A potential client of mine recently came to me, in my role as Creative Director at Innovate Media, and was enthusiastically relating how he had attended a handful of social media and digital marketing workshops lately and all the speakers were touting the importance of web video for business.  Seriously, you should have heard this guy. He spend the first 20 minutes of our consultation telling me how amazing web video is and how he absolutely needed to start doing videos for his website.

Awesome. (I thought)

This is going to be the easiest sales meeting ever. (sitting back in the chair)

This guy is my ideal client! (mental high fives)


I was wrong.


You see, as we started talking more about what he wanted from us, I quickly began to realise that this guy was so engaged with the idea of using online video for his business, so excited about getting this journey started that he had already formed solid ideas in his head about the video content he wanted produced. His mind had been racing and he quickly formed concepts around his desired web videos, and he had them all written down too. In a list, just waiting for a video producer to come along and make them.


This all sounds pretty good right?


Sure, in some cases yes – it is great to see businesses formulating ideas for online video. But in this case… the ideas were completely off the mark.


He had fallen off the Online Video Bandwagon, before he had even started.


Form Perspective


The main reason why it became quickly clear to me that this potential client’s ideas for online video were unlikely to work for his business is that he was ultimately approaching online video from a form perspective. In other words, he was looking to make a video for video’s sake. He had heard all the evidence and knew that he needed video on his website to market effectively but his ideas reflected that he was coming at it from the perspective of ‘just making video’.


His thought process probably looked something like this  (note: his business manufactures and sells pretty cool water saving hardware for industrial plumbing);


“Wow, this workshop is great… I’m convinced, I really need to use video on my website”

“Okay, so what can I make a video about?”

“I’ve got it!  How about I take a whole bunch of my product data sheets and make them into a video with my voice over reading through them!  That’s perfect, I’ll have about 30 videos online in no time and be smashing it on the search engine rankings.”


(Can you see the problem here?)


Yep. He’s thinking about video from the perspective of just getting some video done. He is not considering his business goals, target market, audience behaviours, distribution platforms, or measurables. In short, he’s ignoring the most important part of effective online video.




So, let’s take a look at the right approach to planning for online video in your business marketing.


Strategy Perspective


When approaching marketing video concept from a strategy perspective the first question you need to ask yourself is “Why?” You need to ensure that you are letting a defined strategy influence the content plan, and drive the video concepts.  Start by working through the following four questions;


  • Who am I needing to reach out to?
    • Define your target audience and customer.
  • What areas of my business and current marketing needs improvement?
    • You might consider such things as: better brand awareness, more engagement on social media, increased traffic to my website, increased conversion rates, needing to re-engage past clients or make better use of a mailing list.
  • What is the best way to achieve this?
    • Perhaps your answers are something like: get more people in our industry to like our page, release free tutorials on our area of expertise, implement an affiliate sales network, encourage people to spend more time in our online store, build an email list of targeted leads… and so on.
  • What is the best format for the above content to take?


And if the answer to that last question is video, then you’re set… go ahead and make that video.


It is critical to remember that video is not always the right form for your content to take.  If you find yourself just taking an idea that works in another format and trying to ‘convert’ it into a video then you’ll most likely fail (or at the very least create a dull and boring video).


As the guys over at Distilled.co.uk say… “Ask yourself – Would this content lose something if it were just text and image?”


So, back to my enthusiastic potential client. When we consider his idea for video it becomes clear that data sheets really do work better as data sheets (on a website, PDF or a download).


If he was to work through the above questions and approach his video content from a Strategy Perspective, what types of videos do you think his online video content plan might include?


Let me know in the comments.