Video is one of the most versatile tools that marketers can use in their online marketing campaign. Businesses big or small can utilize videos as leverage for their brand, be it for product promotions, brand engagement, organic reach, conversion and much more. Its usefulness makes video an important (and some consider requisite) part of today’s digital marketing landscape.
There’s no stopping the power of digital video. In recent years, almost a third of all online activity is devoted to watching videos, with millennials doing the bulk of online viewing. As marketing evolves, it is guaranteed that the greater part of consumers will continue to favor video in their ever-increasing online activity.
Video Means Value
Videos are tremendously flexible because they can be visualized, formatted and presented in any way that your brand requires. The main advantages that marketers gain from videos include:
- Loads of format options
Long film or short message; standalone movie or a series; preview or a main piece – videos can meet every type of format depending on what your marketing strategy calls for. Also, you can add to, edit, and republish corporate videos to support other marketing efforts later on.
- Adaptable to any content platform
There are several platforms where your online videos fit best, like your website, social media accounts, mobile apps, third party video sites like YouTube, or email accounts.
- Can be watched whenever, wherever
Videos can be designed to engage audiences who are using different devices. Whether on mobile phone, computer or laptop and tablet, videos are accessible to everyone who is connected online.
- Easy to Share
Users who are captivated by a video are able to share it easily to other contacts through social media, chat or email. This makes videos an effective way to spread awareness, run a promotion, make an announcement, etc.
Where to Start
Marketers are convinced that video marketing is a critical part of business. In a recent survey of b2b agencies, almost all businesses indicate that they include videos in their marketing strategy. But sometimes, it could get confusing as to where and how to start making an effective video campaign from scratch. Take note of these considerations:
1. Begin with a roadmap to your goal
A great way to start determining your video concept is to check your desired marketing goals. In other words, what do you want the video to accomplish? It could be anything from brand awareness, customer education, online engagement, increase of leads and so much more. A successful video marketing strategy is clear on its objectives toward a desired destination.
As with any marketing strategy, start with the goal and then outline the core message you want to communicate in the video. You can then think about who your target niche is and what reaction you want to illicit from them. Remember that you can’t really please everybody with one material so it is best to identify a target market for your video.
It’s also important to have the buyer’s journey in mind. You can determine where your video content fits in with each stage of the purchasing funnel – awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty and advocacy. Planning a roadmap will help you be more intentional about aligning each of these components into one effective campaign.
2. Tug at the right emotions
You know that an effective video tells a great story. How do you achieve this if your content is in video form? By putting viewers on an emotional rollercoaster. Balance your emotional, heavy-hitting points with gaps to create an engaging ride for your audience. Too much of the same emotions could become boring for users, so the key is to apply strategic timing in terms of when each emotion should be tugged.
You should therefore, have knowledge on which emotions to use for your brand. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that videos should be tear-inducing dramas. Video ads that have gone viral actually evoke positive emotions: curiosity, amazement and interest. In fact, the most shared content usually focuses on admiration.
Negative emotions are less common in effective content compared to positive emotions, but viral success was still seen in ads that used negative emotion to bring anticipation and surprise.
3. Don’t forget the branding, but don’t overdo it either
Video marketing is all about gaining awareness and support for your products or services, so it is important to consider how the video reflects the brand’s aesthetics. Stick to the same palette, style and look for your videos as what you use on your overall branding to make it easier for viewers to make the connection between the content and your identity.
Always include your logo or brand icon, but remember not to go overboard with it. Why? Because heavy branding can make users perceive your content as too spammy or salesy, and they can end up disregarding your content or worse, spread backlash about your brand.
4. Don’t be intimidated by budget
Even though 96% of marketers surveyed utilize video marketing, most organizations still experience challenges when it comes to resource allocation. But the seemingly lack of budget for video production may actually be one of the easiest hurdles to overcome. A lot of great videos are created with little budget thanks to available equipment and software.
To have a cost-effective video production, you can opt for a consumer-grade camera, hire in-house actors or volunteers, and edit the content using software you already have. And if you are like 71% of companies surveyed, you may just be thinking about increasing the budget dedicated to videos by reprioritizing your overall marketing strategies.
How to Maximize Your Video Mileage
Now that you know how to plan for the starting point of video production, it’s time to take note of these ten useful ideas to get the most possible mileage out of your videos.
1. Post in various platforms
The beauty of video marketing lies in its ability to be published on multiple platforms. Hence, maximize your material by posting not only on your website, but also on video sites like YouTube, and also on social media applications.
You can share across social networks in a staggered way (e.g. day one on Facebook, day two on Twitter), or you can even cut your whole into sections and post each part separately, depending on what your ad campaign needs on that day.
Additionally, boost your video’s SEO value by sticking to informative titles that ideally incorporate popular keywords. This way, your videos will have a much bigger chance of being searched and shared.
2. Pull viewers with personalized content
Recently, users are becoming more and more skeptical of generic and corporate content, because these just don’t provide enough emotion and relatable elements that they can latch on to. Coming up with slick and polished videos is not always the answer; right now, it’s more about creating a personal story for the brand that users can connect with.
As always, think about your target market and work around that to develop content that resonates with them. Potential customers generally respond to authentic, personal messages about you and your business. This encourages your audience to humanize the company, and in turn, lean towards conversion and loyalty.
Check out this ad from Zappos, an online shoe and clothing store that prides itself on their exceptional customer service. The video content is based on a true customer story, which has enough fun and heartwarming elements that can draw in audiences. The ad also includes their company’s edge, the 365-day return policy.
3. Make your video visible, but not obstructive
Being successful in marketing means that your brand is presented in a way that it can be seen, but at the same time doesn’t get in the way of the user experience. So if you are planning to place your content within video hosting sites like YouTube, maximize your investment by choosing the pre-roll option.
A recent study shows that the timing of when an ad is shown can affect the way people respond to it, and for mobile users, 54% consider pre-roll ads to be engaging. This is due to the fact that pre-roll ads are the least obstructive to the user’s viewing experience, compared to mid-roll and outstreams.
There is actually a better platform in terms of keeping it subtler and less obtrusive to the mobile user: social media.
The same study found that two out of three users report how social media videos did not disturb their browsing experience. It could be that the videos shown on sites like Facebook do not directly compete with the act of browsing news feeds, photos and such. This is completely the opposite of what happens on YouTube, where the ads are interrupting the video-watching itself.
4. Make your audience contribute
Posting website videos certainly has its merits, but if you want to take it to the next level, think about how you can make it collaborative so that your users can put their own spin alongside your campaigns.
For millennials especially, this tactic is something they respond to well: research suggests that 84% of millennials say that user-generated content has some influence on their purchases, and they are three times more likely to buy online than older generations. If this generation is your target market, then you definitely have to come up with a user-engaging concept.
A great example is seen on the video below, Old Navy’s #MySquadContest, which focuses on digital content that engages kids to share positive social relationships for a chance to win a day with their favorite influencer. The campaign resulted to 3 million views, 32,000 kids posting their squads and huge donations to the partner organization, The Boys & Girls Club.
5. Know what works, and what works better
Companies with successful video marketing strategies indicate that the three strongest types of video content are: customer testimonials (52%), demonstration (51%) and explainer or how-to videos (51%) [Ascend2 and Vidyard].
Interestingly, while case studies are often seen as having the same impact as customer testimonials, they’re actually significantly less effective (only 26%) than user content. This only shows that there is a world of difference between you sharing your story and customers actually telling the story for you.
But while customer testimonial is seen as very effective, it is also deemed as the most difficult type of content to create. On the other hand, demonstration is said to be one of the easier types to make even though it ranks as highly effective. Business owners can therefore take advantage of demos as a valuable form of video marketing.
Check out this commercial from NeverWet, which engaged far more viewers (four million in a month) compared to its ad agency-produced commercial. Although the video lacked the polish and quality of a professional ad, the simple demonstration is enough to effectively showcase the product’s liquid repellent power and make the audience watch.
6. Use humor to your advantage
Many popular videos take the funny route when aiming for a viral video online (e.g. Dollar Beard Club ad). Humor can build buzz and can easily gain potential to be shared. However, it can also be particularly tricky; what’s considered funny for some may already be too much for others.
Keep in mind that the tone of your video should be appropriate to the kind of brand you have. You can explore the humorous side of things, but it’s always more important to relay a story that feels right for your brand and for the target audience.
7. Choose a strategy that can be presented in different ways
A lot of businesses see the lack of a good strategy as one major obstacle to video marketing success. Indeed, it is hard to dig up some quality concept that is interesting for users but does not feel gimmicky.
Some video ideas are simple and can be used for one piece at a time, but if you’re after maximizing the mileage of your content, it’s better to think of a larger concept where multiple variations of website video can be created from the same idea.
Take a look at these two campaigns from Footlocker where the strategy of “short term memory” pokes fun at famous American athletes who conveniently wear their rose colored glasses when remembering their past.
8. Spread the word
To get mileage out of your video, alert your mailing list that you have new material for them to check out. A screenshot of the video along with the corresponding link can be sent to your members, followers, subscribers and influencers to help spread the word. Moreover, you can request these individuals for feedback regarding your content so you can gain added information on the video’s effectiveness.
9. Monitor your KPIs and viewer reactions
A good video marketing plan incorporates technology not only in video production, but more importantly, in measuring the performance of the video. While content creation, distribution and hosting are crucial; it is the analysis of the campaign that helps you in the long run to make better decisions.
Moreover, reporting technology enables you to immediately revise your content and test again to see if the results will improve. For example, if viewers are dropping off after a few seconds, then you could look into changing the length or style itself.
Aside from data analytics, you can also examine the emotional response of the audience to determine the impact of your content. For instance, on Facebook, you can track the number of like, love, sad or angry reactions to your social media video to get an idea if your target reaction is elicited by the video.
10. Concise content is usually preferred
When publishing video content, try to keep it short and concise. Especially in social media videos, the ideal length is less than a minute, hovering around 15 to 30 seconds. This could be extremely hard to pull off, especially when you want to include many important details about your brand, product or service. But, remember that shorter videos generally perform better than longer ones.
Also, just because your piece is short doesn’t mean it has to be lacking in depth. If you stick to who the market is, what you are offering and where to get it, then it already gives potential customers all the pertinent information. And while you’re at it, you can cleverly insert why the user would want or need your product. Brevity can be difficult, but it is the way to go.
Businesses that embrace the potential of online videos stand out because they keep up with the expectations that the consumers of today have. These suggestions apply on a case-to-case basis, since there is no singularly correct approach that guarantees video marketing success. This then, presents an exciting and evolving challenge for you to put the creative, bold and genuine touch to a story that will hopefully come across to your target audience.
To jumpstart the process of creating an efficient video marketing plan, contact us here.