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A mere two years ago, Mark Zuckerberg predicted that most of the content on Facebook would be video by 2021.

But in the world of digital, two years is a long time (after all, two years ago, who could have predicted Zuck’s congressional testimony would be one of the most hotly memed events of the year?) and now video—or at least, certain types of video—may not be stealing the show as much as we had thought.

That’s because Facebook’s algorithm change is prioritizing content that drives active engagement (think commenting and sharing), over content that drives passive engagement (watching, reacting).

So while video in and of itself isn’t being seen less on your news feed, that text post from your stuck-in-the-1850s uncle that’s generating some serious family drama in the comments will be pushed to the top over that cute kitten video none of your actual FB friends are commenting on every time.

What’s more, maybe it’s time to admit that video isn’t always the answer; as argued in this hot take, there are downsides to video for both the consumer and the marketer.

Still, this isn’t a post about why you should smash your tripod and swear off video forever. The reality is that video marketing is worth your investment—it just has to be done properly.

Put on your old-school journalist hat—here are the five Ws (with a bonus H thrown in) of video marketing.

What is the goal?

So you think it’s time to do some video marketing. Why?

“Because everyone else is doing it” isn’t a good answer. After all, if everyone else jumped off a bridge…

But odds are, your brand could probably benefit from video marketing. The key is figuring out what your goal is.

Are you trying to...

  • Entertain?
  • Educate?
  • Tell your brand story?
  • Showcase a product or service?

There’s nothing wrong with creating content that only exists to entertain—so long as it aligns with your brand’s goals. If you’re using video to sell a specific product or service, be sure to provide value to the watcher, whether that’s providing some laughs, ala Squatty Potty, or explaining a larger concept, like MuleSoft.

Who is going to watch it?

As with all things, know your audience. Some audiences are more likely to watch videos than others, period, and different types of videos will appeal to different people based on anything from their age to their interests. Before you produce your video, you should be sure that the people you’re producing it for will want to watch it.

Where will it live?

Will the video be the first thing a user sees when they visit your homepage? Will it live on your YouTube channel? Will you use it in AdWords Display Network, or will it be ephemeral content for your Instagram?

Determining where people will see your video will help you decide how you want to produce it. After all, busting out lighting and mics for your Insta story vid is probably overkill. Social videos with narration should always account for captions, as most people won’t listen with the sound on, at least at first. And viewers on your site or YouTube channel may be more receptive to watching a longer video than someone scrolling by on social.

When will it stop being relevant?

In the marketing world, content usually falls into one of two categories: evergreen and temporal. Evergreen content is essentially always relevant; temporal content is timely.

While both types are useful, evergreen content is ideal because its ROI only grows over time. (Like a tree!) Invest more in production value for these types of videos.

But flashback to the intro of this post, and you’ll be reminded that always in motion, the marketing landscape is.

As your industry, brand or product changes, your content will need to change with it. As you create your evergreen video content, be thinking of ways you can easily make changes or updates over the years that won’t require you to completely redo your video.

Why would someone stop and watch?

Find the X factor. Whether it’s making your talent eat worms (oops, that’s Fear Factor...) or just catching the viewer’s eye with unique animation, the content and the creative of the video both need to be outstanding enough to compete for attention with all the other videos on the interwebz.

Think about what compels you to stop and watch a video. What convinces you to grab your headphones and turn the sound on? What prompts you to share it, tag a friend or comment?  Create your videos with the goal of gaining active engagement.

How are you producing it?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to tackle some logistics. Knowing how your end product will be used will inform how you can create it. Maybe your video needs animation, voice-over, paid talent and professional editing—or maybe you can go the DIY route. It all depends on those five Ws.

For nonprofits or anyone else trying to keep it simple, these tips for shooting video on a smartphone will help you shoot better on a budget. If you’re ready to make a bigger splash, our team of experts can help with everything from scripting to color correction—give us a call at 402.437.0000 or email us at hello@firespring.com.