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Whether you’re just getting started with a new business in Dublin, GA, or have been serving the people in and around Laurens County for years, a killer video advertising strategy can dramatically increase your company’s visibility, improve audience engagement, and help you convert more leads to customers.

Video is easily one of the most high-impact tools you can use to boost your company’s marketing:

  • 91% of companies use video in their marketing efforts.
  • 90% of marketers report an excellent ROI from video marketing.
  • 82% of people say that a video has convinced them to buy a product or service.
  • 89% of consumers say that they want to see more videos from their favorite brands.

Numbers like that may have you scrambling for your phone to download some video editing apps, jotting down script ideas on the backs of napkins, and heading out to Stubbs Park or River Bend WMA to scout out beautiful locations for filming.

But, as with everything else we do, the best results come when we take time to plan at the front end of the project. Without an intentional and well-considered strategy for your video advertising efforts, you can quickly get off track or overwhelmed trying to manage a year’s worth of video advertising off the top of your head.

Yes, you guessed it. You need a video ad strategy.

So, before you break out the iPhone and start scribbling down witty one-liners, take a breath. In this month’s article, we’ll give you a quick overview of what goes into developing a great video ad strategy.

Step One: Set Goals for Your Video Ad Strategy

In a market like Dublin, Georgia, you face some unique marketing challenges and opportunities. It’s a growing city that has several companies operating in some verticals, just a few in others, and none at all in still other verticals, so competition can be either fierce or less intense. Dublin is located near the larger market of Macon and not too far from the much larger markets of Savannah and Atlanta, so companies in Dublin are often competing in a much larger market than the size of the local community would suggest.

As such, you need your marketing efforts to provide maximum benefit, and to do that, they simply must be focused. When you set goals for the year’s video advertising efforts, the rest of the planning becomes infinitely easier:

  • You’ll have definite points to aim towards with each aspect of your video ad strategy.
  • You’ll be able to identify opportunities for your video strategy to cross-link with your other marketing efforts to provide even more significant benefits.
  • You’ll have a guiding star for making decisions in the planning, execution, and assessment phases of your video projects. (“Does this work towards the goal? No? Then don’t do it.”)

Just like with any goals you’re setting, make sure they’re SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely). Remember that in this phase, you’re setting goals for what you want your video ads to do for you, not what you’re going to do with ads. In other words,

  • “We will release five videos this year” isn’t the kind of goal you’re setting here. That sort of planning comes later.
  • “We will increase sales at our Church Street location by 5%.” That’s the type of goal you want to set – it’s a measurable goal related to your business’s performance that can be achieved by using video marketing tools.

Look at your business’s current situation. What pain points might be fully or partially solved through video marketing? Solving those pain points is your strategy’s goal.

Step Two: Determine Your Video Audience

If you’re selling shamrock-shaped pancakes at your downtown Dublin breakfast place, advertising them to customers in Boston isn’t going to do much good. If you’re a company that specializes in repairing earthmoving equipment and other heavy machinery, putting your ads in front of teenagers isn’t likely to generate much traffic.

All ads are more effective when they’re targeted. For one thing, people respond more when an ad addresses their problems or needs specifically, and different groups may have various pain points your company can solve. For another thing, compared to traditional advertising, digital ads such as video ads are billed based on the number of people served the ad, and why pay for your ad to appear in front of people who aren’t likely to become customers?

As you’re considering your video ad audiences, keep your buyer personas in mind, and remember that different audiences may be better served with other styles or types of videos posted on different platforms.

Step Three: Choose the Stories You Want Your Video Ads to Tell

Now that you have your audiences, look back at those audiences and your goals. What kinds of stories are most likely to get those audiences to help you meet those goals?

If your goal is to attract a younger clientele to your Dublin restaurant, tell the story of a chef eager to explore new local flavors and serve exciting new menu items. If your goal is to increase the number of older professionals buying certificates of deposit at your Laurens County bank, tell the story of a woman who was able to retire a few years early thanks to the money she earned on CDs.

Every video ad you release will tell a story of some sort.

  • Video ads promoting products can tell the story of how the product helped customers, the story of the product’s development and why it was created, the story of how to use the product, etc.
  • Video ads promoting services can work in much the same way, with the added benefit of being able to show you or your team actually performing the service.
  • Video ads designed to increase audience engagement with your company and its products can tell the story of your company, the story of one of your employees, or even just the story of how your team unwinds together after a busy workweek.
  • Video ads can even tell bigger stories, explaining how your company, products, or services fit into the overall market or vertical.

Remember that good stories all share a very general and basic but effective structure:

  • The first “act” introduces the characters, setting, and situation – in an ad, this may be nothing more than seeing someone walk into a house and say, “Hi, Mom!”
  • The second “act” introduces the conflict – in ads, the conflict is generally a person vs. a pain point.
  • The third “act” introduces the solution – in this case, your products or services along with information about how to obtain them.

Step Four: Choose the Types and Styles of Video Ads

There are as many types of video ads as there are advertisers. There are even more styles of video ads. Now that you know what stories you’re going to be telling to what audiences in order to meet your goals, you can decide how you want to tell those stories.

First, you’ll need to determine what types of videos you’ll be presenting. Your ad campaign may use many different kinds of videos throughout the year, depending on each campaign’s specific audience and goal. While there are thousands of different types available, some of the most common are:

  • Commercials – 15-30-second narrative videos that promote your company or a single product/service – like this example that M&R produced for Public Service, a Georgia-based phone and internet service provider:

  • Social video – Short free-form video that targets engagement over promotion. Usually more “fun” than other types of videos, social videos may also leverage user-submitted content to really increase engagement.
  • Explainers – More in-depth videos that explain how your company solves one particular pain point. These videos answer three questions: What problems does the audience have? How can your company help them? Why should they choose you over another company?
  • Product video – These are more in-depth videos that go into more detail about a particular product or service and highlight its value propositions more thoroughly than a regular ad.
  • Testimonials – Some of the strongest videos you can use are testimonials, which let your audience hear from your existing customers about how your offerings made their lives better, easier, or more profitable.

As regards the style of your ad, you can go in almost any direction. Particularly for social media posts, almost anything goes. Companies have made highly effective ads of virtually every possible form – music videos, compilations of YouTube videos, “whiteboard” animation, and thousands of others. Some of the most general types include:

  • Lifestyle videos – Most TV ads are lifestyle videos – they show people who resemble the members of the audience (or people the audience might want to resemble) using the product/service to improve their lives. There may not be a “plot” to speak of, or there may be a narrative thread.
  • Documentary style – These are a great way to convey things like your company’s mission or vision. These are typically less visual than lifestyle videos and rely more heavily on voiceovers from you, your team, or your customers and less on flashy video and dramatic cuts.
  • Narrative style – Narrative video ads tell a story from beginning to end. These work great for potential customers who are just starting their buyer’s journey as it allows them to get an excellent beginning-to-end overview of how your product can solve their problems.
  • Animation – Animation is huge for several good reasons. It’s incredibly flexible, can be easily combined with other video styles, and with today’s powerful graphic and video editing software, animation is usually reasonably cost-effective. Take a look at this animated company overview for a local machine shop:

Remember that a single video ad may draw from multiple styles – an ad can be a documentary-style narrative or an animated lifestyle video. Whichever styles you choose, remember that they will directly impact the cost and effort required: lifestyle videos typically require more coordination and expense than documentary-style; animation will generally take longer to produce than live-action, etc.

Step Five: Choose the Platforms for Your Video Ads

Once upon a time, there were really only two options for putting a video advertisement in front of an audience:

  • Advertising on television
  • Advertising through movies and VHS/DVD rentals (a channel almost exclusively used by film studios)

Today, though, video can be everywhere. With nearly everyone carrying around a device capable of streaming high-definition video and every website in the world capable of hosting embedded video players, the problem now is narrowing down the field to just a few platforms for each campaign.

Again, the platforms you choose for your video ads will depend heavily on the audience you’re trying to reach and the message you’re trying to convey:

  • Your website is a great place for most of your videos. Embed ads, product videos, testimonials, and explainers in strategic locations on your site to keep your readers engaged and informed.
  • Digital advertising platforms such as Google Ads, YouTube ads, and social media paid ads are great for reaching engaged audiences that are already shopping in your market space.
  • Unpaid social media posts are the perfect home for engagement-targeting videos that help a primarily younger audience discover and engage with your brand.
  • Unpaid posting to YouTube is ideal for explainer, how-to, and documentary-style videos, as people are more used to watching longer-form videos on that platform.
  • Over-the-top (OTT) ads play before and during breaks in the middle of programs on streaming video services like Hulu and Peacock and are good for getting commercial-type video ads out to broad audiences.
  • Finally, don’t forget television. While still one of the more expensive advertising platforms, good old-fashioned TV still has great viewership numbers and is a fantastic method for reaching an older, local audience. (And, in Dublin, you have the advantage of being able to advertise effectively in 3 DMAs: Atlanta, Macon, and Savannah)

Remember that not every ad will be a good fit for every platform. While you can certainly still see positive impacts when you post the same ad to multiple channels, your best results will come when you create content that is explicitly tailored to each platform’s strengths.

Step Six: Budget for Your Video Ads

Now that you’ve finished steps 1-5, you can start figuring out your budget for each of your video ad campaigns. If you’re not experienced with budgeting for video, you’ll need to talk with a marketing expert, some video production companies, or a partner that you trust who does have video experience.

Remember to budget for incidentals along the way, and don’t forget things like licensing fees for popular music, ad placement fees, mastering (if you’re planning to share your ads on TV), and other expenses unique to the video production world.

With a completed set of goals, strategies, and a budget for carrying them out, you have a video ad strategy that can help your Dublin, Georgia, business really take off!

Ready to Develop a Video Strategy to Grow Your Business? We Can Do That. Give Us a Call and Speak to a Member of Our Sales Team Today: 478-220-4788

The talented team at M&R Marketing can help you develop an effective marketing strategy, including video marketing pieces that speak to and engage with your audiences. Then, let us help you carry out your strategy with turnkey video production services, from pre-production to finished product. Call and speak to one of our friendly business development managers and find out how M&R can put video to work for you.