5 Cornerstone Questions to Answer Before You Create a Video

Posted by Former Staff on August 21, 2018

Prior to beginning a video project, ask yourself these cornerstone questions to form consensus among your key marketing stakeholders.

Context. Target audience. Best Approach. Key differentiator. Seeking understanding in these pivotal areas will help you develop and create video content that reaches your prospects in an authentic way throughout the buyer’s journey, aids in establishing metrics to track your success, and highlights your unique brand voice.

Once you have these details covered, the rest will come naturally — and then you can break out the camera and gear.

Should I make a video? Is video the best medium for this message?

According to Forrester Research, “a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.” Video is a great medium to stimulate the senses, tell a story, and make an emotional impact on your brand’s target audience. Producing a video can be a big investment and its prudent to consider when video is the best modality for the message you must communicate.

Prior to beginning a video project, ask yourself these cornerstone questions to form consensus among your key marketing stakeholders.

Context. Target audience. Best Approach. Key differentiator. Seeking understanding in these pivotal areas will help you develop and create video content that reaches your prospects in an authentic way throughout the buyer’s journey, aids in establishing metrics to track your success, and highlights your unique brand voice.

Once you have these details covered, the rest will come naturally — and then you can break out the camera and gear.

1.) Should I make a video? Is video the best medium for this message?

According to Forrester Research, “a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.” Video is a great medium to stimulate the senses, tell a story, and make an emotional impact on your brand’s target audience. Producing a video can be a big investment and its prudent to consider when video is the best modality for the message you must communicate.

Sometimes the decision to make a video or not may simply come down to timeline and budget. By using your time and resources strategically you can ensure that the video content you invest in creating makes a difference for your brand.

“The play button is the most compelling call to action on the web.” –Michael Litt, Vidyard

The quantity and nature of the information you need to pass on should influence your brand’s content mix. For example, if there are several important messages that you must educate your audience on, a single video may not be the best approach. Perhaps a series of videos or a combination of various types of content would make more sense. Likewise, if you want your audience to remember several detailed features or statistics it may be best to consider an infographic or graphic enriched blog. Is a video the best way to tell this story?

This chart will help you decide if your message is best suited for a single video, a series of videos, or another type of content. ​

2.) How will this video fit into our overall marketing strategy & ecosystem?

For video content to be an effective marketing tool it cannot live in a vacuum. A video can certainly be the linchpin in your strategy, but you need to consider where your audience is coming from and where you want them to go after watching your video. Before you zoom in on a single video project, it’s important to have a clear bird’s eye view of your overall marketing strategy & buying journey. The buying journey is a helpful framework for visualizing how your prospects progress from unaware of their problem (or your brand) to inspired new customer. According to SiriusDecisions, 67% of the buying journey is now done digitally—so you better use each piece of content you create wisely.

Specifically, what stage of the buying journey will the viewer be in when they find this particular video? Will this video attract unaware prospects? Is your focus on inspiring those who are already considering your solution? Perhaps this is a late stage asset designed to reassure buyers that have formed intent to engage with your brand and just need one last nudge.

“Top of the funnel content must be intellectually divorced from your product but emotionally wed to it.” –Joe Chernov, Hubspot

Video can be used in a single stage leading to supporting content or progress prospects through multiple stages of their journey. Getting clear on the stage you are targeting will ensure that you are helping your prospects, building trust, and not setting up the wrong dynamic. For example, trying to inspire a prospect who doesn’t yet know they have a problem can be a recipe for resentment and lead to buying resistance. A clear vision for your video can inform the format, tone, and placement of your video content.

Use video to help your prospect along their journey from unaware to new customer.​

3). How do you want your audience to feel after they watch this video? What do you want them to do? How will you measure success?

Based on your prospect’s stage in their buying journey, how did they arrive at this particular video? Where might they go next? How will you motivate them to take the next step that will forge a bond with your brand?

At the Consideration stage, providing valuable insight through your content is a great way to educate your prospects and guide them along their path to purchase. What will this specific video do to nurture the relationship? If your video is successful what action will they take next? Consider how you will evaluate the performance and ROI of the content you are creating.

“Measurement is like laundry. It piles up the longer you wait to do it.” –Amber Naslund, Sysomos

Views get a lot of attention when it comes to evaluating a video’s success, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all of key performance indicators for video. Depending on your brand’s unique goals there may be more important metrics for tracking a video’s influence. Identifying metrics of success can also be a great catalyst for developing the story you will tell at each stage of the buying journey. For example, at the Decision stage simply viewing a video does not indicate progress towards getting someone to hit the buy box. Motivating a late stage prospect to convert requires different storytelling tactics than introducing an unaware prospect to your brand for the first time.

Choose the right metrics to measure progress at key stages of the Buyer’s Journey.

4.) Who is your target audience for this video?

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how frequently this subject is glossed over when marketers set out to create a video. Worse than neglecting to identify a target audience is assuming your audience is everyone with a computer (for more on just how off course this assumption can steer you, read about how Everyone is Not Your Audience.)

The more thoroughly you understand your audience the more likely you are to create authentic communication that will resonate with them. Not only will this specificity inform the tone of your piece, but it will uncover clues as to where you will find your audience and what platforms are best for placing content to engage them. A blend of both quantitative and qualitative research can help form the basis of a rich video strategy. Qualitative data describes whereas quantitative data defines.

“What makes content engaging is relevancy. You need to connect the contact information with the content information.” –Gail Goodman, Constant Contact

Market research doesn’t have to mean extensive focus groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent. If you’re new to persona development, a handful of customer interviews can be a great start toward uncovering vital segment insight. In addition to developing a target persona, don’t be shy about reaching out as you form creative concepts to see how members of your target audience react. We like to say, “test—don’t guess!”

Use the criteria below to uncover audience insights beyond just demographics.

5.) What problem do you solve? How is your offering discernibly different than other options?

It’s important to be able to clearly articulate your brand’s unique offerings, the value you create, and who you are best positioned to help. Every piece of brand communication you put out is a representation of your value proposition. While you want to highlight how you are different, be careful not to get too wrapped up in the features and benefits of your product. No one wants to watch a video that sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo of facts & figures or a “Me-Me-Me” self-centered anthem.

What does your brand do for people? Who do you help and what’s in it for them? Video is a great platform for telling relatable stories that allow your prospects to connect with your brand on a human level. The Value Proposition Canvas is a great exercise to get your creative juices flowing to empathize with your prospects’ potential pains and gains.

“Your customers aren’t in it to be engaged, they’re looking to be entertained” –Matthew Sweezey, Salesforce

Video is a great opportunity to be bold, stand out from your competitors, and express your brand’s unique point of view to the problems you solve. Focus on creating videos that illuminate your differentiators by proving useful to your prospects as people while also serving as entertainment to that same audience.

Tell relatable stories that communicate the value you create for your customers.

This article was written by former Myriad Business Development Manager Jeremy Wingle.