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video marketing strategy

Don’t Make Video An Afterthought. Enhance Your Video Marketing Strategy.

Insights from Yara Ohashi, Head of Digital Marketing, Americas and APAC at iStock who shares how to improve your video marketing strategy.

Why a Video Marketing Strategy

We’re just over one year into the pandemic — and even though we’re starting to see places open up again, small businesses face tremendous uncertainty in the months ahead. According to Yelp’s Local Economic Impact Report, more than 150,000 businesses have permanently closed due to the pandemic; and many have had to find new ways of engaging with their customers. A report from GetApp found that 92% of small businesses pivoted in at least one way throughout the last year, with many becoming increasingly reliant on digital strategies to stay relevant and more importantly: to stay in business.

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As the digital space becomes even more cluttered than it was before, small businesses will need to find ways to cut through the noise and reach consumers. According to a recent Hubspot report, 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, up from 61% just five years ago in 2016. It’s clear: video is the storytelling and communication medium of today. For SMBs in particular, it enables audiences to gain deeper insight into how a product or service works, or find out more about your brand and what you have to offer. In short: video is no longer a “nice-to-have” marketing tool — it’s essential.

While you are looking for ways to keep your budget in check, there are various tools and ways to use video that cut cost without cutting impact. Here are a few tips to integrate video into your marketing strategies and enhance your video marketing strategy.

Tap into the world of stock video.

While video production and equipment can be costly, stock video has proven to be a much more efficient — and cheaper — alternative to injecting video into your marketing efforts. Stock videos can serve as elevated visuals that complement still images to tell a story and reach an audience, and are particularly useful for commercials, advertisements, and b-roll. While video can cost more than photos or illustrations, “87% of video marketers say video, in general, gives them a good return on their investment,” according to a report by Wzyowl. There are many sites (like that offer free stock footage, but if you’re looking for a wide range of high-quality videos that come with appropriate licensing needs, check out iStock.

Maximize the reach of your videos by adding keywords.

No matter how slick your visuals are, if they aren’t seen by your target audience, they won’t have the intended outcome. Including SEO keywords is a simple, yet often overlooked, step for video optimization, and it is essential for successful digital marketing. Start by conducting a keyword search on your video’s topic — there are a few tools, like Keywords Everywhere, that will generate words to use and let you know how often they appear in search engine results. Once the keywords have been selected, use them in places like the video title, description (keep it short!), file name, and any promotional content posted on the web or social media. It’s important that the keywords flow throughout the content, which will result in a higher likelihood of appearing in search results. Adding keywords is key for maximum reach!

Inject videos with representation.

People are craving authentic diversity and representation in their visual content not only as a means to create an emotional connection with brands, but also as a foundation to make purchasing decisions. According to iStock’s Visual GPS report, which surveyed more than 10,000 consumers and professionals around the world, 52% of respondents started purchasing from brands that include realness and integrity in their visuals. Our search terms also show an increased appetite for more diverse visuals: “unretouched photos” is one of the fastest-growing search terms on iStock, and searches for “body positivity” have increased 478% since last year. Video that includes people of different races, ages, ethnicities, body types, abilities, and more has become increasingly important to successful marketing campaigns and businesses’ bottom lines.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe there was a time when a majority of marketing budgets were used on in-store experiences, physical displays, catalogs, and print materials. As your business navigates the next few months, finding ways to be creative and efficient with your video strategy will empower your business to reach and connect with your audience in a more effective and meaningful way. Small businesses will undoubtedly make a comeback — and video can help get you there.

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