The first step in any marketing strategy is to think about what your audience wants and what people need – and not just in relation to your product, but in general. What takes up their time? What causes them stress? By understanding that, you start to build up a picture of what is competing against you for their time and attention, and what “problems” you can create content around that will resonate with them and capture their attention.

Once you have thought about that, Dan Safkow from Video Marketing Minute suggests a very simple formula when starting out on a video marketing strategy, which is hugely effective in its simplicity. He calls it “HAC”. This is not a strategy for larger businesses but definitely one for small businesses that are looking to get some solid traffic to their site and in order to get their name out there.

This is the bare bones of a simple video SEO strategy:

1. “How to..”
2. “Answer..”
3. “Call to Action”.

The easiest way to explain is by using an example, so here goes..!

How to..

Imagine, for example, you own a hairdressing salon and want to spread your name and become known as a trusted expert in your field. First of all, you need to find out what the people out there who could be looking for your service are typing into their search engines. Google and YouTube offer a great Keyword suggestion tool, that allows you to see what the most commonly searched terms are.

keyword image 1

Using the YouTube keyword suggestion tool, I found there are thousands of people out there trying to find out what hairstyle would suit them. Everyone wants to look their best!

Google search image 2

So, using the “How to” part of the formula, the title of my video would be “How to find a hairstyle to suit you”. This keyword rich phrase needs to be the title of your video when you upload it to YouTube – video will dramatically improve your chances of appearing on the first page Google, and is the perfect medium for these long tail, information based searches. You should also repeat the title in the video opening, so people watching know immediately that they have come to the right place and will continue watching.


You are an expert in your field – now prove it! Make sure the main content of your video is informative and useful. That way people will keep watching. Answer the question posed in the title clearly and concisely. Gain the trust of your audience by showing them that you really know what you are talking about. The hair salon could, for example, film short clips of happy customers after they have had their hair cut and have the stylist explain why they chose that particular style to suit them. This doesn’t require a massive budget – a simple hand held camera and a well-lit room would be fine, and you would end up with some great content. Or alternatively it could show how a particular style is achieved or a video on how to keep your hair looking as good as it does when you leave the hair dressers.

Call to Action

People have found your video through the search engines, they have watched the video through to the end, and found the information useful. The final step is to guide them towards what you want them to do, with a clear call to Action. Think carefully about what would be the best outcome for you once someone has watched the video. A likely one would be to get more visitors to your website – in which case, the Call to Action would be “For more tips, go to…”. If your content has engaged people, it is very likely that they will want to find out more about you, and that would be the perfect time to direct them to your site!

This type of strategy is for users who are perhaps not quite ready to open their wallet so focus on building a relationship and gaining their trust.

Other Points to consider

It is always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition, so try searching your target keywords to find out what other people in your field are doing, and then make sure your content is different/better/ clearer than anything that already exists. If, having done your search, you find there are millions of people talking about the “How to..” you were thinking of, you will be trying to get your message heard over far too much background noise, and it will be far more difficult for it to be found. Change tack: think of a “How to..” that is original, but that will still offer massive value. And in order to know what will be of value – you need to get people talking. Thanks to Social Media, this is easier than ever – start a Twitter feed asking your followers to send over any questions they would like answers to and commit to answering them; start a conversation on Facebook – or just do it the old fashioned way and talk to your existing customers. The more information you have about your existing and potential customers – the more likely you are to succeed.

This is obviously a simplified and basic strategy, but for a small business starting out in the ever-more-important world of video marketing and looking to make as big an impact as possible on a limited budget – this strategy is a great place to start!