When I consult prospects and clients about video marketing, I always advice to start by first thinking about their viewers and not their product. It would be useless having a great video and not having the right target viewers for it. I come across so many videos that talk about the functions of a product or service and overlook what the real benefits are for the viewer. Whichever type of video you create, it needs to have its own goals and a defined distribution plan; likewise, performance should be measured and optimized as needed.To start with, there are a couple of key questions one has to take into consideration:1. What are the main goals of this video?These goals can be: viewers reach, engagement, shares, leads captured, play rates, click through rates, sales (yes, there are video platforms that allow you to have a buy now button), etc.2. Who will watch your video content?We need to first create a target viewer profile, preferably use an empathy map template to gain a deeper insight into their prospects. This would also help you identify what type of video should be created, tonality and attention span.3. Define what messages you want to communicate.I suggest to do this during a brainstorming session with at least another person that knows the product well. Write down all relevant key messages and then choose what is relevant to your prospect during each stage of your buyer’s journey. For this particular scenario, I suggest to first create a short video that explains why this product exists, introduces the product/service and gets viewers engaged. Then, create more in depth videos that can be shown to your audience when they are about to take a decision. I plan to write a more in-depth article on this.4. How are you planning to invite your audience to watch your video?In this case you would need to think about how you are going to drive traffic towards your landing page. That can be through paid advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, organic search, referral marketing, remarketing, social media marketing, online networking, forums, ect. This would all depend on your overall marketing strategy and the resources you have available.5. What would be the call-to-action/s at the end of your video?This depends on what are the desired actions you want your viewers to take after watching your video content. Since we emphasize so much on creating video content strategically, we strongly recommend to produce the same video ending with different call-to-actions. It would not make sense to end your video with “Book a free demo” and then this video is used during a sales meeting when your product is already being demonstrated. In this case, I suggest to end the video with a call-to-action that inspires the viewer to try out the product or the service today.6. Which video player should you use?The top 2 video players that everyone knows about are YouTube and Vimeo. Whilst both of them are top class video platforms, they have their own limitations such as for integrations with your CRM (customer relationship management) platform, integrations with your email marketing platform, thumbnail A/B split testing, lead capturing, marketing automation, etc. We use Wistia and I also recommend to check out Vidyard, Twentythree and VOO player.7. How would you measure engagement, actions and detect view drops? (Video analytics)Video marketers do not just measure video views. It would be very irresponsible to take strategic decisions based on just view count. Professional video marketers are more interested in overall engagement rates, actions taken before, during or after the video has been played, who watched their videos, how much of each video they’ve watched, drop rates etc.8. How could you capture leads with your video?Every business wants new leads and in this scenario, the majority of digital marketing efforts are focused on capturing new leads and get people started on a demo. In this case, there are 3 ways to capture leads using video:A. Capture a lead from the video itself: Advanced video platforms allow you to display a contact form known as turnstile at any time before, during or after the video is played.B. Contact form sitting next to the video on your landing page: This is the most common form that digital marketers use to capture a lead; the video on the left and a contact form next to it on the right.C. Show clickable annotations on the video itself: These would normally lead viewers to a contact form or another sales funnel page.D. Email gates: These are used normally for high value content where viewers are asked to give their email address to be able to watch the video.9. Where else could we show this video?Videos are not meant to live only at one place. Product videos can be used for pre-roll advertising, uploaded on social media channels, uploaded on YouTube, sent via email to your mailing list, used for automated marketing emails, shared on forums, embedded in blog posts, online & offline sales presentations, used for product launch events, expos and the list goes on and on.