“Either make something impactful, or don’t bother.”
That was the message Sally Hogshead, speaker and author of FASCINATE, delivered during her keynote presentation at Content Marketing World last year. In other words, when it comes to content marketing, the focus should always be on creating content with a purpose.
This is as true for video content as it is for eBooks, blog posts, whitepapers, or any other formats you’re looking to utilize. But not everyone does a great job of developing a content marketing strategy around the needs and pain points of their target audiences, and as a result, their efforts often fail to return the desired impact.
I recently read a post by marketing blogger Daniel Kuperman in which he advises folks to stop worrying so much about the challenges of content marketing and “just do it.” He reasons that if you don’t already have a content strategy in place, then essentially, anything you put out there is better than nothing.
While I’m all for the spirit of the post (content marketing does indeed rock, after all), I can’t get onboard with the whole “any content is better than no content” philosophy. In the worst-case scenario, a potential customer will see some sloppy, poorly thought-out video that reflects negatively on your brand. The best-case scenario? No one sees it at all and whatever resources you devoted to creating it are wasted.
To be fair, Kuperman notes that the goal shouldn’t be to publish lousy content, but rather to remove the stress and time of developing a fully-baked content strategy and just go for it. It’s an interesting idea, but I’d argue that companies (especially small ones) are better off choosing a single aspect of content marketing and focusing their efforts on doing that one thing really well. And with the technology at our disposal today (and with YouTube being the second largest search engine in the world), video content has become an increasingly valuable place to start.
Video Content Marketing that Matters
At Brainshark, the first thing we advise folks to do when embarking in video content marketing (or creating video content in general) is to identify their audience and the goals they want that content to achieve. When putting together a video presentation (or any other content type), first ask yourself – why am I doing this? For example:
- Are you trying to reach a specific segment or a broader base of potential customers?
- Is the purpose to simply increase the reach of your brand through thought leadership content? Or is it more specifically geared toward informing others about your product or service?
- Is this information that people are actually searching for? If so, how and where are they looking?
- If the video isn’t about something that your targets are actively engaging in, how will you deliver it to them in a compelling way?
Content and inbound marketing is more popular than ever these days. But it’s not popular because “videos are cool” or “blog posts are fun to write.” It’s because, when done right, a solid content strategy actually brings value to your business as a whole. That said, creating something “just because” without clearly defining the goals and objectives behind it is unlikely to yield quality results. You’re busy enough as it is – “just because” won’t cut it.
Of course, not every video you create will go viral; that’s not what this is about. But understanding the purpose – no matter how big or small – behind everything you create is what separates successful content strategies from otherwise fruitless endeavors.
There are numerous techniques out there for ensuring the content you have has the greatest possible impact (presentation best practices, SEO, social media marketing, etc.), but none of that matters much without this first step in place. It might seem like your content machine is rolling, but you’ll really just be spinning your wheels.
That’s what we call negative impact – and who wants that?