A Video Planning Checklist For 2013

We are all incredibly relieved that one aspect of video is now on a hiatus.  The election is over and so too are those annoying political ads. Could the networks squeeze any more commercials out of those time slots?  No more political ads for a while, and I approve this message!

So now it’s time for marketers to turn their focus back to video for communicating with their own constituents: customers and potential customers.

In looking ahead to the holiday season and 2013, here’s a checklist to consider in addressing key needs for the season and for the coming year:

1.)   Online Video Content:  Have you or your clients thoroughly mapped out the video content needs of your current website(s)? Online customers increasingly expect to find video to answer their questions, capture their attention, motivate their shopping, and to get to know you better with the power of sight, sound and motion. Does your website clearly communicate who you are and what you do, and is video messaging a big part of your communication? At the risk of preaching to the choir here on Video Insider, video really should be a key part of the mix.

2.)   Holiday Sale Videos: The Christmas / Chanukah holidays are fast approaching, and there is still time to have video make a positive impact on retail performance. There are also plenty of other holidays in 2013 that brands can strengthen by planning early to incorporate more great video content.  Each holiday, from New Year's, to MLK Day, to St. Patty’s Day, to Easter, provides a new opportunity for marketers to motivate buyers by using strong, relevant, and compelling custom video executions.

3.)   Video for SEO: Thanks to Google’s ever-evolving algorithm, increasing the amount of video on a brand’s website or microsites can help to significantly increase page rank.  In short, having video will help sites get noticed, and that’s worth a ton in today’s competitive marketplace. Video on a brand’s Facebook page will also help and can improve its Edgerank.

4.)   Video for Social Media: The social world we live in is continually engaged and motivated by stories.  Customers love a good story, and if it can relate back to a brand, there can be double rewards for sharing it.  Great video stories on social media sites, like Facebook, can increase a brand’s awareness and ultimately lead to more sales.

5.)   How-to Videos: Brands can significantly reduce the strain and stress placed upon call centers by including clever and effective how-to videos on their websites, showing customers easy ways to deal with challenges they may face with using a brand’s product or service.  Videos can eliminate that call from an irate and unhappy customer by proactively showing them the way with video in the “need help” section of the company or product website.

6.)   YouTube Videos: The second biggest search engine out there is probably YouTube.  How does a brand rate with its YouTube page?  If it includes lots of videos, it’s probably fairing quite well vis-a-vis the competition. And remember, brands shouldn’t just include past and present commercials on its YouTube page, but also include those how-to videos, special sale videos, and even custom videos targeting searchers on YouTube.

7.)   Video for News & PR: There is real evidence building that including video in press releases and in news articles can increase readership and distribution of a brand’s important news. Whether the announcement at-hand is about a new location opening, a new product launch, a new business relationship, or even a new key hire; a short video that supports the story will provide great value and maximize the impact of the PR spend.

No matter the path, quality is every as important as sheer quantity.   There are obviously many more uses for video, to be sure, but this is a good checklist to make sure you’re ready for 2013. In last month’s Video Insider article, I listed a few different ways that marketers can obtain great video at less cost. Check it out, and good luck in planning for a successful 2013.

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