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10 Must-Have Video Strategy Skills Every Content Strategist Needs

“You HAVE to do video!”

How many times have you heard that one?

Well, there’s some truth to it.

YouTube has over 2 billion active monthly users who watch over a billion hours of content each day – it’s the second largest search engine.

Plus, high-quality video content can boost your broader SEO efforts. Create an awesome video, optimize those keywords, and you could find your content at the top of the Google search results in the video carousel.

google search how to skateboard

Source: Google

While most of the videos that make the carousel are from YouTube, websites uploading video files can find their content here as well (if it’s optimized correctly 😉).

That said, video alone isn’t what works.

You need solid video strategy skills if you want to level up your entire content strategy game. (And I know you do, right? 😏)

Here’s the thing: People think you need a massive production budget or tons of time to pull off successful videos. Not so!

The real secret lies in your video strategy skills. By understanding and sticking to the basics, you can create videos that earn views and inspire people to act.

10 must-have video strategy skills

10 Vital Video Strategy Skills Every Content Strategist Needs – Table of Contents

What are the Most Important Video Strategy Skills?

1. Decide What Kind of Value You’ll Provide

2. Consider How Video Will Fit into Your Content Strategy

3. Plan a Schedule and Stick to It

4. Research Your Keywords

5. Create a Loose Script

6. Use Live Video Sparingly

7. Repurpose Your Best Blogs

8. Choose the Perfect Call to Action

9. Watch Competitor Videos

10. Track Your Results and Adapt

10 Must-Have Video Strategy Skills for Consistent Engagement

Trends are fun to play with but you need to develop a solid foundation first. By focusing on strategy basics, I was able to earn Express Writers over 5 thousand clients and $4 million in sales without paying for a single PPC ad.

You can learn all the basics on how to build an effective content strategy in my Content Strategy & Marketing Course, but for now, let’s go over the essential video strategy skills.

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1. Decide What Kind of Value You’ll Provide

Before you can think of what you’ll cover in your videos, you’ll want to decide why people will want to watch them.

What value will you provide to viewers’ lives?

Will you:

  • Entertain or make them laugh?
  • Inspire them to improve their lives or help others?
  • Coach them through a tough time?
  • Teach them a new skill or craft?
  • Educate them about a new topic or idea?

Once you nail down the why behind your video marketing strategies, you’ll want to figure out how to set your videos apart from competitors. I call this your Content Differentiation Factor (CDF) in the Content Strategy & Marketing Course.

content differentiation factor

I recommend spending some time on your CDF because there are already 31 million YouTube channels as of 2019 and that figure grew 25% from the previous year. Competition is tight and most markets are already flooded with high-quality video content.

However, that’s not to say there isn’t room for more video! Just find your niche and decide how you’ll appeal to viewers in a unique way.

2. Consider How Video Will Fit into Your Content Strategy

Don’t improve your video strategy skills simply for the sake of creating a successful YouTube channel. Improve them as part of your overall content strategy.

Remember that you own your website – you’re in full control of it and no one can take it away from you. That’s why I recommend thinking of your website as your content house. Other platforms like guest blogging, YouTube, and social media are the proverbial roads that lead to your house.

outside roads pointing to content house

Of course, a monetized YouTube channel is gold but YouTube could demonetize you at any moment and you’ll be left in the cold – quite literally if you rely on that revenue to pay bills!

Instead, think of how you’ll use YouTube (or other video platforms) to drive website traffic, build your email list, and ultimately, drive more sales.

At this point you’ll also have to think about what kind of videos you’ll produce.

Will each video stand alone or will you create an episode-style series? How long will each video be?

Best practices for length vary by platform but tell you to err on the short side with videos of about 3 to 5 minutes. Take this recommendation with caution and learn about your audience to figure out the ideal length instead.

3. Plan a Schedule and Stick to It

Consistency is the key here. You don’t have to publish a new video every day or even every week, but you should at least give your subscribers a schedule to expect and build anticipation.

Since quality always beats quantity, consider publishing one or two well-produced videos each month. If you have the resources (and enough interesting topic ideas), then by all means, publish weekly or more often.

As you work on your video strategy skills, include some video content planning in your calendar. I like to plan my content at LEAST three months out through Airtable.

Planning your content calendar 30 to 90 days in advance gives you plenty of time to:

  • Find niche topics
  • Optimize your video title
  • Create custom thumbnails
  • Write your script
  • Watch competitor videos
  • Choose hot keywords

Back in September of 2018, I committed to releasing two videos each month. I followed that strategy for a year before dropping to one video per month in August of 2019.

Here I am a year and a half later earning 200 organic subscribers each month because I stuck to the basic video strategy skills and had awesome topic ideas.

The basic video marketing strategies are 100% worth the effort to learn and a consistent schedule is one of the most important ones. I promise.

Here’s a look at the calendar we use at Express Writers that I also use to teach students in my Content Strategy & Marketing Course.

EW content schedule

4. Research Your Keywords

Remember that YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine behind Google. And what goes hand-in-hand with search engines? That’s right: SEO!

Unfortunately, there aren’t extensive tools out there yet for researching YouTube keywords but you’re not completely out of luck. You’ll just need to use your video strategy skills.

My favorite tool is VidIQ. It helps you find hot keywords and tags, create custom thumbnails, track competitors, and much more.

Start by typing your topic into YouTube and see what comes up. When we type “lower ab workout” into the search bar, YouTube gives us a ton of keyword ideas with the suggested searches.

YouTube search ab workout

We could then click on the top result and scroll to the bottom of its description to check out the tags for some more ideas. “Lower belly” or “10 minute workout” could be additional launchpads for keyword ideas!

YouTube description tags

Like blog content, you’ll want to optimize your YouTube video title, description, and tags for your chosen keyword. We used the keywords “ThinkFun Gravity Maze unboxing” for my daughter Jaina’s YouTube video here:

Jaina YouTube description

Remember that you don’t have to win the top video slot to earn views. By optimizing your keywords and sticking to a consistent strategy, you may end up in the autoplay queue behind some of the most-watched videos in your industry.

5. Create a Loose Script

You wouldn’t jump straight into writing without an outline, right? Well, part of honing your video strategy skills involves writing scripts.

Now, you don’t have to stick with every script word-for-word but you should at least use it as an outline to guide the flow of your video.

Think about what makes a video awesome.

  • It has a beginning, middle, and end.
  • It focuses on one major topic.
  • It explains the benefits of watching at the beginning.
  • It summarizes the main points at the end.

Think of Gabe’s cinema of the unsettling in The Office when he said, “The filmmaker realized that even a narrative is comforting.”

It’s true! People expect videos to follow a familiar format of beginning, middle, and end. If you digress too far from a normal format, people will get confused.

6. Use Live Video Sparingly

I’ve got a major bone to pick with live video. Platforms like Facebook and YouTube might push you to use it, but the viewer engagement just doesn’t turn out.

Of course, if you’re hosting a Q&A or event, go for the live video to raise awareness and get some shares, but make sure you produce a higher quality version later.

Here’s my mini case study:

A live Facebook video I posted recently reached 3,873 people total. Only a fraction of that – 1.3k – viewed it for a “substantial” amount of time. (According to Facebook’s standards, that means approximately 3 seconds. Yikes!)

When I dug a little deeper into my analytics, I learned that only 562 people viewed the live Facebook video for more than 10 seconds. The average view time for a 35-minute live stream was 26 seconds. That’s nothing!

Meanwhile, another Facebook live video I posted about my work-from-home office last year only got 285 substantial views.

facebook live

But when I produce a high-quality YouTube video? NOW we’re talking engagement.

By applying my video strategy skills, researching topics and keywords, and following YouTube’s basics, my videos end up passing 17k. And the views keep rolling in months later without doing ANYTHING.

julia mccoy youtube engagement

Awesome, right? The numbers truly speak for themselves. Learning how to do video marketing and developing a strong set of video strategy skills are completely worth it.

Check out my YouTube channel and subscribe to learn more content strategy tips & tricks.

7. Repurpose Your Best Blogs

My Content Strategy & Marketing Course students know I’m a firm believer in stretching resources without sacrificing quality.

Why work harder than you need to create engaging video content?

Video is PERFECT for repurposing your top blog performers because you pretty much have a script or outline ready to go. Just make a few tweaks to format the narration for video and you’re good!

Plus, if a certain blog got 50k hits, you already know it’s a topic people care about. That means your risk of wasting time and money on a video that gets pitiful engagement is low.

Blogs in list format transfer into video format especially well. There’s just something about adding a number to your video title that makes people click and watch.

8. Choose the Perfect Call to Action

In the final 30 to 45 seconds of your video, you’ll want to hit your viewers with a CTA.

I usually end my videos by listing my social media handles (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) and reminding new viewers to subscribe (always a must on YouTube).

Now, your first idea might be to include a landing page link in your description and encourage viewers to click it during your video CTA.

Bad idea.

While it might seem smart to shoot for website traffic during your CTA, YouTube wants to keep viewers on its platform. If your viewers stick around and watch more YouTube content, YouTube’s algorithm will notice and reward you with better search rankings.

You’ll have better luck building a presence on YouTube and improving your SEO on the platform if you recommend more of your own content instead. I did that here by recommending my “How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy” video in the CTA of one of my latest videos:

youtube channel call to action

9. Watch Competitor Videos

You can’t create unique video marketing strategies if you don’t know what you’re competing against.

Every time you prepare to produce a new video, type your keyword into the YouTube search bar and see what’s already been done. Watch as much content as you can to create something that stands out and grabs attention.

YouTube’s algorithm pays attention to your click through rate as it decides how to rank your video. If people scroll past your video in the search results, YouTube will push it down farther and farther.

Scoping out your competitors can also help you find hot keywords and tags you may not have considered. Plus, using those same keywords could earn you a spot in the queue after their videos play!

10. Track Your Results and Adapt

Finally, video strategy skills aren’t complete without some good old-fashioned data.

No matter where you’re promoting your videos – YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram – each platform gives you plenty of metrics to work with.

Of course, you want people to watch your videos so metrics like watch time and audience retention are important. However, for long-term success you’ll want to look more towards engagement.

Are people subscribing to your channel or page? Are people reacting to your video and commenting?

Getting someone to watch your video is one thing, but interactions are a whole different ballpark of success.

video performance on facebook

Start Improving Your Video Strategy Skills Today

Video isn’t going anywhere – and video marketing strategies are only growing in importance. The world’s biggest markets like China, the United States, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia all boast online video penetration rates of over 85%.

Developing strong basic video strategy skills and learning how to do video marketing is one of the major keys to success in 2020 and the future.

Just remember that your video marketing strategies shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Use them as part of a wider content strategy.

Build a solid foundation for your video strategy skills. I teach everything you need to know in my extensive Content Strategy & Marketing Course.

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skills to learn for video strategy

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