You’ll only frustrate the prospect and drive them away.
Videos on your landing pages are ace. They’re entertaining, keep prospects on your website for longer and they ultimately increase conversions. Wistia worked out that people spend on average 2.6 times longer on a page if there’s a video. You can’t help but be attracted to the video and want to see what it’s about.
If someone’s on your landing page, then there’s a good chance they’re already interested in what you have to say. The right video can be all someone needs to enter their contact details or give you a call.
As well as thinking about where you should have your inbound videos practically, you also need to think about where to put them strategically. We hinted above that the right video needs to be seen at the right time in the buyer’s journey.
You’ll already know that inbound is all about providing value to consumers. Each stage - Attract, Convert, Close and Delight - is an opportunity to give someone engaging content that establishes trust and builds authority.
And using video is the contemporary way to make sure you company's flywheel really spins (and check out this video we made with Jon Dick, HubSpot VP of Marketing, on the whole flywheel concept).
A customer might not even know at this stage that they have a particular pain point that can be solved, they’re just taking the first tentative steps. Your business should treat the attract stage as an opportunity for someone to get to know you, your brand and that your somebody who helps them learn how to solve problems.
Create informational videos that establish your brand as an authority in your industry. You shouldn’t be thinking about selling your products or services at this point. Instead, answer questions that someone might have.
A common video format at this stage is a how-to or tutorial that immediately solves a problem that someone’s searched for. They might watch the video, get the answers they need and then leave your site. That’s perfectly fine because in the future when they do need something that you offer, they’ll be drawn to you because of the previous value you provided.
A good aim for awareness stage or attract content is to just get them to watch another video.
Buyers at this stage have been attracted to your site and are almost ready to be converted into customers. Or, at least, almost ready to be spoken to like a possible customer.
Content at this stage should be a little more promotional, although more in-depth how-to videos can also be successful here.
They will still need some convincing to choose your business and possibly even just to consider paid options as a concept, so videos should still be informative and educational at their core.
We’d recommend case studies or demo videos because they show your business and products in a positive way.
Video content at this point needs to sell your brand without actually being a sales video. This is why case studies are so effective here. The viewer will see someone similar to them benefit from your business and want the same for them.
Leads are transformed into customers when closed at the right time. At this point, your videos might be the final confirmation someone needs that show you’re the business they want to work with.
It might not even be product videos that turn someone from a visitor into a customer. Try creating testimonial videos from other happy clients or videos that show off your company’s culture and customer service.
Sometimes, a customer is already sold on a product. They’re just deciding whether or not it’s your business that they want to work with. Videos that highlight your outstanding customer service will show that you’re the right choice.
Also, it's likely your sales team is in dialogue with a key-contact at your client's end. Arm them with videos that help get sign-off to go with your service. And the best way to find out what they need is asking them, but it's good to have a series of how we work, meet the team and videos showing your credentials.
Just because they’re now a client, it doesn’t mean you can’t still offer value to a customer. The whole concept of inbound marketing involves giving customers something they need, whatever stage they’re at. But especially at the delight stage.
People trust marketers less than even politicians (I know!), so instead, they listen to existing customers. It's vital to get your clients proud to be your customer, sharing your content and spreading the word.
At this point, if you can do that successfully, then they’ll become your business’ biggest promoters and help to bring in new customers.
There are a few different video options you can try at this stage to see what works.
Onboarding videos are useful for helping customers get to grips with their new product or you can build up a library of educational videos. This can keep someone visiting your content long after they made their purchase.
A thank you video is a great way of showing someone that they’re valued, especially if it’s personalised in some way. Think outside of the box. People are more likely to remember weird and creative content.
And another alternative is to produce some client spotlight videos. These are similar to a case study documentary but instead put the spotlight on your customer and how well they're doing, rather than how your service, in particular, helped them. These are easy to do because they can usually be edited out of the footage from a case study.
Before you hit record, you need to decide on the kind of videos you’ll be creating. It’s always useful to have a balanced mix of formats to make sure you’re offering as much valuable content as possible to the viewer. Here are some of the main types you’ll be looking at, where you should use them and what the goal of each of them should be.
A favourite of traditional video marketing. Create videos that show exactly how your product or service works. It can be putting a physical product to the test or a walkthrough of your software - either way, you need to show what you’re selling in its best light.
Demos should be used at the close stage of the buyer’s journey and only when someone’s aware of the issue they’re having and ready to make a purchase. The goal of a video like this is to sell your product.
Film interviews with members of your team or industry experts, you’ll build trust with your audience and establish your website as an authority on the subject. Turn your interview into a video podcast and you’ll extend your reach and show that you work with the industry’s most important influencers.
Interviews are good at the earliest stages of the buyer’s journey. They draw viewers in without them even realising who you are and what you offer. The idea is that after they watch the interview, they’re tempted to watch other videos and podcasts you have.
There’s no better way of showing off your brand than with an animated video. They’re engaging, entertaining and highlight your creativity - a trait that’s desirable when someone’s looking for a business to work with.
The content of the video will determine where in the buyer’s journey an animated video should go. If the video is entertaining and informative, then a good goal to have is for the video to be shared online by viewers.
Videos that show happy clients and the great work you’ve done are always a good choice. If someone’s on the fence about choosing your business, then hearing from someone like them who’s had a good experience can be the push they need.
Landing pages are the perfect home for short client testimonials or snippets of longer case study videos. Someone might only need a nudge and a testimonial can be exactly that. After hearing great feedback about your business, then the hope is that the prospect hands over their contact details or becomes a customer.
Customers love a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on at their favourite brands. If you’re hosting an event or filming a podcast, then why not set up another camera and go live on Facebook or Instagram.
You’ll be able to interact with viewers in real-time and give your business that personal touch that can be important to many customers. Live videos will probably be seen by existing followers on social media, so they’re a good opportunity to delight clients.
Videos like these are short and quick ways of getting your brand out there and raising awareness. They’re a chance to say who you are, what you have to offer and why you’re a business that’s worth working with.
They’re usually a part of wider advertising campaigns or can be found on the about us sections of websites. The goal is to raise your profile and brand awareness so that in the future, someone will think of you.
Theoretically, all you really need to get started is a smartphone and a few free apps on your phone. Unfortunately, they’ll only take you so far. Depending on what your ambitions are, you can start with either a basic video kit or invest in top of the range stuff if you want your videos to really stand out from the competition.
It's obvious you can shoot quick videos on your smartphone. However, for most video types, you’re going to want to invest in a camera. If you aren’t especially proficient when it comes to cameras, then we’d definitely recommend getting one at the cheaper end of the scale to have a play with.
Cameras like the Nikon D3300 have everything you need to get started and are available for less than £300 and you'll likely be familiar with the interface. Canon and Sony also offer entry-level DSLRs with good recording features.
Here at Digital 22, we favour the Panasonic Lumix range of cameras because they're on top when it comes to quality and features available.
You can create the perfect video but if the audio’s no good, then the whole video is unusable. If you’re looking for a microphone that you can just plug in and use without worrying about intricate audio settings, then we’d recommend the Blue Yeti.
It’s normally around £100 for a Blue Yeti microphone but you’ll also need to find some clip-on mics if you’ll be doing pieces to camera or interviews.
Apple iMovie is a good place to start if you’re unfamiliar with editing software. It’s easy to use and there are plenty of tutorials out there to help if you get stuck. You won’t find many bells and whistles, but it can get the job done. It’s also free to download as long as you’re already using a Mac.
To make your videos more unique and to have more control over the editing process, it's best to use apps such as Adobe Premier and Audition, respectively.
A camera, microphone and editing software are the key components of an inbound video, but without these extra bits of equipment, you’re going to struggle. It’s easy to forget about this stuff when you’re starting out with video creation and even budgeting, so make sure to keep them in mind to avoid any annoying surprises.
Spare SD Cards are essential and you’ll need to pay around £20-£40 for a 64GB one that’s compatible with your camera (the higher file transfer rate, the higher the price). To make sure your shots are still and professional, you’ll need a tripod which is another £30 or so. Lighting, extra batteries and screen recording software are other essentials you’ll want to get your hands on.
We suggest to pay around £250 on all these 'extras'.
Choose a host site for your videos so that they’re all in one place and easy to find. YouTube is completely free but there’s a lot of competition. There are other options like TwentyThree, Wistia, Vimeo and Vidyard.
The drawback of using YouTube as your platform, for example, is that it's hosted away from your site. If your video ends up ranking for a search query, the YouTube page will be shown in the answer-box rather than your own domain.
To get around, we suggest using Vidyard to host your video on a subdomain of your own site, then waiting 2-4 weeks before posting to YouTube as well so you can have maximum visibility.
Another benefit of Vidyard is that the analytics available and other features are second to none, and their price point is within every company's budget.
But, have a look around and find the right one to suit you. You’ll need to pay for some of them but there are extra benefits like detailed analytics, ad-free videos and useful integrations.
With a bit of savvy online shopping, we’re probably going to get everything we need for less than £750, plus any hosting fees if you want your own platform. Not bad for a first attempt at
If you want a state-of-the-art video recorder to create your inbound videos then you’ll be imagining something like the Sony PMW-EX1. It’s going to be able to deal with anything you need it to, capturing footage in stunning quality. You’ll need to fork out upwards of £5,000 though.
And when people will mostly be viewing your videos on mobile and maybe on a laptop, often in a social media feed, anyway - there's no need to invest in such high-level equipment.
A really good DSLR (we love the Panasonic Lumix GH5), a wide lens and plenty of memory cards are perfect for running inbound video campaigns.
The Shure SM7B will capture perfect audio. The Blue Yeti has its limits but the Shure SM7B is basically flawless. It’s used in studios, radio stations and podcasts because of how crisp and clear the audio quality is. It’s four times more expensive than the Blue Yeti though - usually around £400.
Personally, we use the Aston Stealth compressor mic (in extra stealth-y matte black) for podcasts and interviews, clip-on lapel mics for around £20 each and various pieces Tascam kit for recording the audio.
Once you’ve got your footage and audio, it’s time to edit. Programmes like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X are pretty easy to get your head around and have most of the functionality you’ll need to create your videos.
These advanced programmes aren’t free, though. For example, the Teams package of Adobe Premiere Pro costs around £25 per month and Final Cut Pro X is £299.99.
The more advanced your equipment and the more ambitious your videos are, the harder the skills are that you’ll need to master. If you’re new to video and you’re just getting to grips with the whole process, then you’ll really feel the step up in difficulty.
At this point, you have a few options available to you.
1. Back to School
Watch video tutorials and do as much practising as you can with the equipment. You basically need to go from novice to master in as short a time as possible. Practice makes perfect but if you don’t have the time or resources to do that, then your videos are going to be low-quality.
2. Hire New Team Members
So you aren’t great at video production, that’s fine - just hire someone who is. You’ll probably need a video producer, operator maybe an editor, and someone who’s capable of animation if that’s an avenue you want to explore. You’ve probably already guessed that these highly specialised experts don’t come cheap.
One person who can do all these roles is even more expensive to hire.
You've then got to put together scripts and storyboards too, so unless you've got in-house writers, this is another cost to consider.
3. Work with an Experienced External Agency
If you have big ideas but not all the equipment or know how to follow them through, then you should think about working with an external agency. Video production is their bread and butter and they’ll be able to provide the crew and equipment to carry out your shoots. They can make your vision a reality.
Once you have all of your shiny, state-of-the-art equipment, you’re ready to make a video. Keep in mind that if you start shooting without a clear plan in place, then you could waste a lot of time and money on content that ends up on the cutting room floor.
But with a strategic plan in place, you’ll ensure your video is entertaining, engaging and exactly what your customers are looking for. Plus, the video will be just part of a stream of content which channels people towards being a customer.
Here’s a normal inbound video shoot process that you can, kind of, use as a checklist so that nothing gets missed.
It’s important to establish the goal of your videos before you even think about picking up a camera. What’s your wider strategy trying to achieve? What are you trying to get the viewer to do?
Has the video got accompanying content to lead people on to? If not, a video in isolation will rarely achieve anything.
Just as you would for a blog, you need to carry out keyword research when you’re deciding on the kind of videos to create. The right title or alt tags could be the difference between your video being seen by thousands or lost in the noise.
Your video might not need a script. In fact, sometimes being a little more relaxed and unstructured can make you seem personable. But even if it doesn’t need a script, it’s still worth having a general outline of where you want your video to go which stops it getting derailed and off topic.
Even your favourite, rambling radio shows or podcasts will be semi-scripted to some extent, even if it's just bullet points of things to cover.
And carefully consider who you put on camera. If your absolute expwert isn't comfortable being on camera, it will show. Try pairing them with someone who is a natural in front of the lens as they can prompt and ask questions.
Brand videos and animations, even talking heads and b-roll, should have storyboards to make sure every important detail is covered. Realising you’ve missed something crucial during the editing stage when it’s too late is not a fun experience.
This part can be trickier than you might think. The bigger the shoot, the more moving parts and the more things you need to keep in mind. One mistake, like forgetting to arrange transport could delay everything.
You need to factor in plenty of time to set up your shoot. You might bring lighting equipment and multiple cameras so everything needs to be in place before shooting can begin.
Quick tip: This can be sped up by doing test shots before shoot itself.
One wrong wire or dead battery and the whole shoot could be wasted. Thoroughly test every single item of equipment you’ll be using and make sure you have replacement parts where necessary. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure your memory cards are wiped and formatted, and all batteries are fully charged. And you've packed spares of everything.
Not always applicable but it’s a good idea to have a quick run through of what you’ll be filming. It lets everyone know what’s needed of them and is an early opportunity to spot problems that might arise.
Action! Stick to your storyboards and make sure you shoot everything you need. It’s always better to have too much footage than not enough. Think about how to get as much B-Roll as humanly possible because that can be a lifesaver for blending multiple takes together into one.
It’s time to bring everything together. Put together an initial first cut that’s a good indicator of what the final video will look like. Smooth transitions and perfect audio aren’t essential at this point - it’s more about getting everything in the order you’re happy with.
Get feedback on the video from different members of your team. They’re more likely to spot something you didn’t. Let someone from your target audience watch it and see if they react in the way that you want.
It’s your last chance to fix any problems and get the video exactly as you want it. There’s always going to be tiny tweaks you could make here and there but at a certain point, it’s time to share it with your audience.
You should have already decided where this particular video is going. Now all that’s left is to post or upload it. Make sure you’ve used the right hashtags if it’s on social media and track the data that comes back as it can be useful for future shoots.
Yes. Only doing video or only doing written content will restrict your campaign’s reach and effectiveness. The two complement each other and are part of a wider inbound marketing strategy. Repurpose a popular blog into a video so that visitors can engage with your content in the way they prefer.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic number when it comes to marketing video lengths. The video’s content, target audience and the platform it’s being showcased on are all important factors that influence how long your video should be.
Most of your videos will end up on social media one way or another so we’ll focus on that here.
Instagram is where our attention span is the absolute worst. Because your feed is so text-light, we can scroll through it at lightning speeds. Put a video that’s more than 30 seconds on here and you’re unlikely to have much luck. Keep it short, exciting and straight to the point.
Twitter is a little bit better than Instagram. The increased limit to 280 characters per tweet means we’re more accustomed to engaging with a post before moving on. You still shouldn’t stray too far beyond the one-minute mark though.
Facebook’s users are happier than their Twitter counterparts to sit through a video and watch until the end. The app’s autoplay feature means they can sometimes get lost watching one after another. Still, make sure the version of your video is attention-grabbing but feel free to break that one-minute mark.
YouTube is the king of video content. That doesn’t mean you should upload your unabridged, extended,
You’re battling it out with all kinds of interesting-looking recommended videos that are placed temptingly next to yours. Videos on YouTube can be any length but we’d still recommend putting the most important points as early into the video as possible.
Videos improve engagement with your website and increase overall conversions. For a start, they’re usually more interesting than an email or a blog post. That’s not to say that those mediums are dead but videos allow you to show off a product in the best possible way.
They’re an opportunity to put a friendly face to your business. A customer is more likely to choose you over a rival if they think they’re buying from an actual person, rather than a generic brand.
Videos are also more memorable and shareable. You probably receive hundreds of emails a day but how often do you receive a video? If it’s the right kind of video, then you might share it with your teammates and colleagues. Are you going to do the same with an eBook or a perfectly worded email? Unlikely.
Hello: The first video you’ll send is for introducing yourself and what you do for the business. It’s basically breaking the ice without even being in the same room as them. Talk about how you can help and try and answer any questions they may have had during their initial contact with you. It’s essentially you letting them know that you’re human.
Hello again: Give them time to digest the first video before you send the next one. This video is for reconnecting and talking about the next steps. Are there any questions that were raised following the first video?
Are you still there?: If you don’t hear from them, then it might be worth checking in to see if they’re still interested in your business. Only send one of these as no one wants to feel pressured. If you don’t hear anything back after this one, it’s likely that they’ve found someone else to work with.
Thank you: It’s always a nice touch to say thank you to a customer but a video is really going the extra mile. It’s also a good opportunity to sow seeds for potential upsells in the future or talk about next steps, like referrals and feedback.
1 Doing it in-house.
Train your existing marketing team in inbound video and hope they rise to the challenge. Or, you can find an external agency that knows exactly what they’re doing.
There’s nothing to stop you from keeping inbound video production in-house. To do so, you’ll need to invest in all of the equipment that you need. If you’re starting from scratch then this will include cameras, microphones, tripods, batteries, SD cards, editing software and more.
It’s a costly initial investment but it will give you the tools you need to get started. It’s one thing having the equipment but knowing how to use it is a completely different challenge.
There’s a good chance you have no team members with any experience with inbound video. So, you’ll have to train them to a high standard which takes time and resources. Plus, you’ll be taking them away from their normal responsibilities. Executing high-quality inbound marketing videos isn’t something you can pick up in a few weeks.
2. Using an agency.
After a while, you’ll improve your video content and create quality work that benefits your campaign.
Working with an external agency gives you access to video producers, editors
By using an external agency, you’ll be working with experts who do
If you’ve never worked with a video agency before, it can be difficult to know what to look for. The next section covers who we are and how we can help.
Digital 22 know how important inbound video can be as part of a campaign. Not only does it ensure your business stands out from its competition but it also ultimately drives more leads and acquires more customers.
Most businesses would love to implement inbound video but see it as more of a pipedream. It doesn’t have to be that way.
We understand that it can be a little intimidating thinking about creating videos, so our services include all kinds of extra advice and expertise to ensure everything runs smoothly. To start with, we assist with the strategy and
Video can be part of a wider retainer that includes a full inbound marketing strategy rollout. Everything from blogs and landing pages to email marketing and social media is covered by our team.
Of course, we offer everything you’d expect of a high-quality video production company, including animated graphics, HD footage, multi-cam filming
If you’re ready to find out more about our inbound video services, then we’d recommend getting in touch with our expert team. They’re on hand to discuss your specific needs and requirements and give you more of an idea of what to expect if you choose to work with us on an inbound video campaign.
Get in touch today.