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How A Strategy Can Help You Create Video Content Worth Watching

[Editor’s note: Happy Holidays! This week, the editorial team at Content Marketing Institute wanted to share some of the best content marketing blog posts we’ve seen from the CMI Online Training and Certification program’s roster of expert instructors. Today’s post originally appeared on Shelly Bowen’s Pybop LLC blog on April 25, 2013.]


diagram-enterprise content strategy-video contentVideo today is like desktop publishing was 15 years ago — everyone thinks they can do it,” a colleague said recently. And the fact is, anyone can create a video. A video worth watching? That’s a whole ‘nother story.

I recently wrote a one-minute video content script for a brand introduction video. It included voiceover, visual text, and descriptions of imagery for context.

I admit, I had more fun than I’ve had creating content in a long time. The voice, the rhythm, even the messages came fairly easily to me — the biggest challenge was to control the voice (I have a tendency to go overboard before drawing it all back to reality) and keep it down to one minute. And they loved it. Which always makes me super happy.

Yes, this kind of project can just as easily be a ROYAL pain in the you-know-what, with a lot of back-and-forth. Or result in something that’s not worth sharing. You know what made it work? 

Content strategy!

So maybe that was obvious to you. But it isn’t always to companies that need content written or edited. I had just completed the enterprise (or web) content strategy for the brand a few weeks prior to the video project. Before I even started writing the script for this video content, I had an advantage. Here was my process:

  • Reviewed my interviews with their team, the core messaging document, and the approved sample content
  • Watched and deconstructed their favorite I-want-it-to-be-something-like-this videos
  • Imagined the overall themes provided by the film director (I took a walk for this part) and how to use these themes to tell a great brand story
  • Decided on who was talking (I, they, we?), and to whom
  • Sketched a quick outline of the really important points they wanted to get across
  • Dove in to writing, pushing the copy into strange places before pulling it back again and keeping the good stuff (and tossing the cliches, cheesiness, and redundancies that happen to all writers — that does happen to all writers, right?)

What about video content strategy, you ask?

Content is just easier to develop when you have the content strategy. I didn’t have a video content strategy, which would be a subset of the enterprise content strategy, detailing the video content efforts as a whole. But the fundamental elements were there. I still needed to consider how the story fit in context of the immediate delivery method, (surrounding stories and situations), what came before and what happens after, and all the other good stuff I discovered during the content strategy audit and analysis.

So whenever someone asks you about your video content strategy, your mobile content strategy, social media content strategy, or any (insert-online-delivery-method-here) content strategy, start with the foundation — your enterprise or overall web content strategy. That makes everything soooo much easier.

More video content strategy resources for you

Stay tuned for more details on the CMI Online Training and Development program. And if you are looking for more guidance on developing a content marketing strategy, read CMI’s Content Marketing Framework: 7 Building Blocks to Success.