Whether you’re a solo marketer or part of a production team, don’t let your hard work go to waste by publishing videos without a plan. Instead, you can make sure your videos reach your target audience with a well thought-out video distribution strategy. Creating a solid strategy requires understanding who your audience is, where they hang out online, and the kinds of video they like to consume.
Right now, the weakened economy is pulling marketing budgets down right alongside it. So video marketing pros have to to maximize the reach and impact of every video they create very carefully. Fortunately, all of the information you need for a more effective video distribution strategy is easy to find in our brand-new guide. We cover this topic at length in “How to create a contemporary video strategy,” a complete primer on creating an effective video strategy in today’s economy.
Learn video distribution strategy tips from the experts
In researching the guide, we spoke to numerous marketing and video production leaders for their advice on everything related to video strategy. We interviewed leaders from both from Storyblocks as well as enterprise partners Descript and HubSpot. Our expert line-up included:
- Kyle Denhoff, Director of Marketing, HubSpot
- Lara Unnerstall, Video Producer, Descript
- Ryan Vig, Marketing Leader, Descript
- Lauren Zoltick, Director of Performance Marketing, Storyblocks
- Kaitlyn Rossi, Senior Producer, Storyblocks
Download Storyblocks’ How to create a contemporary video strategy guide to learn proven strategies for boosting a video distribution strategy.
Choose a platform (or platforms) for your video distribution strategy
When planning your video distribution strategy, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions to determine the best approach for what you’re trying to achieve. For instance, which platforms have been successful in reaching your audience in the past? What other platforms are likely to help reach your objective? And which distribution channels require the most (and least) time and effort to produce content for? Answering these questions upfront will help guide your strategy when deciding where to publish new videos.
It’s also important to have a general understanding of how various content channels work. As Storyblocks’ Director of Performance Marketing Lauren Zoltick points out, audiences are drawn to certain platforms. That’s because these social media channels offer videos in a format, length, and style that certain audiences enjoy. “If you’re creating content for TikTok versus YouTube versus LinkedIn, it’s going to be different because people are going on those channels for different things. And they have different expectations from the brands or creators making content for them there,” she says.
Which social media platforms are a good fit for your video content?
Every social media platform is unique in its own way. TikTok, for instance, specializes in quick-hitting, short-form videos under two minutes. In comparison, YouTube is primarily focused on longer-format content. LinkedIn is geared towards a more professional audience and their networks. Getting a sense for what kind of content does best on which platform is a critical part of a successful video distribution strategy.
As Descript Video Producer Lara Unnerstall puts it, “You really just have to know what all the business goals are. Or what would best serve the audience you’re trying to reach. And then find the appropriate distribution channels and make content that is optimized for those channels.” For example, if your goal is to increase sales of a new software whose target audience is industry professionals, LinkedIn would be a good fit. It’s all about marrying your business goals, your audience, and the platform together in a way that fits your strategic goals.
We cover video distribution extensively in Part 3 of our Beginner’s guide to creating video series. If you missed it, it’s a great piece of supplemental content on this topic. And the whole series takes less than 10 minutes to watch.
Do more with less
As marketing purse strings have tightened this year, video marketers and producers are sharpening their focus to make the most of available resources. This means marketing pros are precision-targeting their video distribution strategy instead of taking a more scattershot approach. “In general, it’s better to focus on a specific target audience rather than trying to appeal to everyone,” says Descript Marketing Leader Ryan Vig. Focusing on one audience also helps to tighten up your messaging within your video, as Ryan points out. “It’s certainly tempting to try to reach as many people as you can with your videos. But that leads to a lack of focus, and probably a lack of efficiency, effectiveness, and resonance of your messaging,” he shares.
Most companies today lack the time and budget to invest in video for every available channel. It’s simply not in the cards in this environment. So video marketers should instead focus on distributing content where it’s most likely to advance their business goals.
Want to learn more about choosing the right platforms for your video distribution strategy? Download our How to create a contemporary video strategy guide today.
Test your video distribution strategy, then test it again
One thing video marketers love about social media as a video distribution channel is it allows them to experiment with different styles and formats at little to no cost. It’s not only a low-risk, budget-friendly way to try something new, it also can yield valuable data that helps determine where future content investments are best spent.
“Testing small” as we call it at Storyblocks is an iterative strategy we use when evaluating the effectiveness of the videos we create. By swapping out one small video element at a time, such as a thumbnail or the opening shot, we’re able to determine which are most likely to advance our strategic goals. But it’s important to remember to keep the number of things you’re testing in check. “Don’t test too many different things at once. If you’re trying to pit those against each other, it will be harder to figure out what exactly is driving more effectiveness in your creative,” advises Storyblocks Senior Producer Kaitlyn Rossi. Take testing both a new layout, font size and color scheme in your thumbnails for example. It’ll be tough to determine which of those two elements caused a change in your metrics once you see the results.
Social media platforms are a treasure trove of data
Testing isn’t just something to be done at the beginning of a shoot, however. It provides useful benchmarks you can reference and compare throughout the entire production process. Social platforms provide tracking tools with all kinds of valuable data for you to use after publishing your video. For instance, you can track your video’s metrics over a week-long period. Then you can see how it’s tracking against some of your highest performing content on the same platform. If it’s a low-performing video, try changing up the title and take note of any changes in views.
However you iterate and test, it should be a highly repeatable process that yields unbiased results. HubSpot Director of Marketing Kyle Denhoff’s top testing tip is to bake it into your post-production and video distribution plan. “Then [you can] set milestones for yourself to evaluate your videos you’ve created over a longer period of time,” he says. Having long-tail test results like that can help prove out the results, instead of relying on one-off experiments. Proving out your data helps avoid going all in on something that may not return the same results when tested again.
Social platforms often conduct tests of their own, adding new features and functions on an experimental basis. Video teams and marketers who are fast on their feet can usually reap supersized organic reach by riding the initial wave of when these features debut. “It’s just about staying nimble,” Lauren says. “So it’s about having that agility, staying flexible, and trying to create content that’s evergreen. Or [creating content that] could be repurposed in different ways.” Following accounts that share product updates for platforms is a great way to stay ahead of the game.
Learn more about video distribution straight from the pros
Video marketers and production teams across every business sector are grappling with shrinking budgets this year. One way they’re managing to do more with less is by carefully refining their video distribution strategies. If you want to read more from the experts we interviewed, download our How to create a contemporary video strategy guide for free today.