One of the most common practices for many companies creating online videos is to commission a single video, then post it everywhere they can imagine from YouTube to the company home page to landing pages to their social media networks. Marketing executives have went through the tough process of figuring out what the video should say, how it should look and feel, and then hired a production company to create the perfect video, so they’re ready to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Unfortunately, creating one video for every outlet is a “one size fits all” mentality that is unlikely to yield the best results. I want to discuss an alternative strategy for video marketing already in use from many larger brands and discuss how to take their marketing strategy, scale it down, and make it more affordable.

Of course reading a blog from a video production company telling you that you need to make a separate video for every single platform or distribution tool sounds like biased advice and just an excuse for you to spend more money on marketing you don’t need. A closer examination of how your customers consume video content should help illuminate why a better strategy involving different videos is more effective, though. On social media, while scrolling through a Facebook feed for instance, people are much less likely to watch long videos; most people don’t even read long status messages. As short as 15 seconds can be effective for social media networks, but no longer than 60 seconds is appropriate. Make the video content shareable, which usually means funny.

Videos posted to social media aren’t about telling your customers every single feature of your product and service; they’re about increasing brand awareness and interest in your company. In many ways, the best social media ads are much like the best TV commercials: short and sweet. Using a specific company as an example, take the commercial spot that we created for Mr. Formal and imagine the 30 second version as the ideal social media video. How would the rest of the company’s video marketing strategy play out? Ideally, we would schedule a full day of filming at a Mr. Formal location with a spokesperson for the company speaking a bit about their services and offerings.

We could cut a video specifically tailored to people looking for tuxedos for a wedding, with common questions answered, maybe a few customer testimonials, and a bit about pricing or packages. The wedding-themed video would appear on a landing page on the company’s Website and appeal to people who are already interested in the company and interested in wedding tuxedo rentals.

Using other interview commentary gathered on the same day, we could cut a separate video for people looking to rent tuxedos for prom or other formal dance events. In both the wedding and dance videos, we could intercut some inexpensive stock footage if we didn’t have the budget to film any of our own event B-roll. On a slightly higher budget, we could send a videographer for a few hours to several events and gather our own B-roll. Another landing page would focus specifically on tuxedo rentals for dances and proms and feature the video specifically made for the page, which would provide information potential customers need to have to make a decision. The landing-page specific videos would run longer, probably 90 to 120 seconds, and both would be bolstered by customer testimonials in a perfect world.

With enough questions posed in the interview process, we would have plenty of material to make additional videos for other markets the company wanted to target, such as professional events, company functions, etc. Though it may be less relevant to a tuxedo rental company than, say, a doctor, lawyer, or dentist, we could also create a company history video or “about us” video that gives site visitors the chance to get to know the people in charge. Videos provide a much more personal glimpse into the company than text can possibly give. A separate video purely about pricing could be crafted for the company’s page about price options, discounts, and other offers.

When posting corporate videos to YouTube, a company should post all of their quality videos, but come up with titles that are likely to generate traffic. For instance, instead of “Mr. Formal Prom Video” the title might be “Portland tuxedo rental company for prom” or “How to rent tuxedos for your wedding” or whatever has the most juice with search results. On Facebook, you can still post all of the videos you make, but consider a strategy that involves them all in a way that makes sense. Use the shorter, catchy, high production value commercial spot as a hook to advertise your page and generate interest. Promote the video through paid Facebook ads and keep it in front of potential customers.

Once they like your page, they will see you have posted more specific, detailed videos about your company and what it offers. On the company home page, you may still elect to use the shorter, high production value video from your Facebook campaign because it immediately connects with visitors and gives them incentive to learn more about the company.

Not every company has the marketing resources and budget to cover production of dozens of specific videos, but why not come up with a rough plan of what video you want for each purpose? Production can be scheduled in such a way as to gather plenty of material so that creating additional videos is purely an editing task, which is much more cost-effective. For instance, with another Portland-area company, Passport Online, we created two separate videos on one shoot day, one of which focused on their suppliers and one that focused on their customers. Repurposing video content is a great way to create multiple videos but without the budget required for a bunch of separate productions. Early planning is the key to success with such a strategy, though, because you need to have a keen understanding of how each video should be used.