Telling effective stories with video: How to make a video strategy that works

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Woman doing a video content strategy

Of course you need a video strategy. As social media algorithms continue to prioritise video, the desire for this content form is insatiable. The best part is, videono longer has to take loads of time and money to produce. But even though it’s an efficient tool, video isn’t a magic wand that will make all your problems disappear (sorry). You need to know exactly how and where to deploy video to form a competent video content strategy.

There are two key things to help you understand and create a winning video marketing strategy: defining your audience, and setting your goals. If you have these two ingredients in place, we have a feeling you’ll be surprised at the results video can help you achieve. 

Find your target audience, then narrow it down - the essential for your video strategy

You need to know your audience, because, let’s face it - if you’re unsure at all about why you should use video, who your target audience is or what your goals are, you’re going to quickly encounter problems. 

And, of course, it’s likely you’ll have defined user personas by now. Even though you know your customer, there is a problem; before you even begin working on your video, you may realise the proposed target audience is too broad. After all, each individual customer needs to feel targeted and heard. How do you do this? By properly understanding their needs through devising an effective video strategy. Long story short; your videos should make an audience feel properly wined and dined.  

The biggest mistake you might make when embarking on a new video is by thinking too big and trying to do too much, both for choices of subject and target audience. As Magnus Dahl, Creative Director at KIT, “It’s often tempting to try to tell several things in a video or tell one thing to several target audiences, and this never ends well.” 

This problem exists in every aspect of social media content production; your proposed target audience is probably much larger than the few individuals who actually will care about what you’re trying to say right here and right now. 

The persona is dead - long live the person

Marketers love to split their targeted audiences into personas. By producing content for a specific persona, an elaborate description of an archetype in your target audience, many believe that it’s possible to represent an entire group of individuals. 

Of course, this can be helpful in certain situations, but on social media, we are more than just a bundle of personas; they’re completely worthless when creating your own video strategy for social media. 

“On social media, we simply don’t click on or interact with content that doesn’t truly appeal specifically to us,” says Peder Bonnier, CEO at Storykit. “We don’t consume content just because it happens to be close to the things we’re interested in; we only click on content that completely aligns with our current interests.” But how do we make content that serves these goals? 

Turn your target audiences into micro-target audiences

To create better content, start by organising the company’s main target audience into micro-target audiences. Of course, you may need to adjust it over time, and you should be flexible, particularly if you notice that your target audience responds better to a particular topic. 

This might sound like a difficult task. We hear the jaded marketers at the back thinking, “how could I possibly make tons of videos for several micro audiences?”. With algorithms needing to surface more content than ever, your chances of being found and seen are maximised by making more content. And when making “more” video is a good thing, this way of looking at your target audience becomes a positive. 

You can create a video that does both, by distributing it to a larger target audience while also modified into fitting with micro-target audiences – do this by creating several versions of the same video and changing its images or title. 

Swedish bank Skandia does exactly this by using Storykit

“We have specific topics like pensions, mortgages, and health, but we talk to many target audiences, such as companies, private individuals, and different age groups. A 25-year-old who has just started receiving a pension from their employer is undeniably a different target audience to a 45-year-old in the middle of his career or a 65-plus person who is about to select their pension. Storykit helps us to quickly duplicate a video and rewrite the message to each target group,” says Jesper Carlson, who is responsible for Skandia's editorial office. 

Choose the right goal for your video strategy and you’ll have the right video, every time. 

This is where we have to talk about ‘likes.’

It is perhaps shallow to single out ‘likes’ alone, so let’s use the term vanity metrics; they may make you and your brand look good, but they don't say much. They don’t help you to reach your goals nor do they help inform decisions for future strategies. Keep this front of mind when setting goals. 

For example, if your company books thousands of meetings every month thanks to your video strategy, but almost none of them lead to more business, then something’s wrong. It’s a pointless metric. You have to be ruthlessly honest about these.

However, in the context of video, social vanity metrics stand in the way of our work. After having made a great video, it’s common to expect an enormous flood of likes and comments (and then be let down). It's not strange that these types of goals have become ‘The Goal’ on social media. This is partly due to the fact they are visible;  every extra thumbs-up or heart on your post is a public statistic you can measure yourself with. Even the algorithm interprets these interactions and uses them to push out your content, increasing the organic reach of your videos. 

So, vanity metrics are not always an ugly thing. 

However, the problem with relying on them is, as aforementioned, they don't actually help you reach your goals or to make informed decisions about them. And, they can be completely counterproductive. So, make content that drives people to make the right choices. Drive business without driving likes. 

Choose the best video strategy for your marketing funnel

What should you look at if you shouldn’t look at vanity metrics? What should you focus your video strategy on? Can you even use video for something other than the early stages of the targeting audiences? Can video really provide business benefits? Let's talk about that. 

First, a quick refresher on the funnel: The marketing funnel is a model to visualise what you want to achieve within your operations. It’s shaped like a funnel, and in the end it sifts through the consumers that are ready to buy your product. This model makes it easy to decide the goal of your video strategy and gets your message across in the best way. So you really could, no, you really should, use video in every step of the buyer’s journey. 

A disclaimer before we begin; telling other companies what goals they should set for their marketing activities is as stupid as explaining to other parents how they should raise their children. No purchase funnel is the same: set goals that reflect what you really want to achieve for your customers. Here, we use experiences from our business to show what you can do. 

Top of funnel = awareness

When you pour the audience down into the top of the funnel, the purpose is to make them aware of the problems that your product solves. It also needs to make audiences know you and your brand actually exists. For this reason, video can play a crucial role in helping you reach the audience, wherever they are, with whatever topics they are interested in. 

At this stage of the funnel, you can really explore and go crazy with your storytelling and the topics that your audience is curious about. Right now, the feeling you want to evoke in the recipient is much more important than what you want to say about the product. You can also establish thought leadership by talking about an issue that is close to your customers’ hearts that can, coincidentally, be linked to your product. 

Just remember to be clear when it comes to your brand. You want to evoke feelings that will become associated with your brand, and this can be done through clear colors, logos, jingles, or slogans. 

At the top of the funnel, you throw out a large net and hope to catch lots of fish. In addition, you usually want your video to be received well and for engagement to be high. But as we have just said: think carefully about whether your video, and its goal, really is the type of content that should drive ‘likes.’ 

This type of engagement is often driven by classic social media tricks such as playing on strong emotions or encouraging someone to ‘tag a friend.’ 

Is working this way suitable for your organisation? If yes, then go on! But for most organisations, this type of communication is both pointless and harmful, skirting on acting like the ‘cool mum’ from Mean Girls. Simply put, you're trying too hard! 

In such a case, it’s much better to look at the number of views and retention, aka how long people have watched your video. 

Top of funnel KPI examples: 

  • Views 
  • Retention 
  • Engagement

Mid funnel = consideration

At the middle of the funnel, we take a big step closer towards selling without losing the focus on creative user value. At this stage, you should be helping the audience to make informed decisions: you need to be a credible and lovable sidekick along this journey. 

At this point, you often want the audience to leave the platform and go to your site. Balance telling a good story and making them come back for more. Save a slice of your brand cake for later so that they come again, clicking and hungry. To do this, don't stray away from creating eye-catching and teasing videos. 

Mid-funnel KPI examples: 

  • CTR 
  • Whitepaper downloads 
  • Webinar or event bookings

Depending on the type of product or service your company sells, these goals can differ greatly but should always have a common aim of being able to see that the audience has taken a step closer to buying from you. 

Bottom of funnel = decision

It’s time to sell! Your video content needs to drive a call to action. The purpose is to get the user to buy, buy, buy. The audience by now should know what your company stands for and what they can do with your product. You no longer have to tiptoe around the elephant in the room. 

“When using ads on Facebook, don’t be discreet. It’s better to be crystal clear from the beginning,” says Josefine Billström, Creative Strategist at Facebook. 

Additionally, should you ever invest resources in creating many different types of videos, do it during this final phase. Don’t do it to convey a thousand different messages though; do it to test a thousand different ways to continuously find what attracts the most potential buyers. 

Bottom of funnel KPI examples: 

  • Meetings booked 
  • Sales-qualified leads 
  • Purchases 

Of course, these goals depend on the business you run. What they should all have in common is that the customer should be entering the "buying" phase. And for us at Storykit, this is about being able to fill the sellers' calendars with qualified meetings. 

Give us a few minutes and we’ll show you just how easy life can be when you Storykit it.

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