Think about Chevy’s video strategy for its 2021 holiday commercial. A man replaces an old wreath on his barn and opens the door to reveal a dusty 1966 Chevy Impala. As he climbs in and brushes away the cobwebs, he discovers a picture of his late wife.

Fast forward to the end of the video, he returns to the barn to find the Chevy Impala has been restored thanks to his daughter. A photo of his wife dangles from the rearview mirror. As the dad and daughter drive away, she tells him it’s what her mom would have wanted. He replies, “This is the best Christmas present ever.”

Within a week, the video had 4M hits and garnered plenty of positive press. (Chevy has since made the video private, so current numbers are unavailable.)

What made Chevy’s video garner so much attention was its emotionally driven story told in an effective, strategic, relevant, and authentic way. That’s something you can do whether your content business is video-based or you’re a creator looking to use video for marketing.

Creators can tell emotionally driven stories strategically and authentically regardless of budget, says @HopeHorner. #CreatorEconomy #ContentBusiness Click To Tweet

In our look at the research, we’ve found the top two traits consumers report as important for an engaging video are clear messaging/storyline and authenticity. Here’s how to do just that in an affordable way:

1. Establish goals for your video strategy

Want to grow your subscriber base? Increase total views? Reach prospective customers? Knowing upfront what you want out of your video content will guide your video strategy. It also assists in keeping all your scripts and storyboards consistent and targeted.

Caveat: Specify a metric and timeframe to evaluate if the video has achieved this goal.

First step for a #video strategy? Establish a goal for your video. How will it serve your audience and help your #ContentBusiness, says @HopeHorner. Click To Tweet

2. Watch lots of videos

You don’t need to be a Spielberg or Kubrick to have a great idea for a video. The best way to brainstorm ideas and concepts is to check out the highest-performing videos on the market. Look at video content both inside and outside your content tilt, and be sure to note what works as well as what doesn’t. 

Caveat: Think short- and long-form videos. Inspiration can come from a popular TikTok or a well-regarded documentary.

3. Create something

For many budding content entrepreneurs, the biggest barrier to producing video isn’t budget; it’s fear. Your first video likely won’t be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. It should serve as a learning tool and launchpad for all the videos that come after. Don’t worry too much about production value or getting every detail right. Just create. Growth is a natural part of the creative process — you just have to take the leap.

The biggest barrier for budding #ContentEntrepreneurs in producing video isn't budget. It's fear, says @HopeHorner. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

4. Work with a video partner to level up your output

Just because you’re limited financially doesn’t mean you can’t work with a production company. You can still cut costs when hiring outside professional help. For instance, you could film the content in-house and hire a freelancer to edit it. Alternately, you could work with a micro-influencer and ask them to film content as a promotional partnership. There are countless choices for stretching your video funds, so don’t feel limited to taking just one route.

5. Track your video metrics

Keep tabs on how the video performs so you can find out which ideas, formats, etc., connect with your target audience. These metrics also should relate to your primary goal for the video (see step 1). Metrics like watch time, social shares, engagement, and call-to-action conversions can give you an at-a-glance understanding of the power of your content. If a particular video performs well, seek to find out why so you can replicate those results with future efforts.

Metrics like watch time, social shares, #CTA conversions give creators an at-a-glance understanding of the power of their #Video content, says @HopeHorner. #ContentEnterpreneur Click To Tweet

Create a successful video strategy

It doesn’t take an expensive or complicated video to build a relationship with your audience. All you need is a tailored message, a good idea, and a strategic video strategy. With those elements in place, your videos could be the next to make waves online.

About the author

Hope Horner is CEO and founder of Lemonlight Video Production, a company that produces branded video content at scale. Hope is a three-time entrepreneur who has been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes, and other publications, highlighting her successes in the Silicon Beach community over the past decade.