Brands often conceptualize video assets as individual inputs—a great product launch video or an explainer film to give their messaging context, for example. However, as video marketing matures, it’s important to think about how you’ll nurture a viewer across an ecosystem of video experiences and, ultimately, drive the conversion.
Having a sequencing plan and using storytelling to drive that momentum forward is how top brands are using video content marketing to shape the entire customer experience.
Phased block planning is one strategy marketers are using to create ongoing story arcs for video marketing campaigns. But what is it, exactly? The Adidas marketing team, who’ve typically approached their video planning trajectory using this specific format, describes it as “one campaign split into multiple, time-separated phases, all targeted at the same audience,” in an interview for Think with Google.
According to the article, these phases have typically focused on three core things: driving awareness, action, and educating consumers. The piece goes on to say that Adidas has subsequently adopted ad sequencing tools and other approaches to further increase their success.
However, for the marketer who’s struggling to conceptualize how to develop a coherent framework for a longer video campaign, phased block planning offers a nice starting point. The goal is to think about a campaign spread out over a period of time, with a series of assets that build on each other and ultimately guide your audience through the whole collection.
Consider the case of a product launch, which might run for a month, depending on the industry. By developing video assets that are designed to address raising awareness, educating prospects, and finally driving viewers toward a conversion, video marketing follows a familiar pathway to the customer journey map. In the case of Adidas, they describe how using a new distribution methodology—essentially an ad sequencing tool—can help speed up the rate at which audiences consume their videos.
Image source: Hermes Rivera on Unsplash
One of the most important aspects to consider with video content marketing is how you’ll fit these assets together. It’s easy to default to being tactical, but as the Harvard Business Review points out, you don’t want to lose sight of the larger mission: setting pathways to create demand. In short, leave the innovation for the actual storytelling.
“The search, content, and loyalty campaigns that most managers call marketing these days are common downstream tactics for generating or maintaining awareness or repeat purchase; the full, business-growing power of the marketing function comes way upstream—from creating markets,” HBR explains. “Understanding people’s fundamental needs and drivers, identifying customers, and developing the entire go-to-market and usage ecosystem are the essential aspects of marketing—and the ones that the success of innovations, especially breakthrough ones, hinge upon.”
Whether you’re thinking about a 15-second video for social or a lengthier one that looks at your brand’s impact in greater depth, it’s important to consider your larger video marketing experience. Storytelling is one thread that can help you connect with your audiences and keep them coming back for more. And by developing a campaign that uses phase blocking and is anchored around stories, marketers can better speak to their audiences, play to different drivers and perceptions that underscore a product’s appeal, and engage customers more deeply.
If you’re tackling your first large video campaign or you’re working toward systematic storytelling in video format, here are a few strategies that’ll set you up for success.
In today’s world of video content marketing, a single great video is no longer enough. Today’s marketers need to push the boundaries of how they think about videos and develop stronger arcs that build on narratives throughout non-linear, yet highly personalized, customer journeys. By creating a strategy that’s built around phased block planning and supported by strong storytelling and distribution, you’ll be poised to forge deeper connections with your audience.
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Featured image attribution: Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash