Video Marketing: The Definitive Guide

This is a complete guide to video marketing.

In this in-depth guide you’ll learn:

  • How to create awesome video content
  • How to promote your videos
  • How to use videos to increase conversions
  • Lots more

So if you’re ready to go “all in” with video, this guide is for you.

Let’s dive right in.

Video Marketing: The Definitive Guide

Chapter 1:Video Marketing Fundamentals

Video Marketing Fundamentals

In this chapter I’ll help you get a handle on the fundamentals.

So if you’re new to video, or want to make sure you’re on the right track, you’ll love this chapter.

Then, in later chapters, we’ll cover advanced tips, techniques, strategies and case studies.

But for now, let’s cover the basics of video marketing.

What Is Video Marketing?

Video marketing is the practice of planning, creating, editing, publishing and promoting video content in an effort to promote a brand, business or product. Common platforms that businesses use for video marketing include YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Vimeo and Instagram.

Why Is Video Marketing Important?

Video is quickly becoming the de facto content format online.

In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that 2020 will be “the year of video”.

With that, let’s quickly look at some key video marketing statistics…

82% of internet traffic will be video by 2022 (Cisco).

82% of internet traffic will be video by 2022

The world’s largest video platform, YouTube, is the 2nd most popular website on the planet (Alexa).

Alexa: Ten most popular websites

And people don’t just visit YouTube. They spend significant amounts of time there. In fact, people watch 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day (YouTube).

People watch 1 billion hours of YouTube every day

(That’s more than Netflix and Facebook video combined)

The average user spends 40 minutes per day watching YouTube… just on mobile devices (comscore).

The average user spends 40 minutes per day watching YouTube just on mobile devices

Even social media sites not seen as traditionally video-focused are transitioning to video.

In fact, 60% of internet users now watch videos on Facebook (emarketer).

What platforms do US digital video viewers use to watch digital video?

When you dig deeper, you realize that online video is a lot more than cute cat videos.

In fact, consumers are using video to help them make decisions about what to buy and who to buy it from.

72% of consumers prefer to watch a video about a product than read a product description (HubSpot).

72% of consumers prefer to watch a video about a product than read a product description

Half of internet users look for a video before visiting a store (Google).

Half of internet users look for a video before visiting a store

And 90% of consumers state that video “helped them make purchasing decisions” (Forbes).

90% of consumers state that video "helped them make purchasing decisions"

Why More Businesses Are Going All In With Video

Not surprisingly, more businesses are using video as part of their marketing campaigns.

87% of businesses now use video to help market their product and services (WyzOwl).

87% of businesses now use video to help market their product and services

80% of marketers state that they’re happy with the ROI that they get from video ads (Animoto).

80% of marketers state that they are happy with the ROI that they get from video ads

93% of marketers report that video has helped them get more customers (Animoto).

93% of marketers report that video has helped them get more customers

And maybe the most interesting statistic of all…

Because video has such a high ROI, 99% of marketers state that they plan on continuing using video as part of their digital marketing this year (WyzOwl).

99% of marketers state that they plan on continuing with video this year

How to You Develop a Video Marketing Strategy?

Back in the day, video was a tactic that you threw into your content marketing now and again.

But to succeed with video marketing today, it’s important to have a solid strategy that you can use.

Your video marketing strategy should include:

  • Researching your customer’s pain points
  • Developing topics that solve your customer’s problems
  • Outlining or scripting out your video content
  • Developing a unique look and feel for your brand’s videos
  • Shooting and editing your videos
  • Incorporating videos into your text-based marketing content
  • Distributing your videos on social media and dedicated video platforms (like YouTube)
  • Measuring the results of your videos
  • Improving your content strategy based on data and feedback from your target audience

How Video Has Helped My Business Grow

My business is a living example of the power of video.

I created my first online video in 2013.

My first online video 2013

I was just starting out. I didn’t have a production budget. So I asked my friend to come over and film the video with his DSLR camera.

Because it was my first video, I was SUPER nervous.

Fortunately, people generally liked it.

My first video comments

(Even though, as you can see, I desperately needed a haircut).

Flash forward to today, and I’ve produced hundreds of videos for YouTube, my own website, and for our online courses.

Hundreds of videos

And, unlike my first video that only got about 200 views, 160k people now see my videos every month.

Backlinko – YouTube Monthly viewers

I should also point out that a good chunk of these folks ultimately become customers.

In fact, according to our most recent customer survey, a significant amount of new customers specifically cited our videos as a reason they decided to sign up.

Videos convinced users to sign up

Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot about video marketing over the last 6+ years.

And I’m going to share everything I’ve learned in this guide.

Which leads us to chapter 2…

Chapter 2:Video Content Templates

Proven Video Content Templates

In this chapter I’m going to give you four proven video content templates.

These are detailed templates that will help you plan, outline, script and film your videos.

You can use these different types of videos for social media posts, landing pages or your business’s homepage.

So if you’ve ever struggled with the video creation process, these templates will come in handy.

Template #1: The How-to Video

The How-to Video is just like it sounds…

It’s a video that shows someone how to do something, like bake a cake or do a pushup.

For many businesses, how-to videos will be your bread-and-butter. In fact, how-to videos are like a video version of blog content. They’re not designed to convert people right then and there.

But how-to videos ARE great for getting your brand in front of potential customers. So, along with product demos, I recommend using them in your video marketing.

Here’s the template:

Template: The how-to video

Let’s break each element down.

Intro=Video Preview

The main goal of your preview is to let your viewer know they’re in the right place.

In other words:

There’s no need to tell people why your topic is important. If they landed on your video, they already know it’s important.

This is a mistake I made a lot with my early videos.

Instead of jumping right into the content, I’d go into a long backstory.


Spoiler alert: people HATED these intros. And they clicked away.

(Not to mention the fact that, again, I really needed a haircut 🙂 )

Today, my intros are short, sweet and to-the-point.


Which has dramatically improved my average Audience Retention.

Improved my average audience retention

Steps or Tips

Now it’s time for the meat of your content.

Depending on your video, you may outline a series of steps. Or give people a list of tips.

For example, this video from my channel lists out a series of 9 traffic strategies.

On the other hand, this video outlines a specific step-by-step process.

If you watch those videos, you’ll notice that the structure is basically the same.

The only difference is that the steps are in a particular order. While the strategies can be in pretty much any order.

That said, there’s one BIG thing to keep in mind with this section of your how-to video:

Keep things moving.

In other words: there’s no need to cover everything there is to know about a step or tip. Yes, you should cover each step in-depth. But as soon as you’ve covered the basics, it’s time for the next step.


Well, it’s no secret that people online have super short attention spans. And if you go on and on about the same topic, you’re gonna lose your viewer’s attention.

For example, I used to spend 2-3 minutes on a single step or tip.


And people got REALLY bored.

Today, I spend about 30-60 seconds per tip. And then move right into the next thing I want to cover.


That way, my video content moves fast… which keeps people engaged.

Wrapping Up

Now that you covered your last step, what’s next?

Well, I don’t recommend ending your video out of nowhere. That’s super jarring.

Instead, you want to quickly cover 3 main things in your video conclusion:

  • A quick recap
  • Examples
  • Next steps

For example, in this video, I recap things with:

Quick video recap

Note that I don’t repeat the same tips they just heard about.

Instead, I quickly outline what they learned… and start to transition into the end of the video.

And if you have any more examples of how this process helped you, a customer or a friend, mention them here. You probably already mentioned a few examples in the steps section of your video. But feel free to add one more here.

This final example gives people motivation to take action on what they just learned.

Finally, let people know the next steps.

If they’re watching your video on YouTube, it might be to subscribe to your channel.

If you’re hosting your video on your own website, you might ask them to subscribe to your newsletter.

Either way, make sure to cap off your video with a clear set of next steps.

Here’s an example:

End of video – Next steps

Template #2: Product Demo

If you want to show off how your product works, nothing beats video.

Here’s the template I recommend:

Template: Product demo

Introduce The Problem

Lots of product demo videos start off with why their product is so great.

And it’s a HUGE mistake.

Yes, you can show off your product in the beginning of your video. But only for a second.

That’s because the goal here isn’t to show off your product (yet).

Instead, the goal of this section is to quickly (and I mean quickly!) introduce the problem that your product solves.

This is an old infomercial trick that 1000% applies to product videos.

If you’ve ever been up at 3am flipping through the channels, you’ve probably come across an infomercial.

Huggle Hoddie – Infomercial

And if you watch them closely, you’ll notice that 80-90% of the infomercial isn’t about the product itself. It’s about the problem the product solves.

(Especially in the beginning of the infomercial)

For example, the Huggle doesn’t start off with features, benefits and prices. Instead, they spend the first few seconds outlining the problem.

Huggle Hoodie – Infomercial problem

That way, when they DO reveal their product, viewers are primed to buy.

Tease The Solution

Now that you’ve hit the viewer’s pain points, it’s time to tease a better way.

There are a few ways to go about this.

The first is to cover common solutions that people use to solve the problem you just introduced.

For example, this video shows how most people get stuff notarized (and how much of a pain it is).

People waiting to get stuff notarized

You can also just say something straightforward like: “If you’ve ever struggled with X, there’s a new way to solve X that works great.”

Product Reveal

Now it’s time for the fun stuff: showing off your product.

This is the part of your video where you finally reveal your product or service.

(Or, as infomercials like to say: “Introducing The Dog Snuggie!”).

No need to be fancy here. Just show a nice shot of your product with an excited introduction.

Here’s a great example:

Product reveal introduction

Features and Benefits

Now that people have seen your new product, it’s time to cover some key features and benefits.

These benefits depend a lot on the type of product you’re showing off.

If it’s software, you want to show all the cool things your software can do.

If your product is a supplement, you want to go into the key ingredients and why it works.

Product features and benefits

Examples and Testimonials

Next, it’s time to show off examples, case studies and testimonials.

Octasense does a great job weaving case studies into their product videos:

Product examples and testimonials

Call To Action

Finally, it’s time for a CTA.

Most of the time, this will be a CTA to make a purchase.

But that does depend on your product or service. Let’s say you’re selling a $50k piece of factory equipment.

In that case, your CTA might be “learn more” or “book a demo”.

Either way, you want to give your viewer something specific to do after they finish your video.

Template #3: Explainer Video

Here’s where you explain a tricky concept… a concept tied to your product or service.

Here’s the step-by-step process.

Template: Explainer video

The Big Intro

Here’s where you introduce your concept. There’s no need to beat around the bush here. Just let them know what you have in store for them.

For example, TransferWise gets right into what their video is all about.

TransferWise – Big intro

The Questions

Before you dive into your explanation, ask a few key questions that people have about this concept

For example, this cool Explainer Video about APIs asks questions like “How does data get from here to there?”.

API explainer video – Question

These questions make the person watching SUPER curious about your explanation.


Because these are questions they’ve probably wondered themselves. And when you ask those same questions early on, it makes your viewer PRIMED to keep watching.

The Explanation

Now it’s time for the meat of your explainer video: the explanation.

How you structure this depends a lot on what you’re explaining.

But in general, you want this section to be pretty short. Just enough to give someone a basic understanding of the concept.

In other words: you’re not trying to give your viewer a PhD on your topic. Instead, you’re giving them enough information so they have the basics down.

Here’s a great example:

The Product Tie-In (Optional)

If you want to use your explainer video to pitch your product or service, now’s the time to do it.

The key here is to have a smooth transition from your explanation to your product. In other words: it shouldn’t feel like an ad tacked on at the end of the video.

Spiel Creative does a brilliant job with their Product Tie-In section.

Spiel Creative – Product tie-in

Template #4: The Case Study

It’s no secret that case studies can boost conversion rates on landing pages, webinars and more.

And if you want to get more results from them, I highly recommend video customer testimonials.

There’s nothing more powerful than seeing a living, breathing person talking about how great your company is. Text simply can’t compare.

With that, here’s how to structure your video case studies and testimonials for maximum effect.

Template: The case study

The Brief Background Story

You want to start your case study off by answering the question:

“Who is this person?”.

In other words:

Don’t kick off your case study video with your customer talking about how great you are. Instead, ask your customer to briefly describe who they are and where they’re at in life.

That way, your viewer has a chance to relate to that person (which is KEY).

For example, in this case study video, one of our students starts off with a brief outline of who they are.

Don's video – Brief outline

(Note: I always ask our customers to describe their experience in their own words. That way, their case study video looks legit and authentic… because it is).

The “Before”

The main goal of this section is to outline where your customer was BEFORE they tried your product.

If you’re a fitness coach, this could be your client describing how they struggled with their weight after having their first kid.

Or if you sell productivity software, it could be a busy executive talking about how they felt overwhelmed.

For example, you can see in this video Don describes how he struggled with content creation:

Don describes how he struggled with content creation

The “After”

Now that your customer has established who they are and where they’re coming from, it’s time to get into the results.

Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t recommend telling your customers what to say or how to say it.

But if possible, encourage them to share specific results in their own words.

And remember: these results don’t have to be mind-blowing.

In fact, moderate results (like losing 10 pounds) are sometimes better because they’re more relatable.

For example, let’s look again at Don’s case study video.

Don's case study video

His results are impressive (ranking #1 for his target keyword), but very relatable.

The Recommendation

Finally, it’s time for your customer to answer the question: “What would you tell someone that’s on the fence?”.

Here’s an example:

Don's recommendation

Now that you have these four templates in-hand, it’s time to cover video tools and equipment.

Chapter 3:Video Equipment Checklist

Video Equipment Checklist

Do you need to invest in some equipment to make high-quality videos? Yes.

Does this equipment need to break the bank?


In fact, you can usually get all the equipment you need to shoot GREAT videos for a few hundred bucks.

And if you’re on a really tight budget, I’ll show you a few hacks you can use to produce pro videos without breaking the bank.

Let’s dive in.

Your Location

Yup, cameras and mics are important.

But nothing is more important than where you shoot.

Think about it:

You can have the best camera in the world. But if you shoot in a closet, your video is going to look horrible.

On the other hand, if you shoot in a well-lit room, you can make really nice videos with an iPhone.

That said, when it comes to shooting marketing videos, you have a few different location options:

Your Home or Office

Most homes and offices can be converted into a makeshift video studio.

That said, here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to shooting at home:

  • Pay close attention to echo and noise: Houses and offices aren’t set up for audio recording (why would they be?). So double check that the room doesn’t have a lot of echo (reverb) or noises from the outside. Bad audio can kill an otherwise great video.
  • Clean background: Find a room that has a neutral background. Or a static background that’s not distracting (like a bookshelf).
  • Consistent lighting: Natural light looks great. But it’s unpredictable. So make sure that you can control the lighting in your room with curtains or shutters.

In fact, I shot a lot of my early videos in my apartment.

Brian Dean – Apartment video

And thanks to a fairly soundproofed room, a clean background and nice lighting, they came out pretty good.

But not nearly as good as when I shoot in the studio.

Speaking of…

A Pro Studio

After shooting a handful of videos in my house, I quickly realized something:

The videos looked OK. But I was spending HOURS setting up and taking down lighting, backgrounds and soundproofing. My living room went from a place to chill to a brightly-lit video studio with stuff everywhere.

Not good.

So one day I decided to try a photography studio.

The videos looked well-lit and clean… but the audio was terrible.


(And, as I’ll cover in a minute, how your video sounds is actually more important than how it looks)

Finally, I went to a proper video studio. This time the videos looked AND sounded great.

Proper video studio lighting and sound

Plus, I didn’t have to turn my living room into a studio every time I wanted to shoot. I just showed up… and the camera, lighting and background was already set up for me.

Brian in studio


So that’s the big upside of using a studio: it’s super convenient.

Yes, you MIGHT be able to film studio quality videos in your home or office. But you also have to set everything up (and take it down) whenever you want to shoot.

The downside of a studio is that they can be expensive. The exact price depends on the studio. I’ve personally paid between $800 (Berlin) and $5k (NYC) for a single day of shooting.

On Location

This can be outside. At an event. Or anywhere that’s not where you normally shoot.

The upside of on location shoots is that they look interesting and dynamic.

I used to shoot my video intros outside for this exact reason:

Brian Dean – Outdoor video intro

Yes, these look great. But they were a giant pain in the butt.

Why? Because these location shots made our shots 10x more complicated. Lighting, audio, noise, rain, snow, other people… can (and will) affect your shoot.

Which is why I recommend avoiding on location shots when you’re first starting out. Then, once you get a handle on the basics, feel free to spice things up with an on location shoot.


Now that you have a location, it’s time to pick a camera.

There are (literally) thousands of cameras to choose from.

But I recommend using a DSLR camera.

DSLR camera


Three reasons:

First, they’re pretty cheap.

Compared to most video cameras, DSLRs are super cheap. In fact, this highly-rated DSLR on Amazon is only $400.

Canon DSLR camera - Price

Second, they’re easy to use.

If you’re used to filming with your iPhone, you don’t know how good you have it until you’ve tried a fancy video camera.

Most high-end video cameras are PACKED with features and settings that you’ll never use. Sure, DSLRs have a learning curve. But they’re basically point and shoot.

Third, the videos look great.

As long as you have solid lighting, you can shoot super pro videos with a DSLR. And lots of them now even support 4k.

In fact, this video was shot with a cheap DSLR.


If you want to shoot pro videos, you need a tripod. There’s no two ways around it.

Fortunately, there are lots of tripods that are designed specifically for DSLRs.

DSLR tripods


Most cameras (including DSLRs) come with a built-in mic.

Don’t use them!

If you want your videos to look AND sounds great, you need an external mic.

Your two main options are a lav mic or a boom mic.

Lav .vs. Boom mic

I prefer lav microphones. They’re simple to use. And because they’re close to your subject’s mouth, the audio usually sounds great.

The downside of a lav mic is that, if you decide to hide it under your shirt, the sound can be muffled. And if it’s not aligned correctly, it can scratch against your chest or clothing. Which can create some added noise that you’ll have to contend with in post production.

I personally don’t mind that my mic is showing in my videos.

Brian Dean – Microphone showing

But if that’s a concern for you, you probably want to go with a boom mic.

And if you’re on a shoestring budget, you can actually record audio with your iPhone. It’s not ideal. But it beats using your camera’s mic.


When it comes to lighting, there are a million options.

Studio lights

In general, I recommend using box lights.

That’s because box lights create a soft, flattering light.

Box lights create a soft, flattering light

The only other thing to keep in mind with lighting is that you can almost never have enough of it.

In fact, for most shots, you’ll need 4-5 different lights to get the job done.

Chapter 4:How to Make Awesome Videos

How to Film Awesome Videos

Whether you film your videos with a fancy camera or your smartphone, in this chapter I’m going to show you how to create awesome-looking videos.

(Including lots of advanced tips and strategies that I’ve learned from years of video production).

So if you’ve ever wondered how to get the most out of your camera, mic and lighting, you’ll learn a ton from this chapter.

Use a Script Or Outline

This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way.

When I first got started with videos, I’d have a rough idea of what I wanted to cover. But I pretty much freestyled.

Which led to me going off on little tangents, like this:


(Not to mention countless cuts because I lost track of what I was saying)

Today, I script out every single line in advance:

Typed-out video script

Which helps me move REALLY fast.


Because my videos are scripted in advance I can literally cover 2-3x more content in the same amount of time.

(Plus, the shoot itself goes smoothly because I don’t have to do a bunch of takes. I just read my lines off the teleprompter).

You don’t necessarily need to write every word ahead of time. But I do recommend using a detailed outline that covers what you want to cover. That way, your final video content comes out super crisp.

Use 3-Point Lighting

Here’s how it looks:

3-point lighting set up

In other words, you point your lights at 3 areas:

  • The background
  • The subject
  • Ambient light

If you don’t have all three of these areas well-lit, your lighting can look really unbalanced.

Avoid using a single light source

But when you have enough ambient light in the room, on your subject and directly on the backdrop, your videos will look super bright.

Create ambient light in the room

Set Up Soundproofing

You can have the best mic in the world…

…but if you shoot in an echoey room, your audio will sound terrible.

If your room has a lot of echo, I’d grab some soundproofing material from Amazon.

And if you want a budget option, throw some thick yoga mats on the floor.

Most echo comes from sound bouncing back-and-forth off the floor and ceiling. And yoga mats stop sound from bouncing up and down.

Soundproofing reduces echo

(You can also hang some thick blankets up around you. They can do wonders for reducing echo).

Chapter 5:Edit Videos Like a Pro

Edit Videos Like A Pro

So you just shot a bunch of footage.

Well, now it’s time to edit your videos like a pro.

Specifically, in this chapter I’m going to show you how to use color correction, cuts, and on-screen graphics to make your videos look amazing.

Let’s get started.

Color Correction

Color correction is probably the most underrated part of the editing process.

In fact, color correction can completely transform how your video looks and feels (in a good way).

For example, look at the difference between this raw footage from the studio compared to the color-corrected version.

Raw footage .vs. Color corrected

That’s a world of difference.

Lots of Cuts

Thanks to vlogs and Instagram Stories, people are used to jump cuts.

So don’t be afraid to cut your video up into dozens of different pieces… and use jump cuts to tie them all together.

These cuts keep your video moving, which can help with audience retention. They also make it easy to cut out “umms”, “ahhs” and other stuff that you probably don’t want in your final video.

For example, this 10-minute video from my channel has 88 cuts.


Graphics and Animations

The #1 question I get about video marketing is “What editing software do you use?”.

Editing software questions

The reason people ask me this question is that my YouTube videos use TONS of graphics and animations.

Video graphics and animations

The thing is, I work with a talented video animator that makes these graphics for us. And while he uses Adobe After Effects, it’s really not about the tool.

In other words, there’s no magical software that’s going to bang out custom illustrations and animations.

That said:

If you have experience with animations or illustrations (or want to learn), then feel free to add fancy graphics to your videos.

Otherwise, I’d keep your graphics super simple and straightforward.

For example, Simone Giertz adds lots of text to her videos.

Simone Giertz adds lots of text to her videos

These make her videos more dynamic. Even if you have zero experience with editing, you can do the same thing on your videos.

“Shooting For The Edit”

One of the big mistakes I made early on was shooting a bunch of completely disorganized footage.

A single video would be split up into several different files. Sometimes I’d end up with 5 short videos split across 3 different files.

To make matters worse, I didn’t have an outline or script. So I wasn’t sure which shots would be of me… or shots that would use a b-roll, graphic or different camera angle.

And I’d send this disorganized mess to Sasha, our editor, and say: “edit this”. He did a great job with what I sent him. But it took 2-3x longer than it should have because I didn’t plan ahead of time.

Today, I “shoot for the edit”. Which means that I plan and shoot videos with the editing process in mind.

For example, I try to put each video on its own video file.

Also, because I use a script, I know in advance which footage I’m going to be in. And which footage will be a b-roll or graphic.

Get more views on YouTube – Document

That way, I don’t need to worry about how I look in those particular shots.

Chapter 6:Advanced Strategies and Techniques

Advanced Strategies & Techniques

Now that you’ve got the basics of video marketing down, it’s time to dive into some advanced material.

Specifically, I’m going to show you 6 advanced video strategies that I use to make my videos better.

You’ll also learn about strategies that I use to get more views on every video that I upload to YouTube.

Nail The First 5-10 Seconds

The first 5-10 seconds of your video are HUGE.

So make sure your video grabs your reader’s attention right away.

In other words, avoid animated logos.


Long-winded background stories.


Or anything else that’s not super compelling.

For example, I always start off my videos telling people what they’re going to learn.

Tell people what they will learn

I also try to be more high-energy here to get people excited about the video.

The Sequel Technique

It’s no secret that YouTube is a massively popular search engine.

Where Americans search the web

That said:

YouTube search is only ONE way to get views on your YouTube videos.

The other way?

Suggested Video.

In fact, for some channels, Suggested Video brings in more monthly views than YouTube search.

(Yes, really).

Question is: HOW do you get your videos to show up in the Suggested Video sidebar?

A new strategy called “The Sequel Technique”.

I outline the entire process in this video:

Mix Things Up

In other words, make your video content SUPER dynamic.

A good rule of thumb is that you should change something in your video once every 20 seconds.

This can be as simple as a camera angle change:


Or it can be something more involved, like transitioning to a b-roll or animation.


Either way, mixing things up makes your video more compelling, interesting… and ultimately a video that people will watch all the way to the end.

Test Longer Videos

Most people are afraid of publishing videos that are longer than 5 minutes.

They usually say something like: “People have really short attention spans. No one wants to watch a video that’s more than a few minutes”.

(It’s funny: I remember people saying the same thing about blog posts a few years ago. But you don’t hear that very often these days…)

And I can tell you from first-hand experience that long-form video content CAN work.

For example, this video from my YouTube channel is 19 minutes long.

Despite being “long”, it has over 547,260 views.

More YouTube Subscribers – Video views

And according to this industry study we did a few years back, longer videos are more likely to rank in YouTube search.

Video length chart

Bottom line? If your video is great, people WILL watch it. Even if it’s long.

Use a Consistent Look and Feel

If brand awareness is one of your goals, then your videos should all have a similar look and feel.

This doesn’t mean you have to shoot in the exact same place with the exact same background every single time.

Instead, make sure each video has the same branding and feel.

Marie Forleo does a great job with this.

Even though Marie’s interview videos are in a different location than her normal videos…

Marie Forleo – Interview video

…all of her videos have the same branding and atmosphere.

Marie Forleo – Branding

Use Humor

I can tell you from experience that making videos can be STRESSFUL.

Well, humor is an easy way to lighten things up AND make your videos better.

For example, I add 2-3 cheesy little jokes to most of my videos:

Cheesy little jokes in videos

These always lighten up the mood in the studio. Mostly because we all know how cheesy these jokes are!

More important than that, these little jokes help spice up videos on dry topics, like technical SEO and keyword research.

Chapter 7:Video Marketing Case Studies

Video Marketing Case Studies

In this chapter I’m going to share 3 NEW video marketing case studies with you.

That way, you can see the strategies and techniques from this guide in action.

Specifically, you’re going to see how Andrew got 4 million views on a single Facebook video. How Jeff Rose increased his YouTube channel views by 880%. And how I hit the #1 spot in YouTube for the keyword: “Video SEO”.

Let’s get started.

How Andrew Holland Generated
3 Million Views on a Facebook Video

Backlinko reader Andrew Holland was given a difficult task from one of his clients:

Create a social video designed to go viral. From a Facebook page that had 280 followers.

And, oh yeah, his client had about 100 bucks to spend on video ads. So this whole thing had to be pretty much 100% organic and rely on influencers to get the word out.

Here’s what happened next…

First, Andrew created a list of people that his client’s audience of martial arts fans would LOVE to see more content about.

More content for martial arts fans

Second, he made an in-depth video about the legendary Bruce Lee.

Andrew Holland's Bruce Lee video

In the end, Andrew’s video did GREAT.

In fact, to date, this video has picked up over 4 million organic views:

Video with millions of organic views

How I Got a #1 Ranking for “Video SEO”

A while back I published this video.

As you can probably tell from the title, my main keyword for that video was “Video SEO”.

Video SEO – Keyword in title

And a few months after my video went live, I hit the #1 spot in YouTube search for that keyword:

Video SEO – Keyword search results

(A spot I’ve kept ever since)

OK enough bragging 🙂

Here are the three strategies I used to grab that highly competitive #1 spot.

First, I NAILED my intro.

Like I mentioned in Chapter 6, the first few seconds of your video are SUPER important.

Which is why I went with a short and straightforward introduction.

Short and straightforward introduction

Second, I published a long video.

10:56 isn’t that long.

But it was A LOT longer than most of the other videos on that topic at the time.

Which meant that I could cover everything someone needed to know about YouTube SEO in one place.

Cover everything someone needed to know about YouTube

Finally, I optimized my video by including my keyword in my title:

Video SEO in title


Video description

And YouTube tags:

Video tags

Thanks to this ranking (and views from Suggested Video), that video has racked up 938,833 views so far.

Video SEO – Video views


How Jeff Rose Increased His YouTube
Channel’s Views By 880%

A few years ago Jeff Rose had a problem that I know a lot of you can relate to.

Jeff was putting out really good video content.

But no one was watching it.

Jeff Rose – Low video view count

It was super frustrating. After all, Jeff put a lot of time and effort into his videos.

But all that energy wasn’t translating into success on YouTube.

That’s when Jeff decided to try a different approach.

And that new approach took his monthly views from practically nothing to 301,110 views per month.

Jeff Rose – Monthly traffic spike

Here’s how he did it:

First, to promote his videos, Jeff would share a teaser version on Facebook.

Jeff Rose – Video teaser

This teaser video is like a YouTube video trailer. That way, people that want to learn more can head over to YouTube to watch the whole thing.

Second, Jeff got feedback on his thumbnails from his audience… before he published a video.

Jeff Rose – Feedback from audience

That way, he knew the exact images and layouts that his audience would want to see.

Finally, Jeff used a “No Comment Left Behind” strategy.

In other words: Jeff replies to pretty much every comment that people leave on his videos.

Jeff Rose – Video comment replies

(Even if it’s just a 👍)

This increased engagement on his videos, which is HUGE for SEO on YouTube.


Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed this guide to video marketing in 2019.

Now I’d like to hear from you: Which strategy from today’s guide are you going to try first?

Are you going to start making longer videos? Or start focusing on the first 10 seconds of your video?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.

  1. Wow! What an incredible post on video marketing. The examples are always a huge benefit for me as I read your articles and watch your videos. I’m curious how much your average video costs all in to get it at the quality and effectiveness you know work so hard to enjoy?

    1. Hey Seth, thank you. I don’t closely track the cost of each video. Today, we rent a studio and work with a professional editor. So they cost a lot more than when I shot them in my apartment.

    1. HA! Thanks Nathan. I try to include as many actionable tactics as I can to every one of our definitive guides. So I’m glad to hear that I hit the mark with this one.

  2. I love your content and the efforts you make to provide quality content to users like me.
    How much time do you spend for Creating One Video? Like script writing, shooting, and Editing.

    1. Thank you. I actually don’t measure that. But I can say that I spend a ton of time on each video. I definitely believe in a quality over quantity approach to video content.

  3. Hey Brian!
    Amazing article again on video marketing! thank you for covering all the details about the material we need for Videos. And the lighting options. I have one softbox I bought on amazon, but this is cheap material. Got 3 of them, but the quality is not there.
    Where did you get your softbox??
    Also, thank you for the video teaser strategy on Facebook!
    Thanks definitely something I want to try out soon!
    All the best Brian, And Congrats for your article

    1. Hi Sarah, thank you. I also got my softbox from Amazon. The quality wasn’t great with mine either, but they did the job.

      What I found is that, because the softboxes are low-quality, you need lots of extra lighting to fully light the space. I ended up with 6 lights (plus the normal room lights). It was such a pain to setup and take down that I ended up renting out a studio!

  4. Cool content, Brian!

    I will start my youtube – Channel in three months and your articles will help me, to avoid a lot of failures and to do it right from the beginning.

    Thank you!

  5. Nice guide, Brian.

    As someone who hasn’t done any video marketing whatsoever, one thing that jumped out at me was how many of these tips correspond with “best practices” for blog posts, too.

    You hinted at one or two in the post already (like testing longer content), but here are a couple more specific ones I caught:

    “Change something in your video once every 20 seconds.” ➡ blogging equivalent: write very short paragraphs and use a lot of visuals.

    “Nail the first 5-10 seconds.” ➡ blogging equivalent: make your headline and introduction really punchy, with a strong hook.

    Well done with all the examples from your videos, too. I bet this took a ton of work to put together.

    1. Thanks Kyle. Awesome comment and I 100% agree. At the end of the day, content is content. So it makes sense that the principles that work for blog posts would also work for videos, podcasts, infographics etc. etc.

  6. Hey Brian, just started trying to make videos, Since I can’t afford a video editor right now, had to do it myself. I compiled a few clips from YouTube and then your email came just at the right time. Haven’t read it yet, but I can’t wait to 👍🏽
    Thanks a lot. Appreciate it

  7. This is an AMAZING guide. Thanks for sharing all the insights and direction on what I can do, both for my own business and my clients.

    I look forward to starting to implement these. I appreciate your work Brian.

  8. Wow what an Epic Blog post Brian thank you so much and I am on the way to start my YouTube channel.definetly this post will help me to get success

    1. Hi George, thank you. I appreciate that. I figured that I covered video SEO already so it was time to talk more about other aspects of video marketing (topics, editing… stuff like that). Glad you enjoyed it!

  9. This is great article on video marketing brian sir. Thank you so much. And, Main thing i like the most was the layout of your blogpost. How did you do this? Do you use any pag builder for doing this??

  10. TBT, video is taking over.
    Over the last 3months, i’ve started a channel and now have published 100videos and the 100th being today. Why, because i realised video is the new old. My blog readers consumed more the video content than the 1000+ word tutorial blog posts i used to put up.
    Now, i make a video and also publish a blog with the video embedded in it. My readers then choose what they what to consume.
    But when i look at the youtube stats, the channel grows way faster than my blog.
    Takeway, content creators should consider incorporating videos in there content.
    Brian, thank you for the ideas in this blog posts. All the best.

    1. Well said! I agree that YouTube is a great way to grow a brand. The only downside is that you’re super reliant on that one platform. Which is why having your own site is so huge.

  11. Great stuff Brian, but I have to disagree that you need 4-5 lights for most shots.

    I’m a professional photographer and videographer and I can confidently say that the vast majority of shots can be accomplished with 1-2 lights (or even 1 light and a reflector to balance out shadows).

    Keep it simple when setting up lighting.

    1. Hey Pete, thanks. I’m basing that figure on my own experience of setting up my own home studio and the studios I’ve used. I’m not a professional by any means so I trust your judgement that fewer lights can work.

  12. Hi Brian, congrats on the guide, really awesome content. I am starting my own brand and online business right now and this will help me shave a lot of time from the learning curve.

    Keep up the good work.

  13. Wow…this article is brilliant and thanks so much for featuring my work.

    I particularly loved the sections on lighting in this post, something I need to take more seriously as it clearly makes a huge difference.

    Great work Brian.

    1. Hi Andrew, thanks for sharing your case study! Yup, lighting is one of the most important parts of any video (even more important than your camera).

  14. Hey Brian,

    This is really a great article. I just started a blog for online sellers. Also as am going to start a YouTube channel, it really helps me a lot. Not only me, your all SEO tips helps a lot to those who just started something with less budget.

    And I wanted to ask one more question, nowadays I heard about paid back links, what’s your thought on this?.

  15. Nice post Brian! Some good pointers. I like the suggestions you made in the video equipment section. That gives some good ideas on what stuff to buy if I ever have the guts to make videos with my face on it rather than screen casts :).

    1. Hi Michiel, happy to help. Screencasts are actually how I recommend most people get started with video. Not only are they less stressful, but the tech is easier too. But there does come a time where videos with you in front of the camera make sense. When that day comes, you have this guide to refer to!

  16. Love the content Brian. I have been following your tutorial on Video marketing for a while now. Have seen all your training videos on youtube playlist as well.Glad to see it finally having a written form. I am pretty sure its gonna be popular. BTW are you repurposing your videos from youtube on facebook or on Instagram? Can you tell a bit more about how you are doing it to increase your web presence? that would be very much helpful as it seems like Video is the new form of popular content on the internet

    1. Thanks Sajjad. I’m not doing much on Instagram at the moment. I have an account but that’s about it. I might do some more stuff there soon.

  17. Thank you, Brian! Another great video with steps which I can take and I know will work. I’ve used your techniques on my client’s new video already, so I can’t wait to see the results soon.

  18. Hi Brian – Did your SEO course 4-5 years back and used it to help grow my (then) agency. Sold the agency and started 3 years ago. Our goal starting this week was to learn video marketing as a competency. Three hours after starting the process of figuring out what Vid’s I should do and I get your email for video marketing piece. Hilariously good timing. Awesome content – will follow it like a playbook. Cheers from Beantown.

    1. Hi Laura, hearing that never gets old 🙂

      But seriously, I’m happy to help. All of these guides are things that I wish I had when I was first starting out.

  19. Hey! Brian, You’re simply awesome, you looted the way you explain each & every important aspect for making the video incredible & compelling…
    No doubt! It’s the skyrocket tips for 2020…

  20. Hi Brian,

    I have been following your tips and tutorials for a few years now. Your content is really amazing, and I am a true admirer of your incredible ingenuity and professionalism. I always recommend your YouTube channel and your blog as a top of the class. Thank you for all the knowledge you pass on.

  21. KILlER post, Brian! Crushing it, man.

    I don’t think the term “super helpful” covers what you did here…the video templates—insane…the examples are fantastic…the creative game is top-notch.

    I’m really digging StoryBrand’s videos. They’ve been nailing it on video and creative for some time.

      1. It’s the future of digital photography/video. Mirrorless setups are light weight without any compromises. Infact in some model, they are better than a normal DSLR. Better autofocus is an another big factor.

        1. Super interesting, thanks! I don’t know a whole lot about cameras so it’s always good to hear what a pro has to say about it.

  22. Great guide I love it. What I’m wondering is what is the difference between animated videos and real life videos? Which ones are more effective and which ones are converting better?

    On sites like fyverr you can get animated videos for quiet cheap and especially for people that have no camera setup it’s easier to get at least animated videos like that.

    Do you have any take on that?

    1. Hi Pascal, I’ve actually seen both do well. But in general, videos with people in them tend to do best. It’s just more engaging to see a real life person.

  23. Video teaser ( making as GIF) worked out for me. I’m holding channel (wowbytes) for movies/cricket reviews. I’m following your tactics. Very useful. Hope i reaches 100K Subscribers soon.

  24. Your audience cannot thank you enough Brian – for basically showing us numerous errors you made initially [ which nobody probably helped you on & would have save you time + money $$$ ] …to fast trak those following in different online areas to hopefully avoid these mistakes.
    Big Thank You 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Martyn. Yup, I’ve made every mistake under the sun! And I’m not afraid to share those failures… and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

  25. Hi, Brian!

    First of all, this is a gold mine, thanks for all the effort you put into crafting this, I know it takes a lot of time.

    Now, I’m gonna go on a small rant here, but please bare with me, because I’d really, REALLY value your opinion as a person that has already mastered this field.

    I have a YouTube account since 2006 and dabbled with video now and again for helping out my colleagues at one of my previous companies learn stuff like design, UX, front end, accessibility and digital marketing (I recorded some of the workshops and presentations). I even trained people who previously had no background in development become front end developers, in that same company, due to a internal re-conversion program I pitched to my CEO. I lead teams of up to 30 people across 3 continents to build, maintain and optimize websites and apps, and I’ve been doing all that since 2003.

    But I totally neglected my own brand building, and due to recent changes and shifts in my life, I’m hungry for more. I’d like to start a YouTube channel with free content that helps people around and in the IT world (be it design, front end, marketing or management) understand, become and get better at jobs in this field. Plus, some interviews with really cool people that are practitioners and gurus of the fields, to get details they might’ve not shared so far about how they got to where they are and thus help people starting off or wanting to perfect themselves. I’ve made some plans, taken notes and I hope to release my first video in October.

    Is 2019 too late to start something like that? Is there still place for someone like me in the landscape?

    You’re obviously an expert in the field and one of the people I’ve been reading and watching with great pleasure for your work on content and SEO and now on YouTube, and I’d be interested to find out if you have any advice for me starting off from scratch in this particular field and niche. Obviously, besides this insanely useful article and the past content you’ve built for people starting out.

    I also got stuck on a name for my channel. Should it be a personal branded channel like yours is (wondering why you didn’t pick Backlinko as your YouTube channel / brand name)? Or should I pick something more generic like WebForge / WebForge Academy (just grabbed the .com domain today) or something else along those lines?

    Super curious on what your thoughts are. Thanks a lot for your time!


    1. Hi Viorel, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the guide. To answer your first question: no, it’s definitely not too late. YouTube is definitely more competitive than it was a few years ago. But demand is on the rise too. So you can totally do well on YouTube.

      In terms of channel name, I recommend checking out this guide:

  26. Great post, Brian. This is exactly what I needed right now.
    One thing, there’s a typo in the Alexa list. Number 3 is missing an ‘l’.
    I was scratching my head when I checked “tmal”.

  27. Hey Brian,

    Really great blog post about Video marketing, I have learned many things from this blog post and I am going to Implement these strategies.

    What will be the future of text-based blogs and websites? We are planning to provide both things (Video and Text + Images) on a single page to the users.


    1. Thank you. I still think there’s a place for text-based content. Just look at Reddit. It’s 99% text based and massive. I recommend doing both.

  28. Thanks for such a complete guide on video marketing. I have one question: for the beginning of e-Commerce business, should we focus more on product videos or informative videos.

    We are planning to produce more videos this year and we are thinking where should we start first 🙂

    1. Hi Eryk, I’d definitely have some product videos to show off. But for driving traffic and content marketing, how-to videos usually do way better.

  29. Hi, Brian, once again you nailed it. Can you give me any tips on how a comedy or entertaining video gets discovered on Youtube? Certainly it’s not get discovered from search results. We know that it will get discovered from suggested videos and browse features. So what should be the first step for a new channel? Should he promote it via Youtube Ads or Facebook Ads? Any tips would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks and Regards,
    Sayan Paul

    1. Sayan, you’re right: Suggested Video and Browse Features are huge for comedy and entertainment videos. So for a channel like that ads should definitely be part of the mix. I’d also look at JVs (basically guest posting on other channels).

  30. Thank you Brian for such a detail article. I have Amazon review website and thinking to start video reviews of products as well.

    YouTube traffic and Internet penetration is going crazy and this is best time to take advantage of it

  31. Killer content as usual. Nice work Brian!

    One thing I’ve always liked about your videos is the multiple views of you on the screen. Rather than being static in the middle, you move around the frame when making different points. Super engaging!

    Do you use multiple cameras for your shoots to generate the different camera angles when you “mix things up” or is that done in editing?

    1. Hey Ken, thank you. I appreciate that.

      That’s all done with editing. As long as you film in HD and film with some room to the left or right of you, it’s pretty easy to “move” you around on screen.

  32. Thanks for the detailed post, Brian. As a blogger whose content is the written word, I find it depressing to see a prediction that 82% of internet traffic in 2022 will be video. As an introvert, video will not be a suitable medium for me. More importantly, how will affiliate marketing work in a video environment? Thanks.

    1. Hi Hazel, you’re welcome. 82% does sound like a lot (which it is). But in my opinion, there will always be a place for text content. Just look at Reddit: it’s enormously popular and is pretty much all text and images. Affiliate marketing isn’t perfect on video (just ask Instagram influencers!). But it can work as long as there’s a link to accompany the video.

  33. Thanks so much for this! I LOVE the tips you provide for free! Just getting started with my YouTube channel and I feel like I have a better idea where to go from here.

  34. Hey Brian,

    Thank you for the good read. I’m thinking about starting my own YouTube Channel, and among all of my worries is a big one – I’m not a native English speaker and my accent may turn off the audience. Do you have experience with such an issue?

    Also you have a typo: Now I’d like to hear from you: Which strategy from today’s guide are you going to ty first? 🙂

    1. Hi Iva, thank you. I wouldn’t let that stop you from creating a YouTube channel. There are plenty of HUGE YouTubers that speak English as a second language (including the biggest of all: Pewdiepie). You can do it!

  35. Hi Brian, Thank you for your awesome post like you always do! I would like to have short and long videos to introduce our hair extensions product. mostly we do wholesale to reseller instead of retailing to end-user. What content should I put on my B2B purpose video instead of doing b2c type like hair extensions tutorial? Please suggest. Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Selina, you’re welcome. The content shouldn’t be that different, actually. Obviously the content itself will be super different. But it’s the same idea: figure out what kinds of problems your target audience is having and create video content to help them solve it.

  36. Hi, Brian, What a fantastic Post! This is so chock full of useful information, most concise step-by-step guide, in my point of view, videos enhance your post quality.
    How much time do you spend on Creating One Video and do you recommend the video to each the post?

    1. Thank you! I don’t closely track how much time I spend on a video. But it’s at least 10-15 hours. I would try to include a video in each post if it makes sense.

  37. I have been trying to learn about creating videos that could help me in my business for 4months now and trust me none other info has helped me so much. You have literally talked about every topic that one needs to know before getting into video marketing. The best part are the visuals which have made the content super easy to understand.
    Thank you so much.

  38. Question: we just did a conference where we had 3 keynote speakers and 2 breakout sessions, all of which were recorded.

    The keynotes were all 60 minutes long and the breakout sessions were 40 minutes long.

    I have the video and am preparing to upload it, but am tempted to cut it up into sections so it’s more likely to get watched.



    1. Hi Nate, in my experience, unless the speaker is super famous, very few people will watch keynotes on YouTube. So I would recommend breaking them up.

  39. Yes, these instruction is very effectively for video marketing guide. I love the tips you provide for free! Just getting started with my YouTube channel and I feel like I have a better idea where to go from here.

  40. Hi Brian

    You are like a book of SEO. Small companies like us can really learn stuff from you. Maybe you should create a “step by step seo” program and sell it to people?

    I want to ask you a simple question about videos. I have few videos listed on youtube. Some are proper videos made by professionals while other are made by me from hundreds of photos. Even if it sounds weird, i get thousands of views of the videos made from photos and very few from the proper videos.

    Do you think i should make more movies from photos or over time the proper made videos will attract more views?

    Many thanks

  41. hey Brian, I think you have covered pretty much every spectrum of video marketing here. I would just like to see more on what should happen after the video is posted. The different ways to promote. I would love read/watch a separate dose of the same.

  42. Great article. But a quick question, if you have the time. Do you have any tips on how to write and read from a script but not sound like a robot reading off lines?

  43. Really looking for a video marketing guide & believe me this article helps me like an angel Thanks Brian Dean for such an amazing article also love your way of decorating articles.

  44. Hi Brian! Thank you for this video marketing guide! I learned a lot. Can you make a video on how to process and unravel Google Analytics? I noticed that my most popular video (150,000 views) does NOT make as much money as my second most popular (80,000 views). Also does ratings matter in a video getting advertisements? So the more thumbs down the less advertisers want to advertise on it? And also does ratings matter for how your video is ranked? Would really appreciate answers to these questions. Thank you so much.

  45. Hi brian. Amazing articles and videos. Your YouTube videos made perceive a long road trip as shorter ( i don’t drive a Tesla, I just used your videos as a podcast 🙂 ). I have a question for you: can you please tell me what applications are recommended to easily create YouTube presentation videos? I don’t want to use Adobe premiere or final cut for some simple tasks like dropping some screenshots or underline text or painting some arrows etc thanks in advance

  46. Hello Brian, I’m Regular Reader Of Backlinko.
    I have started video marketing after reading this great blog post.
    Now I got 3000+ Subscriber on my YouTube Channel.

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