All Video Is Video Content Marketing

Five rules for greater reach

by Patrick McGowan

Being on video and watching videos is today’s business norm. A recent survey showed 76% of consumers watched a video before purchasing a product. Social media influencers promote products through video-based storytelling. They login to video meetings daily with prospects and customers.

Since 2005, the year YouTube launched, video has increasingly grown in prevalence, production value and consumption. Then in 2020, video marketing took a massive leap forward with the pandemic-induced use of video conferencing, podcasts (with video) and livestreams. 

Today, YouTube is the most-used social platform for research purposes among business-to-business decisions makers, with 50.9% of users. And every day, more than 300 million people participate in a Zoom meeting.

The reluctant say about video meetings, “It’s not going away.” Strategic leaders, though, say, “Video is how we do business now.” 

In today’s business world, all video is video content marketing. Zoom is not a phone call with video. Whether it’s a livestream or a self-produced YouTube short, business videos still need to follow a handful of rules. 

1. Positioning. Some marketers consider the word brand to be a four-letter word. The job of marketers, they say, is to position a company or product in the market. 

The brand becomes how customers define it, and it is to be hoped they define it based on the marketer’s considerable efforts.

The best marketers see this work of positioning to be the first and most important activity. They have learned to be comfortable with discomfort, because good positioning feels limiting. Good positioning is uncomfortably narrow. 

It’s a single, narrowly defined target buyer. A business’s videos — live and recorded — will improve once it’s determined for whom the business is producing the video and what the motivations are of those individuals. 

2. Differentiation. What makes a business different is what gets people’s attention. Not different for different’s sake, but a viable, propositional difference that appeals to the business’s ideal buyer. 

It’s a noisy, messy and chaotic market. Businesses want to be a brand, which means they can charge a premium. If there is nothing to distinguish a business from its competition, then it’s a commodity and it can compete only on price.

A business’s differentiation needs to be relevant and clearly expressed on all its video channels, especially video meetings. The first step is to shift responsibility for video meetings from operations to marketing. The next step, especially with a hybrid workforce, is to make sure that everyone who shows up on video is well trained and that their presence represents the value of the brand. 

3. Distribution. Where a business should post its videos is determined by positioning and differentiation, not trend or fashion. A fishing guide once said, “You’re not fishing unless you have fish under your boat.” Or as Maverick said to Goose in the first Top Gun movie, “Target rich environment.” 

Distribution can include everything from the social media platform (LinkedIn, TikTok) to the video distributor (YouTube, Vimeo) to the livestream platform. It answers what and how of a business’s video content strategy. 

Regardless of platform, businesses want all their videos to do one thing: direct interested parties to their website. There, the visitors learn more about the business and begin to fall in love with it. 

Distribution isn’t a benign decision. It says a lot about who the business is and the people it’s trying to reach.

4. Story. Stories draw prospects in and customers closer. A well-told story engages the right people into a deeper, more meaningful conversation. 

The right story a business wants to tell elevates the customer as hero. It captures the business’s positioning and differentiation. How the business will tell its story — written, audible or visual — will be determined by the platform the business chooses and the audience it wants to reach.

TikTok is both a genre of video and a distribution platform. The audience consumes video through a spontaneous scroll. How a business tells its story on TikTok may not work on LinkedIn. 

Additionally, a business’s video meetings, podcasts and livestream productions express the story of its brand. The way the business shows up on video tells a story. But is it the right story? The business’s video meetings and podcast presence need to set the tone and timbre of future engagements. 

5. Surprise. Better video is an act of kindness. Business leaders should do everything they can to be more present across the lens.

We all spend enough time in front of a camera. When we show up on camera with a better-than-expected presence, we surprise people. Surprise is one ingredient in being unforgettable. 

When the person on the video is not present, people check out. When the person is present, people respond. Presence is what a person says before saying a word. 

A person’s presence should communicate confidence, power and credibility. This will surprise some people. Combining it with confidence will make the person more persuasive. 

A Critical Component

Video content is a critical component to a business’s digital content marketing strategy. All video — whether meetings, podcasts, e-learning or social media — deserves careful review and attention. 

Video is a powerful and compelling medium. These five rules provide the framework business leaders need to begin to evaluate what they’ve already produced and what they plan to produce. 

Business leaders need to assert to themselves, “Video is how we do business now” — then go and do it.   

Patrick McGowan, MBA, consults, trains and coaches business executives and teams to have more power, presence and credibility on-camera in a video-first market. He pulls together three decades in marketing, innovation and leadership. McGowan started Punchn to address the challenges and insecurities everyone faces when on camera. He is the author of Across the Lens: How Your Zoom Presence Will Make or Break Your Success.

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