All video is content marketing: 5 rules for greater reach

Being on video and watching videos is today’s business norm. A recent survey showed 76% of consumers watched a video before making a purchase. Social media influencers promote products and services and share self-improvement ideas through video-based storytelling. You log in to video meetings daily with prospects and customers.

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

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, your videos still need to follow a handful of rules.

1. Positioning

Some marketers don’t like discussing brands. Instead, they believe the job of marketers and business leaders is to position a company or product in the market.

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 client. Your videos — live and recorded — will improve once you know who you are producing them for and what their motivations are.

2. Differentiation

What makes you different is what gets people’s attention. Not different for the sake of being different, but a viable, propositional difference that appeals to your ideal client.

It’s a noisy, messy and chaotic market. If there is nothing to distinguish you from the competition, then you’re a commodity and you can only compete on price.

Your differentiation needs to be relevant and clearly expressed on all your video channels, including — and especially — in video meetings. Furthermore, especially with a hybrid workforce, ensure that anyone on your team who shows up on video is well-trained and their presence represents the value of the brand.

3. Distribution

Where to post your videos is determined by positioning and differentiation, not trends or fashion. A fishing guide once said, “You’re not fishing unless you have fish under your boat.”

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

Regardless of platform, you want all your videos to do one thing: direct interested prospects to your website. There, they learn more about you and begin to fall in love with you.

Distribution isn’t a benign decision. It says a lot about who you are and the people you’re trying to reach.

4. Story

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

The right story elevates the client as a hero. It captures your positioning and differentiation. How you will tell your story — written, audible or visual — will be determined by the platform you choose and the audience you want to reach. For example, TikTok is both a genre of video and a distribution platform. The audience consumes video through a spontaneous scroll. How you tell your story on TikTok may not work on LinkedIn.

Additionally, your video meetings, podcasts and livestream productions express the story of your brand. The way you show up on video tells a story. But is it the right story? Your video meetings and podcast presence need to set the tone and timbre of future engagements.

5. Surprise

Well-done videos are an act of kindness. Do everything you can to be more present in front of the lens.

When you show up on camera with a better-than-expected presence, you surprise people. Surprise is one ingredient in being unforgettable. When you are not present, people check out. When you are present, people respond. Presence is what you say before you say a word. Your presence should communicate confidence, power and credibility. This will surprise some people. When combined with confidence, you’ll be more persuasive.

Video content is a critical component of your 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 you need to begin to evaluate what you’ve already produced and what you plan to produce.

Patrick McGowan consults, trains and coaches business executives and teams to have more power, presence and credibility on camera in a video-first market. He is the author of “Across the Lens: How Your Zoom Presence Will Make or Break Your Success.”

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